I am starting a new series where I interview celebrity makeup artists and other beauty industry insiders in order to learn about how they got their start, the obstacles they faced and what their plans are for the future. The first person in my new series is Brandy Gomez-Duplessis, a celebrity makeup artist with an A-list clientele and an inspiring story.
CounterCultureBeauty.com: What is your first beauty memory?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: My first beauty memory was watching television of old Hollywood actresses. Back in the days women were very polished, elegant, and well groomed. Women’s hair was always styled, dressed like an in-store mannequin, and dripped in lots of jewelry. To me that was beau-tee-ful (laughing).
CCB: How did you get your start in makeup?
BGD: My start was like many makeup artists in the industry. I started behind a makeup counter. I worked part time at an Estee Lauder makeup counter in New York and opened the first MAC Cosmetics counter in New Orleans at Saks Fifth Ave. From there, I started freelancing.
CCB: What are some of the obstacles that you have faced becoming a makeup artist?
BGD: I have been blessed to not have had too many obstacles with my career. The most significant obstacle to overcome was building my name and brand as a makeup artist living in NewOrleans. It’s a slower market for the type of industry work that I wanted. So I relocated to New York because most of my work went from local to out of town.
CCB: Who was the first celebrity client that you worked with and how did that come about?
BGD: This will definitely tell my age. My first celebrity client was actress Rosanna Arquette. I was working at MAC Cosmetics and someone from her staff saw my work and knew that she needed a makeup artist for the night. So after work, I went to do her makeup and the rest is history.
CCB: Currently which celebs are you working with?
BGD: My recent celebrity clients have been actress Kelly Rutherford, Gloria Reuben, Jennifer Aniston, Julianne Nicholson, Latin singer Nayer, and singer Flo-Rida.
CCB: What are some of your favorite makeup brands to work with? Tools?
BGD: I am open to trying out different makeup brands. At the moment I’ve been playing a lot with Inglot, Stila, L’OREAL, Makeup Forever and Smashbox. The only time I pull out my airbrush machine is when my clients request it. I’m old school, I enjoy working with my hands.
CCB: Who are you inspired by? Celebs, makeup artists, actors etc…
BGD: (OMG! Laughing) I am inspired by a lot of things. Watching fashion shows from designers that I love inspire me especially DSquared, their fashions shows have me sketching up all kind of looks, (laughing). If I am in a magnificent home decorated beautifully, looking at ad campaigns in the magazines, being by water, art, and just being around anything luxurious I get inspired.
CCB: What summer makeup trends are you excited about?
BGD: The makeup trend I am most excited about is that bold and bright colors will still be sizzling this summer. Yummy pink and tangy tangerine lip colors will still grace fashionista’s lips. Bright color eyeliners, peachy pink cheek illuminators, and bronzers will also be a big hit.
CCB: For women of color, what are some cool tips or techniques for getting the perfect summer face?
BGD: Summer makeup tips for us brown girls start with a clean exfoliated canvas. Make sure the skin is healthy, so cleanse, tone and moisturize the face twice a day before putting makeup on the skin. Warm weather tends to leave us with oily skin which leads to breakouts. Once the skin is taken care of, you can play with bold lip colors, pink and orange looks amazing on the lips. Select cream or gel color eyeliners in shades of teal and midnight blue then use a bronzer on the cheeks and also as an eye shadow. Last always use waterproof mascara and carry a mirror with you at all times.
CCB: Are you currently working on any special projects and if so, please shout them out here!
BGD: I have a photo shoot with the NBA, I will be working with Chris Mullin. I also have a photo shoot with Ebony Magazine. I’m the key makeup artist on MTV’s newest show “Hip Hop Pov”. I have a beauty event in Boston with Stila Cosmetics, and later this month I will be doing both hair & makeup on a new show call The Message on BET. I think that’s it for this month.
CCB: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media contact info where readers can contact you or reach out to you.
BGD: My email address is email@example.com, my twitter page is @bgdmakeupartist, personal blog is www.insidethelifeofamakeupartist.blogspot.com and I just started flirting with Instagram @bgdmakeupartist