It’s a rarity and a dream when you get to come face–to–face with a legendary makeup artist like Gucci Westman.
She’s one of the originals, a supermodel of the makeup world if you will, and has not only been the artist behind countless runway shows from over the years, but also some of the most admired red carpet beauty moments to date. Counting Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore as clients—and friends—Gucci also did Gwyneth Paltrow’s wedding makeup.
Equally as important, she was also the creative force behind a number of global beauty brands, holding titles as Global Artistic Director of Revlon and also at Lancôme Paris, where she was responsible for product development and innovation, before branching out to launch her own line, Westman Atelier, globally last month.
It’s 1.30pm, and Gucci is in Sydney for a number of press events for the launch of her much–awaited eponymous collection, Westman Atelier, which is now available at Mecca Cosmetica. It’s her first visit to Australia in a long time—she last made the trip for a press tour for the premiere of Charlie’s Angels. Stepping inside the A1 Canteen in Sydney’s Chippendale to meet team Gritty Pretty for lunch, she is the epitome of understated chic, clad in denim jeans, Gucci loafers, a beautifully cut navy Saint Laurent blazer paired with chunky gold jewellery. She oozes the sort of sophistication that you would expect from someone who has spent the better part of two decades in the beauty and fashion industry.
When I interview makeup artists who have created their own product range, it’s my first instinct to look at their makeup to see if they are actually wearing their own products—sounds obvious, but trust me, you’d be surprised. I’m pleased to report that Gucci was all about that Westman Atelier glow. After all, she is known for skin, making her a walking, talking advertisement for her brand—her skin was fresh and glowing, with a subtle hint of colour on the cheeks and naturally groomed brows.
We started our conversation around why she launched Westman Atelier—as one of the most revered makeup artists in the world and with unlimited access to every beauty product known to man, she explains that she started the range because she wanted a line that was incredible (of course), efficacious (obviously), but that was also suitable to use for an array of skin concerns. Describing it as both a blessing and a curse that she has tried so many products—it has made her so particular about the ingredients in her own range—as a rosacea sufferer, Gucci wanted to create clean products that would soothe skin, rather than adding anything that could potentially irritate it. Nourishing and protective ingredients like coconut, jojoba and camellia seed oils take centre stage, and the entire range is free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oils and more. The foundation is also free of silicone, because Gucci didn’t want it to feel at all heavy.
Designed to be a tight edit of products that women would actually use, the formulas—bar the Super Loaded Tinted Highlighter and Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer—are in stick formula because that’s how Gucci was first taught to do makeup. Interestingly, Gucci tells me that women should always have a combination of two to three shades of foundation on rotation; not only because our skin tone can change throughout the seasons, but also because it means that you can use a light shade through the centre of the face and deeper on the contours to bring light, depth and dimension to the skin. True to her word, the texture of Vital Skin Foundation is creamy—it literally melts into your complexion, giving you that second-skin finish that she promised it would. The Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks are equally as divine, and not just because of the pretty flush of colour it brings to your makeup. Each shade is named after people in Gucci’s life that mean something to her—for example Petal, a deep rosy pink and my new go-to, and was named after Gucci’s youngest daughter. And it would be remiss of me to leave out the Lit Up Highlight Stick. With a balm-like texture, it leaves you literally luminous but not in a disco ball way, and is enriched with hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated.
This thoughtful curation of products, while incredibly luxurious, are results-driven and create that effortless, envy-inducing glow that we’re all forever aspiring to, proving that clean beauty doesn’t have to mean compromising on high-end quality.
Tell us, have you tried Westman Atelier? Which products are on your shopping list?