As she arrives in Belfast for a major awards event, make-up guru Eugenia Weston tells Maureen Coleman some of the A-listersâ€™ top tips.
From her early teens, Eugenia Weston, founder of Senna Cosmetics and make-up artist to a host of stars, was fascinated with faces â€” and how to make them flawless. Using the face as a blank canvas to create â€œa work of artâ€, Eugenia realised she had a talent for making women more beautiful through the application of |cosmetics.
Back in the Seventies, there were few ranges to choose from, with the exception of Biba and Mary Quant, and certainly none of the highly pigmented products offered nowadays by the likes of Mac and Bobbi Brown.
So in 1976 Eugenia set up her own range, Senna Cosmetics, a professional quality make-up designed specifically for the retail consumer.
Based in LA, Eugenia’s line is sought after the world over and in Belfast leading make-up artist Oonagh Boman, who heads up her own school of make-up, is the exclusive distributor for the range in Ireland, meaning local ladies can look as glamorous as the A-listers who swear by Senna.
Eugenia, who counts Angelina Jolie, Susan Sarandon, Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Garner and Bette Midler among her clients, says: â€œFrom the age of 13 I was fascinated with faces, the emotions, balance, beauty and, of course, the flaws.
â€œI was always visualising how a woman could communicate who she truly was through the art of make-up.
â€œWhen I set up Senna Cosmetics there were no make-up artistry lines, just a few conservative cosmetic ranges, so I created my own style by mixing colours and pigments.â€
As well as creating her own professional range, Eugenia also quickly developed her signature make-up style, which saw her working with top fashion photographers in the international couture scene, including Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and Greg Gorman. She branched out into film, TV and videos, working on shows including Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and Cougar Town and on films like Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Angels and Demons.
â€œI work with a lot of amazingly talented people in LA,â€ she says.
â€œThere’s such a high standard among make-up artists and quality, skill and imagination are key.
â€œIt’s all about the technique of application, the colours we use, the symmetry. We have to create a flawless face,â€ she says.
â€œFortunately the products that we use and that we work with in our schools help to achieve that flawless look. Knowing what suits the clients is essential too. We study photographs of them, working together to get it right.â€
Barbara Streisand refuses to let any other foundation near her face but Senna’s hand blended products and Debra Messing, Tori Spelling, Janet and LaToya Jackson are big fans of the range.
Eugenia has a few favourite celebrities she has treated to her Midas make-up touch.
â€œI really love working with Bette â€” she’s a good friend nowâ€” as well as Ashley Simpson and Paula Abdul. And Anne Bancroft was a lovely lady too. When I’d finished with her, she looked amazing.â€
She has her own personal favourite make-up looks â€” not surprisingly, the LA beach babe look tops the list.
â€œI love bronze, glowing skin, light lips and smoky eyes, it’s a very youthful look and popular here in LA,â€ she says.
â€œBut this season I’m also loving coloured, sparkly eyes, in shades of violet, teal and gold.â€
Obsessed with eyebrows, Eugenia says they are the one feature that can transform a woman’s face.
â€œA good, classic brow shape can make a woman instantly look 10 years younger and feel more confident,â€ she says.
And she believes that every woman has the potential to be beautiful.
â€œI love faces, I love making faces look better. I look at everyone I meet and imagine what I can do with them. I guess I am really fanatical about faces.â€
Eugenia will get the chance to study some local faces in Belfast today when she presents the Oonagh Boman School of Excellence Award to one exceptional pupil.
The third annual awards ceremony are taking place at the Ivory restaurant and Eugenia says she can’t wait to visit Ireland for the first time.
â€œOonagh shares my passion for make-up and for perfection and I can’t wait to present the award and to see the exciting looks all the artists will create working with Senna Cosmetics,â€ she says.
Oonagh is also delighted to welcome Eugenia to Belfast.
She adds: â€œI am honoured that my Make-up School of Excellence is recognised by Hollywood’s leading make-up artist and entrepreneur and that Eugenia has embraced the awards with such enthusiasm.
â€œHer presence at todayâ€™s event has certainly boosted the confidence and excitement of my graduates.â€
How the movie stars like to make-up
One of Eugeniaâ€™s most famous star clients is Hollywood actress and partner of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, hailed worldwide as an exceptional beauty. So can she |divulge any of her make-up preferences?
â€œAngelina knows what she likes and tends to stick with it,â€ she says. â€œShe likes natural colours, nude lips. But she never wears blusher.â€
Another client is Bette Midler who has become a good friend over the years. In fact Eugenia was nominated for an Emmy award in 1993 for her work with Midler on the television movie Gypsy.
â€œBette likes black eyeliner, pale lips, no gloss, and blusher on the apples of her cheeks,â€ she says.
â€œShe wears natural colours on her eyes but she bought a peacock shade and teamed it with gold and it really brought out her eyes. She also knows what she likes.â€