It was a quick last minute decision but I decided to travel to New York City this past weekend to attend a workshop by Mario Dedivanovic. I traveled 10+ hours on a bus and was even hassled at the border! But anyway, for those of you that may not recognize Mario’s name you would definitely recognize his work…he isKim Kardashian‘s Makeup Artist.
He is the master behind the most commonly referenced makeup looks right now. I cant tell you how often my clients will pull out a pic of Kim and tell me that they want their makeup to look like hers. I ended up attending the workshop with an old friend/fellow makeup artist Shannon Ranger, she is currently based out of Ottawa. It was so great to see her and to catch up!
Now before I tell you my thoughts on the workshop here is a breakdown of the key products he used to create the look he did on his first model.
Mario use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer and stressed the importance that using more moisturizer allows you to use more powder. He then used Shiseido‘s cream foundation to match the model’s skin and pressed loose powder into the skin using a makeup puff. He then started the eyes with Bamboom Paint from MAC as a base and used various shades of beige and brown eyeshadows to sculpt the eyes. For liner he used a layering technique of Smolder Eye Khol blended out and Boot Black Liquid Liner on top-both from MAC. He used his Eye M Glam product which he created in collaboration with Giella as a highlighter on the eyes (under the brow and inner tear duct of the eye). He used individual lashes to fill in the models lash line. For her brows he used Lingering Brow Pencil from MAC and then added a complimentary shadow on top to set the brows. Once the eyes were done he started to contour and highlight the face which he is most noted for. Instead of using creams he used 2 bronzers, Suntan Matte from Smashbox and Terracotta by Guerlain and he used Banana powder by Ben Nye to highlight. For the lips he finished off with a nude lipstick and added another one of his creations with Giella a lipgloss called Sunny D.
It was actually a pretty simple beauty makeup. He did a lot of layering and took over 2 hours to create the look. He was great at explaining what he was doing and why. Shannon and I quickly realized that the audience was very ‘young’ and may not have been as seasoned as we were. The questions that were being asked to Mario were very basic and perhaps Mario picked up on this and decided to really take his time with the first look.
For the 2nd look he wanted to demonstrate a similar look for more of a mature skin type. Really the only difference was he used a liquid foundation from Armani instead of a cream. He created this look in about 15 minutes.
So now here are my thoughts on this workshop. Firstly it started late, about 20 minutes past 12pm. They mentioned they were waiting for a couple of attendees that were running late. Personally when I was a trainer for MAC and facilitated any type of training we always started on time. Its not fair for the people that arrived on time and who want to get the most out of the workshop. Secondly there was no introduction to welcome everyone to the workshop and to introduce Mario. It literally started by Mario saying, “Okay Im going to apply moisturizer to the model’s skin”. That was a little strange to me. Then I was expecting him to show us his signature highlighting and contouring using creams to really sculpt the face. He apparently did it in his last workshop. It was disappointing that that was not covered. And on top of all of this the lighting was horrible! There was pot lighting above the model that cast shadows on her face and she was side/backlit by the natural light coming through the windows beside the stage. This could have been easily avoided by having a spotlight placed in front of the model.
When we took a break for lunch Shannon and I sat with some other attendees who have also been Makeup Artists for many years and they said they were waiting for that ‘ah-ha’ moment that would make the workshop totally worth their while and I couldnt have agreed more. When we went back from lunch and Mario just basically recreated the first look with a couple of changes, it was such a let down. Its disappointing to say but I left his workshop feeling ripped off. For the last hour of the workshop he invited people to come up and take a picture with him. Im sorry but that last hour could have easily been spent on doing another look, possibly showing us his highlighting and contouring techniques or a really dramatic look. Even the gift bags we were given at the end really didnt have anything in it that I would be excited to add to my kit.
Shannon and I realized that maybe our expectations were too high. When we were both trainers for MAC we had the opportunity to see some amazing workshops by some industry giants like Joanne Gair, Ve Neill, Billy B and Kabuki to name a few. These workshops were always well produced, they were inspiring and you left them feeling so energized and your passion for this industry would be re-ignited.
Maybe the immigration officer at the US Border who gave me a hard time was showing me a little bit of foreshadowing. He wondered why I was going to NYC and I said it was for a workshop. I then showed him my print out of the ticket. He questioned why I would spend $360 on a workshop about makeup…In retrospect I would have to agree :/