Yesterday, I had a an incredible opportunity to spend some time on the phone with Ivan Castro, Global Key Artist with Le Métier de Beauté. Ivan and I talked about summer makeup trends - color and application tips. Before we get to his ideas for your smashing summer, let me tell you a few things about him.
Ivan is based in Los Angeles and has worked as a makeup artist for over 10 years. The lucky ladies near the West Coast get to see him most often. Before joining Le Métier de Beauté, Ivan worked backstage at Marchesa and was a well-known artist behind the scenes at Los Angeles Fashion Week. He helps celebrities get ready for the red carpet, from fashion designer Keren Craig of Marchesa to Rihanna (no intro needed).
Ivan's beauty expertise and tips have been featured by numerous media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, Newsday, and Philadelphia Style. Yesterday was my first opportunity to chat with Ivan, and now I'm privileged to join those well-known sources by sharing Ivan's makeup wisdom and color tips for your summer.
Just seconds into our conversation, I wished we could have talked face to face - over a counter full of testers - playing with color to illustrate his ideas. His sensitivity to a woman's individuality was immediately apparent as he talked about his approach to makeup. Ivan is most definitely not one of those paint-by-numbers artists. One of the first things he told me was that women fear makeup artists see their flaws at first glance. Not true, he protested! A good artist sees the highlights - a woman's best features - and immediately wants to enhance them. As I asked him questions, I learned that he's reluctant to prescribe. Like all great artists, he knows that no single look is right for everyone.
Now that I've told you Ivan doesn't notice flaws, he will notice one that's correctable - when a woman is not taking good care of her skin. Our skin is the canvas for our makeup, just like a fine painting. If you want your makeup to look good, your skin has to look good. I wholeheartedly agree, one reason why I take time out from our makeup love fests to tell you about skin care. Here's a news flash. We have something special to anticipate. Le Métier de Beauté will be introducing skin care in late summer - probably September. Are you as excited as I am? That launch will be momentous.
We talked about foundation. Women have different needs for color and coverage. On the West Coast, Ivan sees a lot of women with tan bodies and pale faces. They look like mismatched postcards in scrapbooks (my words, not his). He tries to use foundation to even them out, using it to give the face, neck, and décolletté a unified look. Before he does, he often asks his clients, "Do you feel prettier when you look light or tan?" Then he uses one of Le Métier de Beauté's fabulous foundations to enhance the canvas.
Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe is Le Métier de Beauté's newest foundation. It does double duty as skin care and color. This luxurious, tinted treatment fluid provides a sheer wash of flawless, luminous, and lightweight coverage. Peau Vierge feels like your second skin with a gossamer-like texture. Light-diffusing pigments help fade away lines and instantly impart a renewed radiance and healthy appearance. Peau Vierge provides SPF 20 to guard against the damaging effects of the sun and retinol in a Syntoc Actif delivery system that helps it penetrate more effectively. Packed with other moisturizing, calming, and protective ingredients, like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, chamomile, and green tea, it's a marvel of modern makeup technology. He loves using it and finds it especially perfect for summer.
Ivan said that some women want more coverage, and Classic Flawless Finish Foundation suits them perfectly. The silky, featherweight, oil-free formula captures the luminosity of perfect skin, evens out skin tone, and blurs imperfections for a beautiful, natural finish. Ivan described Classic Flawless Finish as a medium-to-full coverage foundation that provides a beautiful finish, not matte, not ultra dewy - just perfect. It's available in 12 shades with a variety of undertones (we don't all have to be yellow). Ivan recommends applying it with Le Métier de Beauté's gorgeous Kabuki Brush. He suggests using a very small amount of Classic Flawless Finish and buffing it into the skin with the Kabuki Brush. That technique will yield a look that's actually flawless.
Whichever foundation you choose (there's a tinted moisturizer too), during the summer, make sure to use the least amount of coverage that makes you comfortable. That will give you a natural look that's pleasing to the eye, whether you are at an outdoor wedding or playing golf.
Now that we've prepped the canvas, where do we go with color this summer? To the Mediterranean, of course! Without leaving home, we can bring the elegance and beauty of the islands, oceanfront, and sea to our lives with Le Métier de Beauté color. The Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit will give you a perfect pop of color for summer. Penelope captures all of the beauty of the Mediterranean panorama with its four opulent eye shadow shades, Blonde Amber, Pale Satin Amethyst, Bronze Topaz, and Black Emerald. Ivan said you can use these popular colors one by one or layered (the Le Métier de Beauté Couches de Colour way) for a wash of color that's perfect for this summer's best look. He loves soft lavender, bronze, and coral - great shades for summer - making Penelope the perfect eye palette. It provides every shade you need to update your eye's wardrobe in just one kit.
On the lips? Go natural for day with Dustin Lujan's Écumes D’or Kaleidoscope Lip Kit or wear a pop of hot color at night with Ken's Kissable Koral. Ivan shared a tip for using hot, bold colors for summer without venturing too far into a full-force movie star look. Use the lipstick as a stain, blotting it into your lips for a tint of color and then following with lip gloss to achieve a Creamsicle look. Use the vibrant fuschia Paris Color Core Moisture Stain Lipstick as your stain and top it with Vanilla Rose lip gloss (listed as Vanilla Crème at Neiman Marcus Web site). Or use Riviera (bright orange) or Ken's Kissable Koral and top it with the same gloss. Instant glamour! I liked this idea and plan to drag out a bright lipstick today to create this look myself. Maybe I'll get brave and try my Ken's Kissable Koral!
I asked Ivan how we can update our makeup look for summer without breaking the bank. He said to focus on the eyes or lips, not both. Add a pop of shadow, one with high sheen to glide over your eyelid, and wear a minimal lip for day. I asked about fabulous summer eye shades. He likes True Colour Eyeshadow in Spicy, a beautiful bronze that looks good on everyone. He also recommends Plum True Colour Eyeshadow, a violet that is sheer on the lids and can be layered over any other shadow to enliven it. He mentioned that Innocence, Plum, and Lapis are meant to be used over more neutral colors to jazz up your look.
We talked about how to look naturally pretty, not over-done, during the summer. Ivan suggests switching from black mascara to brown. A look he likes starts with a natural skin base, followed by Spicy and topped with Innocence, then accented with Tamarack Dualistic Eye Pencil on the inside of the eyes to give a little sparkle - but not too much. Brownish Black Anamorphic Lash Mascara finishes the look.
Ivan also recommends using Le Métier de Beauté's colored mascaras for summer's fun alternative to black. He doesn't want to see mascara overtake a woman's eyes, particularly at outdoor events. He recommends we try Aubergine for blue eyes or Midnight Blue for brown eyes. The combination of the mascaras and your own lashes will give a tint that's extremely flattering. I'll show you later today, so come back!
He also loves the look of Le Métier de Beauté's Crème Fresh Tints for cheeks. Natural color that melts in the skin (no pun intended), Crème Fresh Tints are among my favorite cream blushes. Ivan recommends them because they provide a nice glow that's more flattering in daylight than metallic or sparkly cheek colors. There's a shade for you. See my feature on the newest of these wonderful blushes here.
We finished up with the question I get from many readers: How do I keep my makeup in place during the summer months, with heat and moisture working against me? Ivan said that women don't seem to like using powder (there are some serious misconceptions), but it’s really necessary in the summer. Use loose powder to set your makeup. If you apply it correctly, you won't lose your glow. He recommends Classic Flawless Finish Loose Powder. Blot it on with a sponge or puff, particularly if you're oily, or the Powder Brush. He suggests using loose powder over eye shadow, your finished face, even your lipstick. For an extremely long-lasting lip, use lip liner over your entire lip. Follow with loose powder, then lipstick. Blot, then apply more lipstick, more loose powder, and top with lip gloss. He laughed as he said, "Your lip color will stay put for a very long time."
Suddenly, our time was up. Someone else had reserved our conference line, and we had to say goodbye. Thank you, Ivan! I'm looking forward to meeting you in person some day soon.
I'm extremely envious of the West Coast gals who see Ivan frequently. When you get the chance, make an appointment to see him at an event. Even if he's not available when you're ready to update your makeup for summer, head over to your closest Le Métier de Beauté counter. Everyone who works with the line is amazingly talented. With Ivan's tips and your own preferences, you'll find a summer look you love.
Photos courtesy of Le Métier de Beauté and Neiman Marcus