Page 1

THE WELL | books |


Making Faces

Visionary make-up artist Caroline Saulnier has collaborated with photographer Rankin to showcase her talent and style in a stunning beauty book. Gavin Nazareth quizzes her in an exclusive interview

S 206 – Prestige – november 2012

he has made up some of the most celebrated faces in the world and he has framed them through the viewfinder and captured them on film. Make-up artist Caroline Saulnier and photographer Rankin, artists at the top of their respective professions, have joined forces to create a new book with sensual, visually compelling images that define and showcase their talent and strong aesthetic styles. Exploring the strength and sensuality that fascinates them, each utilising their talents to give depth to the work of the other, the result is a book that is not only an example of fashion photography and makeup artistry at their finest, but also a stunning work of art. For Rankin – who has photographed everyone from the Queen of England and Mikhail Gorbachev to Madonna, U2 and the Rolling Stones, shot for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, GQ and Esquire, and cofounded Dazed & Confused, a trendsetting quarterly that defined the zeitgeist of the Nineties – this collaboration is a third in a unique series of beauty books that have included top make-up artists Alex Box, Ayami and Nishimura. “Caroline,” he says, “was an obvious choice to collaborate with on the third book in my beauty book series. We first met when we worked together on a Rimmel shoot four years ago. I quickly realised that she was one of the most highly skilled makeup artists I had ever worked with. Technically, her precision is mind-blowing. What I couldn’t know from working with her on a commercial job is that she is a creative visionary, and her work is conceptually fascinating. There is a lot of sensuality in her images, as well as a real raw edge to them. Working with Caroline is inspiring.” Over the last 25 years, Caroline has worked on editorial and commercial campaigns developing a style that is classical and avant-garde in equal measure, experimenting with unusual texture

and bold pigment to create amazing works of art. Her work draws on the unique features and imperfections of her models as inspiration. It also explores the darkness and light in her own personality, a therapeutic exploration of self that has produced fascinating results. Here she talks about her work, what inspires it, and her collaboration with Rankin on this project. How did this book project come about? Rankin asked me to collaborate on a shoot for a humanitarian association helping blind women. It was a beauty shot where interpretation was totally free. At the end of the shooting, Rankin offered me a book about my work. What was the concept behind the Caroline Sauliner book? From the beginning, I did not want a book that would just show my makeup. I wanted my collaboration with Rankin to allow us to express ourselves together freely. This book is the result of our shared visions.   What was it like working with Rankin? Rankin is always enthusiastic, passionate and very demanding. It’s very exciting to work with him. It is necessary to be responsive and surprising. There’s a real energy, a real emulation.   Why makeup as a career? Cinema and fashion always attracted me. My mother is very beautiful, sophisticated and crazy about shopping. As a little girl she always dressed me up on the cutting edge of style. I went out a lot to the theatre and cabaret with my parents and I think it has played a role in my choice that – ultimately – came to me quite naturally. november 2012 – Prestige – 207

THE WELL | books |

THE WELL | books |

caroline saulnier

208 – Prestige – november 2012

What is a day in the life of Caroline Saulnier like? When I’m not on a shoot or on a plane, I like to rummage through second-hand shops, looking for objects or vintage clothes. Even when I travel I go to flea markets. I also recharge my batteries by spending time with friends over a good meal I have cooked.   What is the philosophy behind your work? I love the atemporal, the classicism that goes through trends and never becomes obsolete. And I love the exuberance, the strangeness as well. Normality bores me; something in me compels me to break it, to confuse the issue.   What inspires your work? Everything inspires me, from the street to books, the theatre and even cinema.   Is there a signature “look” that you’re known for and if so what is it? People who know my work appreciate my sophisticated and sexy vision of women which is sometimes disturbed. I like to create characters through makeup the same way an actor plays roles.    What is your favourite trend this year?  I would say especially the eyeliner.   What are some of the biggest campaigns or shoots that you have done? I work for many luxury and cosmetics brands such as Guerlain, Chanel, Lancôme, Lancaster, Cartier...   Which has been your most favourite and why? The Lancôme campaign for Trésor is a nice memory: Penelope Cruz is such a beautiful woman, Mario Testino is a photographer, who is not only talented but adorable, the Crillon Hotel delivered such a magical atmosphere, and finally, my city... Paris.   What has been your proudest moment? For the moment no shoot has been more intense than when I shared the launch event of my book with my closest relatives who expressed their pride and joy.   What is the toughest part of your job? …to reconcile the desires of all those who work with you without getting lost.   Name some of the celebrities you have worked on? And which one did you like working with most? Penelope Cruz, Jane Fonda, Laetitia Casta, Eva Longoria, Aishwarya Rai, Claudia Schiffer, Lucy Liu, Maggie Cheung and so many others.... Meeting each one of them was amazing, so it is difficult for me to choose one. I feel very touched that these women recognised worldwide for their beauty – among other things – trust me with their look. This is a beautiful gift every time and I thank them all for that.   What is the most memorable moment you have had while doing a celebrity’s makeup? I had to make up an actress for the Festival de Cannes ... While I was installing my makeup in her suite I realised that all the small glass bottles of foundation had exploded in my suitcase. After a moment of panic, I used my personal products and the red carpet was perfect!

“People who know my work appreciate my sophisticated and sexy vision of women which is sometimes disturbed”

Is there any person in the world you would like to work on? Brigitte Bardot   What are some common beauty mistakes that women make? Pastel and iridescent colours on the eyes are not always flattering. The terracotta powder that stops at the neck, or a badly applied bronzing cream that gives one an orange complexion instead of a nice tan.   What make-up would I find in Caroline Saulnier’s handbag? A black mascara, a khaki kohl pencil, a blush powder and a lip balm.   What feature(s) do you love to accentuate? Large eyes, a strong nose, or an irregularity in the face can be a starting point to highlight a character. Perfect beauty is a little bland for my taste.   What are your favourite makeup/cosmetic brands to work with? I love the Clé de Peau range for foundations, Dior and MAX Factor for mascaras, the radiant touch of YSL. I also like MAC products like  their “coffee” eye pencil,  their “taupe” eye shadow, the “ruby wood” lipstick, their stars powders, cream eye shadows and cream blush. Recently I discovered the little brand KIKO and love the flashy colours. And like all make-up artists, I collect and use a lot of products that are not sold anymore or that I find on my travels.   What is the one make-up trend you would like to see disappear? I’m not very attracted to pastel colours on eyes, but there is no makeup trend in particular that I’d like to see disappear. It’s all about interpretation, a point of view.   If you had to paint a canvas of your life, what colours would one see? All the colours of the rainbow and I’d add the black. Caroline Saulnier by Rankin, is available to purchase from Amazon ( november 2012 – Prestige – 209

Making faces  
Making faces  

An interview with visionary make-up artist Caroline Saulnier on her new book with top photographer Rankin. For Prestige Bangkok