Interview: Paul Herrington

Recently Impact Style was approached to interview world-renowned make-up artist Paul Herrington. With appearances on This Morning, articles in The Telegraph, and regular gigs at London Fashion Week, the Bobbi Brown Beauty Team Expert really is at the top of his game. After twenty years in the beauty business I wanted to delve into the depths of what it really is that turned this Midlands boy into a regular on the global fashion scene.

What do you see as the key make-up trends for S/S 2009?

There’s a lot of colour, and real mixtures of texture which is very exciting. You’ll always have your base colour – your best foundation that matches your skin tone and your best concealer. Then it’s all about adding accents of colour, and using colour like an accessory. I think this season says if you love it then wear it, but do it in a way that doesn’t make it look like you’ve just fallen onto the make-up counter! Make sure it still looks really quite sophisticated so if you are drawn to a really bright electric blue then do really fresh, natural make-up and wear the electric blue as a liner so you still get this amazing colour but still looks really chic.

Do you think the noughties have their own identity? We seem to have regurgitated things that have happened decades before and haven’t developed a new, defining trend for the era.

I don’t think we’ve seen a particular staple of the naughties. You could really pinpoint fashion and make-up for the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s… then it all went a little woolly. Although, I don’t know if it’s such a bad thing, because it gives people more freedom. People don’t feel that they need to be pigeon-holed into a certain look when it’s not going to look great on them. What we tend to do now with make-up is play to seasons and trends, as in describe them as really fresh/beautiful skin, or a really sexy smoky eye, or a glossy lip rather than saying here you go, here’s your collection, blue eye shadow, pink lipstick, these are the only ones you can wear this season otherwise you’re not trendy. Make-up has to be about options. It’s all well and good to go for trends but if you don’t feel comfortable in that trend then you’re not going to wear it well.

What would you say is the product you can’t live without?

It would definitely be a product called Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturising Balm. It’s a tinted moisturiser-come-skincare-come-protection. If your skin’s quite dull it gives the most incredible glow because it’s a balm rather than a cream.

What do you think is the biggest mistake women make when they’re doing their make-up?

I think the first one is foundation that’s too dark. Or wrong coloured foundation in general. If you want to add colour use bronzer or blusher but never add it with foundation; it just looks a little muddy on the skin. The other one would be using bronzing powder as blusher. Bronzing powder really is just to tint the skin, to give kind of a sun kissed look to the skin but you still need to go back and put a bit of pink or coral back into the skin because that’s what naturally comes through.

What would you say is the easiest way to go from day to night with your make-up look?

Use a really good gel/cream eye-liner in black, so you can instantly put a line on top of the eye. Then I’d add a little bit of shimmer or gloss somewhere. Don’t overdo it; add a little on the cheek with shimmer brick.

What advice do you have for students dealing with bad skin?

I think people sometimes expect far too much from their skin care and make-up and sometimes it’s as simple as a couple of early nights, a bit of water, hydrating moisturiser, tinted moisturiser and some lip gloss. Just strip it all back, give everything a rest and the results are incredible.

Grace Gordon

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