Yesterday, Anne Houseman of BeautyXposé and I had the pleasure having our makeup perfected by Renato Almeida, National Makeup Artist for Shiseido. We met up at the Macy's at Pentagon City - outside my usual haunts, and far outside Anne's, since she just moved to Virginia from Boston. First thing I did when I walked in the store? Yep, you guessed it. I walked by a shoe sale. Some darling little Calvin Klein gold flats with a spongy rubber sole for comfort and a cute gold three-dimensional flower on top reached out and grabbed me. Great little numbers at a great price - and so comfy!
Anne arrived smartly wearing no makeup, and I came with my usual natural makeup look. That's an age difference, I think. She's young, while I'm, well, "older." Above is a snapshot of the two of us after Renato worked his magic.
Before I get to the artist and the makeup after this long introduction, I want to tell you that I was greeted by many warm and welcoming people - freelance artists, Shiseido reps, sales associates. They offered me a face massage (which I declined like a fool), played with colors with me (I arrived early), offered me chairs at every step (I still have bum knees from my unfortunate encounter with Synvisc-ONE). I felt at home. That's nice in a bustling department store.
Working in the beauty industry for more than eight years, Renato Almeida has helped bring makeup trends from the fashion world to the real world. Renato has spent most of his beauty career working backstage at New York fashion week and on fashion photo shoots, which has contributed to his strong reputation as one of the industry's most sought-after makeup artists. Since his partnership with Shiseido in 2006, he has worked to help today's and tomorrow's Shiseido customers look our best with his effective techniques and flattering Shiseido color combinations. My impression of Renato? He has an "eye." He doesn't paint by numbers. He applies, checks, and blends. He checks over and over again, using his keen eye to ensure that the effect he's trying to create is working. While all makeup artists "look while they work," Renato has trained his eyes to look frequently - he's not easily distracted - and the result is a flawless makeup application, with colors that work for the client and a look that telegraphs, "How pretty you look," not "Your makeup is fabulous."
I'm always interested in how people arrived at their calling. Before our makeup sessions, I had a few minutes to talk with Renato, who originally worked as an advertising copy editor in Brazil. First he landed in Los Angeles. His interests in art, fashion, and photography led him to New York, where he worked for three years with Linda Cantello, currently International Makeup Artist and color guru for Armani Beauty, before branching out on his own. With Linda, he had the pleasure of collaborating with (he says observing) her as she created new color collections for YSL.
Shiseido's spring collection, designed by Dick Page, is gorgeous, like so many others this season. Before we started, I had an opportunity to ask Renato what makes Shiseido makeup unique and to show me his favorite color items. Shiseido, you probably know, is well-known for its skin care. As a result, the company includes skin-care ingredients in all of its makeup too. They want your makeup to work for you while you wear it - not just sit on your skin. That's nice for all of us - young and older.
Renato's favorite Shiseido product selections? He used them on Anne and me!
Mascara Base ($23): a moisturizing treatment that treats, enhances, and protects your lashes from the "ravages" of mascara ingredients and adds volume, curl, and length to make your mascara pop.
Lasting Lift Mascara ($23): the Shiseido waterproof, oilproof, and sweatproof mascara with a great texture that lifts and plumps the lashes, allowing lash-by-lash definition.
Accentuating Cream Eyeliner ($26): a long-lasting cream formula that comes with a brush that is actually useful. Renato prefers thin eyeliner (a man after my heart) to define the eye and make the lashes look lush, and he uses my favorite technique (upper liner applied from underneath the lashes to draw a perfect line). He used black on Anne.
Corrector Pencil ($17): not white, but a natural yellow/beige blend that he uses to conceal the red membranes of the inner eyelids - and it lasts through tears!
Two new bright Perfect Rouge ($25) lipsticks - all the rage now - OR418 (bright orange) and RS320 (bright fuschia), lip colors that demand a soft eye.
Luminizing Satin Eye Color ($25) in PK319, GD810, BR303, and BE202 - all warm, from pink to copper. The little color swatches on the Web site don't do these justice. They are luminous without sparkle - truly lovely.
Tune in later today for Part 2. I'll tell you about the spring colors, the products he used on Anne and me, and his application techniques. While our hair, eye, and skin colors are different, he used the same fabulous copper-toned eye shadow on both of us (GD810) with extremely satisfying results! Her green eyes were greener, and my blue eyes were bluer! I was also enamored with Accentuating Color Stick ($33), a multipurpose cream for eyes, lips, cheeks, and body. Renato used the color stick in S1, Bronze Flush, as my blusher. I loved it! It wasn't my "intuitive" color choice, but it warmed my skin and made me look softly chiseled and dewy. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was love!
Collection photo courtesy of Shiseido