Award-Winning Makeup Artist Paul Venoit on What Goes into Oscar-Ready Faces
Canadian-born Paul Venoit is an internationally acclaimed master of beauty and style, dividing his time between celebrities, fashion campaigns, and media appearances. He's glammed up faces on Look-a-Like, a show transforming ordinary people into celebrity look-a-likes, appeared on Canada's Next Top Model and can be seen on talk shows all over North America. I caught up with the busy man on his way to NYC, to talk hot makeup trends expected on this year's red carpet, February 26th.
Elana Safronsky: How do you choose a look for an event like the Oscars?
Paul Venoit: For a grand event like the Oscars one has to take into account the celebrity's personal taste: their dress for the evening, colouring and their desire to own the carpet. It takes more than liner and lipstick to sell a look. They have to feel comfortable and confident to look their personal best. When all the elements are properly aligned, you have a win!
ES: What's the most prevalent look for makeup right now? What's hot?
PV: The '20s are hot; a return to old glamour with a modern twist. Hair is loosely finger waved, lips are bold in reds and oranges or in some cases neutrals, and are paired with nude skin, flushed cheeks and defined eyes. Bring on the false lashes ladies... it's all Glamour!
ES: How long does a typical makeup job take for something like the Oscars?
PV: Typically 2-3 hours for both hair and makeup. For an event such as the Oscars, all day touch-ups are common, with artists remaining on standby to ensure the celebrity is always photo ready for the paparazzi. My job goes well beyond the initial hair and makeup application, often stretching well into the evening from the carpet through to the after parties. There is a point however when I hand over
the lipstick and off they go into the night!
ES: How do you apply foundation for such high-pressure events? How to ensure it lasts, looks good in photos and face-to-face? Tricks?
PV: Freshly cleaned skin, primers and med to full coverage foundations help to ensure the makeup stays in place for the long haul. Properly setting the foundation with powder is key... no short cuts allowed!
ES: How about lipstick? How do you ensure it lasts?
PV: YSL just came out with a "lip-stain & gloss" all-in-one product that I am sure we'll be seeing a lot of. The product delivers stain and gloss and comes in a variety of shades from light neutrals to bold reds and oranges. This is one of those products you'll have to try to believe!
ES: Can you explain the phantom white powder under the eyes and on the nose phenomenon? What is that? And why haven't all makeup artists learned their lesson by now?
PV: Likely the result of someone rushing through a touch up... Although extremely unfortunate, I'm sure that makeup artist and the publicist will be more sensitive to the time allotted for touch ups moving forward.
ES: What's one makeup habit to avoid when doing a look for an event such as the Oscars? A faux pas or no-no?
PV: Using a new artist you haven't worked with before... this can be disastrous!
ES: Do men wear makeup to the Oscars? What's typical for a male look?
PV: Freshly groomed hair, eye brows, skin and nails are essential. Concealer, anti shine and a little bronzer can go a long way on the carpet for Hollywood heavy hitters like Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Everyone wants to look their personal best for the cameras, the exposure at this event is phenomenal.
ES: What's one trick for long-lasting makeup -- a trick for all occasions and seasons?
PV: Proper application is key to making your makeup last. Primers, long-lasting lip stains, liquid eye liners and waterproof mascara help to ensure makeup lasts the long run!
ES: What's your favourite red lipstick?
PV: I really like Cruella by Nars. With bold lips being so popular again this season, I suspect we'll be seeing plenty of red mouths at this year's Oscar's.
ES: I hear nude skin in? Which celebs are known for wearing the least makeup, letting their natural beauty shine?
PV: As you've heard, nude is the new black! Charlize, Angelina and Jennifer Aniston are excellent examples of how good skincare and a little lip gloss can go a long way.
ES: Whose makeup do you love, usually? Any celebs you think nail their look?
PV: JLo, hands down. Her hair/makeup and wardrobe are always on point! I taped an episode of Rachael Ray with JLo last year and not only is she the nicest lady but she has her finger on the pulse of all that is hot in fashion and beauty.
Catch up with Paul Venoit on twitter at @venoit.
Written by Elana Safronsky, Lifestyle Editor