For those of you, who wondered about the abstract art painted onLady Gaga’s face, let me introduce you to the man who wields the magic makeup brush – Donald Simrock, the celebrity American makeup artist, well known in showbiz circles for his striking editorial work. Recently Simrock visited Mumbai, giving the Indian makeup scene a touch of Hollywood glamour. He was invited to BHI Makeup & Hair Academy, to demonstrate his craft to the students who have enrolled to learn the intricacies of modern makeup. Founded by VivekBharti, the Academy’s second batch of 20 studentshave been learning all about makeup for fashion, bridal and Red Carpet looks during their six weeks course.
Donald Simrock has worked with stars like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Eva Mendes, Lindsay Lohan, AvrilLavigne, Cindy Crawford, Kate Upton, Pink, Nicki Minaj, Madonna.We cornered him for an exclusive Q&A for the readers of The Luxury Chronicle.
How has makeup changed in the last 20 years?
Donald Simrock –There is great advancement in the range of products. Whereas when I started doing makeup there were very few lines, which were effective to use for consumers or artist. Now there is a product for everything.
You have hailed Priyanka Chopra as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Who are the others in that league according to you?
DS-I have not worked with Priyanka Chopra but would love to someday. Some of my favourite beauty icons would be Mila Jovovich, Ela Mendes and Madonna. From the earlier years it would be Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.
What was it like working with Hollywood celebs? Are they fussy or cooperative?
DS-Most of the time everybody is very cooperative, but it may be difficult because everyone has a tight schedule and limited time to do the job but most people are not fussy or uncooperative.
Who has inspired you most in your field?
DS-The people who have inspired me are Dick Page and Pat McGrath who are the top two makeup artists in the world who have been my icons.
Which has been your most challenging assignment?
DS-The most exciting was when I was assisting Pat McGrath because it had challenges with a large amount of pressure that I was put under.
What is the fastest way to make up a face?
DS-The fastest way to make up a face is to first of all know your face. If you know your face it won’t take much time and nearly every woman knows her face.
How long do you take to do a face on an average?
DS-For a normal everyday face I would take 45 minutes.
What do you think of Bollywood makeup?
DS-I love Bollywood makeup because of the amount of attention, which is paid to the culture and history of the country that makes it special for me. Hollywood doesn’t do that.
What do you think of Indian makeup artists?
DS-I think from what I have seen of Indian makeup artists they are amazing and sure of everything.
Do you plan to work in Bollywood since it is the world’s biggest film producer?
DS-I would absolutely love to work in Bollywood. And I intend to do so and look forward to doing it.
You have worked with Cindy Crawford, Madonna and Lady Gaga all from different eras. How different or alike are they?
DS-They are alike as far as work pressure is concerned they are different people but they share the same common thing when it comes to a fetish about their face. Each one has a different part of the face they like to highlight.
Do you enjoy doing TV, film or fashion show/features makeup?
DS-I don’t have much experience for TV, it’s an area, which is unfamiliar to me but I enjoy film, fashion and features since they allow me to think out of the box and push my creativity
What is your favourite skin colour that is easy to work with?
DS-Every skin colour is just a colour if they have nice skin that is good. It’s not the colour but texture that is important. The colour will determine what kind of makeup shade one uses but one can work with a wide range of colours on any skin type but it’s the quality of the skin that matters.
What are the 3 essentials of makeup that every woman must carry?
DS-More than the makeup it is the skin care products that are important because if the skin is not treated properly no product will look good. So a good concealer, which has a high level of opacity but not heavy, is a must. Then mascara which can intensify the eyes and then a gel bronzer that can act as eye shadow, blusher and even lips.
How should women hide dark circles?
DS-A concealer is important but one must correct the problem before concealing it. Use a red or green based colour corrector, which will help to adjust the darkness under the eye and then go for the concealer.
According to you which are the important parts of a face when it comes to makeup?
DS-If it is everyday makeup then it depends on the face and what you are trying to achieve. But the important part would be to focus on the eyes and make them beautiful.
Should foundation be one shade darker or lighter than the skin tone?
DS-The foundation on the face should match the body tone.
Trends of the 60’s like the Twiggy and pale lips were big then, what is big right now in makeup?
DS-What is big right now for Spring/Summer 2016 is the lux vamp look for a lot of shows. Blue shadow is popular, while bronze, peach, pink and pastel for the eyes is big news.
Please give 5 tips to Indian women about makeup?
DS-The five tips I can suggest are 1) Be adventurous with your makeup. 2) Wear it with confidence. 3) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 4) Get a product that can do multiple tasks which can be used for lips, blusher and eyeshadow 5) know your skin type.
What are the latest trends in makeup? Should they be the same for different skin colours?
DS-There are lots of colours but some can’t work with all skin types but you can do the bronze vamp bright red look. There are reds that are blue, yellow or orange. One can find a way to suit the skins from the different trends. They have every skin type on the runway so you have to just adjust. You can’t do a regular pale pink but can do a dusty pink to suit Indian skins.