Alex Colaianni is one of two Sisley International Makeup Artists. He visited Neiman Marcus at the Tysons Galleria on Sunday and spent six hours doing makeovers - mine included.
I got there early to watch the goings-on. As I waited for Alex, my Sisley friends pampered me with a hot wax hand treatment and touched up my skin with the always-luxurious Sisley skin-care products (thank you Simone Noorestani!). They also plied me with macaroons! During that time, I watched Alex do gorgeous makeup applications on two pretty women with red hair. I tried to get good photos of them, but the light in the store was less than ideal for makeup photographs. You will have to trust me that Joi and Amy looked fabulous.
When my turn came, Alex looked at me for a split second and said, "What kind of look do you like...natural?" He was spot on - natural! The most fun moments of my session with Alex were the new tricks he taught me and the beautiful remembrance he drew when he finished. Alex is an artist in every sense of the word. He graduated with a degree in fine arts from Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Now, he uses his artistic skills not only to make women look beautiful, but also to show them on paper how he did it. Starting with a blank sheet of paper, he drew a stylized portrait of each of us, selecting our own eye colors and the outline of our features, and presented us with a lasting memory of our time together. Magical!
Alex started my session by selecting a foundation. Many makeup artists try to use a foundation on me that is a shade too dark. Not Alex! He has a superb eye for color. He looked at my skin, tested two shades on his hand, and instinctively selected a very light foundation that matched my skin perfectly and covered the redness around my nose. It was Photo Teinte Eclat Oil Free Foundation in #1. I was impressed. He even used the foundation as a concealer under and over my eyes. Then he used Phyto-Poudre Compacte Pressed Powder ($109) in #0 on my face (to set my foundation) and on my neck.
He taught me a few tricks with Sisley's Sun Glow Duo Brush ($40) and the Sun Glow Pressed Powder in Golden Peach ($105). The Sun Glow duo of fine powders gives your skin a sun-kissed, radiant glow with the look of a natural, velvety tan. He dabbed the flat top of the brush on both shades and used it to contour my cheekbones, extending the subtle color down the far edge of my face down to my jaw on either side. Then he used the side of the brush to show me how to do a quick eye-enhancing look without shadow. He applied the Sun Glow and lightly swept it on a diagonal line (using short strokes) from right above my eye to the corner of my brow. Amazing! It was very flattering. You can see how he drew it in the photo above. I have never seen an artist do that with a bronzer.
Alex did not do the traditional three-shade eye shadow application. That was refreshing. On my eyes he used Phyto-Ombre Eclat Eyeshadow ($46) in Graphite near the lashes and showed me how to glam up for evening with Vanilla under my brows and in the inner corner of my eyelid. He selected Kohl Perfect Eyeliner ($53) in Brown and only applied it on my upper lash line, smudging after he drew a medium-width line. He finished my eyes with a full coating of Phyto-Mascara Ultra Facil mascara ($62) on my lashes. No liner, shadow, or mascara under my eyes. That was interesting too. I like to use mascara on my lower lashes. They are totally blond and disappear without a little help. I have to admit, though, that I looked just fine without it Sunday.
He selected the beautiful Phyto Blush ($85) in pink tones and applied it lightly to the high points of my cheekbones, bringing the color up around to my temples. To finish the look, he expertly applied a pretty nude lip, using Phyto-Levre Perfect Lipliner ($55) in Beige Natural over the entire lip and my favorite Sisley lip formula, Phyto-Lip Shine ($50) in #3, Rose (a peachy-pink).
I was finished and very happy with the look Alex created. It was "me." Alex left me with a memorable saying, "Sisley skin care will change your skin; Sisley makeup will change your life." Spoken in that adorable French accent, he was as charming as talented.
Alex travels almost constantly. If you get a chance to sign up for one of his sessions, do it! You'll have fun and love the lasting artwork he will create for you.
I purchased my Sisley makeup Sunday at Neiman Marcus. Sisley is also available at Saks.
Product photo courtesy of Saks