For the biggest party night of the year, channel glamorous going-out looks inspired by '70s France, British fashion photography, and the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year.
Written ByJACK SUNNUCKS
Photography ByMORGANE MARTINI
Makeup ByMORGANE MARTINI
Hair ByHELENE BIDARD
Art Direction ByVICEN AKINA
With her experimental take on color and the exquisite Polaroids she snaps to document her work, Morgane Martini is the makeup artist of the moment. From her collaborations with Ashley Graham to her cover of Vogue Brazil with Bella Hadid, Martini’s name (it’s her real one) is becoming synonymous with a new kind of French chic that recalls the revolutionary work of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton rather than a less-is-more aesthetic. In a new series for VIOLET GREY, she documents an array of bold, chromatic looks on her friends, accompanied by her trusted Polaroid camera.
“I had this idea of Parisian chic, but really fun,” says Morgane Martini of her shoot with Marie-Louise Wedel. “I was actually thinking of the stylist Catherine Baba,” who, if you aren’t familiar with, is definitely worth looking up. A quick Google search reveals Baba cycling around Paris in an array of turbans and gorgeous ‘70s garb, replete with a full face of makeup. “She always has incredible eyeshadow and a lot of blush; she really goes for it.” Martini also went back to the images that British fashion photographer Barry Lategan took of a young Twiggy, made up to the nines and with the most divine hair. “I wanted it to look like a Parisian night out from that era—a great blow out, and a lot of makeup. That chic and fabulous vibe.”
Obviously, Marie-Louise was integral to this inspiration. “I mean, she’s not French,” laughs Martini, “But she has the aura of a young Catherine Deneuve.” What more could one want? Here, she presents her ideas for a truly fabulous start to 2018.
LOOK 1—LE NOUVEAU ROUGE
“I did a pearlescent silvery eye and a raspberry metallic lip with gloss. And beautiful hair. When you think about full-on, going-out makeup, it’s important to coordinate colors—think of classic color pairings. If you go for a beautiful blue eyeshadow, for instance, a red lip will work for sure.” – M.M.
GET THE LOOK
LOOK 2—MIDNIGHT METALS
“I used a gorgeous peacock blue all over the eyelid, and then a copper hue on the brow bone, blending it up. And a metallic red lip. I was definitely inspired by my forever inspirations: Newton and Bourdin. I guess I can’t help myself! If you do a metallic lip, make sure you get a really sharp line. You don’t want to go for a blended metallic look, that would be really weird.” – M.M.
GET THE LOOK
TOM FORD $88
LOOK 3—ULTRA VIOLET EYES
“For this look, I was inspired by the Pantone Color Of The Year for 2018, Ultra Violet. I used shiny purple all over the eyelids, and blended it with pink blush. I think it’s a great, easy party look—everybody can do it. You don’t have to be precise, just throw color on. I literally did it with my fingers! Go for it with tons of pink blush, all the way up to the brow.” – M.M.
Name: Morgane Martini
Where to Find Her: New York City
Represented by: The Wall Group/BEL
“I don’t recommend going to beauty school,” laughs Morgane Martini of her start in the industry. As a young woman growing up on the French island of Corsica, Martini has always been artistically inclined, so her aunt suggested she could put her talents to practical use and paint faces instead. “I had a lot of friends who were learning photography at the time, so we were all playing around and trying out stuff. I went to school for only three months, three months of learning the basics of beauty and fashion makeup—which was actually really terrible, because everything you’re learning you have to forget and start over again!”
Fortunately, she landed on the team of one of the greats – Lloyd Simmons, whom she assisted for three years, and who she credits with making her the precise and technical artist she is today (creativity is nothing if not backed up with expertise). He also introduced her to the incredible Pat McGrath, another makeup genius from whom she was lucky to learn. “So,” she laughs, “that was major.” From this beginning Martini began a journey upward through the editorial beauty world that four years ago brought her to New York. “And a year ago, that’s when I started doing my Polaroids,” she says of the landmarks that have defined her career.
If haven’t seen them, Martini’s Polaroids, which populate her Instagram, are a thing of beauty. As with just about any visual profession, she says, mock horrified, “People were telling me to do more selfies, to post more of myself—you know, post a bikini picture here and there. That’s not me; it didn’t feel genuine.” After she started shooting beauty tests on her friends using a macro Polaroid camera, she quickly became obsessed and starting posting the results on her feed. “There’s no post production whatsoever; it’s pretty raw,” she says of what drew her to the little photographs. “And I’m obsessed with Antonio Lopez. I just think his work is so amazing, and all his Polaroid work is really fun.”
Martini’s bold shapes and color choices, inspired by Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, have caught the attention of a certain bold female, the one and only Ashley Graham. “One day my agent called me and said Ashley Graham is requesting you. I was very lucky that her hairstylist at the time, who I had worked with, recommended me.” It seems to be the perfect match. “What’s fun with her,” says Martini, “is she’s in control, but she’s really open to letting go. She told me how she decided one day to embrace herself to the fullest, and not compromise—you know what, take it or leave it, this is what I am.”
Martini has taken Graham’s words to heart, and perhaps bolstered by her belief in what makes her work unique, she did the makeup for her first Vogue cover, Bella Hadid for Vogue Brazil. “In some ways, I think I tried for a while to fit in,” she opines. “At a certain point, makeup was not a cool thing to do, because people just wanted natural. I tried to fit into that box. But I kept telling my agent, I’m getting so bored.” She smiles. “I just can’t. It’s a great lesson, to just do you. And I think everybody should do that.”
Joanna Vargas $75
Eau Thermale Avène $14