Tom Ford Wears No Makeup for Photo Shoots

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Photo: Courtesy of Lucia Pieroni

The legendary makeup artist Lucia Pieroni is the Makeup Creative Director for Clé de Peau Beauté as well as the go-to girl for photographers like Mert and Marcus and David Sims. Known for her powers of transformation and ability to create beautiful skin canvases, she’s usually traveling the world for photo shoots, but last month, the Cut sat down with her to learn more about the work, inspiration, and products that went into some of the recent covers and ad campaigns she’s worked on. She spoke to us about bleaching Miley Cyrus’s eyebrows, Tom Ford’s true no-makeup makeup look, and that time she smeared Egyptian Magic all over Kate Moss in the bath.

Playboy, 60th Anniversary Issue, January/February 2013

“When I was asked to do this one, it was a huge secret. I knew it was Playboy and I knew it was 60 years, but I didn’t know who it was until we got there. We went to this place in England in the country — this gorgeous, stately home. We just did an eyeliner sort of faded out to the end, and then lots of mascara. You don’t really need to do that much to Kate Moss because she has such an incredible face. It was about Kate Moss for Playboy. It wasn’t about making Kate Moss into Marilyn. I think she’d gone to Bodrum [in Turkey] before that shoot, so she did have a bit of a tan. We put moisturizer and Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancer [on her]. It’s great to do highlights on the body. I go through quite a lot of it. We put it on her face and the bones. You get this gorgeous light and shade and highlight.”

Miley Cyrus for W Magazine, March 2014

“Miley Cyrus is an amazing spirit and a very cool girl. Smart. We bleached her eyebrows, and then we all went out to dinner afterward. I remember the next day watching TMZ and they were like, ‘Oh my God, what’s happened to Miley Cyrus’s eyebrows?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, that was me!’” “I was talking to Mert and Marcus, and she had her signature super-cropped hair. And they wanted to make her look a bit more, I wouldn’t say womanly, but to kind of change her. We tried a few wigs on and then it was like, ‘You know what would be really cool? If we got rid of her eyebrows.’” “In fact, she actually kept them. She had them for the MTV Awards, and then she dyed them back. It very much changes the proportion of your face because your forehead becomes bigger. It also changes the shape of your eyes, because it becomes much more open. You can do much bigger makeup because there’s no eyebrow there. From a makeup artist’s point of view, you can be incredibly creative with someone with bleached eyebrows. I’m not suggesting that everybody goes out and bleaches them [laughs]. The problem with bleaching them is that they grow back really quickly, so you have salt and pepper. To dye them back, what I use is ‘For Fen’ beard and mustache dye.” 

Photo: Marcus Piggott, Mert Alas

Adele for Vogue, March 2012

“In my head, it was that slightly ‘50s, slightly Sophia Loren thing—Adele does wear that kind of makeup. It’s perhaps more accentuated — that black eyeliner a little bit blended in some bits. I used a Clé de Peau Intensifying Cream Eyeliner, which I love because it’s easy to use. You can soften it at the time or have it hard, which I really like. It’s just shading in the pocket line and the cheek. Also I think one of the references was Sam Haskins of Cowboy Kate, that slightly ‘60s feel. She’s got an amazing face with a great shape. And she has a really good socket that you can do lots of makeup on.”

Kristen Stewart for W Magazine, September 2011

“This one is not too dissimilar from [Adele’s cover] in the sense of makeup. It’s late ‘50s, with lots of eyeliner, a strong brow, and a really pale, pink lip. For us at the time, she was the Twilight girl. She’s very natural, a young and cool girl. We had to give this treatment to her to make her into this sexy-diva-type thing.” “Actresses walk into a shoot with Vogue or W, with a certain caliber of photographer, and they know — especially with Mert and Marcus — that they’re going to be transformed into something quite fabulous.” “I remember doing a French Vogue cover of Marion Cotillard. And then Mert from Mert and Marcus said to me, ‘I think we should bleach her eyebrows.’ And I was like, ‘Really? Let’s do it. But I think you need to ask her if she wants to bleach her eyebrows.’ And she was like, ‘Okay.’ And that was quite brave. I think her and Miley are the only two celebrities who’ve agreed to bleach their eyebrows.”

Tom Ford for Interview Magazine, February 2011

“He’s just so impeccably well-groomed and charming. Such a gentleman. Really, all I did was give him a bit of powder.” “When you see him, it doesn’t matter where he is, he’s immaculate. I’ve worked with him a few times, and he’s always the same to the finest degree. He’s a very handsome man, which helps [laughs]. I don’t think I’ve ever not seen him in a suit. I’ve shot with him before for a couple of his perfumes, and he’s always in a suit. I’ve seen him on a plane, actually, and he had a suit on. I’m sure when he’s at home he does get a bit casual. He probably has a cashmere suit.”

Versace Spring/Summer 2013

“That’s seriously shiny. That was hard work because we had to shine the whole body — all of them, really almost like metallic — and it was like [makes grinding motion]. You’d have to run into the set and make sure that each highlight was the right amount of shine while they’re in that position. When you saw them, it looked really funny in real life because they were, like, super, super gold-metallic. There’s this product by Madina, which is far shinier than the [legendary] shiny stick. It’s like a powder, and you get a big, fat, flat-ended brush and just go [makes chalking motion]. It’s almost like you’re buffing their bodies. The product has got so much pearl in it that it’s quite metallic.”

Kate Moss for LOVE Magazine, Spring 2013

“I think when we started, we all wanted [all of the cover girls] to have red lips, and I think, to be honest with you, the bath probably wasn’t even that blue at the time. I think that’s probably an after-thought, but we could say yes, we were going for the red and the blue, since it sounds much more interesting, doesn’t it?” “The shine on this was Egyptian Magic all over the body, so when water gets on it, it kind of gives it that extra shine and stops it from drying out so much. So [Kate] had that all over and on her face a little bit.”

Interview Magazine, September 2013

“I think we get all obsessed by being really close and covering every single blemish. Then you stand back and you’re like, ‘Ooh, Jesus, it’s a bit cakey, there’s a lot on.’ You know, most people don’t see you this close, unless they’re about to kiss you, and at that point it doesn’t really matter what they’re seeing because they don’t care.” “You need to be like, ‘Okay, do I look radiant? It’s much better to look radiant with a few imperfections than to be completely flawless and kind of quite dead.’ I always look at it like that. For this shoot, it was about gorgeous girls. It was a little bit of a sort of smudgy, dirty eye with beautiful and gorgeous skin.” “Bleached eyebrows and serious, heavy makeup don’t relate to your average, everyday woman. But it can inspire you to think, Okay, well, maybe I could do a little bit of a liner or Hey, that’s an amazing green. It’s about inspiring women to look at something different. Because half the time a lot of makeup for shoots and for shows, you’re not gonna wear that in the street, but you take elements of it.”

 Clé de Peau Beauté, Fall 2014 Color Ad, starring Amanda Seyfried

“My niece was watching Mamma Mia and I knew that we were looking for someone at the time. Lots of people’s names had come up, but I thought she’d be perfect. Then I saw pictures of her. With celebrities, sometimes it’s difficult to make them different from who they are. I like the fact that even though you still know this is Amanda, she looks different. Also, she’s got a great face for makeup. You know, amazing eyes, lots of nice space, good cheekbones, amazing mouth.” 

Tom Ford Wears No Makeup for Photo Shoots