Beauty / IN THE BAG

Victoria Baron on red lipstick, handbag makeup and post-party skincare

If there's anyone to press about party makeup, it's Victoria Baron. The CHANEL makeup artist has painted countless beautiful faces and worked in every cool city. She's well-known for her artful approach to her work: perfect colour palettes, exacting red lips, expertly blended pigment, tactile texture and plenty of shine (but never too much). She's also well-versed in nights out and sleeplessness (hello, fashion week) so knows a thing or two about skin recovery the morning after.

With December on our doorstep, now's the perfect time to trial a dip your toe in the shiny world of party makeup (and if you need the tools to do so, CHANEL just so happened to launch its annual Holiday collection).

You'll find all of Baron's best advice right here.

What is your makeup philosophy?

As I’m getting older, I’m realising l need fewer products in my kit, but more importantly the right ones, curated just for me. I have a small personal kit of everyday makeup that l know works. It’s simple and isn’t trend based. 

I also have a personal kit of “fun” makeup. Products l can use to experiment with and express myself when the time is right. Whether it’s a gold eye pencil or a cheek highlighter, just like a section of your wardrobe – it’s a special bag l go to when l want to feel different and not like l do every day.


How has this changed over the years? 

I definitely put less foundation on my skin and spend more time on my skincare routine. It now seems strange that in my early 20s l would wear a lot more makeup than in my late 30s. 

Makeup trends have moved away from this expectation that everyone needs to look the same. As an artist I'd apply products using a paint-by-numbers type approach. Now, makeup is used as a tool for personal expression and creativity; there’s no right or wrong. Makeup is there to be enjoyed rather than used to hide or alter facial features.


How did you get your start as a makeup artist?

I was always passionate about art and working in a creative field, l just didn’t know where l would land. A friend suggested l would be good at makeup, so l decided to study it with the intention of heading down the film and special effects road. 

After a while l realised l loved the editorial shoots and the interaction with people on set. I loved working in a team and the process of creating concepts with other talented creatives. I found a lot of what l knew about art techniques could be applied in my makeup practice. I assisted for three years for free, was signed with an agency at 23 and never looked back. 

After traveling the world and having many incredible experiences, I'm now really passionate about mentoring up and coming artists, helping them with their own journey into an industry l love.


Was there an early job or campaign you felt shifted your career trajectory? 

Signing a contact with CHANEL in 2014 was a big moment in my life. At that time, Instagram wasn’t anywhere close to what it is now... we had leather portfolios with magazine tear sheets in them. CHANEL requested my portfolio and l was soon signed as Australia’s first Makeup Artist for fragrance and beauty along with 14 other artists worldwide. 

It’s natural as a creative to question your talent or place in an industry, but this moment was one that helped me step into a more confident space. It changed my life forever. 


CHANEL is the dream. What is it you love about the brand? 

The part l love most is I’ve never been asked to 'sell' it. It's a pure, supportive, creative partnership where l use products and colours l genuinely love and connect with. 

Creating editorial and celebrity looks with the colour and makeup collections is always very organic and art driven. I love that the makeup is designed and inspired from stories with historical consideration as well as modern ideas and innovative formulas. The collections always have unique formulas whilst offering those iconic 'never leave your bag' type staples.


Speaking of, what CHANEL products are always in your bag? 

I always have the CHANEL Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint in Medium Light, a red lip (I love CHANEL Rouge Allure Ink in 222 Signature) and the CHANEL Baume Essential in Transparent (l use it on my lips, cheekbones, eyelids, and brows). 


What product do you reach for the most often when working with clients? 

The Baume Essential is a product l use in nearly every day. It's my favourite, l have it in every shade. There’s nothing that compares!


CHANEL just launched its holiday collection — what inspired the lineup? 

CHANEL Holiday is inspired by the roaring 20s, the opulence of the art deco era and the shimmering vibrance of Gabrielle Chanel’s radiant sequin dresses. 


What is, in your opinion, the perfect party makeup look? 

The perfect party makeup look pushes the boundaries of what you would normally wear. It’s a way to express festivity through colour and texture.


What about pre-party rituals — how should we be prepping our face and body for a night out?

Skin preparation is a really important part of any makeup look. A double cleanse, hydrating serum, moisturiser and massage builds the canvas for  a beautiful base. The ritual also affords us a moment for ourselves (a rarity this time of year). For a quick under eye boost before makeup, l like to apply the CHANEL Le Lift Flash Eye Revitaliser for 15 minutes to lift and smooth.


What about the morning after? Is there a way to revive over-tired skin?

After any event, it’s important to remove all your makeup completely. For a heavier makeup, l use an oil cleanser like CHANEL L’Huile and Démaquillant Yeux Intense. l would then re-cleanse with N°1 De CHANEL Powder-to-Foam Cleanser. To bring the skin back to life l love the CHANEL Hydra Beauty Camellia Repair Mask. It's incredibly nourishing! I often sleep in it... I'm not sure if you're meant to but it certainly works wonders for me.


What does your perfect night out involve? 

These days, the perfect night out is an intimate dinner with a small group of friends. Beautiful food and wine, interesting conversation, and lots of laughing. 


Finally, what product from the holiday collection do you love the most? 

Lumière Graphique Exclusive Creation Eyeshadow palette is a luminous multi-use palette designed for the party season. It’s also an essential all-round staple in your makeup collection. With five shades to choose from, you can simply wash one shade over the eyelid or combine them for more depth and shape. The unique embossed pigments were inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s dresses. It's so opulent and very much plays into the process of getting ready to go out.


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Images: @victoriabaron and @chanelbeauty