For their Resort 21 Collection, called ‘Chroma’ in homage to its inspiration rooted in colour theory, Aje joined forces with Minenssey to create the beautiful skin the models showcased in the presentation. It was a fitting partnership between two proudly Australian brands, that both celebrate the fresh, raw beauty our country is synonymous with. I sat down with celebrity makeup artist Filomena Natoli, who masterminded the skincare of the show, to chat the beauty vision for the collection, the art of customising beauty products, and why oils should be your first port of call for radiant skin (even if your skin is on the oilier side).

The Show

Staged in Sydney’s Camperdown Studios, the Chroma presentation sprawls across multiple interactive rooms. In one, local artist Chanel Tobler guides models through an art class in a colourful atelier, with sketches scattered across the walls and floor. In another, the audience is invited to write a message of hope on a glass pane, while beautifully clad models wander throughout the space. The collection is indeed a hopeful one: it’s comprised of pieces playing within a joyously bright palette, all imbued with the brand’s signature mix of femininity and masculinity.

Edwina Forest, co-Creative Director of Aje alongside Adrian Norris, described why the Minenssey x Aje partnership was such a seamless fit: ‘‘The Aje design philosophy embraces artisanal and curated sensibilities. This ethos not only is reflected through that which you wear and how it makes you feel, but also the holistic importance of your inner and outer worlds. As Aje’s official skin care partner for Resort 21, Minenssey harnesses and speaks to the natural world that is abundantly referenced throughout our collection ‘Chroma’.”

The Skin

I ask Filomena what her vision for the models’ complexion is for the Chroma presentation. “I describe it as confident skin,” she says. “It’s the type of girl that really looks after her skin, but doesn’t feel like she needs to wear a full face of makeup.

“She’s healthy and glowing; she’s the quintessential Australian beauty. The look for Chroma is very raw and fresh, so it had to be a happy marriage between skincare and makeup.”

Filomena suggests that her skincare regime on its own is a look in and of itself, one that puts healthy, glowing skin front and centre: “I’ve been on jobs before where I’ll literally only use the Superfood Elixir because we want glassy real skin that shows health,” she shares.

The step-by-step skincare routine

With beautiful skin the focus of the beauty look, I ask Filomena to detail the exact regime she devised to get the models’ complexions ready. “When the girls arrived, they were all cleansed with the Hydrating Cleansing Soufflé,” she begins. “As a makeup artist, you never know what you’re going to get when the girls turn up to set. This cleans the skin beautifully, ready for all the yummy serums that we’re using to achieve that glow.” Once cleansed, the Hydrating Dynamic Facial Essence is pressed into the skin. “This is a little quiet achiever,” Filomena raves. “It really boosts hydration.”

Filomena then shares her personal favourite product of her skincare arsenal: “The real hero is the Rejuvenating Superfood Elixir, a super antioxidant serum,” she says. “It’s got Kakadu plum, which is highly concentrated in vitamin C. This is what gives the models that beautiful glow you saw in the presentation – and you need literally only two drops.

“We then use our Hydrating Complete Eye Cream, and the Lip Spa Regenerating Balm. It’s all about hydration and plumping, and getting that glassy sheen on the cheekbones, so that from whatever angle you’re going to see that healthy glow.”

For a serious dose of hydration, Filomena loves the Nutritious Skin Treatment Mask, packed with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to create radiance and hydration. “This will live in my kit,” she shares. “It’s so potent that even if you can’t leave it on for the full 20 minutes, 10 minutes is sufficient. It’s really saturated in product, so you can take it down the neckline. I used it on the balls of the shoulders of the girls as well.”

Getting the most out of your skincare – and some clever hacks

Filomena explains that all the Minenssey products she uses are suitable for every skin, but you should adjust the application to match your skin’s needs. “You’re able to assess on a skin-by-skin basis,” she says. “Even though the regime is the same, and the end result looks the same, we tailor it to each of the girls.”

There are a few ways Filomena channels this philosophy backstage. “With any of the girls that come in with a blemish, we’ll use a Deep Cleansing Clay Mask as a spot treatment while they’re in hair. That just helps calm any blemishes down and dry them out.

“And if I feel like someone is congested, like that model that’s been to multiple shows back-to-back and hasn’t really kept up with the cleansing, I’d do a Deep Cleansing Clay Mask, followed with our sheet mask.”

There are some select hacks Filomena relies on backstage that can easily be adopted to elevate your makeup at home. “You can turn a matte foundation into a dewier texture by adding a couple of drops of the Flannel Flower Absolute,” she explains. “That changes the consistency and sheers it out, but it also gives you more of a sheen, which will give you the illusion of a very dewy foundation.”

She’s also a fan of using the Lip Spa as a lip lacquer, and even a brow pomade. “I’m convinced that because it’s so natural it’s got to be doing something good for your brows as well!” she laughs.

How to make oils work for you

Oils are at the foundation of the radiant look Filomena has crafted for the show, so I quiz her on how to make it work for daytime wear, or for those with oilier complexions. “It just comes down to dosage,” she replies. “For an oily girl, I’d use just one drop of the Superfood Elixir and really heat it up in my hands, press it into the skin, and wait. When you’re working with this texture in skincare, make sure you’re giving yourself ‘marination time’. If you go straight into it with makeup, you will get slippy.

“If you make the mistake of being overly generous, lay a tissue over your face, allow it to absorb any excess product, and then move forward with your next step.”

Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Photography by Jack Steel

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