LFW SS12: Q&A WITH JASPER CONRAN MAKE-UP ARTIST VAL GARLAND

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

What was your brief for Jasper Conran SS12?

This season we have gone for minimalist make-up - it is fresh, dewy, pared down and all about gorgeous skin. It is about the woman in the dress. We are using a highlighter on the cheeks and across the eyes. The statement of the make-up is hot pink lips, which is combined with nude eyes, no mascara and groomed brows. It’s about looking very modern. By taking everything else away and leaving one key element there – bright pink lips – it brings the whole collection together.

Are there any suprises this season?

We are doing one thing which is unheard of – matching lips with toes!

How do you decide on a look?

I have worked with Jasper for quite some time, and we bounce ideas off one another. Jasper and his team will come to me originally with a mood board and we take it from there. Once we have decided on a look, I’ll go away and do a few mock-ups until we find the one that feels organically right for Jasper. This season, it happened to be the first look we did. One focus on the face tells a story of the whole collection.

What techniques did you use to get the look?

We prepped the skin – cleansed, moisturised and applied a pre-base. We wanted the skin to look really fresh and real. We mixed a facial serum in with the foundation, this enables you to get good coverage on the skin without it looking like a mask of make-up. We used a highlighter for the contours of the eyes and face, which helps shape the face and gives a great bone structure. We curled the lashes but kept them bare and groomed the brows. For the lips, we took the bullet of the lip colour and applied it to the top and bottom, 1,2,3. There was no need for lip liner and a brush, as we wanted to create a softer edge which feels more real.

What are your make-up bag essentials?

• Estée Lauder eye-liner

• MAC lip liner and eye pencil

• Chanel base

• Clinique Macara

Do you have a favourite brand?

There are so many great brands, they all bring something to the table. I love Chanel, MAC, Givenchy.. all the way through to high street brands such as Jemma Kidd.

What’s your background, where did you train?

I taught myself. I started out as a hair dresser in Australia and through being a hair dresser and doing session work photographers kept pushing me to do the make-up, so one day I did. The shoot ended up appearing as the cover story of a magazine out in Australia. That was the beginning really. I came to England initially in 1994 and was lucky enough to get in with a very hip crowd. I hung around with Katy England, Katie Grand, Dazed and Confused and Alexander McQueen, we all started off together.

Apart from Jasper, who else have you worked with and were there any particular memorable moments?

I have worked with both Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. I spent many years working with Alexander McQueen; I loved the Shalom Harlow show we did [Spring/Summer 1999] which was splattered with paint. I also loved working with John Galliano, I spent a number of years doing his campaign with Nick Knight. I like having to go that extra mile as part of the creative process.

Follow Val Garland on Twitter @TheValGarland