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Artist In Residency: Harold James’ Secret to a Parisian Red Lip
WELCOME TO ARTIST IN RESIDENCY, OUR SERIES THAT BRINGS THE INDUSTRY'S MOST INNOVATIVE MAKEUP ARTISTS TO ROSE INC. FOR A MONTH OF CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION. EACH WEEK, YOU'LL DISCOVER AN ORIGINAL LOOK—AND THE STORY BEHIND IT—CREATED BY AN ARTIST WE LOVE.

Harold James was working in finance in Paris 10 years ago when his life changed forever. A good friend, who was an American makeup artist, had double booked clients and phoned James for a quick favor. “He asked me if I could take care of one of the clients and I thought, ‘he's crazy’ because I had never done makeup, I had just observed him doing makeup,” James recalls. “Just imagine a guy working in a bank, doing makeup.” Still, he didn’t hesitate to show up for a friend in need.

Shortly after James arrived, his friend whisked one client into another room and left James with the other. “I was super scared, of course, because it's my first time and I was sweating,” he says, noting that he’d always loved watching his friend work from afar, so he knew his way around the nearby makeup kit. “She wanted a smoky eye...so I did a smoky eye.” A little while later his friend returned to realize what had been lost in translation: James was meant to bring her tea and keep her company, not start her makeup, but it yielded an unexpected end: “The client was happy with the result!” James says. After a laugh over the miscommunication, a new reality came into focus: James had an exceptional amount of natural talent and his days at the bank were undeniably numbered.

 

HIS RESIDENCY INSPIRATION:

For James, pairing a red lip with a white T-shirt and jeans is even more beautiful than a formal outfit. “It's something Parisians love to do,” he says about the high/low combination, but adds that his version packs a little moreje ne sais quoithan a single shade of crimson. “I mixed red and pink just on her upper lip,” he adds. “It's something very subtle, not too much…” Alongside fluttery lashes, it’s a chic look that can be worn anytime, anywhere — whether one finds themself in the City of Lights or not.

BEHIND THIS LOOK:

James first added a boost of hydration to Kunakey’s complexion using 111SKIN Repair Serumand Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème, then lightly contoured her face with two shades of Chantecaille Future Skin Cushion Skincare Foundation. To keep the look light and fresh, he groomed her brows with Benefit Cosmetics Volumizing Eyebrow Gelthen prepped the model’s pout by applying a thick layer of balm.Pro tip: Lightly exfoliate lips with a soft, damp towel, then allow the balm to soak in while working on the eyes.

Tina Kunakey photographed by Morgane Lay & Jonny Cochrane. Makeup and hair by Harold James. Written by Lexy Lebsack. Retouched by @retouch_club.

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