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Robin Black Interview: Part 1

Makeup Artist Robin Black Talks Fall Trends: Part 1

If you're a fan of M.I.A.'s daring maquillage or Chloë Sevigny's bold makeup, you already know Robin Black's work. The look she creates, like the perfectly lined pout, pretty blush, and huge '80s sunglasses she styled M.I.A. up in for a performance last month, is defined by its classic prettiness but with a strong element that makes it pop. For some expert post-Fashion Week analysis, I spoke with Black, who runs the Face section of LA's Warren-Tricomi salon and does some beauty writing of her own, about how the looks we saw on the ramps are going to translate into magazines (also known as editorial) and eventually onto the drugstore shelves. We covered a lot of ground, and she has some amazing tips for turning runway makeup into real-way looks. To find out how anyone can wear black lipstick and other juicy tidbits, just keep reading.

Do you have any tips from doing quick changes on the runway that would be good for everyday makeup users?

People have a habit of trying to outline their lip, and that takes so much time. You should take lip liner and color in your whole lip, and then put the lipstick right on top of it. Covering the whole lip is not only a lot quicker, but the edges will be more smooth because you're not trying to draw a line. I also think great makeup wipes are totally necessary. I know these ones you can buy at Trader Joe's for like $3.99.

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When a runway or editorial team comes together to do makeup, and you have a hair person, a clothing stylist, and your photographer or designer, what's your process for creating the look?

Usually for a runway show, the designers start out with inspiration boards, and I come in, see their references, and get an idea of the direction they'd like to go in. I then interpret their references into makeup. For an editorial I'm doing right now, on the other hand, the photographer and stylist have shown me the lighting, set-up, clothes, and location, and I've seen the model. The stylist is now sending me pictures of the inspiration, and the hairstylist and I are trying to translate it, keeping in mind the season and the types of makeup products that are out right now, to make it as beautiful as possible and keep the concept as smoothly as possible.

Is it hard to look so far ahead of the trends sometimes?

It is really confusing. I feel like I'm always off season. It's been Summer in LA, and I'm walking around in dark burgundy lipstick. I think some people think I've become Gothic, but it's just because makeup companies have already sent me Winter and I'm so excited I can’t wait.

It seems like dark lips keep coming back, but they're hard to do. Is there a way to make the look more wearable?

I often use a really deep plum or black-tinted plum lip liner, fill in the whole lip, and then go over it with a bright red or softer color, which gives you the same kind of depth that you would have from black, but makes it a little more wearable. I just did that for BCBG's upcoming holiday calendar lookbook, actually.

Image Source: WireImage
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