It’s safe to say that not all CELEBRITY BEAUTY COLLABORATIONS are created equal. But the debut collection from TV presenter and film critic CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN for Marks & Spencer took us by surprise.
First, it’s not pink and girly – instead, the monochrome packaging references brands like MAC and Nars, and keeps things cool and simple. Winkleman’s signature look – Jack Sparrow-esque kohl-lined eyes, nude lips and a glossy fringe – translates remarkably well into a collection of inky black eyeliner, lipsticks and hair conditioner. There are plenty of stocking fillers and gift ideas, such as a lip kit, with lip scrub and balm plus a classy red lipstick. It’s all appealingly affordable, and well thought-through. We sat down with Claudia – swathed in a huge grey coat and piratical Givenchy ankle boots – in the Merrion Hotel to talk beauty.
The starting point: “M&S called me and said ‘Do you fancy doing a make-up range?’, and I said ‘I presume you’ve got the wrong number because have you seen what I look like, how I leave the house?’ I met them and I told them exactly what I fantasise about, which is very strong black eyeliner and no make-up remover at all, as I’ve never knowingly taken my make-up off, and a cool conditioner, and that I could call it whatever I wanted, and be as bonkers as I could possibly be, and they agreed. And then they let me go to the lab, which I loved. We’ve come up with the perfect pale nude lipstick, which I think we’ve found, called Thank You Wendy, and the greatest conditioner in the world – I will never use anything else, until it runs out! I love the eyeliner and the eyeliner duo too, and a very simple liner – this is my favourite thing in the whole world.”
On lipstick: “I wear a lot of MAC, and I like Lord & Berry because it has strong pigment. What I don’t want to ever look like is apologetic – if I’m going out, I’m going OUT! Sometimes I wear red lipstick, and I feel quite strongly about the red – I didn’t want it to be too burgundy or too grown-up – if you’re doing it, a brick-red, it’s got to be bold and proper red – it’s called Do Me. The lip salve is amazing – it’s menthol and an ideal size for the bottom of your clutch. The lip scrub is edible – only because if you wear as much lipstick as I do sometimes you’ve just got to start anew. And they let me call the bag Clever Girl – because I’m not really interested in girls being pretty or sexy or attractive, I just really want them to be clever and sparky.”
On her signature look: “I’m too old to experiment. And it took me a long while to get here – I was doing a lot of blue eyeliner when I was younger, and a lot of very orange face, and sometimes I got involved in a peacock-coloured mascara which was genuinely disgusting. I’ve always liked Jack Sparrow and goths and Chrissie Hynde and Steve Tyler, and once I found this look, that was it. The same girl has done my face forever, but sometimes someone else will do it and say ‘I just wanted to try a coral gloss’ and I go ‘You can try. I’m not precious about it – stick anything on – but it will look disgusting.’ And they’ll put it on and go ‘You are correct! It looks repulsive!’ I wear nothing if I’m at home – I’ve got four kids and I’m on the Tube in London – it’s either 100 miles an hour or I’m asleep.”
On beauty inspiration: “I’m totally inspired by my mum – when I was young there was a definite glamour when mum was going out – there was a smell of Elnett and Giorgio Beverley Hills, and high heels, and definitely when I was growing up I loved the idea of putting on the war paint, as my mum called it, and going out. She’s amazing. She was a staunch feminist but also wanted to look good, and we also grew up in a house with hardly mirrors because she didn’t want what you look like to matter that much, so I’ve got no mirrors in my house so none of us know what we look like. Hence sometimes I go out looking a bit weird!”
On cleansing: “What you’re looking at is make-up that has just been layered on since the eighties! Sometimes I have to get rid of it and then I love Eve Lom Cleanser and muslin cloth, and I also love Rodial – the products are absolutely amazing. I had a facial once – but I don’t really like the vanity of it – of course I’m vain, I must be because I’ve got a panda amount of black eye make-up on – but I don’t really like my face being fiddled with.”
On hair treats: “A special treat is going to the hairdresser. I can talk about conditioner until your ears bleed. This conditioner smells of nectarine and feels all-natural. I didn’t want a heavy conditioner so your hair feels claggy, but I also didn’t want one that made your hair too light and flyaway. I want hair to be strong and heavy and this is the perfect conditioner – put on in the shower, comb it straight away and your hair will look like glass. I think it’s really good.”
On scent: “I feel very strongly about one perfume – I want to look like Jack Sparrow, but a female version. I want to look like I might have just had the best night of my life and I’m wearing make-up from the night before, and the sexiest scent is YSL Opium and that is the only scent I wear – I love it. I’m very loyal in what I like.
On age: “I love getting older, and what comes with getting older is knowing what you like. I’m not 24 – I know what I want. Working women are very busy, you don’t have a lot of time to experiment – so you want the things you love, from the friends to the guy who makes you feel good and the face you think that best works for you. I think Chrissie Hynde is pretty perfect – I think she’s the one we should all be looking like. When I’m tired, I rely a lot on my fringe – if your fringe is blunt and strong then the rest of you can be slightly falling apart… eyeliner is the key and I love MAC Face & Body because it’s even thinner than a BB Cream, it gives you a slight glow.
On the collection: “We’ve also done the greatest illuminator for your body, called Shine On, for Christmas parties, when you want to look glimmery and beautiful but not like you’re sweating. It smells delicious. With the nail varnishes, I could have come up with metallic green and iridescent lilac, but the bottom line is there are really only three colours you should wear – red, pale pink and a dark. With the Panda Eye Set, the tagline is ‘use more, use loads’. You know, there’s that moment when you’re putting on make-up and you think I’ve probably got enough on – you definitely haven’t! Literally just keep going. Don’t worry about the accessories, just go for the make-up. The price points are really good for this collection: I don’t want people to spend a fortune on make-up, that would make me feel uncomfortable.
Her picks: “The eyeliner is the thing I feel most strongly about, the Game Changer – it is not apologetic, it’s really black and shiny, like professional eye make-up; the smudger is called ‘Never Enough’. We also have an amazing mascara called Pile It On – it’s better than YSL Faux Cils – and it’s got the best wand. But there’s no make-up remover, because I don’t believe in it…. ”
Claudia for Marks & Spencer is in store from November 21.
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