BY LĪVA OLIŅA

Liene for MÁDARA Organic Makeup campaign

Skin Care meets Makeup: Liva Olina, our first love and skin care muse of many years (and counting!), interviews Liene Podina, the muse of MÁDARA Organic Makeup campaign.

MÁDARA skincare muse and this interview’s author Liva Olina

If you didn’t know Liene before, now you know her from the MÁDARA Organic Makeup campaign videos and pictures. Despite her youthful appearance she is 30 years old, has big plans for the future, a supportive husband by her side and somehow still manages to keep up that playful and experimental look. She has a special shelf in her closet with clothes just for New York, where she feels like dressing a bit more braver and bolder. She really loves makeup and its endless possibilities, while right after our conversation she is heading home to boil 9 litres of tea for her kombucha. She is exactly that colourful outside and natural inside. Just like the new MÁDARA makeup.

Makeup for Desigual and Schiaparelli shows in NY

THE MOST IMPORTANT SS/20 FASHION WEEKS HAVE ENDED, AND YOU JUST RETURNED FROM NEW YORK. WHAT ARE YOUR LITTLE AND BIG PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

Right now, I’m slowly returning to the normal rhythm of life and starting to think about life after modelling. Thanks to the contract with Balenciaga that let my career pick up some crazy speed and made me fly from one job to another, sometimes without even touching down in a hotel, I didn’t finish my last year in product design studies at the Art Academy of Latvia. Maybe it was destiny, maybe coincidence, but now I have found a slightly different calling in my life. I think it would be strange after fifteen years in fashion to not use all I have learnt and all the contacts I have established. This is why I’m planning to remain in fashion, just on the branding side. I have already talked with designers in New York and I see that there is room for me after studies.

Backstage at VOGUE Mexico

THERE IS AN OPINION OUT THERE THAT MODELS DON’T HAVE COMPLEXES, JUST VERY HIGH CONFIDENCE. ARE YOU ABLE TO NOT TAKE ALL THE COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR LOOK TOO SERIOUSLY?

Outside work I’m pretty immune and don’t care what others say or think. But at work from time to time my heart still trembles. There have been situations when people in castings say some opinions about my body while I’m still in the room... These are the moments when I don’t just swallow but turn around and ask back. Fashion is rough and clients can create complexes for the girls, or exactly the opposite – they can help girls believe in their own unique beauty!

Makeup touch up at some party in NY. Photo by Georgia Mitropolous

WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MAKEUP AFTER MODELLING ALL THESE YEARS? DO YOU USE IT OUTSIDE OF WORK?

I have a very interesting relationship with makeup – I love it, but I can’t use it too much when going to castings. But I do love it! I got my first eye shadow when I was only 15 years old. So, during the days I don’t have castings I like to use makeup and experiment; I like to watch YouTube videos and try new things. If I must be honest, I have boxes with makeup at home…

I JUST WANTED TO ASK YOU WHAT IS IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG, BUT IT TURNS OUT YOU HAVE BOXES…

Yes, literally boxes. But answering your question I think we need to start by talking about what is most important. The basis of all good makeup. And it is skin care. I am practising the 10-step Korean skin care routine. This means that every morning and evening I really do 10 steps to take care of my skin. I start with oil cleanser, then I wash with water base, then scrub, then I moisturise with a toner, then essence, ampoules, and at the end face cream and eye cream. It sounds and actually is quite extreme… When I started to do it, my skin didn’t understand what was happening and I got some pimples while my skin was cleaning itself. But soon after that my skin became radiant. I remember how my parents couldn’t understand what I had done to myself and how good I looked.

DO YOU USE SOME SPECIAL PRODUCTS OR IS IT MORE THE ROUTINE ITSELF?

It is a ritual that you can do with products of your own choice. The most important thing is to just to follow the entire list of necessary products. You can use products from MÁDARA Organic Skincare or something specific from Korean cosmetic brands, it doesn’t really matter. Of course, it’s a bit complicated when travelling, but I try to use small jars or just skip some of the products if necessary.

AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG WHILE TRAVELLING?

I always use highlighter, even if I need to go to castings. It gives extra radiance and a healthy look to your skin. I always have lipstick and mascara with me. Actually, I can forget mascara, but lipstick is always in my bag, even if I don’t have plans to use it. You never know how the day can turn out… And what if I discover that I’m free from castings and can use all the makeup I want?

DO YOUR MAKEUP CHOICES AND COLOURS CHANGE ACCORDING TO THE SEASONS?

Yes, it changes together with my feelings. Now after New York I’m inspired to use braver makeup, just in warmer tones. In winter I will pull out glitter from the boxes and will wear it till the end of December. In summer I like a more Los Angeles feel in my makeup with nude lipstick…

Backstage at Marc Jacobs

SOUNDS LIKE YOU REALLY KNOW HOW TO USE MAKEUP!

That’s because I watched a lot of videos when I was younger, and now I’m watching makeup artists at work with great interest. I always ask questions such as why they are putting that exact thing on me. By now… I have spent many, many hours watching how they get me ready. At one point you just get it!

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT GUYS AND MAKEUP? IS IT ONLY A FEMININITY TOOL?

The great 70’s are a very dear time for me with all the rock ’n’ roll and freedom. I could even say that these times made me who I am today. I have tried to put black eyeliner on all my men, and they have all run away. My husband gave up though and with great love let me put some makeup on him. So as you can see I am very open minded when it comes to men and makeup. Of course, if they feel comfortable with it. My flatmates in New York quite often asked me to help them with makeup. I find it pretty cool that they are brave enough to experiment and are not limiting themselves. It’s fascinating!

YOU HAVE SPENT MANY HOURS WITH THICK LAYERS OF MAKEUP ON YOUR FACE DURING THESE MODELLING YEARS AND SHOOTING FOR MÁDARA ORGANIC MAKEUP WAS NO EXCEPTION. DID YOU FEEL ANY DIFFERENCE WITH THIS NATURAL MAKEUP?

I definitely did! It felt much, much lighter on my skin. Most likely, this was the first time in my modelling career that I went home with makeup. Usually I clean my face right after work so my skin can breathe and is not irritated. With MÁDARA cosmetics it was different; there was no heavy feeling on my skin. I went home and convinced my husband to go party so I could enjoy that beautiful makeup!

Liene with her husband

WHICH PRODUCTS WILL BE YOURS FROM THE NEW MADARA COSMETICS MAKEUP COLLECTION?

It will definitely be dark lip gloss and highlighter, because, as I said earlier… I just love highlighters! I am very happy to see that MÁDARA dares to be brave. I think women will benefit from the possibility to have bold, colourful makeup with natural ingredients. I wish for all of us to have a bit more courage to be original, to be different! It makes me happy to see that MÁDARA, as a very respected brand, inspires women to be brave. Now I’m waiting for MÁDARA to do something with kombucha!