Michelle Obama shows how the new ‘power face’ is done,

For in­flu­en­tial women in the pub­lic eye, gone are the red lip­sticks and make-up masks of old. There’s a fresh look tak­ing cen­tre stage, So­nia Haria dis­cov­ers, and we can all learn from it

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - STELLA -

heresa May piled it on af­ter the gen­eral elec­tion re­sult last month; Hil­lary Clin­ton toned it down when she lost out on the US pres­i­dency to Don­ald Trump – whose wife wears heaps of it. Wear­ing make-up has be­come more of a power move than ever be­fore. And no won­der, with May land­ing the top job, and first ladies Brigitte Macron and Me­la­nia Trump – both rel­a­tively un­heard of a year ago – pro­pelled on to a world stage where im­age is ev­ery­thing. Then there’s Trump’s glossy daugh­ter Ivanka, a key cog in the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, who has her own care­fully con­structed im­age.

‘For many women, es­pe­cially in the pub­lic eye, wear­ing make-up makes them feel more con­fi­dent and em­pow­ered,’ says the be­havioural psy­chol­o­gist Jo Hem­mings. ‘They don’t call it “war paint” for noth­ing.’

But the new­est trend in pow­er­ful make-up might sur­prise you. Strength ac­tu­ally lies in a soft and sub­tle ap­proach now, in­stead of the tra­di­tional bold red lip and fully lined eyes.

‘Wear­ing make-up is a mask, to some ex­tent – it’s an at­tempt to show a calm, com­pe­tent neu­tral­ity,’ says Hem­mings. ‘Any­thing that can be done to hide nerves is very tempt­ing. It’s like a poker player wear­ing dark glasses.’

And com­pe­tency with make-up is all about get­ting the base right, ac­cord­ing to lead­ing make-up artist and Laura Mercier

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