Remember the computer program from “Clueless” that helped choose outfits? Imagine that if that merged with Style.com and Facebook.
A Beautiful Year in Review – 2009
Reflections and Trends by Makeup Artist Andrew Sotomayor
As I think about the year behind us and wonder what’s ahead in terms of fashion and beauty, one evening comes to mind. The Met Ball kicked off the Costume Institute’s exhibit paying tribute to The Model as Muse this past summer. Every year, I do makeup for one or two clients going to the event and then stay up late to see the pictures as soon as they’re posted on Style.com. The red carpet is saturated by who’s who of fashion and entertainment draped in cascading fabrics, shimmering jewels, show stopping eye makeup, and sculptural hairstyles aspiring to a hint of the genius behind the masterpieces displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit covered a century’s worth of fashion’s most alluring women in a theme that highlighted what would make 2009 special.
This year, trends loosened up and women took the opportunity to be unique. The rule of playing up one feature, “either eyes or lips,” was shattered and once monotonous days gave way to an era of smoky eyes and brightly colored lips. Mascaras took another step into the future, while harsh hairstyles softened. The dark allure of an unhealthy glow dimmed a bit as senators proposed taxes on tanning beds, and the explosion of vampires in pop culture (True Blood, Twilight, Vampire Diaries) indicated that porcelain skin is definitely in. All in all, this year was about having fun with your look, trying something new, and letting your personality shine just a bit brighter.
Sassy as their lyrics, Katy Perry, Adele and Lily Allen ushered in a new era of quirky chic.
In recent years, sexy songstresses have appeared flawlessly polished in pure 1940’s Hollywood glamour, but this year hipsters embraced humor and Allen even modeled for Chanel. “She looks a lot like Gabrielle Chanel and she is a self-made woman. She is cool, young and extremely witty.” said Lagerfeld to Vogue. These gorgeous gals wore a motley assortment of false lashes, liquid liner, sparkling shadows, big hair and big headbands that (much like their lyrics) shouted “girl power is girly”.
As far as hairstyles, “In 2009, the style was attainable, flexible, and touchable. Also, tousled showing more independence,” said Devin Toth of the Ted Gibson Salon. “A combination of both flirtatious and architectural cuts. They were flirtatious in their layers and waves, but the cuts were more medium to long in length…The girls wear them either down, up in a loose top knot, or in a low asymmetrical chignon.” He should know! Though already a celeb stylist in his own rite, Devin works closely with Ted who was busy this year working his magic on TLC’s What Not to Wear. “As Ted would say, beauty is individual.” Indeed.
In terms of mixing it up, think Francois Nars and Lady Gaga. The renowned artist created 65 different looks for Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter ‘09 show, while Gaga’s over the top eye makeup often was the show itself. Fashion is reflective of our culture and though the girl on the street won’t take makeup to such outlandish lengths, her style is confident, ever changing, and it takes a lot of makeup for an artist to keep up!
For years I worked without carrying lipsticks, opting instead for the no-nonsense combination of long wearing pencils and gloss. However, style evolved and it recently seemed as if these little tubes of color were attempting to revive the debunked lipstick index.
As 2009 comes to an end, my brand new suitcase from MUJI holds a precious cargo of decadent lipsticks, stains, tinted balms, lacquers and of course glosses in colors and textures ranging from patriotic matte red to sparkling black to bitten lip pinks reminiscent of teenage summer romances.
Lashes have had lots of love as the mascara wars of ‘08 continued another four seasons. Volumizing mascara was key when paying tribute to Twiggy and her spiky 60’s lashes at shows like Chris Benz Spring / Summer ‘10 led by makeup artist Daniel Martin.
For a contemporary lash look, the gold standard and market leader is still Lancôme’s Définicils mascara, known for its lengthy clump-free ways, but last year’s vibrating mascara wands, mace-like applicators and gigantic rubber molded bristles have been joined by a variety of super charged lash conditioners and the breakthrough lash growing potion Latisse. Celebrating one year on the market, its eye-catching ads featuring the iconic Brooke Shields, have been honored with a parody featuring Molly Sims by FunnyOrDie.com. As a makeup artist, it’s hard to believe that “waterproof or regular” were once the biggest point of difference for lash products.
Bronzer took a back seat as bloggers debated the driving force of a dramatic increase in sales of pale foundations. Though said to be timed with the release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, renewed pride in a porcelain complexion can also be attributed to women being more responsible about wearing sunscreen, concerns about the safety of tanning beds, and a steady trend created for the runways by artists like James Kaliardos for Rodarte.
In spite of an economy that continues to struggle, an occasional little luxury still seems like the preferred way to thumb one’s nose and celebrate the good fortune of steady employment. Recently, a close friend pulled a $50 eye shadow compact from her purse. A kaleidoscope of colors went through my head as I remembered all the makeup I’ve given her over the years. Before I could say “recession” she replied, “I work two jobs, I really wanted this, it’s special, and I earned it.” She was right.
Finally, in beauty and beyond, this year was all about seeing the bigger picture. When starting this piece, I could have taken a cue from my first initial meeting with Kerry Washington who said, “First things first, are you related?” referring to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sadly no, but I’m thrilled that finally people (including Barack Obama, thank you very much) are pronouncing my name right.
Latina magazine honored Sotomayor with the title “Woman of The Decade” noting her service, honor and self-made success. This noble woman has had a career of public service and is a living example of the American dream come true; so why mention her in an article about fashion and beauty?
The respectful black robe she wears to work draws more esteem than a frock in any color, but her passion, thoughtfulness, and dedication overshadow obsessive rules on appearance, relegating fashion and beauty to their more proper roles as accessories to the more lighthearted side of our personalities.
This year, women embraced their ability to transform themselves on the surface and within.
My younger sister, who could once be seen sporting pink overalls and a white turtleneck as she rode around in her matching pink and white Power Wheels Barbie Jeep, has become a leggy art major in stiletto boots and cigarette jeans at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles with chipped black nail polish, carrying a red Marc Jacobs wallet, and (in case of emergency) a take no prisoners attitude (just ask the hockey player, from our high school days, whose black eye alluded to a sucker punch from my baby sister after one too many racial slurs).
Whether sparkling and dramatic, understated and demure, or colorfully precocious, this year was all about confidently letting your personality show on the outside. Whether you dream of vintage days gone by, or live for spur-of-the moment trends, we begin the second decade of the millennium with the freedom to live colorfully.
New York makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor has worked with celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Juliette Binoche, Kerry Washington, Emmy Rossum, Christine Baranski, Alicia Silverstone, Nina Garcia, Natasha Bedingfield, Rose Byrne, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Isaac Mizrahi, Adam Lambert, and many more. Supermodels including Liu Wen, Arlenis Sosa, Angela Lindvall, Elettra Wiedemann, and Du Juan, have worn makeup by Andrew and clients have worn his makeup for appearances on Project Runway, The Oprah
Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis & Kelly, The CBS Early Show, Good Day New York, The Rachael Ray Show, CNN, and The Tony Awards. He’s created the makeup for Betsey Johnon and Victoria Beckham’s look books, and assisted on fashion shows including Chanel, Dior, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Diesel, and Project Runway. See his work at AndrewSotomayor.com