Christine Bateman…

…is not only a fabulous and innovative make up artist, her life is equally as interesting as her career. She was a prominent part of the Blitz Kids together with Boy George, Steve Strange and many more. Her sister, Nicola Bowery was married to the legendary Leigh Bowery, an artist that influenced fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Christine is Boy George and Julian Clary’s personal make up artist and has worked with him creating legendary looks for established brands such as M.A.C and Christian Dior. Currently she is working with him on The Voice Australia. She has worked in numerous films and commercials, and has an amazing career in fashion, TV and theatre. One of the highlights of her career was designing the looks for the musical Taboo. We were delighted  when Christine gave this interview exclusively to Face4makeup.

How did you become a make up artist?
I was actually an embroiderer at the time when somebody on the dance floor at a club asked me if I could recreate the make up I’d done on myself on dancers in a video shoot. This was back in the 80s when the music video was an upcoming idea. I was very fortunate with my first make up job actually, I didn’t have to seek it out, it came to me just like that! But I did realise that when I went into make up through that introduction – because of lots of other videos that came off after that, I actually wasn’t a trained make up artist at all. And because my name got bandied about I ended up being asked to do something I wasn’t trained to do, and that’s when I realised I had to go and train myself properly if I wanted to stay in the game. I went to the London College of Fashion and I did the two year Higher National Diploma course which of course taught me how to do special effects, how to treat Fashion, Theatre, TV make up and learn the different idioms and how to treat them, and it was the most amazing time of my life and I met amazing friends there. When I came out I had to do what everybody else does and try to find work and create contacts. I think probably for the first year I worked for nothing just to get something on my CV – so that’s how I became a makeup artist.

Tell us about your favourite daily look
My favourite daily look is very simple actually. I think  your face should shine with health. I do like using foundations that have a little bit of natural shine to them and I like using a simple eyeliner and either natural lips with gloss or a nice red lip. I just think that is such a classic look and let’s face it, you can’t beat classics! If you’ve already got that on your face I think you should get hold of some nice black and brown great gels and just simply just smack on a smokey eye, some false eyelashes and then again more gloss, more more more gloss and more more more red lipstick. And also of course if you are going out in the evening once you’ve had your nice dewy look on you in the day then you just need to add a bit of face powder because otherwise you can look a bit sweaty at the nightclub.

What two products you can’t leave the house without?
Eyeliner and mascara. Simple as! (Laughs).

What part of the make up process do you enjoy the most?
The end product is what I enjoy the most. I can be asked to do a lot of things but particularly like the end process when I see the final look I’ve created and I’m happy with it. That is my favourite part, but I do have to say I enjoy the prep before you put the makeup on. I like putting on the different moisturisers, the different eye creams, the different sort of  massage techniques because you just see someone relaxing underneath. Your hands are doing their job and the celebrity has trust in you at that point and you know that then you can do whatever you want with them.

What two products are essential for the make up artist to carry in their kit?
The two products that a make up artist needs to carry with them will be a brow gel and a moisturiser because you can mix both to create anything. You can do a lip, you can do an eye, an eyebrow, you can do eye make up and you are mixing the gel with the moisturiser because the skin will glow, but then you can use the shadows that you need with the brow gel. You can do anything with those two products.

Which is your favourite ‘touch up’ make up product?
Touche Éclat of course, the little gold pen full of magic because it will give you the instant glow, the highlight, and it also mops up any spillages underneath the eyes if somebody is sweaty. It puts an immediate healthy glow on you and you can use it all over the face to retouch whatever you have done. Of course you have to be careful if you are using it for TV because sometimes what’s in this product reacts with light but generally speaking if you know what you are doing that is not a problem.

What make up trends you dislike most?
Some of the trends that I have seen being misappropriately performed on people’s faces, by people that generally don’t know what they are doing is the ‘Kardashian look’. I think Kim is an incredible woman and I think the make up trends that came after her look were interesting because they taught people how to do light and shade and this actually goes back to the Marlene Dietrich ethics and I think that was borrowed very cleverly from her – but I have seen people do that just a bit too much. I don’t like seeing women looking like drag queens walking down the street and that is one of the trends I have disliked because it hasn’t been done properly.

Who is your favourite make up artist?
My favourite all-time make up artist was somebody called Paul Starr. He lived in LA and he did amazing make ups on the some of the biggest celebrities that I have revered in my life. People such as Faye Dunaway, and he did Boy George at the very beginning. He worked with so many famous people and he was absolutely incredible and the way he used creams on the face was like a palette and he was just an absolutely extraordinary make up artist. There is a book about him at the moment. Unfortunately he is not longer with us but he was probably my biggest influence.

What is your favourite type of make up look?
My favourite type of make up look is anybody that challenges, that  takes something out of the box. I think once you have learnt how to do make up properly and have excellent technique then what I like to see make up artists doing, especially when they have the freedom is actually to do something quite crazy, quite amazing and quite imaginative. I love it when I see people taking a chance and being really brave. I love for instance the person that did FKA Twigs’ make up. I think Alex Box Is one of those people as well. I think the make up artists that think and create outside the box are incredible.They become something more than a make up artist, they become painters.They become something else.

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