If like me, you're a fan of classic old Hollywood films, you'll be familiar with the film Funny Face, starring the iconic Audrey Hepburn and old twinkle toes himself, Fred Astaire. Hepburn plays a plain-looking girl who gets turned on by literature and philosophy rather than fashion. No wonder then that she's more than a little disturbed when Astaire stumbles upon her in the book store she works in and decides she's fashion's "new face". This legendary film poked fun at the fashion industry decades before The Devil Wears Prada was penned. The still above is taken from the film and features the actress Kay Thompson. Thompson plays Maggie Prescott, editor of the fictitious Quality Magazine. Her character is a pastiche of the legendary American Vogue editor Diana Vreeland.
The film's cast includes 50's supermodel and Avedon muse Dovima (playing a model funnily enough). One of the most iconic images of Dovima was taken by super-photographer Richard Avedon, entitled "Dovima with the Elephants". Later, the image was to be referenced by Rankin, who cast supermodel Erin O' Connor to play Dovima in a similar modern day shot. You know you're an icon when NARS names a nail varnish after you, hence NARS Dovima, a bold 50's red lacquer.
Richard Avedon consulted on the sequences in the film's opening credits, while costume credits go to the multi Oscar award-winning Edith Head (she received 8 Oscars for costume design throughout her illustrious career). Givenchy meanwhile, was credited with Hepburn's Paris costumes. There's a memorable scene in the film when Mrs Prescott is called upon to divine the season's new trend - to which she decrees authoritatively; "Think pink!".
"Think pink" would be an ideal phrase to sum up one of the hottest catwalk beauty trends for Spring / Summer 2011. But before we dive into all the new season "newness", let's look at the significance of the colour pink in popular culture over the last few decades:
The marvellous Marilyn Monroe in the Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend sequence from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Madonna, the original pop provocateur, donned a pink punk-trash wig and Keith Haring-style printed leather jacket for her 1984 Top of The Pops performance of Like a Virgin.
Here's Madonna again in her video for Material Girl, which you could say "referenced" Marilyn Monroe's Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend sequence from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer starred in Grease 2, flanked here by the legendary Pink Ladies.
80's teen star Molly Ringwald in the classic John Hughes film Pretty in Pink.
The luscious Scarlett Johansson donned a pink bobbed wig for the karaoke scene in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation.
Pink giving baby pink hair an edgy rockabilly twist.
Lily Allen accessorised her "bleeding Bambi" print dress with manga-tastic Harajuku-style hot pink hair.
Mert & Marcus shot supermodel Kate Moss in a long pink wig for this edgy twist on sultry Bardot beauty.
Hello Kitty manufacturer Sanrio cast Lady GaGa to star in the print campaign to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Hello Kitty (MAC launched a Hello Kitty collaboration soon after).
Lady Gaga's MAC Viva Glam Gaga lipstick collaboration.
Kelis rocking Fuschia lips in the video for Acapella, the first single release from 2010's Flesh Tone album.
Kelis rocking pink on tour.
Of-the-moment Trinidadian-American rapper / R&B lyricist / vocalist Nicki Minaj rocking one of her many signature pink wigs.
Minaj's debut album Pink Friday.
Minaj's MAC Pink Friday lipstick collaboration.
The models sported Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick in Fuschia (RS320 from the Shiseido Spring 2009 Collection) for the Marc by Marc Jacobs SS10 show last year (Jacobs was ahead of the crowd as always).
Chanel Make-Up's creative director Peter Philips was also miles ahead with Chanel's SS10 Les Pop-Up de Chanel collection. The matte cream textured Super lipstick was the most luscious shade of hot pink (and looked super-cool with the sheer neon pink Laser gloss on top).
Now we come to Spring / Summer 2011. The model pictured above was shot backstage at Diane von Furstenburg's SS11 catwalk show. I adore Furstenburg's vivid use of colour - but what I'm loving even more was the variety of skin colours apparent on the catwalk, with models booked from across the globe. Technicolour clothes and multicultural models - surely that's the essence of modern beauty? The diversity was especially poignant as there was the usual famine of ethnicity elsewhere on the international show schedule. The beauty look at this show was all about sheer "nude" skin (I'll be posting a Nude beauty feature soon so come back for more Spring loveliness), punctuated with a vibrant matte fuchsia lip. You can see the make-up artist is simply using a soft matte pink pencil on the model pictured above, I suggest trying Illamasqua's Medium Pencil in Manic - a long-wear hot candy pink with a soft matte texture. The pencil is priced at £13 and is available from the Illamasqua website: www.illamasqua.com
The lip was made super-matte with a dusting of eye shadow / blush in a coordinating colour. Head to Illamasqua, RMK, Shu Uemura, MAC and Barry M to find an eye shadow / blush to dust over your chosen shade of fuchsia pink lipstick. Fixing your lip colour with a powder in a similar shade will not only intensify the shade and create a matte look, it will also ensure it lasts all day.
Juana Berga backstage.
Elisa Sednaoui and Arlenis Sosa strike an oh-so-pretty pose.
Tao Okamoto backstage, showing how beautiful a blue-hued pink can look on a yellow toned, fair to medium Asian skin tone.
Ataui Deng's rich dark skin tone is enhanced so beautifully by the luscious pink lip, proving pink really is for every woman, it's simply a question of selecting the right shade. If you have medium to dark skin, I suggest opting for a deeper, plummier pink to complement your skin tone. Avoid shades that are too pale as they will jar with your complexion. You may remember Deng from Vogue Italia's famous Black issue, where she starred alongside a host of legendary black models including: Beverly Johnson, Pat Cleveland, Iman, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Chanel Iman, Liya Kebede, Jourdan Dunn, Alek Wek and Yasmin Warsame.
Here's Yulia Terentieva rocking the matte fuchsia lip backstage at Jil Sander SS11. It's plain to see that this look would translate so effortlessly from runway to real life for the majority of Britain's English roses. Notice how the lips take centre stage while every other aspect of the look is "barely there" - this is the key to keeping this look fresh and fashion-forward.
Illamasqua lipsticks have a beautiful creamy matte texture and are designed to last. This lipstick in Corrupt is a great option, priced at £15.50 and available from the Illamasqua website: www.illamasqua.com
Why not compliment your Corrupt lipstick with the Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Collide (£13.50 @ www.illamasqua.com)
Dolce&Gabbana Make-Up's creative director Pat McGrath has created this satin finish hot pink lipstick for the DG Make-Up SS11 Secret Garden collection. The shade is appropriately named Love and will be available exclusively from Harrods (www.harrods.com)
The beauty editors at Sunday Times Style and Stylist magazines have been going gaga over the pink shades in the soon-to-be re-launched Estee Lauder Pure Colour Lipstick collection (on counter in Harrods from January 31st www.harrods.com / www.esteelauder.co.uk). Lauder's Creative Director Tom Pecheux has done so much to re-invigorate this legendary beauty brand, making it relevant to an entirely new generation of women with its densely pigmented, vibrantly hued eye, lip and nail colours. Anyone who managed to get their hands on Lauder's Summer 2010 collection will know what I'm talking about. How divine was that blue eye shadow palette and accompanying campaign? Make-up heaven!
If you haven't heard of legendary make-up artist Daniel Sandler then you need to do your beauty homework. King of the glow, Sandler's range of high tech mineral make-up makes dewy, radiant Photoshop-style skin accessible to every woman, no matter how inexperienced she may be in the art of make-up application. On the speed dial of a host of iconic fashionistas such as Yasmin Le Bon and Kate Moss, he also created catwalk make-up looks for Gucci when Tom Ford was designer in chief. In other words, he pretty much created that Gucci Girl sizzling 70's make-up look of dewy skin, vibrant smokey eyes, contoured cheekbones and nude lips that we all loved so much. Pictured above is Sandler's Micro Bubble Lipstick in Flamingo - a truly electric pink that looks phenomenal on fair to light olive skin tones. If you feel like your lips need a boost later in the day, the micro bubble technology in this lippy simply requires you to press your lips together to refresh the colour and release essential moisture - genius! Used judiciously, it also doubles as a superb cream blush when blended across the apples of the cheeks. The Daniel Sandler Micro Bubble Lipstick in Flamingo is priced at £13.30, available from www.beautique.com and Urban Retreat at Harrods www.urbanretreat.co.uk
No beauty maven worth her salt would be without the semi-matte Funny Face fuchsia lipstick from NARS (which takes its name from the Hepburn movie of the same name). NARS Funny Face semi-matte lipstick is priced at £17.50 and available from www.narscosmetics.co.uk)
NARS Schiap semi-matte lipstick takes its name from Schiaparelli Pink, a vivid hue created by the legendary couturier Schiaparelli. The Dali collaborator was unique in the sense that she was working with prominent surrealist artists decades before Louis Vuitton collaborated with artists such as Julie Verhoeven, Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami as a means of breathing new life into the signature LV logo accessories. Schiaparelli's infamous shoe hat was a collaboration with Dali, popping up at the Stephen Jones curated hat exhibition at the V&A. Her spine sculpted dress is another iconic piece of design history, more wearable art than throwaway fashion item. Expect a huge resurgence in all things Schiaparelli (including Schiaparelli Pink), as the couturier was adored by Wallis Simpson (Madonna's W.E. film focuses on Simpson and is pencilled for release later this year). Simpson also adored Cartier (who doesn't??). A Wallis Simpson jewellery auction consisting of 20 rare pieces took place at Sotheby's in November 2010, so don't be surprised if Simpson's severe aristocrat / couture dominatrix style becomes a fashion media obsession. NARS Schiap semi-matte lipstick is priced at £17.50, available from www.narscosmetics.co.uk
Why not compliment your NARS Schiap semi-matte lipstick with the complimentary NARS Nail Lacquer in Schiap, priced at £13.50, available from www.narscosmetics.co.uk
Here's a picture of Ksenia Kahnovich, shot backstage at the Christian Dior SS11 catwalk show. Pat McGrath traditionally puts a modern twist on vintage beauty at these shows, where Joan Crawford style power brows invariably frame a vividly coloured winged eye shape. The lip at Dior is almost always a 40's / 50's shape, when it's not, the 20's and 30's tend to be the go-to decades for beauty inspiration with flapper looks reigning supreme (though always with a modern interpretation). This season McGrath did a subtler take on the "kitten flick". This eye shape is a signature of make-up artist Lisa Eldridge. I recommend viewing the make-up tutorials on her website (www.lisaeldridge.com) to learn how to create the perfect kittenish eye shape with a good eyeliner brush and Bobbi Brown's Gel Eyeliner in Black (priced at £15.50, available from www.bobbibrown.co.uk). Here, it looks like McGrath painted the lid in a reddish-pink cream shadow, extending the colour slightly above the crease and blending out at the edge to create the winged shape. I suggest trying the MAC Cream Colour Base in Fabulush, priced at £13.50, available from www.maccosmetics.co.uk (powder lightly over the lids to avoid creasing as cream textures have a tendency to melt and look messy when worn in heat or humidity).
For a more vivid take on this eye look, why not use the bright pink "B" shade from this Eden Eye Shadow Quad, new from Dolce&Gabbana Make-Up's SS11 Secret Garden collection. Apply the shadow with a moist eye shadow brush to intensify the colour pay off and drama factor. The Dolce&Gabbana Eden Eye Shadow Quad will be available exclusively from Harrods (www.harrods.com / www.dolcegabbanamakeup.com)
Here's another shot of Ksenia Kahnovich backstage at the Christian Dior SS11 catwalk show. Look closely and you'll see that surgical tape has been applied to the temples, above the brows to create a dramatic arch. This is the old-school Hollywood facelift in a jiffy and was hidden by the models' heavy Joan Crawford style fringes / bangs. Partial lashes have been placed at the outer corner of the upper lash line to elongate the eye (Lisa Eldridge does a fab tutorial of partial lash application on her website www.lisaeldridge.com)
Eldridge raves about Shu Uemura lashes and when demonstrating how to create a winged and 60's eye shape, she used their partial lashes, pictured above. The Shu Uemura Partial Soft Cross False Eyelashes are priced at £15, available from www.shuuemura.co.uk
Here's a snap of Siri Tollerod backstage at the Christian Dior SS11 show (apparently having her foundation applied with a cone-shaped pink egg). The elliptical-shaped Beautyblender is in fact a rather nifty tool used by make-up artists the world over. Not only is it superb for building coverage and creating flawless foundation, its pointy end is ideal for hard-to-reach places such as the sides of the nose and around the contours of the eyes.
The multi award-winning (and on-trend) Beautyblender is priced at £14.50, available from www.cultbeauty.co.uk
Here's a model on the catwalk at Michael Kors SS11. This is cardboard cut out American preppy beauty at its best. Rather than opting for a romantic English rose style rosy flushed cheek, the make-up artists for the show appear to have "double blushed". It appears that a sheer foundation, probably in a shade warmer than the model's skin, has been blended over the face, with subtle bronzer blended at the sides of the temples, under the cheekbones, down the sides of the nose and at the base of the chin. A warm pink blush has then been blended lightly across the apples of the cheeks to create the appearance of holiday skin (very St Barts darling).
Brows have been brushed upwards and lightly filled with pencil or eye shadow and fixed with gel. The eyes look fresh, suggesting the use of eye lash curlers (Suqqu and Shu Uemura do the best ones www.suqqu.com / www.shuuemura.co.uk). A soft taupe eye shadow has been washed across the lid and blended lightly below the lower lashes, extending slightly at the edge of the eye for a subtle, smoked-out effect. If mascara has been used it is too subtle to detect. Lashes veered towards the super-subtle this season so if you're a fan of super-volume, it may be time to down-size. A muted rosy-pink lip liner appears to have been used to gently defined the lip contour, with a complimentary rose-tinted balm / stain applied to finish the look.
When one thinks of Michael Kors style all-American beauty, there's only one make-up brand that springs to mind and that's Bobbi Brown. The queen of fresh-faced, healthy beauty has launched her new Pretty Powerful Palettes (following the launch of her Pretty Powerful book and campaign last year). Available in two shade ranges, these universally flattering hues are designed to impart health and a glowing complexion, with all the convenience of a multi-product compact. In addition, you can take part in a fantastic "new year new you" beauty event on one of the Bobbi Brown Studios nationwide. Your Bobbi Brown make-up artist will create a bespoke Spring 2011 make-up look for you. Even better, with "Bobbi's Make-Up Detox", your artist will go through your everyday make-up bag, eliminating the products that aren't working for you (creating space for new Bobbi Brown products that will). The Pretty Powerful Palettes are priced at £42.00, available from www.bobbibrown.co.uk / 0870 034 2566
Benefit have carved quite a name for themselves with their ability to launch what seems to be an increasingly successful number of new blush / face powder shades. Their original Hoola (no-orange) bronzing powder doubles as a superb contour shade on fairer skin, while Dandelion is the perfect pink pick-me-up for lacklustre complexions (Georgia does the same with its pastel peach). Next came Thrrob with its glittery, cool pink sparkle (I recall attending a camp-tastic Press launch hosted by celebrity drag queen Jodie Harsh at the former Soho Revue Bar). Last Summer the beauty Press was obsessed with coral, no surprise then that Coralista was another smash success. This season sees the launch of Benefit's latest offering Bella Bamba. This vibrant "3D Effect"pink blush (read sheer and luminous) is destined to enhance the cheeks of many a fashionista, mark my words. Benefit Bella Bamba is priced at £23.50, available from www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk
No make-up bag would be complete without Daniel Sandler's multi-award winning Watercolour. A favourite of Glamour magazine's beauty director Alessandra Steinherr, this super sheer wash of colour imbues the complexion with a seamless flush of health in seconds. Cherub, a delicate sheer pastel pink, is the number one best seller and can be used on eyes and lips as well as across the apples of the cheeks. If you've a round or heart shaped face, I recommend contouring the cheeks with colour rather than applying it "dolly style" to the apples of the cheeks. Doing the latter will only serve to emphasise the widest section of your face, rather than adding flattering definition where it's most needed. If you've a long / oval shaped face, the reverse is true. Contouring the cheek too severely could leave you looking gaunt. Instead, broaden the planes of your face by blending the colour across the apples of the cheeks. The Daniel Sandler Watercolour in Cherub, priced at £12.30 and coordinating hand bag sized Water Brush, priced at £15.35, are available from www.beautique.com
Now you've got the pink make-up trend covered, it's time to think about another topic of urgency - accessories! Granted, the words Filofax and fashion might seem out of context to the uninitiated but this season Filofax has come up trumps with an assortment of delightfully feminine pink accessories. The Adelphi Slimline Organiser in Magenta, pictured above, is the perfect fusion of fashion and functionality. Worlds away from the tough and corporate Filofax of the 80's, the brand actually sells more Filofax Organisers now than it did in its heyday. Furthermore, the professionals amongst you will be pleased to know that if you upload your phone contact details onto the Filofax website, they will have it printed onto contact page inserts for you. Registering your Filofax product on the Filofax website will also protect you if it gets lost - how clever! The Filofax Adelphi Slimline Organiser is priced at £55, available from www.filofax.co.uk
Last but not least, do your bit for your fellow women folk and snap up the pink Filofax Breast Cancer Campaign accessories. With a gorgeous accessory case, passport cover and wallet all on offer, you'd be hard pressed to walk away empty handed. The Filofax Breastcancer Campaign accessories are priced from £24, available from www.Filofax.com
Now that we've come to the end of our pink journey, I'll leave you with a charming Audrey Hepburn quote that's sure to inspire positive beauty resolutions for the new year:
"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and...I believe in miracles."