Noni Smith on Miranda Kerr, make-up and her L'Oréal Paris gig
She counts Miranda Kerr and The Veronicas as friends and has worked with everyone from Delta Goodrem, Catherine McNeil and Rose Byrne to the late Anna Nicole Smith. Of course, in her newly minted position as L'Oréal Paris Make-up Director for Australia, Noni Smith will continue to work on some of the most beautiful (and famous) faces on earth. Here, she chats to us about her career highlights, celebrity clientele and what's hot in make-up for spring 2017.
Congratulations on your new role. What will you be doing in your role?
Yes, L'Oréal Paris Makeup Director for Australia. I'm so excited and I'm so honoured to be chosen. I'll be doing lots of things, like events, how-to videos, and decoding trends from the Paris runway and making them wearable and understandable for Australian women. How they can switch it up and make it suit them.
Straight off the back of what we've just seen in Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, what are some of your favourite trends that you've seen?
Well, my favourite trends are always the beautiful natural faces. It's a look that just glowing, luminous and timeless. You can really see the girls and see how beautiful they are, and it goes with everything. It's really perfect for the Australian environment and lifestyle.
The other trend that I love is colour, like a bit of a pop of colour. Pinky peachy tones, pink lips, that really rust-y almost pink shadow. It's been a bit of a trend for a long time - rust-y pinks, golds and all of those beautiful sunset tones. And graphic liner has been huge for a few years now, in all different shapes and styles and you just have so much fun with that. You can really change the way someone looks quite dramatically, just with the style of the flick, with the shape on top. It's just fun. It's strong and graphic. It's really cool. You can really make somebody look quite tough by adding [liner].
What's hot for spring/summer 2017?
All of your matte tones have been huge for a long time. I'm loving the Colour Riche Matte lipsticks from L'Oréal. There's a lot of beautiful nude tones in there. Nudes are still big. And the nice thing about them is there's a nude in there for everybody. And the textures are not that really dried out, chalky matte, which I just don't think is pretty on anyone. It's cool in a photo, but in real life it doesn't work.
And also pops of colour in the lip - unexpected colour. With the upcoming launch for Balmain - the lipsticks are in colours which you wouldn't ordinarily put on a lip, which is fun and experimental and quite avant-garde. I love the Infallible Lip Paints that are out right now in a range of beautiful nudes in matte and blossom textures. I've been using those and they've got a really cool little applicator too so you don't need a lip brush. I love the deep tones - there's a really dark, dark purple, almost black. And a really deep raspberry.
What's your tip for pulling off a dark lip?
Obviously your lips are the focus, so you have to choose quite neutral tones for the eye, or in the case of a raspberry you can use peachy, kind of pink-y golden tones. Make sure your eyes aren't competing too much. And you do need a little bit extra blush. And maybe a little bit extra bronzer just so you look healthy.
You've had a great career. What's been your biggest career highlight so far?
A big thing in my career was doing the Guess campaign in America when I first got there in my early 20s with Anna Nicole [Smith]. I did that for like five campaigns. And that kind of changed a lot of things for my career.
The most awesome time I ever had, though, would have been travelling all around the globe on a press tour with Toni Colette in private jets. It was for In Her Shoes. We had one jet for us, which was Toni, myself, hairdresser, her husband, and her agent, and then in that jet also was Cameron Diaz and her hairdresser and makeup artist and her agent, and we had a separate jet to take our luggage.
We landed on tarmacs like we were the president, fleets of black cars, you never went through a customs, everywhere we stayed was incredible. I knew it was probably the only time I would ever experience that, because it was a time in America when they were just spending huge bucks, huge dollars on promos. It's not like that anymore. So that was, I think, six cities in Europe, Tokyo, New York, LA, it's just a long, amazing time, with awesome people. Toni Colette is one of my favourite people in the world to hang with. She's just the most awesome, strong, funny, witty woman.
Have you ever asked her to quote Muriel's Wedding?
Nah. I mean, she still does say that. She says, "You're terrible, Muriel," sometimes, just because she's the coolest, most down to earth girl. I love working with Miranda [Kerr], cause I've known her since she was 15 and she feels like family to me. And just being around her, she has this beautiful, glowing happy energy and she always makes you feel good about yourself. She helps me spiritually a lot. She's got a lot of good tips about books, affirmations, oils and diet. She just feels like the most nurturing best friend. And no matter what time I call her, she'll always ring me back the next day. She's incredible. And also The Veronicas. I adore those girls too. They're always there for me, love my kids, and are just so super friendly and kind.
Who are you most excited to work with in the L'Oréal family?
I'm super excited, and I really hope this happens - to go and work with [make-up artist] Val Garland in Paris. If I could get to work on the runway shows with her, that would be a dream come true. But all of the faces of L'Oréal, the ambassadors, Barbara Palvin is such a beautiful girl, Doutzen is incredible and from the older women, Jane Fonda would be a dream. I'm obsessed with those iconic women from that era.
What are some of your favourite products that are coming out from L'Oréal?
The Infallible Eye Paints and Infallible Lip Paints because of the colours, textures and they're just so easy to use. I've always loved L'Oréal mascaras, all of them, including the new X-Fiber and Miss Baby Roll. And I like the Truth Match Blendable Powder, it's a really light mineral powder with a stocking cover to stop too much product coming out.
For more info on L'Oréal Paris make-up, visit lorealparis.com.au
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