Although largely anonymous in the past, save for names like Lisa Eldridge and the late, great Kevyn Aucoin, things like Instagram have found makeup artists (or MUAs as they’re called in the industry) increasingly stepping into a spotlight of their own making.
And what better time to shine that light on their skills, talent and inspiration than during the holidays, when celebrations call for glamour, whether it’s a pared back, red-lips-are-everything look or something more over-the-top festive.
So who are the MUAs behind our three glamorous holiday trends and how did they find themselves in the industry?
In the case of Klava Zykova, who created the “Effortless Glam” look, getting into fashion happened after she finished law school in Russia and discovered she didn’t want to be a lawyer. After immigrating to Canada in 2006, she enrolled in a few courses at the University of Victoria, where she “randomly took an aptitude test, and the top suggestion was ‘commercial artist,’ followed by ‘lawyer,’ ” she says, laughing.
Determined to try a new career, she bought makeup books and landed a job at M.A.C., where despite being the least-experienced person ever hired, according to her manager, she was nominated a year later as M.A.C.’s best new makeup artist for North America. Since then, she’s worked at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics’ opening ceremonies, Cannes Fashion Festival (“I still dream about the beautiful luxury villa where the shows took place!”), Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest’s fashion campaign and fashion fundraiser Runway for Hope. She is also Burberry’s head makeup artist for Nordstrom Ottawa.
Mexico-born MUA Marlet Aguilar, who created our “Snow White” look, enjoyed experimenting with makeup on friends while growing up. She only studied the craft formally at Montreal’s LaSalle College after moving to Canada. She’s worked with Krowd magazine and as beauty editor of Montreal’s Souche magazine and in October she created looks for the Safara Fashion Show in Ottawa. Recently, the 23-year-old conducted a series of makeup seminars in Mexico.
“I am overwhelmed with joy to be back, sharing my work with women and other makeup artists who have been following my career from afar,” Aguilar says.
Self-taught makeup artist Taryn Miller, 32, an esthetician, is passionate about her craft and has amassed an impressive portfolio with jobs in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. With more than 15,000 Instagram followers, she first made her mark working with the now-defunct Ottawa Fashion Week makeup team under well-known artist Leslie-Anne Barrett.
“That was a huge project and I was thrilled to be part of it. It really made me fall in love with the fashion industry and it opened my eyes to the possibilities within the makeup world,” says Miller, who is responsible for our “Holiday Chic” look.
Possibilities are exactly what all three women have put together with their holiday makeup, adds Zykova.
“We wanted to create things that people could look at and think, ‘I would love to wear this to the next party!’ And they could actually re-create it themselves.”
Klava Zykova generously applied M.A.C. Indianwood Paint pot over the eyelid and around the bottom rim of the eye, blending it with Dark Chocolate in Burberry’s Dark Spice Complete Palette No. 05 and smoothing out the edges with Soft Ochre Gold. She then lined the eye with Burberry’s Effortless Blendable Kohl Golden Brown No. 3, smudging it with a pencil brush. She used Burberry’s new Cashmere foundation and finished the look with Burberry Light Glow Tangerine Blush and Burberry Kisses Oxblood lipstick patted on and finished with Burberry First Kiss lip balm in Sweet Plum. “This whole look is very much about metals melting each other, so get your fluffy brush out ready and start blending,” Zykova, 35, says.
Marlet Aguilar created this look to show the shine of a perfect snowfall on a winter day. “Audrey has beautiful porcelain skin, which lent itself to a winter princess look,” Aguilar says. She started with NARS Finland tinted moisturizer and then Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow to define the eyebrow. Over the eyelid crease, Aguilar applied Punch Fuchsia and Buttery on the lid itself, both from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Artist Palette. Glitter shadow completed the eye makeup, along with a liquid liner and false lashes from KISS. NYX Mega Shine gloss was then applied to the lip. “When you do your holiday look, make sure you add a colour to your crease that will make your eyes pop.”
MUA Taryn Miller opted for deep, sensual saturated tones, making the lip the focal point for model Daria Ponomareva. First Miller applied M.A.C. Studio Face and Body Foundation and followed with M.A.C. Strobe Cream to create a dewy, iridescent glow.
She layered a wash of M.A.C. Pigment in Museum Bronze over the eyelid, applied a cooler matt M.A.C. brown eyeshadow in the crease for definition and then M.A.C.’s In Extreme Dimension mascara.
The look is finished with M.A.C.’s Burgundy Lip Pencil and M.A.C. Lipstick in Diva.
“When wearing a bold lip, especially in this case, opt for minimal product on the eyes. It really doesn’t take much effort to look polished, even for the holiday season,” she says.
About the shoot
Furs generously supplied by Pat Flesher Furs, 437 Cooper St. patflesher.com.
Jewelry from Le Château, lechateau.com
Styled by Julie Beun.