Meet Val Garland, the Brit MUA, and A-lister in the beauty biz. Even if you've never heard of her by name before, we guarantee you'll have tried out or lusted after one of her makeup creations, from the stunning glitter looks she created on the catwalk shows to the new must-have lipsticks.
Not only is Val a regular when it comes to creating amazing makeup looks for designers in all the fashion capitals, but she's also the go-to makeup artist for supermodel Mossy and Hollywood stars such as Julianne Moore and Helen Mirren.
For a quick overview of her impressive makeup skills and 30-year career creating some of the most iconic beauty images EVER, you need look no further than her new book, Validated. Named after her social media hashtag, which grew out of Val and her dedicated team showcasing or 'Validating' their fave products while working backstage.
This page-turner is filled with stunning beauty imagery, from her early trademark of gorgeously real skin. Her secrets? "To prep the canvas, we always do a massage first, to get the blood pumping. We soak the tool [a ReFa S Carat Roller] in ice to make the skin look really fresh. It feels amazing," reveals Val, over a quick chat at her book launch.
"It's also all about buffing your product in. I like a dual fibre brush, but when I am doing it on myself, I just use my hands. I also use less concealer rather than more. The big giveaway is to use too much concealer under the eyes."
Val also reveals she carries a ‘Blue Peter’ bag of tricks that includes everything a creative urge may require, from sticky-back plastic to string and fishnets that she used at Gareth Pugh’s Spring /Summer 19 show.
And nothing is off limits; images in Validated show her skills with American tan tights used as a facial mask, icing sugar, potatoes, seaweed, pencil shavings, feathers and elastic bands. Her inspiration can strike anywhere, even her underwear drawer, where she found the swimming googles that inspired the insect eyes for a Gareth Pugh show.
Her advice for any inspiring MUAs is 'be more you'. "Have your own USP and don't try to be the next Pat McGrath or Val Garland. Have an opinion, but don't be opinionated as you'll be part of a team, and research, research, research to know as much as you can about prosthetics, natural makeup, film makeup or whatever you are doing. Knowledge is king."
Luckily GLAMOUR snagged a day of Val's time for the Autumn/Winter magazine issue and she agreed to bring the bold mash-up of colour and glitter that featured in the season's backstage beauty looks to life.
Drawing inspiration from the glitter she sprinkled across the hairline and onto the forehead at Preen; the full face of glitter at Giambattista Valli; and the of hand-drawn motifs at Vivienne Westwood; Val worked her creative wizardry on our Bright Sparks shoot.
To see the other looks Val created and get the lowdown on her best glitter tricks and super simple colour techniques, watch her at work behind the scenes on our shoot...
Then dig out your paintbox and go crazy with colour.