Right said Fred: our meeting with YSL Beaute’s makeup maestro


Words by Beth Forsyth

His brushes have graced the faces of everyone from Cara Delevingne to Emma Watson, so I was chuffed to bits when I was invited for a one-to-one session with Fred Letailleur, YSL’s chief makeup artist for Northern Europe. Over a glass of prosecco at the brand’s counter at Frasers in Glasgow, the rather fabulous Fred talked me through YSL’s new launches, while making me over in the process….
First up: Fusion Foundation, a revolutionary new matte-finish base that can stay put for up to 24 hours – sounds like the ideal wedding-party makeup then…When it comes to foundation, the words ‘long-lasting’ and ‘matte’ often have associations of a heavy, powdery finish. Not so with Fusion. Fred explains that the formulation contains a combination of sensorial oils that not only feel amazing on the skin, but help with glide-on application, before evaporating to leave a picture-perfect complexion behind.
Trying it initially on the back of my hand, it feels more like a silky, skin-pampering serum than a foundation. The bottle – a chic black and gold casing reminiscent of the iconic ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedo – has a unique quill-like dispenser that makes it really easy to dose the right amount of product by directly dotting it onto the skin, or – like pro Fred – onto a foundation brush. “Let’s play,” he says as he starts applying the foundation onto my face. After a few artful sweeps of the brush, I open my eyes and look in the mirror. I’m not usually a fan of matte-finish foundations (I prefer a more ‘dewy’ look), but I am totally sold on this one. Under the light, there is still a hint of luminosity but my complexion is perfectly even and near flawless.


Next, Fred demonstrates YSL’s Fall 2014 look – Black Fetish. Although it sounds like the polar opposite of what most brides would consider wearing on their wedding day, the collection of Couture Palettes that form the heart of the collection have five shades (a base tone, highlighter and three eyeshadow colours) that can be combined to create a natural, understated eye, or all-out smoky rock chick. I opt for somewhere in-between, with Fred applying a gorgeous deep teal to my eyes. I fall in love with the Baby Doll eyeliner that Fred uses next as soon as I spy the bottle. It’s a molten denim blue hue that Fred strokes on. Insider tip from Fred: don’t try and apply liquid eyeliner in one, long sweep. Use shorter strokes instead and you’ll be onto a winner every time.
The Ultra Black Baby Doll Mascara Fred uses to finish my eyes transforms my lashes from feeble blond spindles into utterly fluttery frames and completes the look perfectly.
As the night wears on, my skin still looks fresh, thanks to the magic molecules in the foundation that manage to mattify and hydrate simultaneously. Come bedtime, I am seriously tempted to keep my make-up on and road-test its 24-hour staying power for myself, but in the end, my sensible side kicks in and the cleanser goes on.
Fusion Foundation, £30.50, on counter from 20th August. Black Fetish collection, on counter from 30th July, prices from £18.50 to £42.