How do you touch other people’s faces during the coronavirus pandemic? The easy answer is that you shouldn’t. But if you’re a makeup artist and your livelihood depends on physical touch, you have to find a new way to do your job.
The beauty team at yesterday’s Dior cruise 2021 show in Lecce, Italy, readied 47 models for the brand’s first live fashion show since the COVID-19 crisis began. It was watched in person, by a small team of Dior employees and local Puglia artisans who contributed to the show, and virtually by another 20 million people. (You can see the whole thing here.) Led by Peter Philips, creative and image director of Christian Dior Makeup, the beauty team applied a relatively simple no-makeup-makeup look — which turned out to be a good thing.
While their techniques may not have changed, makeup artists worked differently thanks to the addition of PPE. “We do makeup with a mask and face shield. I wear glasses to do makeup, and it makes the shield fog up. You can also see a reflection in the shield,” said Philips in a Zoom call. “[Doing makeup this way] is hard. I’m grateful that the makeup look was not too complicated.”
Good makeup artists are already hygienic; they have to be by the nature of the work they do. But additional safety protocols backstage at the show included hand sanitizer (luckily, LVMH now makes its own), plenty of temperature monitoring, and enough space to practice social distancing. And no makeup was shared between models, not even mascara. (The makeup artists used the newly redesigned Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, out in September, and each model had their own personal labeled tube).
While models walking the show had natural-toned looks, makeup artists worked carefully and slowly to give the handful of local dancers who performed during the show a dramatic, Maria Callas–inspired eyeliner look. Both men and women received strong, sweeping arches of black eyeliner on the upper and lower lash line that crested like a wave to the corner of the eye. The moody guyliner was a particular achievement in dude makeup and a complement to the haunting choreography, by Sharon Eyal.