Friday, January 18, 2013

First Look Fridays: Makeup Artist Andie Markoe-Byrne

Want to know why Maria Sharapova always looks so stunning on the red carpet? It's because of makeup artist Andie Markoe-Byrne. Not to mention she's assisted some of the biggest names in the business (ahem: Bobbi Brown and Vincent Longo). Read on to find out more about her work with Maria, the lipstick she can't live without and so much more.


How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
I always loved makeup. From as early as I can remember, I would break into my mom's makeup and make a huge mess covering myself with her 80's clay pot blush & shimmering khaki eye shadows. In my teens, I dabbled in painting, and was always doing my friends' makeup to get into clubs. I spent hours in my room recreating looks from magazines and slowly started amassing large quantities of makeup into my Caboodles.

When I was 18, I got a break from a friend asking me to come assist a makeup artist on a PSA video shoot and once I saw a real, professional makeup artist I knew that that was what I wanted to do. It was hard to figure out the business pre-internet, and you couldn't really find too much info on agencies, modeling agencies, magazines ... I put together a Polaroid book of my friends' makeup that I did and of a job I had done for Cirque de Soleil (I was very lucky to have that opportunity). Then I cold called every makeup and modeling agency, trying to get tests, advice, leads or anything. I had a master list that I had compiled and called and followed up relentlessly every few months. A few people were nice and starting introducing me to photographers or recommended me for little jobs.

During my first few years as a makeup artist, I worked in low budget TV/music videos, then did the high end counters in NYC (starting at Bobbi Brown, moving my way up in the company until I was doing fashions shows and events, then private clients for her studio services). At that time, agencies started recommending me to assist editorial fashion makeup artists. That was when it all really clicked. I loved it and learned all kinds of amazing skills and tricks from master makeup artists. I worked with numerous fashion luminaries, did over 10 seasons of shows for Fashion Week, as well as shoots with legendary photographers. I made a lot of great friends and became officially represented by my dream agency, Bryan Bantry, where I still am today.

I love doing makeup. I'm deeply grateful to do something I love so much and to work with such fantastic people.

You've worked a lot with Maria Sharapova. Are there any looks you've created for her that stand out as your favorites?
I met Maria when she was still a teenager. She didn't really care about makeup then, and she was not a fan of sitting still for full hair and makeup. Of course she was young, gorgeous and really didn't need anything, but we grew to be friends and collaborated on all her looks. Now she could be a Vogue beauty editor! That girl knows her stuff!

One of my favorite Maria looks ever was an event she did with Rachel Zoe. It was the first time I got her in a red lip. She had a high ponytail, this gorgeous white dress, dewy skin, lots of individual lashes, she looked like a modern Grace Kelly -- so amazing and so different from her image as an athlete. She was very unsure about the red and then wound up loving it as much as I did. She looked stunning! That was really fun.

I also Loved our Sports Illustrated swim launch, I thought that she outshone the supermodels. Actually, there really are a lot of favorites, as we have worked together for so long. She really is wonderful, has incredible taste and puts a lot of thought and creativity into her fashion. So she is a dream to work with, plus she's hilarious.

How do you get Maria's skin to be so gorgeous and glowy?
Maria takes immaculate care of her skin, so it's easy.

We love Kanebo Sensai Collection Concealer. Those have been our staple for years! Also Kanebo Sensai Fluid Finish Foundation and Tom Ford Beauty Illuminating Highlight Pen in Citrine. We go very light and layer that highlighter in to enhance her already healthy glow.

What are your top 5 favorite beauty products?
1) Tom Ford Beauty Shade & Illuminate in Intensity One. I am a contour maniac and highlight queen. This is one of the most perfect beauty items ever created.

2) Kanebo Sensai Collection Concealer. Liquid concealer perfection. They look like skin, don't crease or cake and are light as air with coverage.


3) MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder HD Microfinish Powder. I love this powder. It is bulletproof for shoots -- you can apply right after you do makeup then blot with a tissue the rest of the day. It's also a lifesaver on swim/location shoots. I actually don't use any other powder in my daily kit anymore (except a Kanebo translucent powder for red carpet) than this one.

4) Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color. What can I say? These are such incredible pigment, wear, creaminess and color selection. I never knew I could love one lipstick brand so much! Worth the money.

5) Kanebo Sensai Collection 38°C Mascara in Black. I fell in love with this mascara over a decade ago. It has a teeny brush so you can get right up into the roots of the lashes, it's water resistant but totally doesn't smudge or move at all, it adds a layer of silk fibers onto your lashes to add volume and it never gets clumpy. When you wash your makeup off it comes off in tubes with warm water. It's still my favorite after all these years!

What are your top 3 beauty tips?
1) Fingers always give more beautiful skin. I always use eye/lip cream primer then rub in a sheer foundation like moisturizer only with my hands, it warms it up and melts into the skin seamlessly.

2) Always curl your lashes. Adding a base coat makes lashes fuller and longer. Then apply mascara.

3) Exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Your skin will thank you, so will your makeup. It will be more natural and even. Splurge on a good face cream, it makes a world of difference!

Being a makeup artist must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
Spare time? What spare time? I have very little of that, being a makeup artist keeps you busy! I also have a daughter who is a budding beauty junkie and only will have Tom Ford nail polish on her fingers and toes, she's a hilarious awesome maniac. And my muse. We like doing a lot of things within our community -- friends, neighbors, parks, lots of outdoor play time. I love concerts, I'm a serious baker and I still love makeup shopping. I never tire of a good hunt for the best new beauty products!

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