'Screw being pretty': Hillary Clinton's makeup artist on the power of makeup - The Sydney Morning Herald


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Celebrity make-up artist and Visionaire founder, James Kaliardos, began dabbling in make-up when he was just seven. He now makes up the most famous faces in the world including Hillary Clinton, Madonna, Julianne Moore, Barbra Streisand, Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Victoria Beckham.

He was in Sydney recently to talk make-up and how to be "way better than pretty".

On his childhood 

"It began very early – I was seven and I used to watch my mother do her make-up. She had Jackie O hair and a Maria Callas face – Onassis would have loved her. She wore a lot of eye make-up and pale lips and I tried making her up and I was really good at it. So I just kept doing it on everyone I could get my hands on. I just loved the idea of transformation. The make-up thing happened really naturally and for fun I assisted Francois Nars and Kevyn Aucoin".

On inspiration

"Now Voyager with Bette Davis who transforms into a beautiful women. There is something about transformation that I have become obsessed about. I think make-up is so interesting because it's like a non commitment, you can just wipe it off, but it really does have a big impact on being able to change the way you look."

On selfie culture 

"Now it's so much about this weird popularity thing: I hate non-talent and selfie-taking."

On foundation 

"Before I begin a makeup session, I exfoliate the skin and I put a lot of moisturising cream on to improve texture. I like to keep everything sheer with moisturising foundations."

On cheeks and lips 

"Shaping and shading your face is also very important. My new collection is about the ultimate edit that I use every day when I am on a shoot. A glowy cheek is really youthful; it's about looking healthy, polished and clean. And remember, red lipstick works on everybody."

On eyeliner

"Eyeliner application is kind of like writing. Lift your chin so your eyelid becomes flat and your eyelashes are not interfering with your view of the line. Take the liner from halfway along the lid as the centre of the lid is very hard to do."

Highlights I worked a lot with Miley Cyrus who is very independent and very talented. She has a really beautiful voice and very professional attitude towards work. And then I worked with Hillary [Clinton] who was just incredibly cool; I really wanted to go the inauguration.

Beauty mantra Screw being pretty – you can be way better than pretty. It's not about how other people perceive you, it's about how you perceive yourself and what gives you the kick. If you want to go out with glittery eyeshadow, then just do it. 

Beauty tools I believe in having the right tool and letting the tool do the job. This takes the guessing game out of it.

·      Eyeshadow brush 213 Start down at your lash bed and blend up. Blending is really important.

·      A woman's fingers are really incredible as they are delicate.

·      I use an angle brush for contouring.

·      A blush brush; and an air brush for foundation,

·      I love a nude lip pencil to shape the lip and then you can put any colour lipstick at all over it.

PS Kaliardos is about to launch his first collection with M.A.C and our favourites from the range include: Moons of Jupiter Full Face Kit; Jumbo Penultimate Eye Liner, Stratagloss Pyrite (a pinky beige with gold reflects) and Bloodstone Lipstick (a great mid-tone red)