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Makeup artists not just for celebrities: how to choose one

Top Toronto makeup artist who has worked with celebrities shares her secrets on how to get your own personal makeup artist for special events, parties, whenever.

Liz Taylor has always had them, and so do the new crop of film femmes. In fact they rarely go anywhere without them. They are personal makeup artists. And they are the latest Hollywood elite to come along. In fact many are upstaging the personalities signing their paychecks. Five years ago, few people knew the name Kevyn Aucoin, the famous artist to the stars who passed away in 2002. But now, you often hear either a name like Kevyn’s, or star artists Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier, who have their own cosmetic lines, or you witness a celebrity thank their makeup artist during awards broadcasts—either way, we are getting the message loud and clear that professional artists are lurking behind the famous faces we dream of having.

Most women can transform themselves with the flick of a well-directed makeup brush. And they can get professional help. In fact, just "internet" your way to "Google", type in makeup artist and you are on your way. Freelance makeup artists who come directly to your home abound, not just in major city centers but all over now. The training and hatching of seedling artists is on the rise big time, as the nation’s focus on beauty continues to escalate.

Maybe you’ve been so busy planning your hair, nails, massages, waxing, and facial appointments to think of how a makeup artist can add the icing to your beauty cake, but why all the fuss if you are left with a squeaky clean but blank canvas? Think about how an artist can turn your entire look around with a specialized makeup lesson tailored just for you. No time to master the skill for ongoing "do-it-yourself" applications? Then have an artist on speed-dial for those dinner parties, client meetings or impromptu get-togethers. You just need to know where to find them and how to know if they are worth their weight in lipstick.

Not all artists are created equal. To find an artist to come to you, follow a few key guidelines. Find someone who is trained by a reputable school or program known for specializing in the art of makeup not cosmetics sales. Watch out for artists who’ve been trained to sell products and who only use one line of makeup on you. You’ll be up against a big sales pitch to drop a lot of cash on products you end up shelving later because you break-out or your face rejects the horrific color choices. Also ask to see photos of an artist’s work—preferably pictures from professional photographers who are fussy about the artists they work with. Expect the artist to speak with you before your appointment about everything that will make your session together successful—skin care, your coloring, your makeup preferences, the products and shades you currently use, your skin condition, the reason for getting together and what you want to get out of the makeover.

Beyond makeup, a great makeup artist doesn’t just show you where the color goes. She looks at you and sees the shape of your face and how to showcase its features—she can tell you how to shade and highlight areas to make them stand out or disappear, how to shape your brows to suit your face or to make your eyes seem further apart or closer together, how to line your lips to reshape and balance their look, and more. A great makeup artist also looks at a clean face and sees the finished product. The transformations can be theatrical. My clients so often light up like an audience as the curtain unveils the first image— they delight in what they see and are enchanted by the sense of something new, and the newfound personal strength that beauty offers. To get makeup advice from ColetteArticle Search, you can reach her at 905-841-5250. You can also see her work at

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Colette Cormier is a freelance makeup artist serving Toronto area. She graduated from one of North America’s prestigious makeup schools and is an award-winning published writer. Colette has worked with world-known celebrities, as well as Toronto and New York models, film producers, fashion shows, video producers and has a variety of personal clients including brides, business executives, lawyers, accountants, and others.

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