As far as we know, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.
From holographic skin to knife-sharp liner, London-based makeup artist Mona Leanne uses a creative eye and exacting hand to create her striking beauty looks. Often defined by graphic lines or bold colors, her work carries makeup into the artistic realm. Leanne’s transformative creations have been featured in countless eye-catching editorials and campaigns and walked the runway during fashion week. With plenty of experience in the industry, she’s now hoping to support other freelance makeup artists through her latest venture, The Makeup Monster, by providing masterclasses and tutorials covering all things business and beauty. Here, Leanne also shares some of her professional and artistic know-how with CR.
What’s your definition of a Makeup Monster?
“The name was [what] my old housemate used to call me, because I used to leave makeup fingerprints all over the house, and she was like ‘you’re such a makeup monster.’ I think it’s quite a fun name. [My definition] of a Makeup Monster is someone that’s unafraid to fight for their dreams and someone that truly believes in themselves and their potential as an artist, which is the key element to being successful in lots of things aside from makeup.”
What can makeup artists learn from The Makeup Monster that’s different from beauty school?
“[The Makeup Monster] was born through conversations that I kept having with makeup assistants I worked with and listening to their struggles. Witnessing how grateful they were over the information and knowledge that I shared with them made me realize that there was a gap for something new in the realm of makeup education, because some of them have done makeup schools, but they still felt like they had so much more to learn. I also realized that not everyone has the privilege of being able to pay really large sums to go to makeup school or to take time off to assist and travel several times a year to learn the ropes backstage at fashion week like I did.
I was very lucky early on in my career. I had some really amazing mentors that pushed me in the right direction. I wanted to create something where I could maybe be that for other people, because I remember how tough it is for a new makeup artist to get their foot in the door. So I just wanted to create a really affordable, easy, accessible space where anyone from around the world can learn from someone that’s already been there and done some of it.”
What’s one thing a freelance makeup artist may not realize when they’re just starting out?
“There is a lot of rejection. When I speak to assistants, that’s the thing that they find really tough. Especially when you do fashion week and you get picked up and dropped to assist. It’s nothing personal, but it’s so easy to take it that way. That’s a conversation that I have the most, trying to reassure them not to get too down on all of the no’s because that’s just part of the industry.”
Where do you find inspiration?
“I love color and doing line work. I like doing things that test mediums, like through detailed elements. I get a lot of inspiration just by looking at someone’s face. I love looking at the features and thinking of different ways in which I can manipulate them. Aside from that, I like looking at lots of different artists and different kinds of mediums in which people paint or draw, and [finding] the ways in which I can apply that to makeup. Recently, I’ve been looking at a lot of graffiti artists and the way they spray colors. I also love looking at old pictures of the ‘80s punk scene, like [the ones] Derek Ridgers used to take of the clubs from back then. I always look at those and wonder where they got their inspiration from because the makeup back then was so experimental and carefree.”
Since you use a lot of color, what’s your trick to making them more saturated?
“I always layer a cream with a pigment. I’ll lay down a cream first and then I’ll go over it with the pigment. I’ll usually use a loose pigment, because you can really pack it on top and they blend really beautifully. A combination of the two is definitely the way to get the most vivid color, and then setting the cream so it’s also quite long lasting, too.”
What are your favorite products in your kit?
“I’m a huge fan of Omorovicza skincare. I use a lot of that in my kit to start. I can’t live without the Magic Moisture Mist. Then Illamasqua did these amazing contour sets called Gel Sculpts. It’s a translucent gel texture that looks like skin, so it’s a natural contour but really packs a punch. You can really manipulate the face with them. One of my most recent finds is the Danessa Myricks Waterproof Cream Palette in Vivid. It’s full of some really sophisticated neons. The tones are really unique and the formulation is really beautiful. And the Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencils are a big staple of mine.”
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createdAt:Tue, 18 Aug 2020 18:41:55 +0000