If ever I felt like a million bucks, it had to be today as I stepped out of Milan’s department store, La Rinascente. Courtesy of the retail giant and the French fashion and beauty maison, I was treated to a free Dior make-up session by a sweet, professional and experienced artist named Kevin who has painted several famous faces throughout his career including mega-star, Beyonce. All the other beauty brands on the ground floor, including Giorgio Armani and MAC, also employ professional make-up artists allowing anyone to have their features prettified using products of their choice. All you have to do is ask and make an appointment.
Normally, completing each face takes Kevin approximately 15 minutes but because he was patiently talking me through the process of cleansing, preparation and application while introducing me to every magical product used, it took us almost an hour to achieve a fresh, subtle look that drew attention to my brown eyes. Before we began, I explained that I usually wear dramatic red and pink lip colour with simple black eye-liner and that perhaps we should change the focus to my eyes with a nude lip colour and lashes of mascara – a totally new look for me.
Cleaning and preparation
Kevin clipped my hair back and began to clean and prepare the skin to accept the make-up. He dabbed on an instant make-up remover for lips and eyes to remove any trace of my existing cosmetics followed by gentle cleansing milk and and toning lotion which both contain peony extract which calms the skin. Then, from the Hydra Life range, he smoothed on the Skin Perfect moisturizer; a silky, soft and non-greasy product that refines the pores and doubles up as a treatment. Finally, using his fingertip, he spread a small amount of Eyes Essential serum to boost the fragile skin and reduce puffiness.
Laying the foundation
The Skin Flash primer was opened to reveal the brush applicator. A simple turn and upwards, outwards stokes from the middle of the face meant that my skin was now ready to be covered with foundation. Kevin did a patch test on my jaw bone and decided on Nude 030 with SPF 12. It has a revised fluid texture that promises a glowing appearance and to get a flawless result, he selected one of their newest round brushes made especially for the application of liquids. I almost fell asleep in the chair because the round movements on my face were like a relaxing massage. Skin Flash concealer was then touched around the lip contours, the corners of the nose and under the eyes. Finally, Capture Totale, a loose translucent powder, was lightly brushed over the face for an added sun-kissed glow.
Colour me beautiful!
For a healthy, blushing glow, Kevin brushed a pink ‘Rosy Glow’ colour onto my cheeks. His attention moved to my eyes and this is where I was amazed at the effect of make-up. He lined my eyes in navy blue using a waterproof Diorshow pencil and then, using a five-colour palette of silver blue shadows, he created a smoky, sultry effect. Next it was time to apply the lash plumping serum, something which Kevin recommends women do each night before going to bed. Apparently, if a woman steps out without mascara, it’s like not wearing underwear. I don’t know what this says about me, but wearing two coats of mascara after countless years of not owning a single tube was odd. My eyes looked amazing though; big and wide open with lashes that resembled spiders legs. In fact, it was like gazing at the hypnotic stare of a bewitching screen siren. Whoever she was staring back at me, she was on fire!
At the end of my session, Kevin would not let me leave without smelling as good as I looked. To help me find the fragrance to suit my personality, he asked me several questions scripted in a tiny booklet and depending on the answers I gave, he was lead to three specific fragrances. I was then asked to sniff the anonymous fragrances and make my selection. The winner was – just as Kevin had hoped – a stunning fragrance called ‘Grand Bal’ from Christian Dior’s Privée collection which Kevin describes as the Haute Couture of perfume. Boy! Am I glad my olfactory sense is that refined! To tie an imaginary ribbon around my morning, Dior presented me with a large carry bag filled with cosmetics including two lipsticks, eyeshadow, a bag holder and a mini bottle of perfume.
What can I say? I am still on top of the world… Smelling good and looking great!
Visit www.rinascente.it to find out more about their sprawling beauty floor. Click here to learn more about the Dior beauty products mentioned.