Agy’s 80s make-up secrets

Matte skin, sharp contouring, red lips and a smoky eye… on paper, not exactly a look I’m lusting after.

But trust stylish Agyness Deyn to bring classic 80s make-up bang up to date. Make-up artist Kay Montano and I had a chat about why this look works:

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1. The red lips are not overly matte and the level of pigment makes the colour noticeable but not draining or overdone. ‘One of my favourite reds is Rouge Allure in New York by Chanel’ says Kay. ‘It’s not a new colour but I come back to it all the time. It sounds old-fashioned but if you have small lips, do bring the colour a millimetre or so outside the lip line to prevent them looking “mean”.’

2. ‘Black eyeliner and mascara add definition and a little drama to her eyes,’ says Kay, ‘but their simplicity keeps the whole look streamlined.’ (They also help balance out the red lips – more often than not you need at least a coat of mascara with red lips otherwise they can appear too prominent.)

3. Agy’s kept her skin matte as it provides the best neutral base for such a prominent lip and eye, but it’s a light and satiny matte rather than heavy and powdery. ‘It’s so important to get the colour right,’ says Kay, ‘never commit to concealer and foundation until you’ve tried it on in broad daylight. If it’s not exactly the same colour as your skin, don’t wear it. You may need to mix a couple of shades to get exactly the right one.’

4. Gentle contouring looks fresh right now – pros are calling it reverse highlighting and, with the right colour and technique, it’s as flattering as it sounds. Rumour has it that this is in fact Agy’s favourite make-up trick – she loves it so much, she’s been known to do it on all her girl friends before a night out. ‘Go for a pale, cool colour like a faded pink or a taupe-y bronze,’ says Kay. ‘Tempting as it is to use a warm bronze for highlighting, cool colours are more reflective of what a shadow actually looks like. I love Silky Cheek Colour in Mystery by Chanel, a very subdued, almost colourless rose that works on pale skin, and Blush Duo Tweed Effect in Tweed Sienna by Chanel for slightly darker skin.’

5. Her textured hair and 5-second quiff make the whole look modern. ‘And bleached hair will always give a look some edge,’ says Kay. Wearing this kind of make-up in the middle of the day with casual clothes also helps it feel effortless and fresh.

Accessorising with a pair of old 80s battered jeans kind of helps, too.

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