Color and trend expert, Nonie Creme, has been a backstage fixture her entire career. She cut her teeth as a session manicurist in London, forging relationships over the years with the world’s top fashion designers, photographers, makeup, hair and nail artists. As the Founding Creative Director of Butter London, Nonie was at the helm of product formulation, design and brand development with imaginative techniques, bold graphics and the audacious cheeky humor that made the Butter London range a modern cult classic. Her work in product design and development, color and branding have helped shape the now explosive nail industry, and have made Nonie one-to-watch for seasonal nail and color trends. Here, she shares her start in the beauty biz and the trends she’s seeing for fall.
I was a troubled kid. I was smart, but I had a chip on my shoulder, and struggled with authority. When I ran away to London in 1994, my parents had enough and cut me off. Talk about tough love.
After a few months, it turned out that my 19-year-old British boyfriend was not going to be a rich and famous rock star. (I know, shocker.) I needed a job, and fast. I had an art degree from a great college…but no one wanted to hire a bratty American kid in Doc Martens. I was alone and scared, and that “shoulder chip” disappeared as I watched my last few pennies drain away.
I have to admit, I’d always really enjoyed painting nails, and it seemed like a fun and easy way to make money, so I went to night school and got certified. Finally, my art education really came into play. I had a natural affinity for color, and could hand-mix nail lacquer shades just by looking at a piece of fabric, a shoe, anything really. People in the fashion and beauty industry loved my “bespoke” nail lacquers, and I started to get calls from top fashion designers asking me to design nail looks for their runway shows and ad campaigns. Editors invited me to weigh in on what I saw happening in beauty and color, and I became a regular expert on the magazine circuit. I used those years to focus on truly understanding the intersection of fashion and beauty, and how color could be used to marry the two. It’s knowledge I used to create the Butter London product range, and now as Founding Creative Director of my next company, Nonie Creme – Colour Prevails, I get the opportunity to use my trend forecasting skills to create new products and colors each season.
So, let’s dive into that!
Fall 2014 is all about the new nude. But before you panic this doesn’t mean you will be wandering around wearing nothing but moisturizer and Chapstick. It’s more about blending and fading certain features, while subtly enhancing others. Features are stained and blurred around the edges, softened and enlarged.
Skin is about invisibility this season. You want it to just…disappear. Using a concealer that truly matches your skin tone, dot and blend in any blemishes, unevenness, dark spots, etc. Then cover everything in sheer matte foundation. Skin should not be a “thing.” There was almost no blush on the runways, but if you feel totally terrified by the concept, run a light bronzer over your whole face with a big, soft brush. No contouring, cheaters!
Next, you’ll want to choose a feature to play with. Eyes? Lips? Brows? Pick just ONE, and go subtle on everything else. For example, if you’re going for a lip, you might want to use a soft pink pearl on your eye lids, a tiny touch of mascara, and a little black eye liner only on your inner waterline, then go for a big, stained berry or wine lip that comes right out to the edge of the lips. Apply lip stain more heavily right in the center of your lips, creating a lust-worthy pout.
Brows are huge in every sense of the word. Let’s blame Cara Delevingne. Personally, I am cursed with patchy brows from my over-plucking punk days, but a little brown pencil, and I’m back in the brow game. Pencil in your brows one shade lighter than you think – strong brows mean Brooke Shields, not Frida Kahlo….Use a clear brow gel to rough up brows and make them “messy.”
Eyes this season are easier than ever to do well. Soft metallics are the order of the day, and although we are talking fall, there is a strong trend for pastels. Try a wash of metallic shadow or powder over your entire eyelid, and around your under-eye as well, then go back in with a good, smudgy black liner and heavily line your upper and inner waterlines. Next, gently rub your eyes, (like you’re tired), and behold your new “I woke up like this” sexy eye. Add a heavy dose of black mascara on upper lashes only.
Whatever you wear this fall, make it feel like you. Add your twist or favorite technique to the mix. Make up should enhance your beauty, not hide your lovely face!
XOXO Nonie Creme
Nonie Creme’s Expert Column appears in the fall issue of Beauty Within, Walgreens in-store beauty and lifestyle magazine, available in Walgreens stores beginning Oct. 20. To access content, please click here.