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Makeup artist Olivia Wild is director of makeup at Wellington Fashion Week. She talks eyebrows, Chanel and why makeup doesn't always make you beautiful.
"My mum had one red lipstick when I was a kid. When I was about 10 I remember wearing it on the farm in central Otago, feeling really silly. At high school I gave myself the title of 'Stage Challenge Makeup Director' and put myself in charge of makeup for all the stage shows we did. I was sick of being a tree on stage and wanted to be the makeup artist, so that's what I did.
I started studying makeup in Auckland when I was 18. At the time I was living with Kirsten Morrell from the band Goldenhorse and one day she said, 'I think you're ready to do the makeup for our videos'. After that, another production company saw my work and asked me if I could do the makeup for Elemeno P. That company ended up hiring me and for a while I was the makeup video girl in Auckland. I did lots of hip hop videos for people like David Dallas and Scribe.
I've been doing it for 10 years now and I've done pretty much everything. I've done theatre, short films, fashion shows. I've been teaching at Weltec for the last three years and I love it. Being able to pass on the things I've learned to other people is great. I believe it's a really good career, but you need to be totally passionate about it.
How you look has a lot to do with how you feel. I love being able to make people feel beautiful. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not putting enough emphasis on their eyebrows. It's really important. You need to brush them and get them shaped by a beauty therapist. Eyebrows can change your face so much. I can visualise how people's eyebrows are meant to be - that's my special talent! Good eyebrows can make you look younger, they can change your whole face.
I wear makeup every day, because it's my job. I even wear it to the gym, mostly because I go straight from work. I'm the one at the gym in the really bright lipstick or boxing in false eyelashes. It takes me 10 minutes to put my makeup on in the morning. I don't go through the whole cleansing thing, because I do that at night. I use Bio Elements cleanser and toner, then every two weeks I use Bio Elements Quick Refiner. It's an AHA product and it's beautiful.
I always use a primer - at the moment I'm using Paris Berlin Avant Tout, which is Dita Von Teese's favourite primer. We use it at school and it's really lovely. I'm a real hard sell when it comes to products, so if I love something, I really love it. Then I use L'Oreal Lumi Magique foundation, or Smashbox BB cream. We're using L'Oreal products for the Wellington Fashion Week shows and they are brilliant. I love L'Oreal Lash Architect mascara and the eyeshadows are great. Obviously I know what I'm doing but they have a little diagram on the back so you can see how to do a good smokey eye.
My makeup brushes are my number one favourite thing. I've got more than 200 of them - I'm not obsessed with shoes, I'm obsessed with makeup brushes. I've had mine for years. Using brushes just changes the whole application of makeup. If I had to, I could get by with five, I guess. One for blending eyeshadow, a slanted one, a foundation brush, a powder brush and something to groom your eyebrows. One of my favourite things are my Talika light-up tweezers. A former student of mine gave them to me as a present, saying 'thanks for teaching me about the importance of eyebrows'. I wasn't sure about them at first, but they are amazing. You never miss a hair with these.
Being in this industry, it's so important not to get caught up in the craziness of it too much. I work with the most stunning models and it would drive me crazy if I spent all the time thinking 'I wish I was like that'. I'm not perfect but I'm fairly happy with how I look. I've got big eyes and big lips and good skin. I think I'm doing OK.
I don't fake tan, because I'm from central Otago and if you have a tan there you just look weird. Anyway, there's nothing nicer than natural skin. I hate it when people "tan", then wear a darker shade of foundation that ends up creating a tidemark in their hairline.
I've worn Chanel Coco Mademoiselle for 12 years. It's an expensive habit - I think my mum got me into it because it's what she wore - but I'm never going to change. It makes me feel so good. I wear the body moisturiser as well. Once you've found a perfume that suits you then you don't need anything else. I love how the notes change during the day.
People are absolutely beautiful but they just don't see it. I hate it when young girls wear lots of makeup. It's like an innocence lost. That's when makeup isn't a good thing. I'm not sure why they do it, maybe because they want to look older or be taken more seriously. A lot of the makeup trends you see on Tumblr are just catwalk looks, they're not meant to be worn in real life."
- As told to Lucy Corry
- © Fairfax NZ News
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