A few weeks ago my cousin Lisa created a couple of holiday makeup looks on me that I shared with you here. Because of all the amazing feedback from my readers I thought you guys would be interested in a Q & A with my very talented relative ; ). Read on to find out why Lisa thinks women should NOT wear foundation, what her 5 favorite MAC products are and how to apply concealer correctly!
What do you do? Please describe your occupation.
I have been a freelance Makeup Artist for 15 years, and working for MAC Cosmetics in various capacities for 13 years. Currently, in addition to freelance work such as editorial shoots, photo shoots, corporate, bridal, and beauty, I work as an Online Artist for MAC Online, answering inquiries regarding MAC products and makeup artistry.
What made you want to become a makeup artist and how did you get started? Did you have any training?
Being a dancer for many years, I fell in love with makeup for stage and started applying various looks on friends and family. After graduating from university with a BA in Forensic Anthropology, I took a chance and moved to Vancouver to attend the makeup program at Vancouver Film School, and focused on special fx makeup. The film industry was attractive, however getting in was quite a daunting task at that point (ie: limited funds!). I had known (and loved) MAC for years, and finally had the schooling under my belt to get my foot in the door. MAC then fine-tuned my training in all aspects of makeup, and provided me with many opportunities, both in business and makeup artistry.
What words of wisdom could you give aspiring makeup artists when they’re just starting out?
Go to school. Although it's not required, and you will hear of many self-taught artists once in the industry, schooling gives you both the basics and the credentials to expedite your career advancement, as well as provides you with contacts in the industry. Also, be an individual, and have passion about your art.
From a shoot I did with Lisa and photographer Debbi Martin years ago in San Fransisco. I think I was 21 in this photo.
What is your favorite brand of makeup to use?
MAC, of course! Seeing as I have been with the company for so long, I just know the performance and payoff of their products is always going to be top notch. I have one other absolute favorite product from another line, I must confess: Bobbi Brown Matte Bronzing Powder. I believe a Bronzing Powder should provide warmth and contour, not shimmer, and this one works beautifully. Shimmer/shine should be placed strategically, on the high planes of the face, such as cheekbones, apples of the cheeks, spine of the nose, and softly on forehead and chin. This creates the most natural, glowing effect.
5 Favorite MAC products:
1. Strobe Cream
2. Fluidline Gel Liner
3. Select Sheer Powder/Pressed
4. Pro Longwear Concealer
Do you use any drugstore brands? If so, which products?
I don’t like spending a lot on mascara, and find that there are some really great drugstore brands out there in this particular product category. Right now I absolutely adore Maybelline Colossal Waterproof Mascara (blackest black), with Cover Girl Lash Blast as a close second.
What makeup product do you wish women would wear less of?
Foundation, hands down. If I could put one message out to the female masses, it would be to stop wearing it. No more base face, lines of demarcation, or horribly matched shades! Skin would be clearer, and we’d all have much more money to spend on better things, like Eye Shadow and Lipstick ; ). I also find that natural skin, freckles and all, is much more beautiful than perfected skin (which looks ridiculous in natural light). Here is my program for getting off the stuff: 1) do a skin “cleanse” (no foundation) for a couple of days to a week if possible, 2) exfoliate daily, 3) use concealer and powder for coverage.
How do you stop under eye concealer from creasing and seeping into fine lines?
Use a light yet effective eye cream (I like to use MAC Fast Response Eye Cream), and allow it to absorb. Blot gently with a tissue, then apply a longwearing concealer with a fluffy blending brush (MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is fabulous). Only apply concealer where needed – most of the time it is not necessary to apply onto the entire under eye. After application, pat with your fingertip to blend and remove excess. Then set with a light, oil control powder, such as MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder (which refines the look of the skin as well).
Can you tell us about any new MAC products that will be coming out in the future? (special collections/limited editions, etc.)
MAC has a beautiful collection launching in time for New Year’s Eve called Champale, which will feature varying shades of champagne. This is the perfect collection to create that glowing, luminous look that we all want so desperately (ahem, Marie’s first look)!
How do you suggest women learn how to do their own make-up and/or learn new techniques?
Consult with a professional makeup artist. YouTube is great, however not everyone has the same eye shape as that girl who did the perfect smoky eye tutorial. Having a makeup artist demonstrate on your individual skin, bone structure and features gets you started on the right foot, and provides you with the appropriate choices for you and your lifestyle. One caveat: Makeup lessons cover quite a bit of information, therefore I strongly advise having your artist allow you to replicate right there and then the techniques they show you (for example, they do one eye, you do the other), as well as provide you with a list of products and tools they have used, or else you will go home and forget everything!
What do you love about your job?
There is nothing better than seeing your subject’s face when they see the transformation. And what’s better than creating something beautiful?
Lisa currently resides in the Bay Area with her musician husband and two kids. To contact her please visit her website.