We took a moment with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Rae Morris who is renowned as one of the most influential Makeup Artists in the world. She is not only a number one best-selling author, but also a four times Australian Makeup Artist of the Year, the longest serving Makeup Director for L’Oreal Paris (2003-2013) and has been inducted into multiple Halls of Fame.
With the success of her new book, Makeup Masterclass, which took 2 years to shoot in Australia as well as NYC, we talked about her new release, her must have tools that she designed and what makeup is an essential that we should know about.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist and who were your inspirations?
RAE MORRIS: In the 80’s, I was a model for about 5 minutes, and that was a time when faces were transformed to look “unrecognizable.” That’s when my love for makeup began. I was also blessed to be around the birth of Culture Club, Marilyn, and Ziggy Stardust, where men wore as much sometimes more makeup than women!
AM: Makeup Masterclass is such a powerful and comprehensive book that showcases tools, maintaining skin, methods and the end result of creating a large number of looks that are popular whether they are rocked on the streets, or in a number of shows/movies that we watch. How did you go about putting this project together?
RM: The experience from the previous five books really helped, but the aim was to create a book that not only combined but also eclipsed all my previous books into one big bible. Probably the hardest bit was putting into words some of the creative processes and techniques that I’ve developed and use everyday. Normally, I would just demonstrate them, but for the book I had to illustrate with words and diagrams. I’m really proud of how my “Eye Phi” turned out. The project itself ran over 2 years. We shot first in Sydney and then in New York. Then the real work started. In the end, it was almost over-engineered. It had the best paper, rose gold embossed hard cover, dust cover… Our lead designer even flew to the printer and slept there for five days to make sure they got the color grading right!
AM: It's been 7 years since you wrote your first book, what do you feel has changed in the industry since then?
RM: I can't even believe how much has changed in the industry in the last 7 years since Makeup Guide was released. If I could turn back the clock and be told in that seven year’s time, 13 year-olds will have their own “channel” in the form of youtube, etc and women who never even knew what a contour cream was, would not only know ten types, but they would also know the makeup artist’s secret of applying it. There is so much “free information” available.
AM: You have your own line of tools, and in the book you go through the kinds of brushes. that one should have - what are 3 tools from your collection that you suggest that every makeup kit should have?
RM: No.3 Ultimate Cheekbone - I believe the most powerful anti-aging thing a woman can do is contour, but it can be confusing. This brush takes all the guesswork out of it for you. It carves the perfect cheekbone in less than 3 strokes.
Radiance Brush (26) - I honestly believe no foundation brush comes close to this one. It’s the softest (but still firm) and it works with all foundation types (from liquid to cream to powder) by applying foundation in seconds. It is a favorite of Kelly Roland, Paula Abdul, and Sarah Jessica Parker just ordered one. Also, the Radiance was seen all over the back stage atthe McQueen show in Paris.
No 7. Deluxe Point Shader - This brush will change the way you do your eye makeup. It’s super soft, perfect for creating the perfect socket, but just by adding pressure to the brush you can create the best Smokey eye in seconds.
NO.14 Perfect eyeliner - Eyeliner brushes are essential, you can use them for the obvious “Eyeliner” tasks or just to intensify your chosen eye shadow around the lash line. I have three sizes in my brush range, as one size does not fit all! You may want a precise fine line or a bold "Audrey Hepburn” line, so I recommend using the the right size brush to achieve the line size that you want.
AM: Even skin tone is something that is essential to any makeup look. You share a great tip on how to ensure that you are matching your skin correctly; can you share this with our readers?
RM: It’s a myth to match your foundation to your jawline; your neck is usually much paler than your face due to it being blocked from the sun. You always want your face and body to be the same color, so always match it on the décolletage area and if you fake tan you need to darken your base.
AM: What makeup/skincare brands do you personally advise that we should have?
RM: For makeup I love Nars, M.A.C. and I’m so in love with the I.T concealers and foundations, and Ellis Faas creamy eyes are my favorite. For skin care I love Ultra Cuticles MD, or anything that’s active, I love the little tingle I get when I use the vitamin “A’ and “C’s” and I love having omilux light and gentle peels, I would rather spend the money and go to a dermatologist or a cosmetic physician and see results, than spend so much money on hype.
AM: Of the looks that you create in Make-up Masterclass, which ones are your favorites and which ones do you personally wear yourself?
RM: I do love the cover of Shanina Shaik. I love the femininity and the prettiness of the makeup. For me, I don’t actually wear makeup (rarely) to work. I don’t want to show off to my clients what I’m capable of, but if I had to pick a look it would be the second look I did on Shanina. It’s all about the eyeliner, with everything else paired back.
AM: What is a day in the life for you as a Celebrity Makeup Artist?
RM: Four makeup bags, two assistants, and everyday is different. It’s a balancing act between the photographer, the client, and the model; what they want me to do and what I want to do. So it’s constant consulting and decision-making. It’s more stressful than you might think, especially with all the egos involved (including mine). The makeup is the easy bit.
AM: Are you able to tell us celebrity clients that you have worked with and/or those that you would like to work with?
RM: Some I can tell. Others I keep quiet for confidentiality reasons, so I don’t get hammered with questions about them when the cameras are off. My “keeping them private policy” is why these clients keep booking me.
So here are a few of my faves: Pink, Jessica Biel, Ellie Goulding, Kelly Roland, Paula Abdul, Shanina Shaik, Miranda Kerr, Cyndi lauper, just to name a few…
AM: Paula Abdul wrote the forward for your book and we know that you did her makeup on So You Think You Can Dance, Australian edition - how did you get her to be involved with your book?
RM: Some celebrities you work with become close friends. I consider Paula a friend, rather then a client now.
Yes, it was on that show that we met and we just started a great friendship. She always had this way of complimenting me and my work. She would say the best quotes about me, to me, so she just was perfect for the job.
AM: How do you stay balanced with so many projects that you work on and what fitness methods do you do?
RM: I’m actually completely out of balance (balance has never been a word anyone has used to describe me) and I have never exercised. I'm always too exhaust-
ed. I was brought up in a gymnasium, my mother was an instructor so it traumatized me for life. It’s always all or nothing, so I’m either working on the most creatively challenging jobs with 5 assistants, or I’m sitting at home watching “Peppa Pig” and playing Play Dough with my two year-old. Or I’m sleeping, so I suppose that’s balance?...