As NARS' International Lead Make-up Stylist, Uzo (who, it has to be said, is something of a celebrity herself) has refined the faces of a galaxy worth of stars - everyone from Kim Kardashian to Naomi Campbell to Kirsten Dunst. Her work takes her from fashion week to fashion week, with awards nights, magazine editorials and working with François Nars himself in between.
In Sydney to launch the new NARS goodies hitting Mecca shelves in the coming weeks (think new Audacious lippies, a must-have highlighting/contouring/blush palette AND a new colour collection), Uzo sat down with Buro to talk new season make-up - and spilled a few celebrity secrets in the process. Read on.
Kim Kardashian recently announced she's done with contouring - why?
I think that the secret for contouring for her is she's not that tanned all the time, but when she is tanned, she can contour more because it blends better. You see people who are lighter skinned than her contouring for days and that's all you see - a harsh line on the face. I think now Kim just wants skin that's fresh-looking and dimensional, via the use of illuminators and highlighters.
Is contouring going anywhere?
It's all about making it more three-dimensional, where it really looks like it's part of the skin versus placed on the skin. We have a new offering at NARS which embraces that trend but in a more modern, elegant way. We have our Sculpting Multiple Duo. What I love about this is that you have a sculpting colour on one end and a highlighter on the other. And what sets this apart from what we're seeing with the competitors is this can be placed on eyes, cheeks and lips. It's really light - very transparent - so you don't need a manual or five steps in order to do this, it's just easy breezy.
Should different skin types stick to certain product formulas for techniques like strobing and contouring?
If you're really oily, it's always best to use a powder. If you're drier, you want something more liquidy or creamy. But for people who are still finding it a challenge to contour, or at least create dimension, I think creams are the easiest as far as actually depositing colour on the skin and then being able to blend it, because even just depositing colour on the skin is a challenge - some people are very heavy-handed, you could put it on and it would last for days - you could see it from outer space!
You've worked a lot with Kirsten Dunst who is quite pale, how should someone with fair skin approach contouring?
It's about the tone you're using. If you're sculpting or trying to create depth along your cheekbones, on pale skin, it needs not to have an orange or reddish-base, it needs to be more neutral, almost with a pink undertone. If you're fair, illuminator is your best friend. I love illuminators to blend even regular blush: if you're putting a rosy blush on your cheeks, go over with a pearl highlighter and blend so that it looks like almost nothing on the skin. For Autumn/Winter we didn't see a lot of cheek colour because it was mostly about illuminating the skin versus obvious points of colour.
What can you tell us about Kirsten Dunst?
I'm close to her and I'm close to Rodarte - Rodarte dresses her often. I teach her how to do her own make-up. She loves all things make-up, but as an actress, she's just too busy to get to do it on her own. And she always has someone there to do it for her, but she genuinely likes new stuff and wants to know how to use new stuff - she's a cool chick.
What kind of look do you generally go with for her?
I highlight her skin and I do more cheek colour, like rosy tones on her lips and her cheeks. And, for eyes, she does like to play up her eyes - she does like shimmer eyeshadow. What I love about her is she's willing to experiment, so we've tried different looks on her in the past.
And what about Naomi Campbell?
She's actually really sweet. Or did I get her on a good day?! She is incredibly beautiful. I actually think that pictures don't do her justice. She photographs amazingly but if you saw her in person, your jaw would drop to the floor - that's how beautiful she is. Her skin is immaculate. She has freckles! I think with Photoshop or softening images and just the sheer process of putting on foundation, it kind of mutes it.