Friday, June 15, 2012

First Look Fridays: Makeup Artist Robin Schoen

From Kate Winslet to Kate Moss, makeup artist Robin Schoen has had quite the illustrious career! Read on to discover the lip color she can't live without, her tip for how to do your makeup, and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I'm originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and never went to an actual school for makeup. Instead I chose to go to a local beauty school to get my hairdressing license because I thought I should probably have a backup plan in case the makeup thing didn't pan out. I really hoped that it would because makeup was really what I loved to do.

How did you first become interested in makeup, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
My first memory that made me realize how much I loved makeup was when I was about 7 years old. I remember sitting in the bathroom watching my mom get ready for a night out with my dad. She used to wear liquid black eyeliner and a vibrant red lipstick! I was hooked immediately by the transformation process. Then when I was a little older, a friend of the family made my face up and I was just blown away by how much older I looked. There was something about the finish of my skin after foundation was applied and the scent of the makeup she used that seemed very exciting to me. She worked behind various makeup counters at the the time and brought home a bunch of makeup tester trays ... so much fun! All the beautiful colors to play with and the infinite possibilities that she could create using them.

Ever since, I was obsessed with fashion magazine covers; always wanting to see how the models were doing their makeup. This was the 80's so the Cosmo covers shot by Francesco Scavullo were my "drug" of choice. In high school, my friends became my first canvases ... I did their makeup for proms and when we went out to bars/clubs. My very first makeup job was working at Merle Norman in the Echelon Mall in New Jersey. The store had a philosophy where they believed how important it was for women to feel un-intimidated doing their own makeup. I would do makeup lessons where I did one side of their face and they did the other while I guided them. I think I was 16 at the time and have carried that very same philosophy with me to this day. During high school, I got jobs in a few high-end salons in my area, doing makeup for hair shows as well as in the salon.

Once I graduated, I began working on actual photo shoots, in Philadelphia where I learned invaluable lessons on developing my craft and the importance of the photographer/makeup artist relationship. After about 3 years or so and on the suggestion of a New York agent, I took a trip to Europe to expand on my portfolio. I lived in Milan for a year and a half and Paris for one year, traveling quite a lot throughout my stay. This trip turned out to be the pinnacle of my career. It was there that I was able to finally define my craft and, all the while, became completely inspired by the passionate people, their diverse cultures, and utter appreciation and high regard for all that is beautiful. Such a wonderfully creative time it was. My connection to the raw and undone work of fellow artist Stephane Marais was it for me. His collaborations with photographer Peter Lindbergh for Italian Vogue literally blew me away ... I used to get goose bumps looking at such spectacular imagery. I returned home in 1991 and shortly after moved to NYC where I have been working and residing for 16 years.

You have quite an impressive celebrity clientele! Are there any looks you've created that stand out as favorites?
I once body painted Gisele Bunchen for my friend Suza Scalora's book The Witches and Wizards of Oberin and did a really colorful multi-textured makeup that I really enjoyed. I also worked with Kate Winslet for her Sense and Sensibility film premiere. She had such immaculate skin and these beautiful almost full tulip shaped lips, which she loved to define to perfection. Also, as luck would have it, I was thrilled to be able to work on a John Galliano show with my makeup inspiration Stephane Marais. The makeup concept was very French and theatrical -- almost Toulouse-Lautrec in nature but on steroids! GORGEOUS! I worked on Kate Moss and so that day was perfection for me.

What are your top 5 favorite products and why?
Over the years there have certainly been a few products that I have come to rely on, especially with the cosmetic advertising I do which is shot VERY close up and can be hugely unforgiving.

1) M.A.C Face and Body Foundation: Absolute perfection in terms of finish and color tones. You can use it anywhere and never be able to tell that you have foundation on. GREAT for creating a quick tan!

2) Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencils: Amazing! They're magic -- super easy to apply and erase imperfections, leaving you with flawless skin.

3) Bobbi Brown Blush in Pale Pink: When a little is applied to the apples of your cheeks, it makes you look instantly refreshed and healthy.

4) Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara: It's the blackest color I've seen and makes your lashes look ridiculously lush and thick!

5) Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint: They have quickly become a favorite of mine. They come in both matte and transparent glossy textures and look so beautiful.

What are your top 3 beauty tips?
1) Never put an ounce of anything on your face unless it's there for a reason. Really look at YOUR canvas -- notice the positives as well as those things that you'd like to diminish and work toward using products that will help you be the best version of yourself and with less effort. You don't need to put tons of makeup products on your face -- just because companies sell eyeliner doesn't mean you need it.

2) Always do your makeup in a mirror that is close to your face and choose a place that offers well-lit, even light. I can't stress this enough. Makes a huge difference in the end result.

3) Women in their 30's and beyond should choose makeup textures that add "light" to your face. There are so many beautiful luminous cream eyeshadows, hydrating cheek and lip colors, and foundations that leave behind a sheer and glowing finish and won't budge. The more you mattify or dull your face, the older you look.

Being a makeup artist must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
Lately I have been traveling a lot and so when I finally do have some time at home, I pretty much catch up on my sleep, spend time with friends, family, and my sweet dog Monty, and recently I finally took a painting class after talking about it for months. Not so bad for my first try!

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