Interview: St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Michael Brown
Want to get inside the head of someone who knows how to nail the perfect luminous tan? Celebrity makeup artist and St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Michael Brown is your man. We took five with the talented MUA to chat working with Gisele Bundchen, how to avoid that streaky tan and his life before beauty. Plus want to win 1 of 50 festive season survival packs including St. Tropez's coveted Express Mousse? Head here.
BNKR: How did you become involved with the St. Tropez team? Michael: I have used the products for a number of years and the team kept my makeup kit stocked up when working on my celeb clients. I first became a Skin Finishing Expert for St.Tropez in 2014, backstage at MBFWA, and from there the relationship grew to what it is now.
Run us through a typical day with you. No two days are the same for me as my work covers all areas of beauty. From TV appearances, working behind the scenes as a makeup artist at a shoot or red carpet events, to being filmed for tutorial videos, conducting makeup masterclasses, writing beauty articles, attending beauty events and of course giving a fab spray tan. My hours are different each day and I just go with it, so it’s very hard to have a ‘typical’ day.
You’ve worked with a number of influential celebrities – Jesinta Campbell, Jodi Gordan, Nikki Phillips – is there a dream face you’d love to work on? Each face is different and I love all the faces I have worked on for different reasons. I think right now, I would love to work with Gigi Hadid, I just love her look and think I would enjoy working with her face structure.
You’ve also been involved with a number of designers – what has been your favourite look to create for the runway? I have created many looks for fashion weeks over the years - from super nude to dramatic - but my favourite look was from an Ellery show a few years ago. It was this super bright orange inner corner pop with a winged out smokey eye – the contrast was just heaven.
Career highlight to date? My career highlight is definitely working with Gisele Bundchen in Melbourne, back in 2007. It was such a fun afternoon, a true glamazon and such a lovely woman. I was nervous at the time, but then she said she loved cheeseburgers, so we bonded.
Favourite product in the St. Tropez range? I have so many, some more in worklife and some in my personal. If we are talking personal life it is a gradual tan so the new Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion is fantastic. I like hints of colour, rather than a complete skin change.
What’s the most common tanning mistake you see? I see so many women not thinking about tan like they would a foundation. They must prep and prime the skin for smooth, even and longer lasting results! It’s all about moisture in your skin for an even tan. I love the St.Tropez Tan Enhancing Moisturiser.
Any easy tips + tricks you can give us to achieve the perfect tan? Always moisturise the body to build up hydration in the days prior to tan application. It is also essential to exfoliate and complete all hair removal the day before you apply self tan. I love exfoliating with the St.Tropez Tan Enhancing Polish.
On the day of application, only moisturise the rough or dry areas of skin such as hands, feet, elbows and knees. When applying, start from the feet upwards to avoid creasing. Following application, moisturise constantly to increase the life of your tan.
Tanning can sometimes equal dry skin – how can we balance this with the perfect glow? Every tan once applied should have a daily top up of moisturiser. Sufficient hydration prevents uneven fading. Gradual tans are great for a boost too, as they provide slight colour, along with moisture to boost your tan. I love the St.Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Lotion.
What’s your #1 beauty trend for this summer? Bronzed beauty with a pop lip will be a huge trend for summer! This doesn't mean the lip needs to be bright, but a contrast is great. Start by bronzing your cheeks and eyes. Then for a playful contrast, stain your lip with your favourite shade - I like to use my fingertip and dab on the colour.
And which trend can’t you stand? I’m over contouring - don't get me wrong, I’m the king of contour, but I think when women see the artistic side to contouring on social media, they forget that's not real life. Reality is huge in makeup, so tone it down.
If you weren’t working in beauty, what would you be doing? I grew up as a dancer, so that is what I would probably be doing as it was my passion for many years.
How do we achieve that luminous face St. Tropez is famous for? The ‘Skin Finishing’ technique involves taking a makeup approach to tanning. To achieve this look it is crucial to moisturise and prep correctly. Next, apply the beautiful new St.Tropez Luxe Facial Oil to give skin a fresh glow, while simultaneously leaving skin hydrated and plump. This product is ideal because it is weightless, non-clogging and fast absorbing, giving the best colour upgrade to any face. So, so fresh!
Who do you look up to in the industry? There are a lot of international artists that I look up too, all for different reasons. One person is Charlotte Tilbury, I love her work, personality and her amazing makeup products.
How do you chill out? I very rarely chill out. The gym is my chill out time as I get to switch off, but I love a glass of wine with a mate watching a movie too. Or anywhere near water, like my hometown of Fremantle in Perth.
Words: Lucy Ahern