Healthy, radiant skin provides a remarkable canvas for any makeup guru to work with. Whether you’re a vanilla cream, cocoa, or sepia-toned beauty, finding the right makeup color and obtaining the right skincare advice for your skin can, at times, be difficult. Luckily, Ladybrille.com managed to get under the brush to speak with the very Ladybrille makeup artist and entrepreneur, Brandy Gomez-Duplessis, to get the inside scoop on beauty. From makeup and skincare tips, to sizzling summer trends, Brandy spills the bronzer on how to enhance our already gleaming canvases. Plus, if you are looking for tips on how to break into the industry, look no further!
LADYBRILLE.com: What are the key things women, especially women of color, need to know about basic skincare and makeup? 1) Protect your skin daily by making sure the facial products you use have an SPF of 13 or more; 2) When in hot weather during the day for a long period of time, make sure to reapply sunscreen; 3) Many women of color tell me they do not like to wear makeup because it is unnatural, but basic makeup helps polish your look during the day; 4)Don’t be afraid to try colors such as pinks, navy, plums and greens. Safe colors like browns, golds and corals are not the only shades we can wear.
LADYBRILLE.com: The biggest difficulty for most is how to find the right foundation for their skin tone. Give our readers some tips! 1) There are so many makeup lines out there that it should be a little easier to find a foundation in your correct shade. I suggest visiting a professional makeup studio or makeup counter and have them match the correct shade for you; 2) If you would rather do it yourself, look for the top 3 shades that are very close to your skin tone and then choose the one closet to your shade; 3) Using a cotton-tip swab, swipe the colors on the chin close to your neck. The color that matches the best is the correct foundation color for you.
LADYBRILLE.com: What are this summer’s makeup trends that our readers should watch for? 1) They’ll continue to see fun bold eye shadow colors, and nude, red and fuchsia lip colors; 2) Long wearing lip colors are great, so I think they will continue to be popular; 3) Gel and cream eye liners are awesome to work with. Therefore, look for more colors this summer; 4) Bronzers will continue to be a top seller year round because they are such a great item to have in your bag.
LADYBRILLE.com: What are some of your most coveted tips that you give your celebrity clientele? 1) Carry a travel-sized can of Evian spray water mist; 2) A white eye pencil, cream /gel liners and mascara are [all] must haves; 3) I suggest to my [clients who are atheletes] that when they are outdoors [t]hey need to have on sunscreen; 5) For my male celebrities, particularly those who don’t like being seen getting powder/foundation applied, I suggest to them the clear matte gel cream if they don’t have a makeup artist with them when doing appearances.
LADYBRILLE.com: How long have you been in the skincare/makeup industry?
Brandy: I have been doing makeup for about 11 years working in New York, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas and Florida. The last 6 years I have been getting more media assignments and receiving credits, seeing my work on television, magazines etc.
LADYBRILLE.com: Who are some of the hottest names in the fashion and entertainment industry that you have had the opportunity to work with? Brandy: I have been blessed to work with some great names in the industry such as: Kim Kardashian and the Kardashian family, Essence Magazine Beauty Editor Mikki Taylor, Former Essence Editor in Chief Susan Taylor, R&B Singer Usher, Deborah Cox, On Air Reporter Maria Menounos, TV Journalist Larry King, Actor Brad Pitt, American Idol Winner Jordin Sparks, NFL Football Players Reggie Bush and Brett Favre, NBA Basketball Player Chris Paul, Magic Johnson, Essence Music Festival for the last 5 years, and I was the Official Makeup Artist for The NBA All-Star Weekend in February 2008.
LADYBRILLE.com: What an impressive list! How did you get into the industry? Brandy: I started out working at Estée Lauder in Manhattan [New York] and someone in the music industry noticed my work and they gave me their business card. I later interned one year for Tommy Boy Records and paid my dues. . . Later, I worked at the first MAC cosmetics in New Orleans at Saks Fifth Avenue. After a year, I started freelancing and never looked back. I took a chance and practiced my skills and would take classes at the IBS shows just to stay current on what was going on in the industry.
LADYBRILLE.com: How do Ladybrille readers who want to do what you do break into the industry? 1): Know that it can be glamorous but a lot of times, its long hours, fast paced, and you have to be your own assistant, manager, and publicist; 2) Have a thick skin because being told no is something you will hear often and when on set everybody has an opinion. You have to be willing to work harder—especially coming out of a smaller market [such as] New Orleans! 3) Practice does make perfect. It’s something that you hear growing up and it’s so true. Test with a lot of photographers to learn different photographers’ styles, plus you will need it for your books; 4) Most importantly, find a makeup artist to work under but not to compete with. Work for free. The new generation wants it fast and thinks everything is like the reality show. They don’t want to assist anymore.They buy lots of makeup at the MAC counter, get a kit together and they think they are a makeup artist. MAC makeup and working at a counter doesn’t make you a professional makeup artist.
LADYBRILLE.com: What are your plans for the future and for the future of BGD makeup artistry studio? Brandy: [laughing] I don’t think you have enough room for all the great things I have on my personal to do list. . . I’d like to put out a great makeup line. Also, I am working towards being a global creative design director at fashion shows for top designers at fashion weeks, other makeup lines, and awards shows. For my studio, I want to put together a team of amazingly talented people i.e. hair stylists, makeup artists, fashion stylists and photographers and put them through “BGD MAKEUP BOOT CAMP.” I want a team to take with me for large assignments. I don’t want an agency, but a group that is trained under me.
Photos by Jerome Holmes, J. Holmes Photography, New Orleans
Photos by Christine Brown/ CFREEDOM Photography, New Orleans
Photos by Jerome Holmes/J. Holmes Photography
Writer: Chloe Ball