Okay, so I disappeared off the face of the Earth again for a little bit there, but for good reason. I swear. I just got back from the UK and you know what I did there? Well probably, because the title is a not so subtle hint. I went to the Mario Masterclass! I also went around Ireland and that was bitchin’ (Imma go ahead and bring that word back), but that’s a story for another post. About the masterclass…
Honestly, as weird as this sounds, I didn’t have a lot of expectations heading in. Not that I don’t think Mario is an incredibly talented artist. I mean, clearly he’s legendary. But, seeing as I’m not much of an “Instagram girl” and everyone else there definitely was, I wasn’t sure if I would fit in with the vibe of the whole thing. Oh how wrong I was. For any of you who watch Mario on Snapchat, I’m sure you also find him to be sweet, calming and gentle. It’s lovely isn’t it? But oh my friends, the live version is so much better. The sass on that man. Saaasssss. I was in love.
From the get go he was basically like “we’re not messing around here. You’re all makeup artists and I’m not wasting our time on any fundamentals.” I pretty much wet myself then and there. Then throughout the course of the day anyone who asked a dumb question was sasssssed. He was just not having it. He’d be all “why do you want to know? You’re a makeup artist, you should know that.” It sounds harsh, but I assure you it was DIVINE.
Right about now you’re probably wondering, “okay, but what did you actually learn?” That’s a bit of tricky question to answer. He was quite up front about not wanting people to talk too much about the Masterclass. So I’ll have to tread carefully. I won’t go into detail about exactly what products he used or this or that step, but I do want to share some of the things that really stuck out to me.
1. His use of liners.
I think by the time he’d finished with his model he had used a total of 5 or 6 liners. It was all about playing with different textures. More powdery pencils were good for creating the initial shape, as they have more control, whereas more inky liners might be used to tight line. Then he’d layer on gels and liquids to really create the intensity that he wanted. It got me thinking about how I should be experimenting more.
2. It was all about layers.
What I loved is that he was completely disinterested in fads. He was just like “nope, I don’t use primers. I’m old school.” Rather than laying on a thousand steps of skincare and primers, it was just about using thin layers of product and working them into the skin effectively in. He also talked about not using specific products for specific skin types. Rather, he’d use the same product and just work with it in a different manner (maybe applied differently or set with more/less powder).
3. He was honest about what you can achieve as a makeup artist.
He was asked a lot of questions throughout the class on how to deal with “this problem and that problem.” And his answer was basically “you’re not magical. You just have to do the best you can with what you’ve got in front of you.” For example, if someone doesn’t take care of their skin, there’s no instant cure you can perform. It was an incredibly refreshing thing to hear because that’s one of the hardest things for me as a makeup artist – some clients have such high expectations and I feel a huge amount of pressure to wow them, but honestly I’m not a miracle worker.
4. His emphasis on timeless makeup.
He talked about how never in his career has he had a client ask for “Instagram brows.” He explained that soft, feminine, diffused makeup will always be classy and in style. Clients will never complain when you make them look timeless. Again, the word refreshing comes to mind, as working at Sephora is very trend based.
5. The nose contour.
Of course it was neat to see him contour in general, but the coolest bit to me was when he popped a little bit of taupe shadow where the eyebrow connects to the nose. It gave the model an instant edgy, fashion forward effect that I loved. He said it was a popular trick for photo shoots. I would have been thrilled if I’d had the chance to see him do a more editorial look as well.
6. The expensive highlight.
So you know how highlighter has just gotten out of control?… people trying to blind bitches with their highlight. Sometimes it’s just not classy anymore. What I enjoyed almost more than anything was how he highlighted the model. He popped on a beautiful, modest liquid highlight and then he went over the top with some Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (I know I said that I wasn’t going to be too specific, but this was just smashing). The effect was so dewy and gorgeous, without being at all crass. He called it “expensive looking.” Truth. We actually learned a similar technique to this in makeup school. We’d use Vaseline to highlight, but I’ll tell you, the combo of the liquid highlight and the Elizabeth Arden was something special.