We all have those days where we desperately need to hide the signs of fatigue & stress from lack of sleep before (read: staying up with baby or sick kiddos) an important event, meeting with a client or even lunch out with a friend.
I rarely wear makeup but every now and than I like to spruce things up a bit, especially when there’s an interview involved. A few months ago I had to pleasure to work with professional hairstyle and makeup artist Mackenzie “Zee” Gustafson of Zee Artistry (refer to detailed Bio at the end of this post) I asked “Zee” to help me achieve a natural look for an upcoming interview/photo shoot. I was so pleased with the results that I decided to bring her in for a short Q and A on the must-have beauty products for achieving a comfortable, natural look. Here is what Zee had to say.
1. Can you direct us to a few low-key/ must-have beauty products we can use on daily basis?
Absolutely! A few products that are must-haves on a daily basis for me are:
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 – This is the best lip balm you will ever own and it is worth EVERY penny ($22.50)
Clarisonic MIA Face Brush – An every day cleansing brush to exfoliate and generate faster cell turnover which tightens the skin, brightens it and cleans off excess makeup/dirt that normal cleansing does not do. ($125)
Maybelline Clear Mascara – I use this to keep my clients brows in place. It also removes extra powder left on lashes or if you want a to go bare faced but still want your lashes to look polished. ($5)
Sephora Airbrush Concealer Brush – I have actually bought three of these to have at all times. This brush is a magician! It flawlessly blends concealer, foundation and contour. With the rounded head you are able to buff out excess pigment. ($24)
2. Which are your go-to beauty products? If you can list a few that you would recommend each girl should have…what would they be?
In my kit, the products I always need to have on hand are Vaseline (Both the original tub and Vaseline Cocoa Butter Body gel), MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, Embryolisse Moisturizer/Primer, and Makeup Forever Loose Setting Powder in #12. I use all of these on every client I come in contact with because the basics of a makeup application are what make the rest of the look come out polished. If you don’t take the time to properly prep your skin, lightly conceal where necessary and set, all other components won’t turn out the way you wanted.
(this is a photo from our makeup/hair session – my makeup consists of all the above products mentioned by Zee. Photo by Kelly Allison Photography)
3. How can one achieve that natural look?
The biggest advice I can give about achieving a ‘natural’ look is to relax on your application of foundation. It is natural instinct to pile on the makeup to look ‘flawless’ but what we fail to realize is 45 minutes later your makeup will have creased and moved. I concentrate on concealing the problem areas (under eyes, around the nose and blemishes) then if still necessary I will apply foundation. Usually a light setting powder is all I need if I’ve concealed properly. I have found that my skin has cleared up and looks more radiant when I am not completely covering it all with product.
4. Can we discuss trends? What’s hot right now?
A trend I am really seeing women utilize is highlight and contour. On the daily, women are becoming savvy to little tricks that enhance jawlines and brighten under eyes. This comes with the warning that there is a fine line before contour can get messy! Start by using powder bronzer as your contour before you graduate to using cream foundations.
For Spring/Summer, pastel shadows and smokey under eye liner are coming back. If you are nervous to try a pastel shadow on your lid, start with a blue or purple eyeliner and a good coat of a black mascara (my favorite is Diorshow Black Out). The hint of pastel will pop any eye look and the black mascara will tone down the color until you feel comfortable enough to try it out on the whole eyelid!
Mackenzie Gustafson is a Celebrity Makeup Artist based in Chicago, Illinois. With over seven years of industry experience, she began her career with Sephora as a Color Specialist where she was able to learn and refine her craft. In 2010, she founded Zee Artistry after making the decision to leave the retail world and pursue makeup as a full time freelance artist. In the past three years she has made her mark in the Chicago scene and has worked with clients such as Lupe Fiasco, William Shatner, Debbie Gibson, and RUSKO to name a few. Proficient in Editorial, Commercial, Bridal, Airbrush, and Special FX makeup, Mackenzie’s work has been featured across multiple forms of media including television (MTV, TNT, TLC), feature films, book covers, billboards, and magazines (Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Sports Illustrated). She currently works consistently with the WGN Morning News applying makeup to the anchors as well as guests to the show.
Thank you Zee for the great advise! I am sure we can all use all of the tips you so kindly provided!