(Once upon a time …)
A shy ray of sun one morning in late September was enough to brighten the crystal chandelier hanging in the center of the room. Coty’s pink powdery fragrance enveloped the room.
“Pablo, is it you?”, my mother asked as she gathered her blond hair in a bun sitting at the dressing table.
“Yes, Mom, do you know where Bibbi is, she asked me to make her up before she goes out with you?”
Bibbi was my sister Sabrina, whom I often used as a model to practice and correct this slight labial asymmetry she had since birth.
“She left for a moment for the neighbor’s house, but she will not be long in coming back,” replied my mother as she passed the black eyeliner over her eyes.
Make-up for her was an absolutely essential ritual, a light makeup: a black pencil thread around the eyes to enhance her look, a red lipstick that spoke of her and her way of facing life and a veil of powder to complete the work of art.
The refinement of my mother and the pleasant smell of the powder have always aroused in me a great curiosity.
In a sumptuous palace located in the heart of Rome, Cola di Rienzo street, at 285, headquarters of Face Square Academy, in one of the most prestigious areas of Rome, close to the Vatican, I had the honor to meet Pablo Gil Cagné.
Pablo Gil Cagné was born in Rome on 14 September 1968 to his mother Rita and his father Matteo. Her mother had won the regional contest “Miss Elegance 1956” and was an actress of photo novellas. His father was a journalist for cultural programs and, after working with the National Deaf-Mute Association, was named a teacher at the Special School for the Deaf-Mute.
From his childhood, Pablo was fascinated by his mother who, with light makeup, managed to exalt her beauty.
In the eighties, he began to follow the advice of very important emblematic makeup artists at the time, Stefano Anselmo (makeup artist Anna Oxa), Della Palma and finally Gil Cagné who later became his main inspiration. Inspired by pop icons of the time, Madonna, Cindy Lauper, George Boy, Prince, David Bowie and Amanda Lear, he experimented makeup on his sister Sabrina, 3 years older than him. At that time, there were no real makeup schools, the academies were in Rome and Milan. The only way to learn was through magazines and video tapes. He never missed his favorite show “Mezzogiorno e Bellezza“, where the makeup artist, already known throughout the world, taught the art of makeup.
At that time, Pablo started classical dance and jazz in the dance company “danse ensemble“. Before each performance, he liked to practice on his colleagues what he had learned. In this case, for scenography reasons, makeup was stronger than usual. The desire to enhance the beauty of friends, colleagues and family members was always innate in him.
Thanks to his obstinacy and his warrior spirit, acquired over the years, he managed to gain a great international reputation. After having attended the University of Foreign Languages and Literatures with excellent results and great satisfaction from his father, he wanted to put into practice his talent as an artist and show first to himself what he could do with his hands. Although it was not easy for his father to accept his son’s wish, he accepted it and, inspired by Susanna Tamaro’s famous book, he told him: “Go where your heart takes you! “
Despite the lack of confidence in his abilities, but with so much ambition, Pablo enrolled at the Gil Cagné Academy in 1996.
He was fascinated by the passion and the philosophy of this great makeup artist, who interviewed him the first day to know his motivations in choosing the Academy. After only a fortnight, the master sent him to make models for a famous fashion magazine. In July 1996, his father died. During the representation of the High Fashion in Rome, Gil suggested to him, considering the Spanish origins of his paternal grandmother, to be called by all Pablo, not only in family and even better: Pablo Gil Cagné. Thus, Pablo realized that life had taken away his father, but in return, she had given him a new father figure. In a short time, he became Gil’s right arm. Helped by his knowledge of foreign languages, he began a series of travels around the world with Gil, where he met many prominent figures in the world of cinema.
The meeting of the famous Jodie Foster in Los Angeles has been remarkable. So, after Gil had explained the reason for their trip, Jodie Foster asked him to design her makeup and Gil entrusted Pablo with the job. He made an appointment with her on Santa Monica Boulevard, at the aesthetic center called Face Place (it inspired him to give the current name of the Academy of Rome.)
Mrs. Foster entrusted to his hands, told him “Please make me beautiful!“. It was the best compliment ever received, as he reminds himself in front of his students even today. He thinks that when a woman says she sees herself beautiful, it is the confirmation that the work is successful. If instead a woman insists that it is a beautiful makeup, it means that the intention to enter the personality of the client has failed.
Gil has always liked to put him to the test. at the Cosmoprof show, Gil commissioned his students to do portraits on models. He confided to Frida Kahlo, a character little known in the 90s (it was actually the years Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford) and for this, he had to research in bookstores to study the character. On this occasion, Gil told him that the choice was made so that he could realize that he could never do anything ugly. For Pablo, it was one of the very few compliments.
Gil taught him to showcase each woman’s aesthetic canons and a famous quote from him is: “Whoever does not find in every woman something to value changes jobs”. If we think of characters like Barbra Streisand and Lisa Minelli, they have made their temperament an icon of style.
This lasted until 2002, when, due to illness, Pablo had to leave Gil. Doctors required a calmer and more peaceful life. He moved to Montecatini Terme and, for a year and a half, became the buyer of a large multi-brand store and then sales manager for Dolce & Gabbana Donna. During his breaks, he liked to do make-up for brides.
Suddenly, on January 23, 2003, Gil Cagné died of a heart attack during a TV show, “La vita in diretta”.
The company went through difficult times and after acquiring the Jean Klebert and Gil Cagnè brands, Antonio Baldan asked Pablo, in 2005, to become Artistic Director of the Gil Cagnè House. He could not refuse thinking of all that Gil had done for him. It is from here that the true conscience was born to pursue the philosophy of his great master, without having the slightest presumption to replace him. The choice of Pablo Gil Cagné made it possible to keep alive the memory of this extraordinary master. With the help of the purchasing department, marketing and now Amanda, daughter of the owner of the Baldan group, the brand has been revived, especially for younger generations under 30 who did not know Gil Cagné.
Today, Pablo is one of the best international makeup artists and is the artistic director of the “Gil Cagné” make-up line distributed by the Baldan group. In the entertainment world, he is an image consultant for many actresses, singers and show girls, such as Monica Bellucci, Amii Stewart, Diana Ross, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Dayane Mello, Simona Ventura and Carmen Russo. A special memory also goes to Virna who, in addition to the external beauty, had an immense inner beauty.
He collaborates in major events such as Miss World, Miss Italy, Rome Haute Couture, Milan Collections, Fashion Week London, Paris, New York, Grand Ball Beginners in Vienna, Word of Fashion, Grand Ball Russian, The Look of the year, A girl for the movies, Miss Progress, Miss Teen Universe, Fashion City Award of Stones and Models & Wheels. He is often invited as a guest on various TV shows such as “Non Solo Moda“, “Uno Mattina”, “TG2 Costume e Società”, “Buongiorno Benessere”. In 2005, he founded and ran his make-up studio, “Face Place“, where he gave makeup classes and collaborated with many internationally renowned hairdressers and photographers.
He also became a make-up expert for the magazine “Trucco e Bellezza”.
His brilliant career has earned him several awards, including Career Award, Roma International Estetica, Hair and Beauty Congress, Solidarity Commitment, Notte di Stelle, Best Hairdresser, UNICEF-sponsored Fashion Gala, World of Fashion Awards in Rome, Career Award “Walking in beauty 2013 “and the” Assotutela Award 2018/19 for the Italian Excellencies “for its commitment to women suffering from cancer and victims of violence.
After specializing in permanent makeup, the title of Lecturer allows him to form many dermopigmentists. Thus, he began to collaborate with malor Italian companies of the sector such as Biotek, Orsini Belfatto, Clinita and others.
During his career, he collaborated with important Italian and foreign fashion designers: Ram Al Ali, Chiara Boni, Gattinoni, Raffaella Curiel, Renato Balestra, Fendi, Ferrè, Egon von Fusterberg, Michele Miglionico, Valentino, Mila Son, Versace.
“I do not like fashion, I like style,” says Pablo.
A sentence that distinguishes him.
It is because he thinks that fashion represents us even if, unfortunately, it becomes more and more commercial. Stylists are oppressed to present new collections quickly. Until the 1990s, it was still possible to talk about fashion, after which the concept of quantity had taken over and that is why major brands have turned to the Asian market to reduce their costs. Pablo prefers to talk about style, because everyone has his own style. A minimalist style, glamorous and sophisticated at the same time. He particularly likes jacket, vest, tie and all elements with masculine connotations.
Tips from master Pablo
Healthy skin is always the foundation of good makeup, so, as the nutritionist, the nuclear medicine specialist who follows him, says, good nutrition and plenty of water are essential. Water that must be more alkaline because it burns fat better. A fat diet leads to oily skin.
The company he works for, BALDAN GROUP, is also very attentive to certifications and glass packaging in order to further reduce plastic. Regarding vegan products, which is very popular at this time, Pablo remains very skeptical: he believes that no optimal result has yet been achieved.
In addition to eating, sports activity, frequenting young people helps a lot raise the threshold of old age. A threshold that has reached today high levels, if we think of actresses such as Sharon Stone, Madonna and Sofia Loren.
As for makeup, it is essential to follow some very important criteria.
A woman, when she is no longer a teenager, must pay attention to color. It is best to move colors on clothing to avoid a boomerang effect. There are of course special cases, like women with remarkable personalities, like Iris Apfel. Colors can work on her because she has an atypical style. The role of accessories is fundamental.
Avoid beaded eye shadows as they create an effect of stretched aluminum foil after being wrinkled. The role of the foundation of quality is very important, always applying it on a well-cared skin, the optical effect is better. The intensity of the color on the lips varies with personality and context. It is up to the hair stylist to understand the style and personality without underestimating the color of the skin, eyes and hair.
In everyday life, to maintain her identity and originality, a woman must never go out without having in her bag quality products: a foundation (powder, cream or compact) to correct any imperfections, a mascara and finally a lipstick in the shape of a pencil, lipstick or classic. A firm and upright posture completes the work because, as Pablo recalls, beauty comes from the inside, makeup only exalts it a little more.
As for the man, hair removal was reserved for athletes and models. Lately, it has been understood that if hairs are well cared for, they can be attractive. The underlying idea must be that man is neat, not too “licked” and lacquered, nor too scruffy. The important thing is to keep your natural appearance. The man has become vainer, so he flies into the women’s locker or he buys products, stating they are for his daughter.
It is possible to intervene on men by treating the supraciliary arch and, obviously, the skin. To reduce the polishing effect, mineral-based powder shades are applied using beard brushes. The eyebrows, if they are very wild, can be fixed with a gel. Only for a photo shoot, we can add a pencil and a transparent balm on the eyelashes and a balm on the lips. An unclear concealer, but on a honeyed beige or apricot or peach in a fluid version can help hide skin imperfections. There is also a pigmented eye contour with camouflaging effect to mask the veins of the eye contour. Man is usually preferred with a slightly tanned complexion. The important thing is to always keep a natural effect.
Oncocosmetics: the new frontier of cosmetics
Recently, Pablo participated in a conference on oncocosmetics at the University of Modena.
In recent years, this type of cosmetics is increasingly used in aesthetic treatments given to patients by beauticians, makeup artists and voluntary thermopigmentists to restore their safety and esteem lost due to the devastating cycles of chemotherapy. . A team of beauticians, makeup artists and aesthetic doctors who, thanks to specific dermopigmentation treatments, PRP gel platelets and permanent tattoos work in symbiosis.
Currently, the hospitals active on the subject in Italy are the Rome Gemelli, the Mantua Hospital and the Polyclinic of Modena, where Pablo recently attended a conference.
Pablo today: humble, determined and maniacal
Today, Pablo has gone from a very careful and meticulous technique to a more psychological technique. He tries to get in touch with the customer to understand what he wants, what products he uses and does not use, even though most of the time he already knows what he is asked to do. This is why a certain level of psychology is essential to have easy access to the customers’ way of thinking. Basically, there must be a good study to put the knowledge into practice.
In him, there is always the charm of this woman full of light and shadows who fought hard to spread her name: Coco Chanel. Born between the 20s and 30s, she experienced a period of decline due to the war, then became popular again in the 1960s. One of the stylist’s best-known phrases “fashion goes out of fashion, style never “(fashion goes from one style to another). he makes it his own.
Pablo, a great man who, with humility, simplicity and professionalism, has always had a mission from an early age: to transmit trust, esteem and safety to people in need through make-up. A passion cultivated with perseverance and dedication over the years, sometimes sacrificing even his private life.
He does not have enough words to thank the great maestro Gil, who did not fail to see the talent in him.One day, Claudio’s smile struck him among the treadmills, rowers and fitness equipment. After a hard court, Cupid scored a point. The civil union with Claudio on June 23, 2017 brought to Pablo a certain serenity and an awareness, while combining lightness and carefreeness, as Gil called it: intelligent superficiality. Claudio made him taste the values of privacy by telling him that what he could not do today he could do it tomorrow, and he managed to complete this ever-evolving work of art called: Pablo Gil Cagnè.