Is Dick Page the world’s finest makeup artist?
Celebrity makeup artist Dick Page may fly under the paparazzi radar, but Shiseido’s artistic director is still the go-to pro for the likes of Julianne Moore, Bjork, Kate Moss and Beyonce. Meet one of the most creative makeup artists in the world.
Name: Dick Page
Occupation: celebrity makeup artist
Early childhood: grew up outside of Bristol, England
1987: moved to London to try his hand at “painting faces” as he calls it.
Breakthrough: Made up Kate Moss for The Face magazine, one of her first photo shoots.
Catwalk first: Calvin Klein picked Page to create the makeup for his 1993 NYC runway show
2007: named artistic director for Shiseido makeup. Has since reworked the formulas and shades of much of the line.
Fashion Week: designs the runway makeup for Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez, Band of Outsiders, Alexander Wang and Louis Vuitton
His philosophy: “I don’t believe in beauty trends. I don’t understand this ‘pack mentality’. Why would everyone want to do the same thing? I think women should be able to wear colours and experiment with makeup as they like.”
The Dick Page Interview:
I don’t really care about making things fashionable. I want to make things that are surprising and engaging and interesting.
I love the Shimmering Eye Shadow caviar colour with the green pearls in it. Part of it is that I love that I got away with it. For the most part, eyeshadows in the past have been ‘pearly girly’ and ‘glittery soft’. I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to go for it’ and try something new. I bought a bunch of caviar and dumped it in my bathtub. I sprayed it with water, poured oil over it, and photographed it. It proved to be a big hit, used both as a lining colour as well as a shadow.
Picking a favourite colour is really tough to answer because colour is important to me in so many different ways. I find myself continually drawn to deep, grey-based shades such as Rose Venetian and certain greens, but really, there isn’t just one colour.
A lot of women have been brainwashed by the media and the industry about what they can and can’t do. Who says? I think ‘why not?’ are the two most useful words in our vocabulary. There is a woman I know in Yorkshire who runs an art gallery. She is in her 70s and she takes thick, black chunky pencil and lines her eyes. The eyes, the little black dress, the blonde bob, the bare arms and the kitten heels look incredible. She looks incredible.
Siouxsie Sioux from Siouxsie and the Banshees was a favourite musician growing up. The early 80s was such a great moment in music when women were really interesting even if they were hyper-sexualized. That’s because it was on their own terms. I remember seeing Chrissie Hynde and The Slits. Everyone was doing each other’s makeup, dyeing their hair, and making their own clothes. It was so DIY and I think I still have some of that in the way I work. I mean I still have to do prep and work way in advance when producing colour for Shiseido, but the idea of just getting on with it and punking it out is still there.
I started out doing makeup for Top of the Pops for television. It was a funny studio – just three stages set up in this triangle. And they would wield these huge cameras in between them so it would look like there was a ton of people. In fact, it was 50 people herded over from one stage to the next. I hadn’t had any makeup training so I was just doing what I thought looked good. I worked with bands like Prefab Sprout, Aztec Camera, and ABC.
I actually worked with Mariah Carey when she first came to England and no one knew who she was. This was when she just released Vision of Love. I went to her hotel in the morning and their was no entourage. I went to her room and did her hair and makeup for a number of TV shows.
My favourite pen is whatever is lying around. I tend to make notes with Sharpies.
Working with Bjork is quite collaborative. When I worked with her on the video for Hidden Spaces, the makeup was quite natural. That’s because the directors added all this animation and CG effects after the fact. We just worked together recently for a new album where she’s been doing her stage makeup with coloured grease paint. We did a version of that in black. When it comes to music, Bjork is completely controlling. So visually, she’s happy to hand things over to other professionals. She’s quite open visually to interpretive stuff. She’s fun to work with.
I love to cook. So my favourite luxury is good food, including bankruptcy-making visits to the farmer’s market.
I have so many favourite books. Most recently, I enjoyed Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan and Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? By Jeanette Winterson. All-time favourites include poetry by T. S. Eliot and prose by writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro, James Thurber & Oliver Sacks. I also love movies. Blue Velvet and Vertigo are favourites.
I do like an espresso after dinner sometimes, but rarely drink coffee during the day. However, I go through quite a lot of tea, mostly PG Tips, a British brand which I make quite strong and have it with milk and sugar.
My favourite grooming products include: Shiseido Deep Cleansing Scrub and Shiseido Multi-Energizing Cream (my go-to moisturizer). In terms of beauty, I really love the Luminizing Face Colours, particularly the highlighting colours.
I create playlists for different parts of the day. When I’m painting or working in my studio, I tend to keep it very abstract like Brian Eno. If I’m mixing colour physically for lip shades, I’ll get into LCD Soundsystem or Bowie.
Beauty Master Class
All-Time 10 Best Beauty Tips
- Try iridescent powders: Blend an iridescent powder with a matte or satin powder for a look that “barely” sparkles. Powder your face, neck, décolleté, and shoulders. If you have fair skin, opt for the pinks; if it is darker, golden beiges are perfect. This is the effect people notice most.
- Perfect your brows: The eyebrows are the frames of your eyes. I think all forms of brows are acceptable and they don’t need much to look right. Start by combing your brows in every direction and decide yourself what looks most natural. Use scissors to cut the ends of any hairs that are too long and pluck out any stray hairs. Keep it a bit unstructured – it makes you look more dynamic.
- Longer lasting lipstick: Adding colour to your lips is the most symbolic gesture of femininity, but don’t forget that lipstick is the one makeup that requires frequent touch-ups. You should therefore apply it carefully from the beginning. Before you start, apply a nourishing and moisturizing lip protector and blot to absorb any excess. Well-moisturized lips will repay your efforts as the contours will stay sharply defined. Your lipstick will last longer and look more luminous.
- Smile: To define your lips, first smile. For a natural look, start from the center of your lips and work to the edges. If you’re not sure, try it in the other direction – you’ll see. Using a lip liner is guaranteed to increase the lasting power of your favourite lipstick.
- Go bold with mascara: There are two solutions for eyelashes: you either use mascara or your don’t. If you choose the first option, don’t hold back: Apply a few coats of mascara. You can even layer a lengthening, a thickening and a defining mascara. But if you don’t have these three different kinds, use at least three coats of your favourite mascara.
- Accent your lashes: Try this trick for an interesting effect: use a brush to apply a coloured or metallic eyeshadow to the lip of your eyelashes. For fair eyelashes, use a golden colour. This detail changes everything.
- Change up your cosmetics bag: Think about buying a transparent cosmetic bag. You’ll save precious time finding what you need with your eyes, rather than your fingers.
- Multi-purpose your products: A chocolate, purple, or indigo eyeliner can also double as an eyeshadow when smudged out from the lashline with a fingertip. You can also use a highlighter to set off the arch of your eyebrows or cheekbones.
- Nail your blush shade: The best way to find your perfect blush colour is to select the colour that is closest to the glow of your skin after your exercise. In general, fair complexions will opt for a pink or rosy shade, while darker complexions, where natural blushing is not so readily visible, can use golden or coppery shades.
- Rethink texture: When you want to make a change to your makeup, don’t opt for a new set of makeup that’s radically different from what you currently use. Rather than changing colours, change textures. You’ll be surprised by the shades a colour takes on in a different texture. If you use a gloss, try a satin finish. Swap a powder shadow for a cream, an eyeshadow for a pencil. I like to substitute a fluid liner for a solid one.