When I was growing up, there was nothing less appealing than the idea of suburbia, being stuck on the fringes, peering in on the action. If you lived in the suburbs of London, your main life goal was to get the hell out as soon as possible. In fact, I grew up in West London, but in a way that had its own feeling of torpid detachment. I was desperate for the seedy exotic bright lights of Soho, at that time the epicenter of creative cool and a glowing beacon of potential. Potential of what exactly, it didn’t matter, just something more exciting than my mundane teen (non)existence. In that sense, you could even say that being a teenager, wherever you live, is like being in an alternative suburbia. So near to where you want to be – independent, in demand – yet so far.
Now, in a funny volte-face, London is turning inside out. The outskirts are becoming desirable destinations with endless construction sites and transport-links-in-progress that represent fresh, gleaming possibility. In turn, the centre of London is emptying of locals, as our beloved pubs, caffs and nightclubs are bulldozed for behemoth Shards and Gherkins. Should we stay or should we go? Or should we simply retreat into the safe suburbia of our nostalgic imaginations…?
New makeup artist discovery: Emma Broom. We worked together on our Follow The Blue Line shoot (above) in November, when she stepped in at short notice on the recommendation of another makeup artist who had to cancel. In the event she was a perfect fit, translating our ‘no makeup makeup with a bit of extra “something”’ brief with this immaculate inky statement eye.
The photos speak for themselves (see them here) but I couldn’t let Emma go without asking some pressing beauty questions…
DISNEYROLLERGIRL: TELL ME ABOUT THE MAKEUP LOOK YOU CREATED ON MADDY (ABOVE)
Emma Broom: I wanted Maddy to have more then just a no makeup makeup, so I chose to emphasise her eyes in a glamorous grunge way. I kept the rest of her minimal.
DRG: HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THAT GORGEOUS SKIN WITHOUT CAKING ON LOADS OF PRODUCT?
EB: I always pay a lot of attention to prepping the skin, using products that hydrate and make the skin radiant. Once the skin is looking great and has a glow you don’t need to use as much make up base. I like skin to look real.
DRG: HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THE EYE LOOK?
EB: I only used 4 products on the eye. I used MAC Feline pencil into top and lower lash line. I really worked the pencil into the lower lash line, so it looked smudged and a bit messy. I then added MAC gel liner in Blacktrack and used it to create a deconstructed liner on the eye lid. I put MAC eyeshadow in Shroom over the ball of the eye and into the tearduct. I finished with lots of mascara.
DRG: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE JOB YOU’VE DONE RECENTLY?
EB: I loved assisting on one of the LOVE advent calendar days.
DRG: WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU CREATIVELY RIGHT NOW?
EB: I recently found inspiration from artist Gerhard Richter. I love his use of colour and I’ve now become obsessed with orange – I want to incorporate this into a beauty story.
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGE: Vanessa Jackman
MAKEUP: Emma Broom
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…