The $10,000 Lashes

By now you’ve seen the $10,000 mink and diamond eyelashes that Madonna has been wearing during her new promotional tour, but did you know she actually helped create them? Gina Brooke, her makeup artist (who is the artistic director for Shu Uemura), told the whole story to the SF Chronicle:

She and I were in her bathroom getting ready for her to go to the Roxy, and she had all these diamonds, all this jewelry from different companies that she was deciding which ones to wear, and I was just thinking how much her eyes are like jewels and I just said something like, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to have real, flawless diamonds on the lash line?’ and she says ‘I love it! Can we do it tonight?’ I was thinking it might be something we might try at some point, not right then and there.

But the great thing about working with her is that people will stop whatever they are doing and help you, so I called a friend who immediately got a jeweler to cut them, and just as she was about to leave, she literally had her shoes on and was ready to walk out the door, the doorbell rang. So we sat there on the floor and I glued about 10 or 12 of them along each eye, and I was fanning them dry as she put her coat on. She wore them on her last two tours, and to this day, not one diamond has fallen off, and no Neiman Marcus sells a similar pair.’

For those not willing to pay $10,000 for the genuine lashes, Shu Uemura is selling them faux for only $25.

Read more from Gina Brooke’s interview after the jump.

More from The Chronicle’s Q&A with Madonna’s make up artist:

Q: So how much input do you have in helping Madonna create her many looks — does she come to you for suggestions or ask you to experiment with different effects?

A: It’s a collaboration. Depending on the event, I’ll call the stylist and ask about their idea, we have creative meetings — I’ll present ideas on storyboards or lists. For “Confessions on a Dance Floor,” I made a huge book of everything I could find from the ’70s, from “Saturday Night Fever” or whatever, and then say, “What about this,” or “That color would look great on your eyes.” Then later she’ll decide what exactly it is that she wants.

Q: Why do you wear a miner’s light on your head whenever you’re applying makeup?

A: Lighting and makeup go hand in hand. One of the first things I’ll do at a photo shoot is walk up and introduce myself to the DP (director of photography) and talk about what the lighting is going to be like and adjust my light accordingly, I came up with this prototype, it’s not really a miner’s hat, but it allows me to work with my hands free. I always recommend that women do their makeup by a window because if you do your makeup in the house, in the bathroom, and it looks gorgeous, then you might get out in the car, look in the mirror and say, “Wait a minute, that blush looks way too heavy.’

  • Shu Uemura: False Eyelashes Dazzling Diamante
  • Article: Five Questions for Gina Brooke [SF Chronicle]