I recently sat down to interview THE Mario – Kim Kardashian’s make up artist. The beauty extraordinaire was in town to give make up masterclasses with Belle Femme salon. I was lucky to attend one of those masterclasses, as well as sit down and interview him. We spoke about his start in the beauty industry, how he met Kim, how he keeps Kim’s looks constantly exciting – as well as the beauty range he’s working on!
How does it feel being here in Dubai? Is it your first time?
My third time actually, I was here 2009 and 2011 and it looks like it changed quite a bit since then.
Were those trips for work?
I was here for work, I did some royal weddings here in the past.
So, Mario! How did you get into make up?
After I graduated from High school, when I was 17, I got a job at Sephora which is the first Sephora that opened up in United States. From the very first day of work, women used to come up to me and ask me, “Excuse me can you help me with this lipstick, can you help me with this foundation” and for some reason I never said no, and I always said Ok and then I’d start playing with it. I got really obsessed with it. I was always very interested with beauty all my life whether it was homes,women, interior designs – everything beauty. When I was in Sephora, I really fell in love with it, I began to research and work really hard.
How did you get into doing makeup for some amazing celebrities?
The way it works, It is different for everybody. For me, I began working with photographers, really good photographers in New York, also assisting really famous makeup artists, you start to learn all the tricks of the trade. From there, other photographers will book you because they like your work.
How did you start working with Kim Kardashian?
The way I met Kim was one day a photographer friend of mine called me, “hey I’m shooting this girl named Kim Kardashian tomorrow for magazine cover, She was not that huge yet..and I did her makeup and after she finished, Kim said to me “this is gonna sound really weird, but do you mind shopping with me right now to buy everything you used?” I was like really? she said Yes, so we went shopping in department stores and we bought everything and ever since then, we’ve been working together.
You’ve work on such amazing projects and great people – What has been your ultimate career highlight?
It’s really hard for me to choose one, I think each job is special on its own. There have been really amazing experiences, I mean I’ve been able to travel the world and see amazing things and work with amazing people. If I had to choose one, I would have to say probably my first advertising campaign when I was 19, as a makeup artist it is hard to do an advertising campaign – it’s a really big deal. That was one of my first career highlight, but I think it keeps on happening you know, it’s never just one thing..There are so many highlights happening!
With Kim, How do you kind of go about keeping your signature look yet still kind of keeping it fresh at the same time?
Well she’s absolutely gorgeous! With Kim, I always kind keep my signature things that I do to her always. That we keep the same and then we change her looks whether be a lip color, cheek color or eye color, her face in particular really inspires me so it’s very easy for me to come up with different things for her. Having her always look modern and fresh is my look, and my main goal when I work is to be consistently good, Never to be hit or miss, always to be hit. We have great chemistry together, she lets me do whatever I want!
What are Mario’s top 5 beauty products that you swear by?
Oh there’s much more than 5, but I would have to say the shu Uemura eyelash curler, the beauty blender (the pink sponge), the MAC powder puff, it’s mostly tools because you can use any makeup but it is really the tools that are important, how you use the makeup and how much. I also love Anastasia Beverly Hills’ black eyeliner.
What would be your Beauty advice to give to all women?
To blend your make up nicely is very important, whatever you do, blend anyway because you will look better, you will look more natural, you will look more perfect. Blend it whether it be eye shadow, blush or contour and foundation, everything makes a difference when you blend it nicely.
What you are currently working on?
Lots of things but currently, I’m working with US cosmetic companies, developing some products and probably I do my own eventually as well. I’ve been working on that little by little – I just want it to be perfect. That being said, just a lot of photo shoots and fun events.