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Makeup Artist

Verity Cumming

Verity Cumming

Gives us RED LIP inspiration with this editorial!

Behind the LOOK

December, 2018

Can you tell us about the chosen look? Who was the model and photographer ?

The shoot focused on different manifestations of the classic red lip. The model was Matilde Buoso the photographer was Johanna Nyholm. The stylist was Tara Greville, and hair was by Sarah Jo Palmer.

What was the concept of the shoot?

This was a personal project where we wanted to work within a strict colour palette, focusing on textures and tones to give variety and intrigue to the story.

What products did you use to create the look and what would your tips be for anyone at home wanting to recreate?

I know all makeup artists bang on about it, but skin prep is really important before any shoot, especially one focused on makeup. I like to give the model a little face massage with a facial oil before we start. On Matilde I used the Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil. This gets the blood flowing and improves the texture and appearance of the skin, but it also gives the model a chance to relax and lets them know that I’m going to take care of them during the shoot. As I knew I was going to be putting lots of different lip looks on Matilde, it was particularly important to prep her lips first, and I used a think layer of balm and a lip scrub to get rid of any dry skin (I used Kiko scrub wipes). Matilde has beautiful skin, so I concentrated mainly on skincare, working in layers of oils and moisturisers and then used minimal concealer just to cover any areas of redness or darkness under the eyes.

I contoured the cheeks and eyes with Madina Milano Crystal Glass Bronzer. This is a Milan fashion week discovery of mine which I reach for again and again on shoots. It works on such a huge variety of skin tones, and gives a very natural and subtle contour. It has a silicone like creamy formulation which allows for easily buildable transparent layers – almost impossible to mess up! I used NIOD Photography Fluid highlighter to give her skin extra dimension and glow, patting it onto her cheekbones, the bridge of her nose and bow of her lip with my fingers. I curled Matilde’s lashes, and coated them with my favourite mascara, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir.

We changed the lips several times, so between each change I would quickly take off the red lip and slather on a thick layer of balm to give Matilde’s lips time to rest and restore while I thought about the next look.

I used a variety of different products to create different textures and effects on the lips. I don’t tend to use lip brushes, but if I want a sharp looking lip, I will use a lip pencil to create the outline as well as filling the whole lip with pencil to give staying power and punch. I then use my ring finger to press the lipstick over the top.

For the velvet like textured lip I pressed layers of makeup forever red pigment over the lips with my finger, holding a tissue under the lips to catch any excess powder. Well moisturised lips are an essential for this look, as if they are at all dry the pigment will gather and clump.

I used a product by the Balm called Watercolour lip stain for the painterly looking lip. You mix the product with water exactly as you would with regular watercolour paints, and I applied it in different concentrations to gave an almost tie die effect.

What was the vibe like on set? 

At the beginning of the day the whole team had a chat (photographer, stylist, hair stylist and me) and went over what we wanted to achieve. We looked through the clothes and talked about backdrops and different options for hair and makeup. It was a really fun and relaxed vibe on set, which was great, as I felt able to play around with the makeup and try different things. On this kind of shoot I like to work quickly to get a look on the model and then consult the team to see what they think before doing final touches and perfecting tweaks on set.

Did you know what you would be creating before you arrived at the shoot or did you develop the look when you got there?

No! I didn’t know we were planning on doing so many beauty looks before I arrived on the day, so I had to create most of them on the spot. I always bring a big kit with me, so I had lots to play with, and I enjoy the pressure of creating looks on the spot.

What would you say your signature look is?

I love doing really intricate makeup looks, and often end up doing really and fiddly things, so patient models are my best friends! I recently did a shoot where I created shapes with hundreds of tiny Swarovski crystals across the face. Luckily the model was really into it, and was happy to sit while I glued them all on!

Do you use cruelty-free beauty products in your kit? 

Yes, I am a big advocate of cruelty free beauty. I think it is important as artists to show that there are so many amazing cruelty free options available, and you can have luxury, quality, affordability and creative freedom without harming animals in the process.

What can we all do to be a little bit more green or ethical as a make-up artist?

One small thing that I’ve started doing recently is bringing a small towel or flannel in my kit, which I use to wipe my hands. It sounds silly, but as a makeup artist, I am always putting product on the back of my hands, and getting covered in foundation or moisturiser. I realised that I was going through mounds of baby wipes, and using a cloth means I have cut down my consumption massively. I also go for wooden rather than plastic stemmed cotton buds.

What would you be doing if you were not a makeup artist?

Four years ago I co founded a fundraising group called Foundation For Change with a makeup artist friend of mine Oonah Anderson. We collect unused makeup and hair products from industry professionals and sell them for half price at a big public event once a year. We have raised over £50k so far for refugee charities, and its definitely been one of the most inspiring and rewarding things I have been a part of. I would love to work in the charity/fundraising sector if I wasn’t a makeup artist.

What items should everyone have in their kit?

Tiny cotton buds! I love the really thin Muji ones (which are also wooden, not plastic!). A lot of my best work comes when I chuck a load of product on and clean it into a good shape, rather than getting it precise the first time.

What is your dream shoot scenario? 

I love shooting beauty, and I love doing intricate work – anything massively fiddly involving tweezers and glue usually makes me really happy! One of the best things about this job is being able to collaborate with amazing creatives, and I think that always elevates your work. Saying that, once that initial discussion has happened, its great to be trusted to do my thing, and left get into the zone and create something.

What kind of brands do you loooove working with?

I am really excited by green and cruelty free brands who are making a statement, and I would love to work with more clients with a similar ethos, especially ones who are keen experiment and play with makeup.

What is the best piece of beauty advice you ever received and what is the best piece you could give?

Wear sun cream – how boring sorry, but true. Also, I am a big advocate of the merits of facial massage.

I am always telling my friends not to bother wearing foundation, and I think so many people wear it that don’t need it. But I’m a big advocate of do what you want. Makeup is meant to be fun and should make you feel good about yourself, so ultimately, if it feels good – do it! Also, red lipstick suits absolutely everyone, you just have to find your shade.

"The fact that Dr Lipp is cruelty free is really important to me. I love the thick texture, and gorgeous shine it gives lips. If you’re feeling a bit tired or drained looking, slicking some Dr Lipp onto your lips and dabbing the excess onto your cheekbones  will give dimension to your face and freshen up your skin in an instant."

Verity Cumming

We love her

Industry Makeup Artist, Off Black Magazine Beauty Editor and co-founder of Foundation for Change, Verity Cumming is one word...AMAZING! We couldn't wait to learn more about this red lip-tastic shoot and hear more from our fab MUA of the month!

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