Category Archives: Maria Comparetto

Maria Comparetto Sunday Times Style

Maria Comparetto worked with the photographer Karin Berndl on this shoot for Sunday Times Style (27th November 2011). Here’s what she had to say about it.

The room was full of security guards, the most amazing cakes and taxidermy… Murano lampshades and props crammed into every corner…hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and shoes and dresses. This had to be opulent!

The concept for the shoot was by Heidi Taylor. I have worked with Karin Berndl the photographer before and knew this would be amazing.

We wanted the makeup to have an edge but not make it too theatrical or scary.

The Dior Winter collection was perfect for this look! I made the skin a little paler than their natural skin colour and gave it a pearlised quality, typically this period (Marie Antoinette) had very matt skin but I wanted to give it a twist. I used Dior Skinflash Primer (available in January).

Emphasis was added to the lashes using Diorshow Mascara and the brows giving a doll like quality, I didn’t want to make the girls look too young but just couldn’t resist making Fabiana’s cheeks pop with hue of Dior Blush in Sunkissed Cinammon and then a touch of the new Dior Tulipe Pink on the lips (available in January). 

Overall I was thrilled with the result and really enjoyed working with Federico the hairdresser for the first time he was vibrant, funny and vey talented.

Karin added that the shoot would not have been possible without Simon Lycett (the florist), the cake makers and Harrods.

Movember spawned a Moustache – Grooming tips for Men

You may have noticed a few more moustaches than usual sprouting up recently. This is not a new fashion statement (though for some it might be) but mainly because of ‘Movember’.
On Movember 1st, guys register at with a clean-shaven face and then for the rest of the month these men, known as Mo Bros, “groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery” and seek sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.” (read more here)

In 2010, over 112,000 UK Mo Bros got on board, raising £11.7 million.

The artists at Emma Davies thought it was perfect time to look at male grooming to help these selfless and generous men through the month.

Moustache Tips:

  • When trimming your moustache there are two things to consider, the silhouette or outline shape and the overall thickness and length. Shave just around the outside of the moustache and then tidy up properly with scissors and a comb (Kent Brushes have developed one especially for Movember). Use your lip as a template and trim one side first and then the other side. Take your time and try and get the shape as symmetrical as possible, a magnifying mirror would really help with this. Electric trimmers are also good to use but beware as one slip and your mo’ could go for a burton! Scissors are safer!
  •  Use Moustache Wax from Murdock’s or Oregon Wild Hair to add volume and definition to your ‘tache. For extra control apply the wax firstly to your moustache then use a hairdryer to warm the wax which makes it more malleable and allows greater control! 
  • Choose a style most flattering for your face shape. The size of your philtrum (area between nose and top lip!) will obviously have a bearing on this. i.e. the larger the philtrum the wider the moustache should be.
Anna Cofone however, suggests having fun and men should be experimenting with different shapes, lengths and thicknesses! Anna pointed out how good they can look giving the example of “Johnny Depp at the UK premier of ‘The Rum Diary’ wearing his trademark Tom Ford suit, an open necked shirt and his ever groomed moustache.”

For ‘a very gentlemanly look to match your Movember moustache’ Philippe Tholimet suggests using a bit of any conditioner in your hand to give the hair a feel that it has brillantine in it without using brillantine… He says to comb through the hair then make a side parting with your fingers and let it dry naturally. Philippe says “The hair should look that it has been groomed at some point in time and then this is about a few hours later.”

Eli Wakamatsu’s favourite mens pre-to-post shaving products are from Kiehls as there is a lot of variety for different skin types. She says, “Men’s skin needs to have cleansed well into pores and regular gentle scrubbing at least once a week”. 

Maria Comparetto agrees “Make sure you exfoliate your skin at least once a week”, she suggests using “a ‘sloughing brush’ these are available from most high street stores including Boots, Muji and The Body Shop.

“This little wooden brush is used to lather up your usual facial wash in the palm of your hand, then with small circular motions massage all over your face and neck for a few minutes (avoiding delicate eye area). Wash the product off using warm water and apply a moisturiser (such as Clinique lotion)”

For a flawless look for the Movember party at the end of the month, Maria says, “Grab your girlfriend’s YSL ‘Touche Eclat’ (or get your own) and dot just under the eyes where you may have dark circles then gently pat with your ring finger until the product disappears, this will reflect the natural light and give you a fresh & rested appearance.” She adds “Just be careful to use the shade that suits you. There are 7 available. You’ll look smokin! and noone will know how/why….”

By Maria Comparetto – The Christopher Raeburn Show LFW Spring/Summer ’12

Christopher Raeburn has made his mark on the fashion industry for his outerwear, this season he surpassed our expectations and surprised us by venturing into jersey dresses, trousers and adding much more to his signature pieces.

It is truly British and he prides himself on being ethically aware producing all his garments in the UK. He uses dead stock fabrics, such as parachute and military blankets & recycles them to make cool, wearable clothes for all ages.

The setting for his presentation was The London Museum, a first for the museum but a perfect choice for this designer.

The makeup room was bright and airy (Thank you!) and the presentation was sectioned in to 3 parts; a film showing a journey through his garments, an installation where sensors where placed inside the clothes and the collection hung on tent frames, beautifully lit. Touching the clothes would set off the sensor & would then play a sound. When the room was full of people experiencing/touching the fabrics etc. the room filled with abstract music…

My inspiration for the show came from the primary colours used in the collection.

I thought I would steer away from skin highlights and contouring this season as it’s so easily done for Spring/Summer.

The hair was very “real” so fresh clean skin without sheen was easily achieved with Mac Invisible powder.

Wherever possible the brows were erased using Mac concealer and brushed upwards for a fresh “outdoor” feeling.

A light grey opaque shadow was used to naturally contour the socket but no mascara was needed as I wanted to draw attention away from the eyes.

The face would now become a blank canvas but the edge would be the lip.

Using a new MAC spring summer colour called ‘Watch me Shimmer’ (I LOVE it!) I filled in the mouth using a brush then pressed in a pigment making the lips look  like they were covered in fabric.

The stylist Jane Townsend was amazing teaming cool socks and perfect shoes and just adding her touch of magic to the overall look.

Louise from MAC kindly showed me through the SS12 colours and worked very hard along with Naomi, Helen and Rebecca, all troopers!

The show received great reviews and was covered by, Vogue and Dazed to name a few.

‘After Dark’ – Maria and Anna talk about the shoot for the Guardian

Maria Comparetto worked on the make-up and Anna Cofone did hair on this shoot for the Guardian (Saturday 9th July edition) with Priscilla Kwateng styling and Jon Gorrigan shooting.

As the shoot was ‘After Dark, they didn’t begin until 6pm one (luckily warm) evening last month and the shoot involved going round London to major landmarks.

Anna said that for the hair “We took inspiration from the 70’s… sexy teased curls but with a heavy shape around the face”. LOVE it.

Maria said “Anna’s great job on the hair inspired me to do something very late “70s”/early “80s”with the makeup”. Maria created “Uber Glossy Lips” (using Chanel Levres Scintillantes in ‘80 Etole’ followed by Chanel Glossimer in ‘Pink Peony’ on top) with a flushed cheek and lashings of Mascara top and bottom to make a “very sexy yet fresh makeup”.

Maria added “Shooting with Priscilla is always a treat and working with Jon Gorrigan for the first time was a bonus (especially sharing a mutual love of northern soul!).

“Bikinis’s on Westminster Bridge!!!!!?” The team are looking forward to the next assignment. Watch this space!

Make-up by Maria Comparetto – Guardian May 2011

Maria Comparetto used Christian Dior Make-up to create the looks on these images with the photographer Tomas Falmer and stylist Priscilla Kwateng for the Guardian (published last week) and is delighted with the results.
She said “I love these images. It was so great to work with Priscilla and Tomas on this shoot. We were all on the same ‘sassy secretary wave length’.”
Maria kept the makeup very nude but creamy, giving the model flawless skin then heavily contoured her cheeks & eyes.
She created a deep modern smokey sweep over the eye using Dior eyeshadow and finished off with a dewy Dior lipstick.The effect was strong and sophisticated with a nod to 80’s glam.

Maria Comparetto at the Givenchy Mascara Launch

Maria Comparetto attended the Givenchy launch to celebrate their new mascara, Démesure (which hits stores in July £22). They also launched their AW11 collection (which will hit stores late August, prices start at £13).

The setting was the very Grand ‘Quintessentially House’ Portland Place. There was a Champagne reception followed by a presentation by Nicolas Degennes, the Creative Director for Givenchy make up who came over from Paris to talk through the inspiration for the new mascara and also preview the AW11 collection. In a blackened room, he presented the new colours and textures.
Using a powder highlighter underneath the foundation Nicolas demonstrated how easy it is to use the AW11 palette to allow the glow to look more natural. Apparently this new product will be available in only two shades (light & dark) and does it all.
Nicolas then demonstrated with the use of just a pencil, this palette and the new mascara how easy it was to create a seductive look in a the matter of minutes.
Maria said that Nicolas approach is to break all the rules and use fewer products to keep things simple.
After Nicolas‘ presentation, journalists, publishers/editors and make up artists could experience the new mascara for themselves with the help of four make up artists including Kevin Fortune, Adam De Cruz, Lyz Marsden and Dani Guinsberg.
For Maria the most exciting of all the products was the Mascara with its new and innovative retractable wand. Maria thought that ‘The ribbed applicator seems thick and clunky at first with slight grooves at the end to brush through the lashes’. She said that the trick is to apply your mascara, and then twist the base of the wand. This exposes a super flexible brush which helps you work the product from roots to ends to separate the individual lashes.
Maria’s said, “The result is amazing. Any transfer of mascara onto the eye area can be easily blended as eye shadow to enhance the Smokey eye.” And added that “The mascara will be out soon and I can’t wait!”

According to Maria the one to watch also is the Golden stardust, “In a beautiful “old school” black perfume bottle. The dust is applied as if you were applying perfume to hair & skin, truly magical… The room fills with flecks of Gold”. Unfortunately we can’t see for ourselves what this looks like until nearer the time…

M∙A∙C Pigment Colour – A Versatile pot of Magic

One of the best and most versatile beauty buys I have made in the last (yikes) two decades has got to be the M∙A∙C Pigment Colour in ‘Frost’.
Twelve years ago a make-up artist recommended I make the purchase and I wondered what on earth I would do with it. Now I wonder what I would do with out it!
The official brief from M∙A∙C is that pigment is ‘a highly concentrated loose colour powder that contains ingredients to help it adhere to the skin’ and M∙A∙C claims that you can use it ‘to create a subtle wash of colour or an intense effect’. They also say that it ‘does not streak or cake, is easy to blend and long-lasting.’
Unlike a lot of press releases or product descriptions, this is actually 100% true (and more and I don’t even have the latest refined version)…
I (speaking as a non professional) have had the following uses of it and can make the following tried and tested claims:
1.    With a little bit of moisturiser to wake up the skin on the face and body (and no, you don’t end up looking like a Twilight vampire in the sun – but could do if you wanted to). A perfect primer.
2.    A little added to tinted moisturiser or foundation to make me look like I’ve had a few more hours sleep than I have.
3.    As a highlighter.
4.    As a full on fancy dress disco glitter silver eyeshadow.
5.    As a subtle addition to a daytime eyeshadow.
6.    A little more to change a daytime look for evening.
7.    To soften a smokey eye when I’ve overdone it.
8.    A teeny amount with a little lipsalve (over lipstick and not).
9.    On the shoulders and décolleté for a bit of party shimmer.
10.  VAT returns (obviously joking but I wouldn’t be surprised – it does everything else and will certainly make you feel nicer as you get it done)
To give a professional view, I asked Maria Comparetto for her comments and she said that “Pigments are the most versatile product on the market today…” She suggests choosing the ‘correct mixing medium and create an array of effects from eyeliner with maximum lasting power to the most intense body paint’ (as seen in the image). She added “For whatever occasion and effect there is a pigment for you even used straight from the pot. I  love M∙A∙C pigmets as they turn even the most inexperienced of makeup artists into a professional.”
Vanilla Pigment
It blends beautifully and it’s very easy to manage. However, my little pot of magic is coming to an end and unfortunately the exact shade I have doesn’t exist any more but apparently the closest is the Frozen White Pigment RRP: £15.50 (with blue duochrome) or the Vanilla Pigment with a pearlescent finish will be a good substitute. Price per wear it has been the best value I have ever spent on a product so I’m going to try both.

Maria Comparetto’s Post card from Milan

On Saturday Maria sent this from Milan: ” Just been doing makeup (with Linda) for Emporio Armani, the show was amazing, all black clothes & beautifully tailored.. The makeup was very natural with an accentuated cheek and lip. The eye socket was shaded and the lid was  highlighted as was the cheek bone. Matt lip and skin was the trend! Back stage was buzzing with the arrival of Tina turner, and Ricky Martin to name a few… Great atmosphere!!  I’m livin the vida loca.”

Maria Comparetto – Jayne Pierson Show A/W 2011

On Sunday, Maria Comparetto worked once again with Jayne Pierson on her show, which was this time part of the On/Off schedule of London Fashion week.
The show was very well received. Maria said that “the girls looked amazing”.

Maria worked with the MAC Pro team to create the pointed purple and electric lilac lip (using Blue Lipmix and Rich Purple Paint Stick with Plush Prolongwear Shadow on the upper lip) which was to be “futuristic but paid homage to the eighties”.

The skin was alabaster but glowed with pearlised highlights and the cheeks lightly contoured with MACs new accentuate cream.
Eyebrows were brushed up and set to give the final look an elegant but animalistic quality. 
Nails were painted black.
The show was styled by Danielle Rees (who Maria recently worked with for Blown Magazine on the shoot with Charlotte Hatherley).Dom Capel did the hair.
The after show party was at Whiskey Mist where a cool crowd danced the night away to DJ Fonteyn.
Maria and her team

Maria Comparetto – Blown Magazine – Bat for Lashes

Maria Comparetto worked on the hair and make-up for this shoot with (Bat for Lashes as well as solo projects) guitarist Charlotte Hatherley for Blown Magazine with the photographer Derrick Santini last August.
They started the shoot at 3pm to catch the fantastic light at dusk on Hampstead Heath. (you can see why!)
The designer Jayne Pierson was the art director for this and Danielle Rees (Fashion Director at Blown Magazine) styled the shoot. Maria is working with them both this Sunday for Jayne’s show for London Fashion Week on the On/Off schedule.