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Behind the Scenes With Dick Page, Makeup Artist... and Chef!

Our beauty editor lunch was cooked by Shiseido makeup artist Dick Page himself.

Sometimes this here beauty editor gig ain't too shabby. Not every day is like the Nina Ricci fragrance launch in Paris—#pinchme—but lately, there have been some really cool events right here at home. So I thought I'd share with another behind-the-scenes peek.

Now, normally, I don't bother covering these media things outside of Instagram because do you really want to see the inside of a boring hotel room and a bunch of products that won't be available for another four months? But when you get invites like this in the mail, it's a different story:

I think I got butterflies.

Dick Page, if you're not familiar, is one of the world's top makeup artists—and, I think, probably the most interesting. First of all, he doesn't look anything like what you'd expect (he's rugged and burly) and before he got into makeup, he trained as a painter and once worked in a slaughterhouse (!!). British-born and New York-based, he got his big break doing a 15-year-old Kate Moss' makeup for The Face. But at the time, he really was just playing around. I love this quote: "I never started out with a plan—I just had fun and worked hard along the way, making it up as I went along. I turned out to be pretty good at it and one day it just occurred to me that maybe I could make a living doing it. I can’t believe I got away with it all.”

Do you love that or what?! No wonder he comes across as one of the most unpretentious people I've ever met in this crazy beauty and fashion world. After Kate, Dick worked with Calvin Klein, and was basically the leader of the new, minimalistic, "no-makeup makeup" movement of the early '90s. He went on to act as key makeup artist for a long list of magazines, celebrities, fashion brands and runway shows (to this day he's still a Fashion Week fixture), and in 1997 joined the Shiseido team where he provides artistic direction on their colour cosmetics.

The best thing, though, is that he thinks makeup rules are BS. I find this is a common trait with my very favourite makeup (and hair) people—they're almost always self-taught, so they don't have any preconceived beauty-school notions of what they're "supposed to do." They operate on instinct and it's the best. Dick thinks that above all, makeup should be fun and a form of self-expression... otherwise what is the point? He finds those hyper-groomed New York women the most boring and I agree. So if you feel like rocking something crazy that might not be the most flattering, whatever—Dick gives you his full permission!

And seriously, how freakin' cool is a makeup artist that comes to PERSONALLY COOK for the media? For our beauty editor lunch, he decided on the (all locally-sourced) menu, went to the market himself and then spent all morning in the kitchen:

He even wrote the menus himself!

That says:

  • Roasted garlic infused with bay leaf, birch syrup, focaccia
  • Scallop ceviche, radishes, mint, butter lettuce, watercress seedlings
  • Seared venison, roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes, celeriac purée
  • Asparagus, fennel, thyme jus
  • Poached rhubarb, sugar cookie
  • Canadian cheese, oatcakes, jellied balsam

Not to rub it in or anything, but it was ridiculously delish.

Before we sat down to eat, we milled around the lobby of the Thompson Hotel, where Dick came around to each little conversation circle and personally said hello to all of us.

We were also surrounded by displays of Shiseido makeup. These are the Lacquer Rouges which are crazy-pigmented liquid lipsticks. I only have a red one but now seeing this pink... WANT.

These are the Sheer and Perfect Foundations which I don't think are out just yet:

And the new Perfect Rouge Lipsticks:

Then we were ushered into the private dining room. Beauty editor city here!

The Skincare Edit Recommends

You'll notice me on the far right. Caught checking my phone... and then with my bra strap showing! Oops.

After the decadent lunch, we were sent home with bags that included this note:

It's little touches like these that really make an event over-the-top special. (Also, I really love how he signs his name with that little star on the end. Doesn't it make you happy?)

Along with the note we were gifted a bunch of Dick's "favourite things" (the theme of the event).

On his favourite books: "I'm currently reading The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones and The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín. All-time favourites include poetry by T.S. Eliot and prose by writers including Kazuo Ishiguro, M.F.K. Fisher, James Thurber, Stevie Smith and Oliver Sacks. Recently I've enjoyed Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson."

On his favourite movies: "I love so many movies, but firm favourites include Black Narcissus, Vertigo, Blue Velvet, The Shining, Cabaret. Don't look now—this could be a very long list!"

On coffee or tea: "I like an espresso after dinner sometimes, but rarely drink coffee during the day. However, I go through quite a lot of tea, mostly PG Tips, a British brand that I make quite strong and have with milk and sugar."

On his favourite pen: "Whatever's lying around! I tend to make notes with a Sharpie."

On his favourite skincare product: "Shiseido The Skincare Multi-Energizing Cream is my go-to moisturizer."

On his favourite Shiseido Men product: "I like the Shiseido Men Deep Cleansing Scrub."

On his favourite colour: "Wow. Really tough to answer this one, because colour is important to me in so many different ways. I find myself continually drawn to deep, grey-based shades such as Rose Venetien and certain greens, but really, there isn't just one colour."

On his favourite Shiseido makeup item: "So much to choose from, but I really love the Luminizing Satin Face Colors, particularly the highlighting shades."

On his favourite luxury item: "Good food, including bankruptcy-making visits the farmers market."

I love this guy! Doesn't Dick make you look at Shiseido in a whole new light?

Tell me:

How do you feel about Dick's "there are no rules" beauty philosophy?

Are any of these things your favourites too?

What's your top Shiseido product? (Remember mine are these?)

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