Meet The Makeup Artist
We chat to makeup artist Martina Lattanzi who has worked with jewellery designer Rosh Mahtani for five years, about the skincare prep and beauty look for the latest Alighieri collection.
What inspired you to go into make-up artistry and how long have you worked in the industry?
I discovered my passion for make-up after reading Charles Baudelaire’s book ‘Ecrits Sur l’Art’ during my degree in literature and art at Sapienza University in Rome. After my studies, in 2012, I moved to London, now my base and home. London gave me the opportunity to meet and to collaborate with many inspiring people: an international place of different cultures and styles. In 2015 I started my career in make-up artistry. Make-up for me is not just creating a look, it represents the opportunity to explore something more, it’s the vision that comes through research, personal experience, collaboration and teamwork.
What are the differences or pressures working on a live show such as this Alighieri event at the Fitzrovia Chapel compared to studio work?
The most fascinating part of a show for me is all the creative work behind the catwalk, it’s an exciting process where all the people backstage work together to deliver something unique. Many months of work are condensed and delivered in just a few minutes on the catwalk. I usually meet with the designer weeks in advance to construct and deconstruct the main beauty concept. We go through references, textures, colours, inspirations, to create the final beauty look. This is very different from what happens in the studio. In the studio, you work individually, but in a show, the final work is made by a team, everyone working together. That’s why in the end the result is so special.
Rosh and I met 5 years ago whilst working on her first lookbook. Since then Alighieri’s creative team has remained the same. Rosh took us with her on this journey, friendships grew travelling around the world together, collaborating and creating the magical imagery of the brand.
How would you describe the look you are creating for the Alighieri show, how will the makeup look compliment the jewellery pieces?
When Rosh phoned me saying that she was planning the first Alighieri show what suddenly came to my mind was to create an individual beauty look for each girl, mixing the brand vision with their unique personality. For almost each collection Alighieri’s beauty look is always focused on natural beauty. Fresh and flawless skin, minimal makeup with attention to detail, for a naturally radiant beauty that shines along with the jewellery.
Why did you choose the Weleda range for this show?
Skincare for me is the foundation of every beauty look I create. It’s not possible to work on a look without good skin prep. Weleda is always my first skincare choice and I couldn’t imagine doing this show without my favourite products. What I really love about Weleda is the quality, the ingredients and their sustainable approach. Since I started collaborating with Weleda, I have had the opportunity to visit their gardens in Derbyshire and attend their signature massage course. It was a unique experience to discover more about the brand, how they make their organic products, their individual features and benefits.
Do you have any Weleda staples in your kit permanently?
The absolute must-haves in my kit are Weleda Skin Food, Almond Soothing Facial Oil, One Step Cleanser & Toner, White Mallow Body Lotion & Almond Soothing Facial Cream.
Which Weleda products will you be using to achieve the look and how will you be using them?
To create the Alighieri look I chose a range of products that work very well on all skin types, considering the different models cast for the show. The step-by-step of my Alighieri beauty look begins with the One-Step Cleanser & Toner, I usually use two big cotton pads to cleanse and to remove any impurities on the skin. After cleansing, I often apply toner and this is a great 2-in-1 product so it really helps to save time when it’s frenetic backstage. Then I use the Almond Facial Oil to remove any eye make-up, and I combine a few drops with the Almond Facial Lotion, just to give extra moisture and sheen to the skin. I then use the Skin Food Lip Balm and I add a touch of Skin Food Original to highlight cheekbones and eyelids, and I sweep a bit of product onto the brows for extra definition and to tidy them up. The second part of the beauty look is focused on the exposed areas of skin on the body, so I mix few drops of Wild Rose Body Oil to the rose Body Lotion for a beautiful finish on the skin.
What is your ethos about beauty and makeup?
In recent years my approach to beauty has changed. Organic, sustainable, cruelty-free formulations and natural fragrances are the foundation of my skincare kit. Makeup artists work on skin, which is one of the biggest organs of the body, and it’s necessary to work in an ethical way to respect someone else’s beauty. It’s a commitment that involves both human beings and the environment – people and the planet.
Do you have any personal Weleda favourites for your own skincare?
My own skincare routine starts with massaging my face with the Weleda Gentle Cleansing Foam, which is a really gentle product for sensitive skin. I then apply the Refining Toner, which works really well on combination skin types. To remove any eye makeup I use the Almond Soothing Facial Oil and I then mix a few drops of it with the Almond Facial Lotion to moisturise. To finish I apply a little Skin Food Lip Balm.
Three times per week I do a facial mask with the Skin Food original - I leave it to absorb overnight.
Products Martina has in her kit for the show:
Wild Rose Pampering Body Lotion 200ml
Item No. 106005
One Step Cleanser Toner 100ml
Item No. 102010
Almond Soothing Facial Lotion 30ml
Item No. 102202
Almond Soothing Facial Oil 50ml
Item No. 102205
Skin Food 75ml
Item No. 106057
Skin Food Lip Balm 8ml
Item No. 106060
Wild Rose Body Oil 100ml
Item No. 106120
Meet the designer
We chat with jewellery designer Rosh Mahtani about her work
Firstly can you tell us where the brand name, Alighieri, comes from and when did you launch it? Has it been a long haul or a whirlwind success?
I read French and Italian at university and became fascinated with Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy’. I felt very connected to his story, as it was about a man, lost in the dark wood. I was going through a rough time in my life, and his poem was almost like a comfort blanket for me. That’s when I decided that I wanted to make one piece for each of his poems: thus, Alighieri Jewellery was born. It definitely wasn’t a whirlwind success! The first 3 years were incredibly challenging, I was working 3 different jobs and creating Alighieri by night.
What is your background, and what have been your early influences?
I grew up in Zambia, where there wasn’t much to do; you really had to make your own fun. I would collect shells and pebbles, make paint out of leaves – I was always really inspired by nature, and the idea of collecting treasures from the ground.
What is the inspiration behind this latest collection? Do you have favourite materials to work with? What is your design process?
This collection explores the idea of ‘home’; I grew up in a few countries, and always felt like I never quite belonged anywhere. I wanted to examine the idea of what home really means, in this collection. This is why we went back to Zambia to shoot in the country that was my first home. I make all the pieces in wax, which are then cast in bronze. I absolutely love working with the wax, it’s so malleable and it feels almost like a ritual. I never trained as a designer, so I always feel quite free when I make things, I don’t really have any rules. My process always involves music, a spontaneous adventure, and photography. These elements really feed into any collection I am making.
Who is the Alighieri woman? Do you have any particular high profile clients?
What I love about Alighieri is that women in their 60s relate to it, in the same way that a 16 year old does. The pieces are all about reflecting on your past adventures, and looking forward to the next ones on the horizon. We’ve been lucky enough to have a variety of really supportive clients, from Dante-fan Isabella Rossellini to actress Elizabeth Moss.
When you are designing, sourcing and producing your jewellery, how important is sustainability and is there any aspect in particular that matters to you?
Sustainability is incredibly important to me; all our pieces are handmade, in London, two streets away from our studio, using recycled bronze. I don’t believe in creating fashion that is disposable; our pieces are modern heirlooms that you will wear forever, and build upon as you grow. This is a key aspect of Alighieri: timeless classic treasures through which you can tell your own story.
Weleda is very excited to be supporting your show this September, with Weleda skincare being used to prep models backstage. What do you value about the Weleda ethos that compliments the Alighieri brand?
We are so very excited to have the support of Weleda for our first show. Ever since my dear friend, Martina Lattanzi, introduced me to the products (from our very first shoot 5 years ago), I became bewitched by the ethos of the brand: from the natural, sustainable elements, to its timeless and universal approach.
For me, jewellery is handed down, from a mother to a daughter, in the same way as the ritual of skincare. It’s a universal ceremony that brings people together, across all different ages, cultures and countries. I love the way in which Alighieri and Weleda have this in common.
Do you have a favourite Weleda product, and why?
My absolute favourite is the Wild Rose Smoothing Day Cream. I don’t really wear much makeup so skincare, for me, is really important. I use this cream every morning, as a base. It feels incredibly wholesome and the scent is a magical way to start the day. It also gives me a bit of reflective dewiness, which I really like.