Josie Maran Argan Oil and Giovanni Body Butter
A few years ago, I met Charli Rousseau at an event in Los Angeles. Right away, I was drawn to her innate knowledge of all things beauty -- not to mention her uber-vibrant personality! And the fact that she was the first one to tell me about L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lip Gloss? Thank goodness. Read on to discover the red lip trick she swears by, her number-one beauty essential (it may surprise you!) and so much more.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I'm originally from Los Angeles and have spent most of my adult life here, but I grew up overseas and on the East Cost because of my parents' jobs. I studied journalism at USC with plans to work at a fashion magazine in New York City but never could seem to leave the beautiful weather and scenery here. Luckily, I was still able to build a career here as an L.A.-based beauty writer/editor/blogger, and now makeup artist.
How did you first become interested in beauty?
When I was growing up in Japan, runway shows were always on television -- at home, at the airport, everywhere. I watched them as if in a trance, and had a crazy obsession with fashion, beauty, costumes and fantasy worlds as a kid. I was always trying out looks in fashion magazines on myself and my friends, complete with makeup, dress and hair. It seemed only natural to find something related to do in life.
How did you make the transition from beauty writer to makeup artist?
I loved watching my dad, whose hobby was cartooning, as a kid. He inspired me to want to work with my hands as an artist, so I took lots of drawing and design classes. But I never pursued fine arts beyond college since, well, somewhere along the way, I was convinced that writing was more practical. While covering beauty, I was in awe of every makeup artist I met. Watching them work made me excited to go to work, and suddenly it just clicked. I thought, "I should be doing that!" So I enrolled in makeup school immediately.
What are your top 5 beauty essentials?
1) A good night's sleep -- otherwise it's all downhill from there
3) Conditioner -- Kevin Murphy and Marco Pelusi are my faves
4) Concealer -- love the one by W3ll People
What are the products and brands you simply can't live without?
Tough one. If I had to pick based on the products I use most, I would have to say:
The Multiple and the Duo Eyeshadow
bronzers and cream shadows
M.A.C eyeshadows, lipsticks and Technakohl liner
But there are so many other brands I love that I'm leaving out here: Laura Mercier, Hourglass Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Korres, CoverGirl ... I could go on for hours.
What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1) There's nothing better-looking than good skin, so if you don't have time to do anything else with makeup, at least moisturize, use sunscreen and blend some concealer or foundation over any patchy areas to even out your complexion.
2) I get asked a lot how to get red lips to last all day and I always recommend exfoliating first with a sugar scrub (I like Sara Happ or LUSH), then moisturizing with a face cream or eye cream (that's a Bobbi Brown tip).
My secret weapon is Lancome Le Lipstique, which I use to trace and fill in lips really well before applying matching lipstick. Think of the lipstick as the cherry on top of all those layers!
3) Shape your brows regularly and don't forget to fill them in. It really helps bring out your face and make you look "complete," especially if you're not wearing much makeup.
Playing with makeup must be fun -- but what do you do in your spare time?
When I'm not working (which is rare), I love experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, doing yoga, dancing in the living room and watching movies with my husband. And I love, love, love trying new restaurants ... I think I was a restaurant reviewer in a past life.
To visit Charli Rousseau's website, click here. To follow her on Twitter, click here.