Madonna's Makeup Artist Tells All

Remember sitting at your mother’s vanity when you were little and playing with all of her pretty potions and beautifully arranged cosmetics? Yeah, neither do I. My mom always had a drawer full of half-used eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks thrown haphazardly together. And I haven’t done much better, as most of my good makeup is tossed inside a big case that spills across the bathroom counter.

The new fall collection from shu uemura is enough to make me want to change my messy ways, though. The pieces are like miniature works of Japanese art, encased in clear plastic, with ultra-mod packaging that acts as a frame to the delicate designs embossed on the makeup’s surface. This fall, fashion is getting back to classic pieces that work great together -- gray tweed wide-legged pants, a black pencil skirt, maybe a cream cashmere sweater or a dusty rose silk shirt -- and this makeup line is the perfect accompaniment. The Komon Collection, named for traditional Japanese textile patterns, features navy and plum eye shadows and metallic eyeliners, along with sheer nude lip colors.

If applying all of this dark eye makeup seems daunting, then head over to Colorado’s first stand-alone shu uemura store located inside Neiman Marcus in Cherry Creek to get first-hand advice and makeup applications from Gina Brooke, shu uemura artistic director and makeup artist to the stars. Brooke will be at the store from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, September 8, and word is that along with doling out personalized beauty tips and Hollywood trade secrets, she’ll also be dishing out details on what it’s like to be Madonna’s makeup artist.

The new store will feature a Tokyo Eyelash Bar, set to include the first ever expert eyelash application service. If you buy a pair of eyelashes, the store’s makeup artists will apply them at the time of purchase. You can even bring them back to the bar every time you want to reapply, and the reps will help you out, gratis. False eyelashes are a growing trend, and the fall eyelash collection includes everything from the pretty and relatively understated Soft Cross black lashes and violet-and-navy Twill lashes, to the over-the-top, rave-all-night limited edition Lucent Sky, Velvet Feather and Reflective Lower eyelashes. While these falsies may not be for everyone, it’s bound to make anyone who enjoys getting a little dramatic her makeup take a second look. To check out the multitudinous eyelash options, visit the company’s website at -- Aubrey Shoe

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Sean Cronin