Stephen Moleski is a man who needs no introduction. Known as “The Makeup Man”, his work has earned him a place amongst the legends of makeup artistry.
Having worked with such notables as Nadia Bjorlin, The Girls Next Door, Nicole Scherzinger and the Kardashian sisters, he’s amassed quite a celebrity clientele and has seen his work featured pretty much everywhere, from magazines to the red carpet.
As a huge fan of his work and his signature smoky eye look, it was nothing less than an absolute pleasure to talk to Stephen and get his thoughts on makeup. He is so personable and this just shines clear through in his work. There is MUCH more to come from Stephen, and next month we’ll feature a post dedicated to the new line of false lashes he’s developed and is getting ready to launch. He definitely has a few guaranteed Painted Ladies customers!
PL: How did you get started working as a makeup artist? Did you start in retail?
SM: I started out in makeup actually working with a designer friend of mine and then also working at a hair salon in Atlanta. I worked for a short period time at MAC too, but only for a brief time.
PL: How did you start working with celebrities?
SM: I got lucky and made the right connections. Pretty soon, my “look” became quite well known and one celebrity client referred me to another who referred me to another.
PL: Who are your makeup inspirations?
SM: I love J Lo and Beyonce! They love to push their look all the time. I guess I always channel a little “DIVA” in all my looks. I love doing red carpet glamour. It always gives me the chance to really play with the extraordinary and try things that wouldn’t normally be appropriate for my other work. Fashion can go from one extreme to the other, but glamour has one direction…I just get to decide how far I want to take it.
PL: Do you stick to one particular brand of makeup, or do you use a variety of brands?
SM: I love a lot of different types of makeup. No one makes better shadows then MAC, but for foundations and other products I tend to experiment with other brands.
PL: Would you mind revealing your top 5 favorite products in your kit?
SM: 1. Zoom Lash Mascara by MAC
2. My Kabuki Brush
3. The Beautyblender sponge is AMAZING
4. Face and Body Foundation by MAC is the best to start a makeup
5. Also, I can’t live without my own line of lashes, of course “Smoke and Mirrors Beauty” will be for sale this Christmas at http://www.smokeandmirrorsbeauty.com/. I have been using them on my clients with rave reviews for a while now, so I have decided to bring them to production for the general public.
PL: For aspiring makeup artists, do you have any tips or advice as to how they can get started with their careers?
SM: Return Phone Calls IMMEDIATELY and never be late for work .Word of mouth is your best and worst friend in the business, depending on your attitude. Someone will forget you work quickly if they don’t enjoy being around you. Being a makeup artist means spending your days in someone else’s personal space, so you had better bring great skills and great energy (and some mints) to work with you.
PL: This is something we all want to know: How does Kim Kardashian keeps her skin so clear? She looks flawless in every photo we see.
SM: Kim has great skin. She has her skin regimen that keeps it perfect with or without makeup. Makeup is meant to enhance, not hide. Kim understands this perfectly and takes care of herself on every level.
PL: A Casper pale girl wants to know is it possible for her to rock a nude lip?
SM: Yes! I would just make sure that it is more of a pink or warm undertone. If it is too much of a cool tone it can look cold or morbid.
PL: Kevyn Aucoin said it was OK to gently curl your lashes *after* applying mascara. What’s your take on this?
SM: Kevyn Aucoin didn’t have any rules, that is why he was such a brilliant talent. Sometimes I curl before, sometimes after. The operative word is GENTLY!
Thank you for talking to the Painted Ladies, Stephen!