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