Winnetka has a fabulous, nationally recognized boutique called neapolitan collection that carries designers I lust after. Makeup artist Melanie Hart was brought on to help clients create looks to complement the boutique’s clothing. She was so underwhelmed with the lip color choices available that she decided to launch her own line inspired by her Winnetka clients. Here, she describes the line’s journey and talks about what readers can find when they pick up colors Cherry Street and Sheridan Road.
Melanie, tell me about your career at neapolitan and what inspired you to start your own makeup line.
The idea of my service as a makeup artist for neapolitan collection is to help get woman ready for events such as weddings, photo shoots, date night or simply an updated look inspired by a beautiful dress or great piece. [neapolitan collection owner] Kelly Golden felt that a great dress needs a great lipstick. I went searching and planned on picking up my favorite brand lipsticks from YSL, Dior, Chantecaille and Bobbi Brown in order to take my position as the resident makeup artist.
I was underwhelmed with the formulas and packaging of any of the lipstick available, but I did have my favorite colors to inspire.
The trouble with some of those brands was that the formulas did not always stand the test of time on the lips, and if they did, you ended up with dry, chapped lips. Last summer, I started testing lab samples, swatching colors and day dreaming about the sort of lipstick textures and shades that women living on the local streets of Winnetka would enjoy. I was driving down streets of Winnetka on my way to a photo shoot for neapolitan, when BOOM it hit me. As I made a turn on to Cherry Street I thought, every woman needs a good Cherry Red lipstick. It took time, but I finally was able to match a lab sample, a mixture of red and blue that lights up the face in an instant and shows off white teeth! Kelly and I thought of the idea together for 10 perfect shades.
After the success of the fall/winter shades, we have since added four more shades for Spring and Summer. The tiny square lipstick with the window to see the color in the brushed silver and blush pink logo fits in the tiniest of purses. There are matching waterproof automatic lip pencils and pocket-sized lip polishes. Kelly helped choose shades for her clients … and the whole concept came to life.
Winnetka Avenue had to be an “Avenue” color: think lunch with friends rolling in to dinner time…the same lipstick all day, just a quick swipe here and there.
Sheridan Road had to be a color that everyone could wear easily but kind of dressy and great with black or white. Inspired by YSLs #42 ( brown, plum, hint of silver), which was always a great color with a plum lip liner underneath and a silver gloss layered over. My goal here was to find a shade and formula that needed no gloss or lip pencil to get the right look quickly!
Many people like to give Chestnut Street and Winnetka Avenue as a birthday gift along with a gift certificate for a beauty session. $80 for event makeup, $160 for a lesson. Lessons include a gentle review of her makeup kit, whether it be travel or daily look.
Melanie’s hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment. Lipsticks are $32.