Pre­par­ing the fa­cial can­vas

A make-up artist to the stars shares her se­cret for a greater fin­ish.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FASHION - By WONG LI ZA

Make-up artist to the stars, Gina Brooke, shares her se­cret for a greater fin­ish.

MADONNA loves it, and other pop stars like Katy Perry and Fergie (from the Black Eyed Peas) have re­port­edly given their thumbs up.

We’re talk­ing about a 30-minute treat­ment said to be more ef­fec­tive than a fa­cial but less in­va­sive than a pro­ce­dure. In­traceu­ti­cals In­fu­sions, a sig­na­ture treat­ment of­fered by Aus­tralian brand In­traceu­ti­cals, uses oxy­gen un­der pres­sure and hyaluronic acid technology to in­fuse serums into the skin.

Make-up artist and brand am­bas­sador Gina Brooke was in Kuala Lumpur re­cently to talk about the treat­ment and also to launch two new prod­ucts.

She first came across the brand in 2004, af­ter a doc­tor friend in the United States who owned a med­i­cal spa told her about it.

“I needed make-up that would make skin look flaw­less for my clients,” said Brooke, who is Madonna’s make-up artist and has worked with fa­mous celebri­ties like Anne Hath­away, Gwen Ste­fani, Katy Perry and John Gal­liano.

She said some­times make-up artists were more concerned about the ac­tual ap­pli­ca­tion of make-up more than the skin.

“Ev­ery­body has their own phi­los­o­phy but good skin­care is im­por­tant be­cause our face is like a can­vas for make-up,” she said dur­ing an in­ter­view.

“The in­fu­sion treat­ment pro­vides in­stant lift­ing, firm­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing ef­fects. I’ve used (the treat­ment) on my 13-year-old niece who has acne, and on a friend who is 90 and a per­former. Ev­ery­body loves it,” she gushed.

Brooke has over 15 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in Gina Brooke, make-up artist and In­traceu­ti­cals brand am­bas­sador. make-up. She ini­tially stud­ied to be a fashion de­signer at the Fashion In­sti­tute of Technology in New York.

“I was try­ing to sell un­der­gar­ments to lo­cal stores in­side New York City but I was not mak­ing any profit. I was strug­gling to pay for my rent and books and put my­self through school, ” re­lated Brooke.

One day, she was asked by a model she used to work with to do her make-up for a pho­to­shoot.

“Al­though I’ve al­ways been ob­sessed with

make-up, I had no make-up ex­pe­ri­ence but she said, ‘just do what you al­ways do with your own make-up’,” she said.

As it turned out, the pho­tog­ra­pher liked her work and she con­tin­ued to work with him on other as­sign­ments. The money was good and Brooke de­cided to quit school and be­come a self­taught make-up artist.

“My mum taught me how to paint, so make-up is sort of like paint­ing on a can­vas but this is the face,” said Brooke, who re­ceived a Mu­sic Video Pro­duc­tion As­so­ci­a­tion award for best make-up for the mu­sic video Hung Up di­rected by Johan Renck.

She is also re­spon­si­ble for rein­vent­ing pop icon Madonna’s look in 2002 and has col­lab­o­rated with her on three world­wide con­cert tours since.

In 2003, Brooke cus­tom-made a pair of lashes for the su­per­star for her Rein­ven­tion Tour. For the 2006 Con­fes­sions tour, she hand­made a pair of di­a­mond lashes and in 2008, she di­rected makeup di­rec­tion for Madonna’s Hard Candy tour.

“We al­ways try to cre­ate a look that’s unique and fits her. We have done many dif­fer­ent looks and I love work­ing with her be­cause she is al­ways open to try­ing some­thing new.”

One of the mile­stones in Brooke’s ca­reer was in 2004 when she cre­ated a spe­cial pair of mink eye­lashes with the late Shu Ue­mura as a gift for Madonna.

Her con­di­tions were that there would be no harm to an­i­mals and that the lashes were not sold to the pub­lic. As such, the cre­ators took mink that was shed in win­ter.

“How­ever, the lashes be­came such a hit in Hollywood so I came out with the faux fur ver­sion. I think that was my biggest break­through be­cause that episode re­vived lashes back from the 60s and it be­came a pub­li­cised phe­nom­e­non,” said Brooke, who would one day like to work with Tina Turner and Cate Blanchett.

As an artist, Brooke chal­lenges her­self by not rest­ing on her lau­rels.

“I (do that) by cre­at­ing looks that I am not nor­mally used to do­ing. That’s the chal­lenge, to step out of my com­fort zone. For ex­am­ple, a few months ago, I did a project that in­cor­po­rated jew­ellery and make-up onto the face. It took a long time but it was very in­ter­est­ing. It’s things like that I love; I love the cre­ative process.”

Her biggest worry as a makeup artist is to run out of ideas.

“Some­times you can do so many shoots back to back, and you have to think of a con­cept but you are just numb. So you have to find in­spi­ra­tion.

“I do that by sur­round­ing my­self with peo­ple who in­spire and mo­ti­vate me to go be­yond my bound­aries. They could be other artists, my fam­ily, peo­ple who are pos­i­tive. I also have a large col­lec­tion of art books that I look through and study,” she shared.

Sig­na­ture treat­ment: A beauty ther­a­pist ad­min­is­ter­ing the In­traceu­ti­cals In­fu­sion treat­ment on a model us­ing the Re­ju­ve­nate range.

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