May 25, 2012

The Beauty Cabinet: Miriam Clancy

Miriam Clancy, Singer/Songwriter

"I find it's good to keep things fresh and to follow a creative/brave idea even if it sucks (usually a friend will tell you weeks afterward), but sometimes you eke out a look that really suits you, doesn't follow the rules and echoes your personality.

At the moment I’m really into an early-60's makeup look, with Francoise Hardy as my go-to inspiration - part of an ever-changing rotation of role models... 

I do find the results after a bit of time spent putting on makeup are really thrilling, and I make well-meaning yet empty promises to myself to do it more.  

Any beauty/skincare upkeep to me is 60 percent a drag and 40 percent a self-nurturing moment of joy. Hence, I oscillate between au naturale and fiercely fastidious with my skin care. Mostly I tend to take the path of least resistance and wear no make-up (lazy), but when I do its MAC and Bobbi Brown - both of which I buy in the US as it’s ridiculously cheap there. 

Pressed powder (Bobbi Brown makes one with a slight yellow undertone - so awesome) is a must for me, especially when doing gigs, as the lights tend to have a melting effect on any foundation. I also use, without fail, MAC eye concealer under any eye shadow, as it helps to set the colour should things get too hot. 

I don't tend to have an overabundance of colours etc as I take a fairly minimalist approach and know what I like, plus most of my beauty stuff lives permanently in a quick-getaway makeup/toiletries bag as I’m often on the move.

I also have to use some clever stealth and hide tactics on any and all makeup, as my two-year-old likes to scoop the lipstick out with his finger and paint stuff, usually clothes (mine). I have lost approximately 12 MAC lipsticks in this fashion. He does have good taste though.

For some unexplained reason a few years ago I developed an allergic reaction to having anything with even a slight whiff of fragrance on my face - and discovered this doing a live performance on TV. The makeup girl on the job took one look at my streaming eyes with an avalanche of black eyeshadow 20 inches from where it should've been and cried out in shock/dismay at her handiwork. All caught on film. I've since learned I can 'cope', with a superhuman dose of antihistamines, but it has ruined a few video and photo shoots in the meantime and takes me days to recover.  

I was taught at a young age to always take my makeup off, as in 'never sleep in it' - and to this day I live in fear of mascara permanently sealing my eyes closed as I sleep. I wish this motivation extended to sunscreen (every guilt-trip I hear/read falls right off me) but generally I cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and night. 

I've tried quite a few ranges of products (within the budget of a girl who loves new music gear more than beauty supplies) and at present am using Nuskin Ageloc thanks to my mum who sells it. That pretty much means I get sympathy eye creams etc when I need them, but it's actually pretty good - I've noticed a dramatic change in how hydrated I appear. 

I really dig masks and facial scrubs - Clarins is a fave one, and I often opt for the Cetaphil to take off makeup and cleanse, as it's kind to sensitive skin. Also I try to drink lots of water and dose up on the omegas via flax and fish oils as it all helps in the long run. Apparently. 

At the other end of the spectrum, I am thoroughly enthused with doing my hair right now - I've got a platinum and pastel pink bob and it’s an intensive labour of love keeping it in decent shape and tone. I use Manic Panic and Fudge Paintbox once a week with a slightly different result every time, and I put through a deep-conditioning treatment twice a week in the name of damage control. I find Moroccanoil helps as well. Plus I’ve recently ditched the ghd and prefer to use a large roller brush when drying - gives it more swing and body. 

I totally love Jean Paul Gaultier perfume. I keep coming back to it after trying something new. I think it sits really well on my skin and I've never grown tired of the scent. Although I have trailed behind a few old ladies (often at the supermarket) who have worn some familiar, ancient perfume with the intention of asking what it is (never have), all I know is it smells really old-fashioned yet lovely. Maybe a kindly teacher used to wear it and it's purely triggering fond memories... or I'm prematurely aging... Either way, elegance is what I'm drawn to in a perfume."

Onstage photos by Sean Aickin

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