Exclusive Interview: Alexsandra Byrne

Mimi ON Sep 27, 2011 AT 11:08 am

Alex Byrne at work backstage

Alex Byrne at work backstage

The makeup artist Alexsandra Byrne is a busy busy lady! Not only has she done the makeup of stars like Sienner Miller, Rosamund Pike, and Naomi Campbell, but her looks have been featured in major publications such as Vogue, Elle, and Glamour along with beauty campaigns for MAC, Shu Uemura, Christian Dior, and Givenchy. Oh and she’s the contributing beauty editor at The Guardian and The Observer! Backstage at LFW’s Aminaka Wilmont Spring/Summer 2012 show, she sat down with us to take us through the beauty look that would be seen on the runway just hours after our interview.

Can you take us through the steps to achieve this look?

Alex's kit

Alex's kit

I’m going to start off by using a bunch of Japonesque brushes, and we’re using a variety of different colour products. The first is a Serge Lutens white, eye base. We want the girls to be a little bit pale so we’re going to go in around the eyes and under the eyes and lighten them up a little bit. I want to create a sort of mask in the diamond area of the face so that the girls are a bit paler through the center.

Next I’m using a matte, cream colour base which is a dark metallic. We’re going to do a really big swoop with this all around the eye. Be generous with the amount you use along the lower lash line, and bring it right up the eyelid and really blend the edges out. Then with MAC Mid Tone Sepia, a warmer metallic, create an elongated shape at the outer corner of the eye. This shade is a bit more opaque. Blend this in with your finger, and come only halfway across the bottom of the lash line.

Using a matte neutral eye shadow, like MAC Taupe, and a 232 brush by Japonesque, apply colour at the outer corners of the eyes, and sweep it across the undereye and brow bone as well. This taupe colour is going to set the cream colour bases.

Next, I’m using the MAC Chromagraphic Pencil in NC15 along the inner bottom rim of the eye to get a pale waterline. Then I’m flicking it out on the side of the eye because it’ll look really good on the runway.

I’m using Shiseido Hydropowder Eyeshadow in H9 and applying it to the center of the eyelid next. Really blend it and extend it, but extend it on a diagonal so you hit more under the arch of the brow. I’m also applying this under the lower lash line, but just in the center.

The look at Aminaka Wilmont

The look at Aminaka Wilmont

The next step is to apply primer all over the face to take some of the shine down. I’m using Nars Oil Free Primer and massaging it into the skin. Following this, I’m going to use a pale Chanel foundation with a Japonesque 312 foundation brush. I want the skin to be flawless, but really properly looking like skin. I don’t want to see makeup in the pores. I want it really buffed in. If you find that the foundation is too thick, blend Chantecaille Vital Essence Serum with the foundation to really sheer it down. Also, I like using this serum because the bottle is just so pretty.

I’m applying foundation to the ears, too, because the hair will be pulled back for the show and there’s nothing worse than a really foxy woman walking down the runway, and she’s flawless, but she comes up profile and her ears are bright red. It’s a killer.

Once I’ve got this skin on, I’m using white face and body paint to dust in the diamond area of the face and on the lips to lighten things up. The reason why we’re only doing this in the diamond area on the face and blending it really well is so that from the side we won’t get anything masky on the jawline.

Alexsandra Byrne

Alexsandra Byrne

I’m now applying Illamasqua Hollow Cream Pigment as a contour that’s really well blended. Apply a stripe of this right underneath the curve of the cheekbone and blend up so that the lowest part is in the hollow and up. Also, I’m making sure not to bring it past the line at the outer edge of the eye because it’ll make the models’ faces look really skinny on the runway. When we did the fitting I brought it around the front and the designers nearly had a heart attack. I’m bringing this shade up into the hairline and at the outer corner of the eye, as well. You’ll end up with a pattern of ‘dark, light, dark, light’ all the way down the face.

I’m going to try a lavender shadow on the cheekbone and lips, next, to bring a cold effect to the face. It has to be so delicate that you can barely detect it, though.

Underneath the eyes the girls must be really flawless but not thick, so I’m using a lightweight concealer and blending it really well.

I’m finishing off with a dirty pewter colour. I’m really hitting the eyelid with this colour and applying it more in the middle of the eyelid than up the brow bone. I’m even going to apply a little amount to the lips. Finally, I’m brushing up the girls’ eyebrows to add to this fairy look.

This look is really metallic and cold but still really pretty.

We had a fab time backstage at the Aminaka Wilmont SS12 show and a big thanks to Alexsandra Byrne for letting us into to all her insider tips and tricks for the show. 

We loved the look! Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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