I was fortunate this month to chat with a makeup artist to the stars Natasha Devadlaka-Price about age-perfecting beauty, careers and her new book, LIPS, launched this month.
You’re a makeup artist – tell us how your career came about and what your highlights have been so far?
I was always obsessed with dressing up, watching films, art, magazines and glamour, but I knew I didn’t what to be in front of the camera. My school career officer suggested being a beautician and I did a beautician course, but really wanted to be much more creative.
My first break came when I met Darren Evans who let me assist him on a Portishead music video - Glory box with hair and makeup. He made the guys into girls and girls into guys and I was blown away by the power of makeup.
It was so exciting for me as I was only 18 at the time and had never been on a professional shoot. I learned a lot from him about makeup and the industry and I’ve never looked back since!
Since then, I love that I meet so many interesting people and places in my job. From a rock star wedding in Nashville Tennessee to backstage at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire or teaching cancer patients how to pencil their eyebrows & put lashes on.
I love the variety; I’ve had my fair share of standing in cold run down locations too. I’ve made people up in luxury penthouses to public loos; it’s all part of the job!
We are all about strong female role models of all ages – do you agree and how do you translate this into your work?
I’m blown away by the strength and beauty in a woman of all ages. and cultures. I’m fascinated by all the different beauty routines women use throughout the world – it’s so important to so many of us as women.
Do you see it changing as you age and how?
I’ve learned so much about makeup and skin care from older women too. Sometimes the old-school techniques are the best and some older women are amazing at doing their makeup.
I try to translate all that knowledge and experience by embracing perceived ‘imperfections’, not masking them with makeup. Sure, we all like to cover our eye bags and put some colour in our cheeks but everyday makeup is about enhancing not masking – especially as we get older.
I bought this into my book by insisting it had little to no retouch; I wanted to keep it as real as possible. I’m aware of this horrible pressure to look & be amazing at everything all the time - an impossible expectation.
If I could pick one thing I was good at all the time it would be inner calm, then the rest usually follow’s. Getting older I really understand the benefits of this. Not over thinking the negative of aging but focusing on all the knowledge and experience I have now.
Your Book, LIPS, was released at Waterstones on May 4th. What were the best and worst bits about writing it?
The best thing about writing & shooting the book was the freedom to pick my own photographers, models, and how the shots looked and using any products I liked – it was such a lovely luxury to have that freedom
The worst was narrowing down what lipsticks and subjects to feature - I love women and creativity to had to be really disciplined with myself!
Can we expect to see another book from you in the future? What would it be about?
If I get the opportunity to write more books I’d love to do Eyes next and then Skin in the same style as Lips. They would make a lovely set of three :)!
Moving on from makeup, you’re from London and often mention places you visit on your (very cool!) Instagram feed, where are your favourite hangouts? Going out, brunch and chilling out?
Favourite hangouts, pretty much always West London. I love my local parks, Kensington Gardens & Holland Park. I’m a walk away from Portobello & Golbourne rd. that’s where I mostly have coffee and street food at the weekend.
You’re also a co-founder of a brand, Unruly Curls. Can you share with us a bit about it? Where did the idea come from?
My husband set up the Unruly studio (hair salon) 12 years ago, near Latimer RD. My husband understands and cuts curly hair so well that he started to get a rep as the go-to stylists for curls.
Five years ago we changed our name to Unruly Curls as most of our clients had curls and realised that worldwide there is a problem with people with curly hair getting bad haircuts – as a result, we’re booked up well in advance! I also do makeup with my team under the name unruly beauty.
What do you have in your makeup bag?
In my own personal makeup bag - Studio10 Age Perfecting Lip Pencil and Perfect Canvas Foundation. Milk Makeup Lip & Cheek (quickie), Hourglass Luminous Light, Bobbi Brown shadow stick (taupe), Masterpiece Mascara from Max Factor, Urban Decay Glide-on Eye Pencil (roach) and my favourite Nars lipstick (Damage), as well as Spectrum, make up brush A01.
What makeup and skincare changes would you recommend helping with the effects of ageing?
To help effects of ageing work from within first then whatever you buy for your skin, makeup etc. will work so much better. Not just health but your mental health too. It’s so true that if you feel good you’re going to look good. A smile lifts your whole face!
When you get older I think you need to spend a little more time on your skincare routine. Don’t cake yourself in makeup but do use colour such as a red lip.
Less is still more but just take your time applying your makeup, blending on older skin needs more attention.
Instaglam or Natural Glam – what’s your vibe?
My vibe is definitely Natural Glam!
Natasha’s book ‘Lips’ is available now, £6.99 from Waterstones