We chat to M.A.C’s New Zealand National Artist about working with Lorde, the products she can’t live without and why she’s excited the 90s are making a comeback.
Which celebrities have you worked with? Who have been your favourite clients?
Lorde, Rita Ora, Natalia Kills, Broods and Ruby Frost.
Working with Ella (Lorde) was pretty special, especially getting to do her press shots which ended up being used for the M.A.C X Lorde collaboration internationally! It’s pretty exciting seeing your makeup full-scale in every window of every M.A.C store! But I am also very excited about the future for Broods, I love doing Georgia’s makeup just to hear her amazing voice…
What is your education and career background?
I studied Fashion Design at AUT, and worked in the Zambesi Workroom before moving into the career of a makeup artist. I didn’t actually study makeup; I taught myself and immersed myself in the wonderful world of M.A.C to learn as much as I could! I’m a little bit old school in the fact that I believe you learn so much from trial and error and making mistakes to grow from!
What’s the best thing about your job?
That it’s always different. I get to create beauty on a face every day and think of it as a new canvas to work from — that’s how I like to view makeup, as creating a new piece of art. Also working with inspiring people such as photographers, creative directors, hairdressers and learning from them every day is also top of the list!
What are your top five products?
1. M.A.C Fix+ Spray — I use this for every single makeup I do to prep the skin, and add lightweight hydration. I also can’t live without this product in my handbag for myself!
2. M.A.C Studio Finish Conceal/Correct Palettes — these palettes come with four shades of concealer, and two shades of correctors. They are my all round must have for perfecting skin — I can mix the perfect shade from the range of colours in one palette, and are versatile enough I could use them as a full coverage foundation if I needed to.
3. M.A.C Mineralize Multi Effect Mascara — I love this mascara for creating bold, black voluminous lashes. Every girl needs a great dramatic mascara.
4. M.A.C Cremeblend Blush — I’m obsessed with creamy cheeks to give skin radiance, and these blushers are the easiest product to use to give instant glow! They blend onto the skin as a cream, but feel like a powder when applied, and provide a skin smoothing texture.
5. M.A.C Pro Longwear Lip Pencils — these have changed my life! The texture of the pencil is super soft, and they stay on for eight hours of wear. M.A.C High Energy and M.A.C Dynamo are my favourite colours.
What beauty trends are you loving this season?
I’m always obsessed with incredible skin, and I love that the creamy, highlighted skin trend isn’t going anywhere! I love creating skin that’s super radiant, with pops of light in high points on the face, to create this soft reflective effect. It’s great that the dewy skin trend is so wearable, and so flattering for all age groups.
What upcoming beauty trends should we keep an eye out for?
We are having a bit of a 90s throw back, and I’m really excited about colour tones that we haven’t used in a while coming back in trend i.e. 90s lip shades in nude browns and burnt reds, and grungy colours like khakis, rusts, and dirty ochres that create a cool moodiness around the eyes.
Who’s your beauty icon?
I have always been inspired by 90s supermodels/actresses, hence the reason I’m so excited about the new trend of 90s neutral colour tones coming back! I love the style of makeup and colour tones from the 90s, sculpted, defined, and grungy in natural colours, on beauty icons like Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour and Pamela Anderson.
What have been some stand-out events you’ve worked at?
Working backstage with the M.A.C team at Milan Fashion Week earlier this year was the best — I was lucky enough to work on some great shows AND get time to run around the city and squeeze in some shopping which is always a bonus!
Another favourite event was going to Singapore to work at the IIFA’s (International Indian Film Awards) and creating makeup for M.A.C backstage for Bollywood stars, and performers at the ceremony. It was a makeup artists dream — glitter, crystals, lashes, bindis, bold colour and lots of beautiful Indian makeup!
You’ve done makeup at a lot of fashion shows. How do you work with the designer to create a runway beauty look?
We work very closely with the whole team creating the look for the show — the designer, the stylist, and the hair director to make sure everything comes together cohesively. I always like to be able to see the clothing collection we are working with, to get a feel for the story we want to tell. We let the hair and makeup enhance that, rather than distract. We sometimes might all bring our own mood board of ideas to a meeting, then we are able to build the hair and makeup look from the mix of images.
What would we find if we had a peek through your handbag?
Well, obviously like most girls, I have far too many lipsticks, lipglasses and eyeliners rolling around my handbag! I always have a bright red lipstick; my current favourite is M.A.C Viva Glam Rihanna lipstick with M.A.C Kiss Me Quick Pro Longwear Lip Pencil for an on-the-run makeover.
I always carry a M.A.C Fix+ Spray with me, especially if I am travelling, to refresh my skin throughout the day. Chances are you’d find one of the latest M.A.C Nail Lacquer colours in my handbag, just in case I have to redo my nails! And I ALWAYS have my Linda Farrow sunglasses with me at all times!
What advice would you give someone who’s keen to work as a makeup artist?
Practise as much as you can, take as many opportunities as you can, takes risks and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
Which makeup academies do you rate in NZ?
There are some great makeup schools in New Zealand which is really exciting, and provides a lot more opportunity for makeup to become a career. The Makeup School in Ponsonby and The Kristen Stewart School of Makeup in Christchurch are both amazing and very professional.
What are your workplace clothing staples?
Ah – an entire wardrobe mass of black everything! Lucky NZ designers are so great at creating amazing black pieces for us M.A.C girls… My favourite designers are Zambesi, Nom D and Jimmy D (loads of black to choose from) and I always spend way too much in Dunedin from Plume and Company of Strangers! If I could I would probably wear head to toe black leather everyday – not only do I LOVE anything leather but it’s so easy to clean makeup off from!
What can we expect from M.A.C in the coming months?
Being a force backstage at New Zealand Fashion Week again! The opening of our new stores in Westfield Riccarton later this month and Ponsonby in October and a LOT of very exciting collections and collaborations to be released….
What events are you looking forward to working at?
Fashion Week is always one of the most exciting events for me, it’s busy and manic, and I love the thrill of how fast pace it is backstage. As busy as it can be, I always miss it when it is over.