Tres, Tres Chic & Magnifique!

Sometimes a professional makeup artist lives a glamorous life and gets to travel outside of the confines of the makeup room or trailer to a world more incredible than the one he or she has left behind.

Most individuals think that the career of a Pro MUA is nothing but a jet-setting, couture-wearing, snob-inducing lifestyle filled with indulgences and perks only “common” folk could dream of, but alas, I am here to burst that overly exaggerated and completely false image in your head and bring you back to reality.

Life inside a makeup room or trailer is fun, full of laughter and creativity, but please understand that working as a makeup artist in film, television or photography is nothing short of…WORK!  Hours and hours of work!  Early morning “call times” and late night “last looks” can leave this Pro feeling less than glamorous.

Remember, it is the model, actress or actor that receive all those “favors” from designers, makeup lines, skincare gurus and hairstyle experts.  This Pro is simply a piece of a very fine-tuned puzzle creating the smoke and mirrors that sell magazines or movie tickets!  I won’t fool you…I do reap some benefits, but not the kind that many readers may think!

Please don’t consider for a minute that this Pro is cursing the career I have chosen for the past 20 years (has it really been that long?).  It is the only job I have ever had and would never trade for all the Prada in the world, but it can be stressful, time consuming and sometimes I shoot in the most “unglamorous” locations you could ever imagine (like the State Prison)!

Recently, my MUA Fairy Godmother answered my prayers and blessed me with a very tres, tres chic makeup job, which would take me to the most fashionable and enchanting city in the world…Paris! 

Faster than sweeping Chanel Lipstick on Giselle, I was packed and on a plane bound for France with a smile on my face and plenty of Evian spritz for the 12-hour flight (not to mention many, many more skin reviving serums).

Paris is filled with women who can only be described in one word…magnifique!  They ride bikes in 4-inch Christian Louboutins, they eat baguettes, they smoke, they drink, and they always, always look incredible!  They are fabulous and their skin is amazingly flawless!  How do they do it?

Mingling amongst the people of Paris I learned a few secrets…the French live life to the fullest everyday, they worship experiences more than money and they spend their hard-earned dollars on top-notch products!  Quality over quantity is their motto!

I started to think about all of the incredible French skincare and makeup lines and thought it was time to start adapting a more Parisian lifestyle.  During my time off from the set, I wondered the streets of Paris and photographed the people and places this city has birthed.  I ventured into boutiques that carried expensive concoctions that tickled my senses and revived my tired skin!

I started with a brand called Talika, which was given to me by a very generous person who heads-up the companies PR both in the United States and Europe.  In researching this product line I discovered that this brand was created in 1948 by doctor Danielle Roches, in the ophthalmologic department of the famous Paris hospital, Hopitaux de Paris.  She began her career by developing an antibacterial cream with plant extracts that help cure individuals suffering from dramatic face and eye burns due to war casualties.

I was given several products for the eye area and nails including: Eye Detox Contour Gel, Eye Dream, Eye Therapy Patches and Nail Regenerator Serum.  The first thing I noticed about this product line is the packaging.  Parisian skincare and makeup packaging feels different when you hold it in your hands.  It is weightier, classic in design, sturdy and very appealing to the eye.  It is not “flashy” or over exaggerated.

Eye Dream was the first product I tried because my skin was more than dehydrated from the travel, lack of sleep and airplane food (even though I put a ton of care into my skin) and because I completely agree with the information found on the Talika website quoting, “sleep is often considered an underrated and ignored wellness necessity of life!” 

Also, “sleep is the body in recovery mode, during sleep the delicate skin around the eyes loses up to 50% of its moisture and is most biologically receptive to external hydration and nourishing ingredients.”  Eye Dream provides that renewal and it is a short-term eye treatment.  To quote, “Eye Dream transforms bedtime into an 8-hour long spa treatment for the eyes!”  I couldn’t rip opening the packaging fast enough!

I am still in the process of using the Eye Dream treatment (on day 10 of the recommended 28 days) but I am noticing a decrease in my deep wrinkles and the elasticity of my skin seems to be improving.  I can’t wait to also try the Eye Detox Contour Gel, which claims to fade the appearance of bags and dark circles and the Eye Therapy Patches, which is also supposed to reduce dark circles, wrinkles, puffiness and scars.

As far as the Nail Regenerator Serum also by Talika, if you are anything like me, your nails get dry and brittle during travel and in the summer time.  This product has been a lifesaver!  It has rejuvenated and hydrated my nails and cuticles.  This Pro highly recommends this product and I will continue to use this treatment throughout the summer months.  Plus I plan on purchasing another tube during the severely dry winter season in order to ensure that my nails will stay nourished!

If you are an avid reader of IMPO then you know that this Pro carries a variety of makeup lines in my kit, but I have a few products that I use time and time again because of pigmentation, wear-ability, blend-ability and stamina.  One of those go-to lines is IL-Makiage, which is a French cosmetic company with an extensive product display specializing in every color of the rainbow!

When I need to match the colors in a peacock’s feather, the blue of the Caribbean ocean or the exact red of Santa Claus’ suit, I turn to IL-Makiage because I know that this product will provide me with amazing hues and top-of-the-line quality.

I discovered IL-Makiage during research for a photo shoot many moons ago and it has been a “staple” in my kit ever since.  Ilana Harkavi is the beauty behind this cosmetics line and it has been deemed the “makeup artist’s makeup line!”

With over 500 shades, all-in-one products to simplify application and textures that make any high-fashion photo shoot a breeze; this product line is also priced competively with other American-brands.  IL-Makiage will be celebrating their 40-year anniversary in 2012 and Ilana is known for sharing her makeup secrets with some of today’s most sought after artists, including Bobbi Brown and Dick Page.

There are many other French designed makeup lines that have this Pro’s seal of approval namely Dior, Nars and Avene.  If there is one thing I have discovered over the past 20 years as a Pro MUA, it is that I don’t need to stock my kit with tons of makeup and skincare in order to give a model, actress or actor a flawless look, but I do need product that will perform in front of the camera just as much as the person wearing it will give a quality performance!


Money is always a big issue and today it seems as if it is bigger than ever before, my tips and tricks for this particular post is to encourage our readers to spend their money wisely and purchase quality product regardless where it is manufactured.  Do your research and choose skincare and makeup that will treat and enhance your face.  Take good care of your skin and it will reward you for many years to come!


Up next on IMPO:  All the glitz and glamour that was the Los Angeles IMATS!  You won’t want to miss this post!

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