Deconstruct the LOOK
Makeup By JO BAKER
Photography By RANDALL SLAVIN
Written By ALEXIS BRUNSWICK
Hair By IAN JAMES
Nails By STEPHANIE STONE
There is no shying away from the power play that strong makeup can convey. “This is feminine but it’s very strong feminine,” makeup artist Jo Baker said of the espresso-toned smoky eye look she created on model Michele Ouellet. Inspired by Robert Palmer’s music video vixens and Helmet Newton’s refined simplicity, Baker defined hollowed eyes with a slick lid and sculpted features to create an intriguing element of androgyny. “We’re not doing the soft thing. It’s strong, striking, powerful and bold,” Baker said of the look that’s not at all coquettish or coy. “You don’t mess with this kind of woman, you want to stay on her good side.”
BY JO BAKER
Born and raised in London, Jo Baker landed in Los Angeles after working with Usher on his world tour. Throughout her years in LA, she honed her technique and became known for her unparalleled understanding of mixing, blending and crafting unique hues to flatter and frame features. Emmy Rossum and Shailene Woodley depend on Baker’s artistic, yet highly wearable approach to makeup for red carpet appearances, while publications like Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar have called upon the artist for her editorial creations.
WITH MICHELE OUELLET
Makeup artist Jo Baker transformed model, Michele Ouellet into a smoky-eyed boss for VIOLET GREY. The vivacious model/amateur surfer/Rihanna obsessive/blogger (she documents her life and travels at kissser.com) was discovered by a model scout while shopping in San Francisco with her father at the age of 15. The Napa Valley native placed modeling prospects on hold to finish out her high school’s volleyball season (the team went on to win the championships). It’s that same tenacity and passion that inevitably led to a successful career which includes appearances in Vogue and Vanity Fair. She is also co-founder of Lorenza, a Napa Valley produced rosé that rivals its French counterparts. Here, the model shares her day on set with VIOLET GREY.
“I was told to envision myself sealing a big business deal with an icy stare for the shoot, which is quite different from my usual, very natural look. Jo's makeup and Stephanie’s nails really got me into the right attitude.”
“On set, between shots, I wore a gorgeous little silk robe by Kiki de Montparnasse that was divine! I never wanted to take it off. Walking around the studio in that helped set the mood as well. I went straight to their shop when I got to New York to buy my own.”
“Jo is so fun. She is obviously an expert in her field so I felt very comfortable in her hands. She has that great English wit so we laughed a lot. Randall, the photographer, was really funny and cool. He and Jo were really involved in the whole process, which was a nice treat.”
“I loved the whole vibe on set! Everyone was doing something creative, whether doing hair or prop styling or taking Polaroids. I just bought an old Contax T-2 35mm camera and was excited to experiment with it. The Violet set is something of beauty in itself! There was tons of glossy makeup and serious jewelry. I had to take a few snaps myself.”