Inspired by the olive green and warm peach in the lingerie of Almudena Alcaide, I invited the designer over for a makeup look to compliment this particular color palette and the overall mood of her line Almu Lingerie.
And what better or more appropriate cosmetics collection to play with than one called Nude Wear??
I applied the Glowing Nude Powder, Glowing Nude Bronzer, and Glowing Nude Blush on Almudena, plus the Touch of Glow concealer/highlighter combo. To say she was glowing is an understatement as these Physician’s Formula products definitely deliver on their claim. The skin finish was fresh and sheer, like the signature natural cotton lace in Almu Lingerie.
And finally, I coated lips in an effortless swipe of Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Apricot.
After completing the Almu Lingerie inspired makeup look on designer Almudena Alcaide, I sat down with her and we dished on makeup and lingerie. Read on to hear about her unique line and how we think makeup and lingerie are similar in both obvious and not so obvious ways…
LC: Can you tell us the backstory for Almu Lingerie? How did you become a lingerie designer and how did you start your own lingerie line?
AA: I grew up in Madrid, surrounded by my three beautiful sisters and my mom. Since I was little, my mom inculcated in us her love for lingerie, and it was a very typical gift from her to give us nice camis or bras on special occasions. This gave me a vital foundation on my love for lingerie and the diversity of women’s bodies.
Later on, I studied design in Madrid and also in NY at Parsons, and I was always very drawn to do lingerie design. I worked at a few lingerie companies, from very high end to more mass market and I learned a lot about the construction and techniques for a perfect fit. Also, I started to realize that there was a lack of a certain type of lingerie. No one was making natural fabric lace lingerie so I decided to concentrate my energy into developing my line. I also wanted to help develop the economy of my country since Spain has been on a deep economic crisis for quite some time now. That is why our products are manufactured 100% in Spain. It took many years to finally close the concept of the line and make the perfect prototypes. But finally my family and I decided to start the company in Spain. Our launch was in Madrid in December 2012.
LC: How would you describe the Almu Lingerie consumer?
AA: Almu Lingerie’s costumer doesn’t have a very specific age. I have costumers from their mid 20’s to over 60. It is more about their need for well-made products that don’t harm the skin and reinforces without deforming each women’s natural beauty.
LC: Where do you find inspiration for the collections? In nature? On the street? In your travels? What inspired that latest collection?
AA: I have an interesting way of creating. Most people work with a very defined inspiration. For me, I work around my fabrics. There is a huge lack of cotton lace because almost no one produces it anymore. So I either develop it myself or work with antique laces. Then I decided to apply color to them. I have a custom-made color swatch box. I make swatches on cotton tulle with hand died color mixes. My mom and I sit down and play around, mixing the colors together. We both go to sleep with the colors in our head and most of the times we both dream about the right combinations. It’s an interesting process and it’s done very organically.
LC: Do you also consider a woman’s shape or body type and what might best flatter it – or look to address an undergarment need you may personally have - when designing?
AA: The women’s body is the biggest part of the lingerie design. That’s why my collection offers different shapes and different constructions so every woman can wear what fits them best. One of the way my company sells is through private events. At these events, I measure my clients and offer them what I think might fit them best. This creates a very interesting synergy because my client starts to feel more open about their personal insecurities and needs, they share them with me and we find the best way to address them so they feel beautiful inside and out. This also helps me tremendously in my job as a designer to make sure I cover a very wide spectrum of sizes, shapes, et cetera.
LC: We both agree that makeup and lingerie overlap in ways that are not so obvious. Like drawing the eye to a feature you want to accentuate. Deciding what to cover and what to leave bare. Going sheer or opaque in texture. Matte or shimmery in finish. When to add pops of color… Can you share some other ways with us?
AA: Makeup and lingerie are the parts of fashion that gets closest to the skin. That is why they are so powerful in making women physically and emotionally comfortable. And for each woman, her comfort is applied in a different way. Some women like to feel extremely luxurious and wear rich makeup and lingerie that accentuates their curves. Others like to feel more natural and barely wear makeup and prefer more simple lingerie.
Also, lingerie and makeup can play with the body, enhancing certain parts of the body or covering up others. Like a push-up bra enhances the breast, just like fake eyelashes can brighten up the eyes. Or you can wear shape-wear to hide certain areas, just like you can wear concealer to cover up dark spots. Or you can decide how much you want to show, if you want to go shear, or cover up, just like with makeup.
LC: As is often said in makeup, do you believe less is more for lingerie?
AA: In many ways, less is more. I believe in quality versus quantity. So I’ll rather use a bit of a good mascara than having to add tons of a cheap makeup because it doesn’t apply as well. The same with lingerie, I’d rather have a bra that covers just what I need and enhances just a bit than wearing a triple push-up bra. But this is what makes me personally comfortable.
LC: I see firsthand how makeup can change someone’s attitude or self-esteem. It’s one of the biggest reasons I do what I do. How do you see this come to life with lingerie?
AA: For many women, including me, lingerie can change our mood. So for instance if I’m having a bad day I might wear something a bit more colorful or with a print that will lift up my mood. And obviously lingerie can make you feel extremely sexy if that is what you want.
Also lingerie can help with your confidence. If you wear panties with holes, that is probably not going to make you feel very powerful. I love wearing matching tops and bottoms; I feel that I’m on my A game when I do so.
Each woman is different and that is the beauty of fashion. There is always that special piece that makes us feel extremely special.
Note: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are unbiased and my own. Makeup samples were provided for review and/or my use as a professional makeup artist.
Lauren Cosenza is the creator and editor-in-chief of DIVAlicious, a trusted beauty/fashion expert, an on-camera personality and spokesperson, a leading NYC-based professional makeup artist, a published contributor and writer, a brand consultant, a product junkie and an insatiable style seeker.
Serving up style with a side of attitude, DIVAlicious gives women (and men) the confidence and permission to be fabulous. The site is filled with must-have products, pro tips and tricks, how-to DIY tutorials, makeovers, style inspiration and insider access.