15 minutes with Fortunato Benavoli – Lancôme Elite Make Up Artist
With years of experience in fashion and beauty (including as makeup artist for 2014 BAFTA Awards), Lancôme Elite Team member, Fortunato Benavoli is one of the best in the business – and we were lucky enough to have a quick chat with him, when he visited our Redmond Square store last week.
>>So Fortunato, let’s start at the beginning, where do you get your inspiration from?<<
I get my inspiration from magazines, I get my inspiration from women that I see on the street, I get my inspiration from anything that is around me. For example when I do make up, I get inspiration also from the dress that they have, the colour they’re wearing or the way that they are, for example if I see a face that I’m going to do make up on and they have very beautiful eyes or very beautiful lips what I do is try to pronounce what they have.
>>You take it from the individual and go from there?<<
But then sometimes I get inspiration from the season, like if it’s a certain season I’m drawn to certain colours. If I see a certain thing, a certain painting or a fashion show or magazine I see certain colours and think ‘oh that’s nice’, I’ll probably recreate that on the right person because, you know, with make up you can’t just put any colour or anything on anybody – you really need to see what kind of shape the face is, what kind of lip shape and eyes, what kind of personality also the lady has.
>>So a feline flick for example – very on trend but perhaps not suitable for everyone?<<
A common problem on older ladies – they ask me always this question, ‘How can we do eyeliner on older eyes?’. I mean the thing is that you can do it, but you need to be very careful because the end part of your eyes, where you do the flick, sometimes when we get old unfortunately the skin tends to drop down a little bit, so when you do the feline flick – the flick doesn’t have flow – it gets interrupted by the skin.
But there are so many things to do to achieve certain effects with eye shadow that you can do, like in the same way that you do the eyeliner, you can just blend the eyeshadow, make it darker. What you want on everyone, and especially people that are more mature, they want to have eyes that are big and long, so you want to elongate the eyes and make them bigger and also the thing is that with age, when you become older, your eyelashes also become thinner and then the eyes become smaller and you get more dark circles so you need to conceal and correct that. I always say that if you want to elongate eyes and make them longer, it’s not only about the eyeliner but it’s all about the colours that you use, and then the way that you do it with pencil, with eyeshadow you can get exactly the same effect – sometimes even nicer.
>>Contouring is big news, but most of the tutorials we see online are to give a ‘Kim Kardashian Effect’ and can be quite heavy handed – can contouring be for everyone?<<
When a young lady wants to have her make up done and they want strong contouring, that’s absolutely fine, but I think for an older lady, when the jawline starts to lose definition and the cheeks start to go down a little bit, when you’re contouring you want to give a nice bone structure and freshness that she doesn’t have. So by creating some darkness around the jawline it makes the face more lifted, and if you add a little bit of darkness underneath the cheekbone, you make the cheekbones a little bit more lifted as well. So I think that contouring is important on everyone and it is the basis of having beautiful makeup – not that it has to be strong, because the thing is there is a big difference between make up for television and when you do makeup for a photoshoot to when you do makeup for everyday. With everyday, because you are under very different lights, you need to be careful what you do because of course if you put very strong colour under certain lights it will look good, but under certain lights it will look like the person has a dirty mark on their face.
>>Whats the very worst thing a lady can do to damage her skin<<
People say ‘oh I want makeup done and I want to look fabulous’ – you look fabulous with makeup, but remember the part of looking after yourself is very important as well. I’ve seen women in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and their skin is in great condition, then you put the makeup on and they look amazing, but then you see a woman who’s 40 or 30 with very dehydrated skin and it’s not really looked after, then the foundation won’t look as great as it should.
The worst thing that somebody can do on skin generally is not use moisturiser or not cleanse the skin. I’ve seen people who say ‘I just splashed some water on my face and then I go to sleep’, and I feel like no, you can not do this.
Our skin is exposed to the environment, our skin is exposed to pollution, so you need to cleanse the skin and replace moisture into the skin that is evaporating during the day. Because we are exposed to the environment it speeds up the ageing process, in order to slow it down you need to look after the skin with cleanser, toner and moisturiser at least, another thing that is very important is that you start to look after the skin when you’re young.
Also important is to use serum. Lancôme Advanced Genifique is a serum that does anything your skin needs. It gives you hydration, luminosity, it activates the youth protein. It helps slow down the ageing process for younger skin and helps to fight the ageing process for older skins.
>>So to finish things off, what do you think are the 3 must have Lancôme products that every woman should have<<
At Lancôme we have the No. 1 bestselling mascara in the world, Lancôme Hypnose, and then we have a new one which is called Grandiôse – and that one is a beautiful mascara which is one of my favourite products which I use constantly, all of the time.
Then we do have beautiful lipsticks, we do have a very big range of lipstick and if I have to say the most important thing that you need to have with you, I would say the lipstick and the mascara – it’s something that you need to have in your makeup bag.
And then it depends on the concern that you have, for example if you have very big dark circles, so very deep dark circles, I would say that you need to have a concealer, or if you have very fair eyebrows I would say you need to have an eyebrow product, with the addition of the 2 products – lipstick and mascara, they make a huge difference to your makeup.
But I have to say 3 products that everyone should have is our serum – Advanced Genifique, a mascara and lipstick.
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