LA Fashion week is a big to-do here in the City of Angels. So I was very excited to get backstage access to a couple of the fashion shows that were being sponsored by MAC Cosmetics. What fun! For someone like me who religiously reads every magazine cover to cover, buys every new product that comes out on the market and just loves beauty and fashion in general, this was a real treat. The first show was by a local designer, Kelly Nishimoto, and while I was there I was able to snag some talk time with head make-up artist, Gregory Arlt. Here are some tidbits:
How did you start in the makeup industry?
I have been in the industry for 20 years now professionally and 15 of those have been with MAC Cosmetics.
Did you have any formal makeup training?
None at all! I grew up with 2 sisters who taught me about makeup and color and a dad who was an artist where I learned about shading and mixing color combinations. I was always being requested to do my sisters’ and friends makeup.
What made you want to work for MAC?
I have always loved MAC. I was a freelancer before I came on board and used MAC Cosmetics religiously on my own. I love(d) their makeup. I now love the stability of working for a global company and it’s been an amazing ride ever since.
When you are booked for a job, do you meet with the photographer and/or designers to find out what kind of look they want? Or do you have full creative freedom?
One of my favorite things to do are fashion shows. I always meet with the designer and head stylist before to discuss what type of look we want to achieve. It’s a very collaborative process – sketch pad and all to come up with ideas that are chock full of trial and error. We always love to try and tell a story with our looks.
What was the inspiration behind the look you are showing today?
It’s a very equestrian look – think horseback riding, early , romantic 20’s with a flushed cheek, as if you have just come in from the cold. It is summed up with flawless, glowing skin.
What makeup product can’t you live without?
In general it’s Mascara. If you have it on with nothing else, it looks like you have something on your face that just stands out.
What MAC product can’t you live without?
Absolutely, the Fix +. It’s a face lift in a bottle. It makes your skin taught and plump and I love to spray it on at the 8th hour of a long day for a quick skin refresher. I also use it after I am done to set the makeup as well. There is a blend of green tea, chamomile and cucumber that is calming to the skin with a fresh, clean scent.
What appeals to you most about working for a company like MAC?
First and foremost it’s their philanthropy – their AIDS fund. They are always giving back. Also, MAC gives you tremendous support and lets you have the freedom to do what you want with the creative process. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Any sneak peak of up-coming fall makeup trends?
For fall, think “Chocolate and Cherries.” For the eyes we are seeing browns in an array of frosted and shimmer shades. For the lips, think berry-based reds – cherry and pomegranate reds – nothing too bright, just very deep in color.
P.S. I hear they were testing out a brand, spanking new mascara, but no details were given as of yet. Stay tuned!