"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

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· Beauty Notebook: Julie Hewett

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Beauty Notebook: Julie Hewett
by Dorothy

Julie Hewett is a Hollywood makeup artist, best remembered, in my mind, for doing the gorgeous makeup in 2001's Pearl Harbor and setting off waves of envy in every makeup junkie who spotted Kate Beckinsale's lipstick. Hewett's makeup line is arguably best known for its lip products: the Noir line is well known among red lipstick fans, the Icon of Beauty lipsticks are named after individual Hollywood actresses, and the Camellia lip balm gets frequent mentions in magazines.

Up until doing this Beauty Notebook, I had only tried Julie Hewett's full-pigment Noir lipsticks, which are so superb that I was eager to explore more offerings from the brand.

(For a larger version of the above image, click here.

Julie Hewett's Noir lipsticks and Camellia Balm are probably the best known of their products. The Camellia balm deserves all the accolades it gets: it has little scent or taste, is light and comfortable on the lips, but is significantly more emollient than similarly textured balms like Nivea's. Since I have the balm in lipstick-tube form, I tested it only as a lip balm, but it is also available in a pot for use on face, hands, etc.

I tend to shy away from pink makeup, but though the cream colours in Julie Hewett's Poppy palette (Jami, a rose-toned cream blush/lip gloss, and Mimi, a shimmery sugarplum/lavender gloss) are on the cool side for me, I love the powder shadow/blush shades: Flora is a soft, slightly shimmery, lavender-inflected pink that works surprisingly well with green eyes, and Clementine a bright matte peach that is a near-perfect dupe for Stila Blush.* Both are smooth and well pigmented. Above, Flora and Clementine on lids, Clementine on cheeks, Jami and Mimi on lips. There's little drama here, but it's a pretty look, and well worth trying if you're pale with fairly neutral colouring; I could have punched it up with eyeliner, but I enjoyed the delicacy of mascara alone.

Below, a more colourful look: Flora and Emmy shadows on lids, Fig eye pencil to line, Clementine on cheeks, Gem Noir lipstick and liner.

Julie Hewett has recently released eyeshadow singles, which can be purchased individually or loaded into a custom palette. The shades, alas, are only visible on the order page, and then only in rather tiny computer-generated swatches without accompanying descriptions. The shades included in the Poppy palette are of very high quality, and the prices are quite reasonable ($10 per shadow or $48 for a palette containing four), but for customers without a Julie Hewett counter nearby, online swatches and descriptions are the only way to figure out what a shadow looks like, and these aren't that helpful.

The Emmy shadow is an object lesson in choosing the right tools. A true, matte kelly green, it appealed to me immediately, but alas, its pigmentation and staying power are not the best, which is surprising given the excellent consistency of Flora. It requires primer (I used Urban Decay Primer Potion) and a small, dense eyeshadow brush. With these accessories, it went on and blended well; this is not the shadow you should choose for full-on Hedwig and the Angry Inch pride parade makeup, but that doesn't appear to be Julie Hewett's aesthetic, anyway.

I expected Fig eye pencil to be dark green; it's more of a teal-inflected charcoal. It applies smoothly, smudges easily but not too easily, and makes a good anchor for shadow; alas, the staying power is only average.

As I mentioned, it was Julie Hewett's full-pigment, semi-matte Noir lipsticks that first drew me to the brand. These are exceptional lipsticks, in every way: creamy, highly pigmented, not prone to bleeding, with colours that stay remarkably true on lips (at least on mine, and I can turn almost anything fuchsia), pretty, retro-chic packaging, and no discernible scent. In particular, Coco Noir, a deep, dramatic brick red, is widely loved and flattering to many skintones (see The Non-Blonde's review for more details). Gem Noir is the first sheer Noir lipstick I've tried, and being sheer, it does not have the intensely creamy texture of the semi-mattes. Instead, it feels light and balmlike. The colour is described on the Julie Hewett website as "rosy cheeks in the snow", which, despite being a bit fanciful, is accurate. It is a sheer rose-red, slightly warm, a flush of colour rather than a Proper Lipstick. It is simply pretty. It should be noted that the matching liner (which, like the eye pencil, is smooth and of high quality) does not, in fact, match, but is a muted pink/red/brown in the same colour family as MAC Spice. The combination of lipstick and liner is consequently warmer-toned than the lipstick alone.

*Yes, Stila makes a blush in a shade called Blush. Oy.

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6/25/2009 [3]

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