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Camouflage makeup with Annabel Jardella

10th April 2020

Proper camouflage or ‘cover-up’ make-up, the sort that can conceal burns  and birthmarks as well as spots and scarring, is a real art, and Annabel Jardella has made it her speciality. Last year, she began developing a way of offering her popular personal consultations online, and they’re now available through  www.annabeljardella.com

You can watch the video of our chat, or read the transcript here.



Alice Hart-Davis: I’m talking today with Annabel Jardella, who is a brilliant makeup artist, and thank you so much for coming round. I will just talk to you about camouflage and cover-up makeup because that’s your real speciality isn’t it?

Annabel Jardella: Yes, I’ve been doing camouflage for about 30 years now. It actually started from when I had a burns accident when I was a teenager and so that ignited my interest and actually that’s how I started becoming a make-up artist. Sort of changed the journey. But interestingly enough it was something that back then was very much just linked to a burns unit, was something really for people who’d have very big you know disfiguring burns, birthmarks, and then the industry started to change. I followed it closely because I always wanted to work for the Red Cross but because I worked in film they never took me. Just because I couldn’t commit to the bimonthly clinics because I was traveling and so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. and then as the years went on I watched the industry change. Tattoos came in and then obviously with cosmetic surgery, and more and more people were looking for cover. And interesting enough, I think you know, when I started working, the internet wasn’t really there because you know it’s changed so much, but the most interesting thing I think is that the same products are still used and they, when I first started, had been around post war.

Alice Hart-Davis: But they must have moved on?

Annabel Jardella: No, I mean, they’ve added more colours. If you think how fast the cosmetic market moves, but cover products seem to have remained in this very kind of niche area.

Alice Hart-Davis: Okay, and I know you are starting to do online consultations for people, which surely is brilliant because you can get a good high quality image of their faces and talk them through things.

Annabel Jardella: Totally, and I think it’s something I’ve seen for a very long time that when people have something that they want to cover, they’re not most comfortable doing that either in a store, or even one-to-one. They can find it a little bit intimidating and I’ve seen people before- I remember once in John Lewis seeing this lady and she’d gone up to one of the counters and she went up and she asked this very young girl, “Excuse me have you got anything for cover? I’ve got bad varicose veins and marks on my legs?” and the young girl looked at her like, you know, what are you looking for? And she immediately went, “Oh no, please don’t worry, I’m okay’ and just left. I remember thinking in that moment, what a shame, because there is so much that can actually help people,  but cover-up is not really the sexy part of makeup is it? It’s the most technical area.

Alice Hart-Davis:… and pretty practical as well and one thing I wanted to ask was about the key thing you were saying when we were chatting earlier is about having the right sort of preparation for the colour.

Annabel Jardella: The two most important things about camouflage are, if you’re buying a concealer for your skin tone you tend to just match to your face but if you’re covering like even a dark under-eye or pigmentation, you’re now working with colour correction because pigmentation is darker, the under eye can be more grey. And there’s a terminology we use in camouflage called ghosting and you see it a lot when you put cover on and you say actually that looks worse, that looks darker.

Alice Hart-Davis: So you’ve got the kind of panda eyes?

Annabel Jardella: And it can get worse if you haven’t put enough colour into it. We’re just most of the time colour correcting so it’s just getting people- so if you see the texture they’re using, the kind of colour that they’re using, immediately you can see where they’re going wrong and how to help them tweak it.

Alice Hart-Davis: Wow, and are there certain rules about which colours go into which ones, or does it very much depend on what is presenting?

Annabel Jardella: It does depend on exactly what the ailment is, if you’re covering bruising, or a skin condition, or, you know, something that’s temporary. It also depends on the texture needed. So some things like spots need a very waxy texture to hold it. Also with textures I think it’s something that- because I spent six years in a lab looking at concealing products, the texture is so important because when we put something on you can see immediately is it staying up or is it being absorbed into the skin. So a lot of your liquid concealers that you’d use on the under-eye, often they actually draw into the skin a little bit.

Alice Hart-Davis: And that’s why they vanish.

Annabel Jardella: Sometimes, depending on what your situation is, you know, the skin tone and the skin type, you actually can recommend a different concealer you wouldn’t expect. and I think on-counter in store you don’t always get that level of understanding and detail.

Alice Hart-Davis: No, I mean it’s not really what they are trained to do. You would think, it’s quite fundamental, anybody who has something they really need to cover up, its life-changing isn’t it if they can.

Annabel Jardella: The thing I’ve always found fascinating is something like using a Dermacolor palette, we’ve used that on film for years and you can use that to cover a spot through to a haemangioma. It’s a tiny pot of concealer. I mean it’s just technique and texture.

Alice Hart-Davis: Okay so I have one in my make-up bag that is just called Tattoo Secret, it’s such a thick pigment that you need to put a hair dryer on it or blow on it for a few minutes to warm it up, it will stay.  It’s great for bruises.

Annabel Jardella: I think all of those are of the same ilk, they have the same sort of texture. The thing I’ve found is that it’s just sometimes hard for laymen to understand which colour to choose. So for example, I’m not sure how many shades Tattoo Secret has, I don’t think it’s that many.

Alice Hart-Davis: It’s three and they are fairly fair.

Annabel Jardella: But when you’ve got with Veil Cover Cream and with Dermacolor is an extensive range of 50 shades, if not more, and for you to work out which one you might be, it’s really technical.

Alice Hart-Davis: That’s where your expertise comes in, because you work with all sorts of different products don’t you? Is it usually better to have specialist cover products than things like Vichy Dermablend, I mean that’s quite popular isn’t it? It’s got quite a good level of pigment but is it the amount of pigment you would find in a professional product?

Annabel Jardella: They all have similar amounts. So if you take it down to sheer products, then medium, then high cover, these ones are all at the high cover end. It’s just depending on whether they’re kind of like a waxy base which all those ones are, or Veil is like actually a creamier consistency so that would be better for anybody that has some skin condition or skin that was dry or flaking or anything like that. But I equally believe there’s some good, I guess, cosmetic products if you want to call them that, concealers, on the market that actually, depending on what you’re trying to cover, you can use those efficiently as well.

Alice Hart-Davis: Thank you very much, I’ll put all the details about the products you’ve mentioned in the caption because i don’t know all these brands and I think everybody would really like to.

Annabel Jardella: I think most of them do a trial.

Alice Hart-Davis: And I will put a link for the consultations www.annabeljardella.com



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