Tried And Tested: Westman Atelier

Given the chance, I would stay at home watching Saturday Night Live -reruns with Melissa McCarthy being Sean Spicer and not leave the apartment until about March-April, but alas, this is not the case and consequently makeup and proper clothing need to be applied at regular intervals.

Today’s focus shall be on my recently acquired products from the Westman Atelier –makeup line. Gucci Westman is the makeup artist best known for her impossibly high-octane clientele, including Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, Elle Macpherson, Reese Witherspoon etc (including her own cameo in the Sex and the City – movie).

The Westman-look is all about a perfect, photogenic skin, for which her supersonic clients are famous for. Westman Atelier launched earlier this year with a small line of foundations, highlighters and blushers, and a mascara was recently added to the ever-growing line.

Westman initially wanted to create an all natural makeup line, but was not satisfied with the natural alternatives to certain high-performing synthetics, thus the product line now boasts about being clean, made of 96% natural formulation and, um, consciously crafted. In a clean-obsessed world of beauty there’s nothing that particularly jumps out, and I am particularly happy to learn that Westman and her team have been conscious throughout the product development process. My New Year’s resolution this year namely was to forgo products that have been crafted unconsciously.

The Vital Skin Foundation Stick has excellent quality. It builds up well, blends well and gives a decent coverage that moves with the skin. It is best applied with a brush, though it does melt nicely enough on skin also if blended with fingers. It covers any redness really well – Westman herself is a rosacea sufferer. She offers excellent makeup base video tutorials on her website, by the way, worth having a look even if only to see her do Gwyneth Paltrow’s makeup for a recent premier.

I wrote about the Lit Up Highlight Stick earlier. I like it a lot, but only ever get around using it if I am really doing a face. It’s a non-glittery balm that gives a nice, iridescent glow if applied well (I much appreciated Westman’s advise on where exactly to put this product so as to avoid prancing around looking like a sweaty Tin Man). This is not exactly a product anyone really needs, especially on a daily basis, but as far as contouring/highlighting products go, this is a very safe bet.

Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer quickly became a favourite. I have been extremely attached to my Hourglass- palettes for a couple of years already, so switching to something that has none of the sparkly, shimmery, marbled opulence was going to be daunting. Dear reader, I survived and lived to tell about the experience.

The bronzer only comes in one colour, Coup de Soleil, which as a concept already gave me the creeps (us albinos know nothing worse than a “universally flattering shade” that has been consciously crafted for the olive-skinned only), and again it’s all about how to apply it. Horizontally, baby, horizontally. Never below cheekbones. The result is super natural, dare I say healthy, without any of the late -90s matte bronzer vibe.

For the sake of transparency I shall also inform you that I was sold the line’s Eye Love You Mascara (sold, as in it was an unconscious, passive purchase on my part). It is the most expensive tube of mascara I have ever held in my hands, and there have been many. According to the latest Vogue, Chanel mascaras retail for about third of the price of the Eye Love.

It is a golden 8.5ml tube (regular mascara is usually around 6-6.5ml so this one’s a bit bigger to partly justify the breathtaking price) of black goo with small fibery bits in it to lengthen and fatten the lashes. It contains ingredients such as galactoarabinan that you apparently milk from a larch tree while little cashmere bambis look on, on a galaxy far, far away. Eye Love You does the job, but performance-wise there’s absolutely nothing to justify its insane price (it retails for over USD60 plus tax).

Another quick remark about the Westman Atelier -line. It is a niche line intended for customers who want luxurious products of professional quality. The packaging is bloody sublime – I could spend time just locking-unlocking the tubes as the click alone is extremely gratifying. The aesthetics have been carefully thought out.

Except. There’s no need to have a separate tiny, gold-embossed linen pouch for a mascara. There’s not. If there’s one item of makeup most people put on daily, it’s mascara. It does not need to be preserved in an étui of its own. I find this irritatingly gimmicky.

Same thing with the small pleather (Is it plastic? Is it leather? Who can tell?) pink pouch that comes with the bronzer. True, one might want to transport the lovely golden case around for touch-ups and keeping it snug in a tailor-made pouch does prevent the case from getting scratched. But still. Not extremely environmentally conscious if you ask me. Also, the lovely, sturdy, glamorous packaging is not (as of now) refillable, which is a shame.

Westman Atelier is available at least at Net A Porter in Europe. The brand website is frequently updated, full of quality videos showcasing state-of-the-art makeup application and Westman’s musings about her green juices and detoxes (Her October obsessions include Céline oversized blazer, detox vacation at Canyon Ranch and Cire Trudon candles in Manon. You’re welcome.)

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