February 28, 2011

Monday Beauty Blog-Maria Del Carmen Mercado

I first met Maria Del Carmen Mercado at the designer photoshoot that StyleWeek did for Rhode Island Monthly. She and I had an instant rapport. Maria is sweet, sensitive, and hilarious. She had a very clear vision for the hair for her show, but not as clear a vision for the makeup. She is not one to wear a lot of makeup, but she knew she wanted something bold for her show.
Her look actually had a number of incarnations. Designing makeup looks is like picking out an outfit for an important event. You either hit the nail on the head with the first try, or you go through many attempts to get it just right. This was more like the latter. We both agreed that the look needed to be finished off with a bright spicy red lip color. But the rest of the look took a bit more tinkering to get perfect.
The first look I came up with was kind of a graphic flamenco inspired eye and little to no eye shadow. While it was a cool look, it was not what she had in mind. At the time I had not seen her designs. Knowing what I know now, I don’t think have worked with her dresses at all. So we went back to the drawing board.
first draft eye

Then I pulled together a look similar to what we did for the Rhode Island Monthly shoot. At the shoot Maria’s model was this fabulous woman Elsa from Cape Verde. Elsa has a gorgeous dark golden complexion. The look she had involved both bright and deep shades of blue. When I sent Maria the images of that look on me (I do most of my test runs on myself or an assistant, and I am very very pale), she thought the look was too much. I must admit, it was pretty intense.
We decided that we needed a look that would look great from the stage but not be too intense on the models regardless of their coloring.
Photo by Daniel Gagnon
Photo by Todd Lee

We came up with a beautiful bronze, softly smoky eye. Softer than some of the other smoky eyes that walked the runway during the week, but with a much bolder lip. A completely different flavor of beautiful.
This is actually a pretty easy look to replicate, and would be a beautiful look for this summer!

This shade of red can be intimidating for some women. If it is the brightness that is intimidates you, try using a brown pencil to tone down the intensity of the color. If the red itself is intimidating than try either a more brown based red or a very sheer red.
I like to wear a red lipstick more like an accessory. Keep jewelry to a minimum and hair pulled back. Red lipstick screams sexy, confident, and fearless.
Definitely play with this look, especially as the cold gray weather persists. Sometimes a splash of red is all you need to brighten up a dreary day.
Maria’s show involved beautifully draped hand dyed silk dresses and head scarves. In her designs the models were a lovely balance of soft romance, and powerful beauty. It really was a wonderful show. Maria is a blast to work with, and I loved helping make her first StyleWeek Providence show a memorable one. I am sure we will be seeing great things from her in the future!
Next week Karen Beebe’s look for her Lucille Collection.
Send your questions to Jessica@StyleWeekProvidence.com

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