Terry Barber the UK Creative director of MAC has worked for the company for 14 years and says he loves it so much because it's a culture not a business. He came down under to work at this year's RAFW and Yahoo!7 were lucky enough to talk to him about the upcoming trends, how make up has changed and why Pamela Anderson sleeps in eyeliner.What made you want to work in the make-up world?
It was a combination of a few things; I did art school in the early 80s in Britain and it was a time of club culture, new romantic, punk, skin heads and that’s what attracted me rather than painting. I painted my own face in the 1980s as I was always interested in make up as a form of self-expression. You wore make up to belong to a tribe – I was a new romantic. Most people wore make up as a statement back in their youth and I was one of them. We never just saw it as making someone pretty, it’s a form of urban tribalism.Interview: The master of makeup,Terry Barber
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I had heard about MAC through make up artists who used it. I spent a weekend in New York and went to Henri Bendel where it was stocked and the people in there looked just like me and I bought a couple of things from MAC then. When I knew it was coming to the UK I was waiting for it. It opened in Harvey Nichols,I went in on day one and the rest is history.Why do you love the brand?
I love the whole aesthetic of the brand. I like the people that work for us and the brand doesn’t work with a stereotype. There is a consciousness too it, especially with giving back through the MAC Aids fund. It’s a brand I feel very comfortable in. Working for MAC is like living in a world, going to work is like going to a party. It’s a culture not a business and has an incredible sense of belonging.What’s the trick to getting the perfect complexion?
I think its changed over the years. At the moment women are looking for perfection and reality. The trick is layering up to a particular look of the skin through great skin care. Use a primer; it will anchor the foundation on the skin with a real matte-affixation but still with a sheen. Women should use a more transparent foundation as it will give them that more lifted and softer skin look. When I first started it was studio fix now its more real, we want girls to look natural but also pumped. I think plastic surgery has changed beauty; women are interested in firming and plumping.Fashion hairstylist Brad Ngata
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I’m big on skin primers it s a new generation technology – don’t excessively powder. I love mineral products too.Do you think you should sleep in makeup?
Girls I know do it. I worked with Pamela Anderson for a few years and I can tell you she never takes her eyeliner off – she likes the left over look. There’s a culture to it – I’m not saying its right but its probably not great for your skin but its make up. There are girls who start their mascara on Monday and finish it on Saturday, without ever taking it off.
What’s your favourite feature of the face to work with?
Cheekbones. I love playing with face shapes and love playing with cheekbones. I think that’s what a makeup artist should do, strengthen the bone structure. I also love eyebrows, but not over plucked or over arched ones. I think women should have that kind of boyish big brow look, with no other makeup.What beauty mistake to people make most often?
Too much foundation is number one. Make up on every single part of the face is too much and a bit dated. It’s about picking one or two elements. Making the face look heavily sun-tanned with makeup never works. Mineralised bronzes and care blend bronze's help you get that Sienna Miller look, that soft sexy honey tone.
Which famous faces have you done?
Pamela Anderson was always fun. Dita von Teese is such a sex kitten. Grace jones is great. Mary J Blige is amazing and I recently worked with Bianca Jagger which was so fun. I have worked with a lot of women over the years that have really influenced me.Favourite designers you have worked with?
Vivienne Westwood was one of my all time favourites as it was part of my upbringing to worship Westwood. Alexander McQueen, working on his shows was like working on a movie.Would you go nude or bright lips this season?
Both. I’m in to women wearing the same make up every day. One day do a red lip but go zero eyes, it looks really chic. The next day do a major black eye and nude lip. The nude should be a little bit peach, a little bit transparent.Would you go for pretty pastel or heavy metal nails?
Both. Do heavy metal nails with a pretty face, it’s a great contrast. Then go for pretty pastels in your outfit and heavy metal make up – it’s all a contradiction.
What make up trends do you think we will see at this weeks RAFW?
A trend for tough make up is back. Make up that has been inspired by grunge, more street wear, rock n roll, bohemian and urban – there is a big trend for women not wanting to look pretty but rather make a statement. Harder and tougher looks made with strong lips deep blood red lipstick is very femme fatal. I think lashes are coming back. There is a big 60s influence too.
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