As a makeup lover and as someone who appreciates the transformational qualities that it has, I’m always fascinated by the professionals who make it their career. This goes for all walks of the industry – from executives, to brand founders, to packagers, to retailers, and on – but particularly in regards to makeup artists (MUA). When I feel I’m in a creative rut with my beauty products, watching MUA’s do their magic always inspires me. I want to know how creativity strikes and why, what techniques they love, what myths they can bust, and most of all what are their go-to products and why.
So I’m very excited and honored to have celebrity MUA Fiona Stiles here on the blog today to answer some of my burning questions! If you’re not familiar with Fiona’s work, she’s just about touched every facet of the beauty and fashion industries. From cover features in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, to advertisements for Guess and Tiffany’s, to red carpet work on the faces of Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry, her expertise and talents are vast. In addition to her work on clients, Fiona is also a purveyor of tried-and-tested products on Reed Clarke, her highly curated online beauty shop offering everything from foundations, to serums, to combs, to lash applicators, and exfoliating mitts.
Let’s get into the Q&A now, but make sure you read through to the end for something special 🙂
WANT MORE INTERVIEWS?
YOU’RE A WORKING MAKEUP ARTIST; YOU STARTED YOUR OWN LINE OF COSMETICS; YOU’RE A DIGITAL CURATOR AND RETAILER OF BEAUTY PRODUCTS. WHAT HAVEN’T YOU DONE YET IN YOUR CAREER THAT YOU STILL WANT TO ACHIEVE?
One day I would love it if Reed Clarke had a storefront, as talking to people about products is a passion of mine.
Also, I would love to work on another line, either consulting for a brand or doing a small capsule collection with Reed Clarke. I love formulating and color/product development so much. It’s such a difficult but satisfying process and I love the science behind formulation. I am far from a chemist and respect what they do so much.
TELL US MORE ABOUT REED CLARKE, AND WHAT YOU REFER TO AS “SNACKABLE BEAUTY.”
As a makeup artist, sharing our passion for specific products is a part of our job. I’ve always been a beauty hunter, looking for undiscovered brands or that perfect product, and I love telling other people about them from a genuine place of sharing. And even though I’m a makeup artist and am obsessed with products, I find most beauty sites overwhelming, with page after page of items and little to guide you. It’s too much for me. I want to know what works, what’s great and why. I want to have someone do that hard work for me, and select those choice things and showcase them. I wanted Reed Clarke to carry excellent products, and not too many, so you know that everything you buy there will be special and chosen for a reason. My customers trust me and my dedication to only carrying products I fully stand behind.
TAKE US BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF THIS PHOTO (DIRECTLY BELOW). WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION?
This was a very spontaneous moment. We were doing a beauty story and I was given free reign with no direction. I love doing clean skin and minimal makeup with a bit of a statement, so in this case the brushed up brows and the white liner. With pencil in hand my intention was to draw a frame around her face, but instead I just began drawing in angles. There was no correction, no redrawing or erasing. I just did a rough sketch of the shape and then went over it a second time to make the line stronger and more opaque. Sometimes things channel through you, which is one of the most satisfying aspects of the job, there’s a real oneness with the tools, subject and your hand.
IN 2020 WHERE DO YOU THINK BEAUTY TRENDS COME FROM? FROM THE RUNWAYS, THE RED CARPET, BEAUTY EDITORS, BRANDS, OR THE CUSTOMERS THEMSELVES?
I wish I had an answer for this. As professional makeup artists we are used to working in a team, pulling and sharing inspiration from the other people we work with, such as the hair stylist, photographer, stylist or the person sitting in our chair. This is one way in which we are very different from an Instagram or YouTube makeup artist, who use themselves as the canvas and primarily work alone. We feed off the energy of others and the way that our ideas all come together to create a whole look. With Covid-19, our industry is mostly unable to work. No fashion shows, no red carpets, no editorial, so my guess is that trends will be coming from the circular trend vortex of social media.
TRENDING LOOKS ON SOCIAL MEDIA WENT FROM DRAMATIC “INSTAGRAM MAKEUP” A FEW YEARS AGO TO SOMETHING MORE SKIN-FIRST AND BARELY-THERE NOW. WHAT DO YOU PREDICT IS NEXT?
I’m not in the business of predicting trends. I do think that with our current circumstances – people working from home and the impracticality of wearing a face full of matte 24 hour long-wear foundation under a mask – that there will be a some sort of aesthetic recalibration as a result. I keep thinking about how the roaring 20’s immediately followed the 1918 pandemic and the end of WWI, and that there could be some wild social swings once we’re on the other side of this pandemic.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE CURRENT MUST-HAVES IN YOUR KIT?
I love the Jenny Patinkin Mini Rose Quartz Face Roller. It’s about 1/3 of the size of a traditional face roller so you can easily roll under the eyes, the jawline and under the cheekbones.
I can’t work without the award-winning Surratt Eyelash Curler. The shape allows you to get very close to the lash line and gently curl every lash.
For stubborn lashes the Prima Lash Curler will let you target those straight lashes that don’t want to play nice.
I love the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Palettes. The contour is so gentle and easily blendable thats it’s fool-proof, and the highlighter gives that perfect touch of glow. A beautiful product that’s worth the expense.
I’ve recently become obsessed with the Juvia’s Place Eyeshadows. The pigment is so rich and the payoff is incredible, and the price point is completely accessible. Great colors and incredible formulations.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO DRUGSTORE PRODUCTS?
NYX SlimLine Lip Liners: They make the best selection of lip liners, especially pinks and nudes. They’re a staple in my kit.
Revlon SkinLights Prismatic Highlighter: Revlon has been doing great highlighters since before highlighters were a thing. Any of their versions of SkinLights products are always amazing and completely affordable.
Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara: Also ahead of their time, this mascara with the tiny wand has been in my kit for 20 years. You can get every little lash with this wand, giving you full, fluffy lashes in a snap. I also love their waterproof version.
ELF Concealers: Great color ranges and formulas for a fraction of the price of more high end brands. I love the range they have for darker skin tones as well.
Maybelline Fit Me Foundation: Excellent shade range and formulation. Not too heavy, but still evens out any imperfections and feels weightless on the skin.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR GREAT MAKEUP THAT ANYONE CAN DO AT HOME?
Great makeup starts with great skin care, so begin with a good skin prep. Also a well groomed brow speaks volumes, so make sure your brows are tidy, filled in where needed and then brushed through with a brow gel. I love a cream shadow because it really looks like a part of the skin and feels very integrated into the face.
Find a place with good light to do your makeup and check it in different lighting around the house. You’d be surprised at how different makeup can look in various lighting situations.
A magnifying mirror can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Use it wisely.
Find the foundation formula that really works with their skin versus what’s seems on trend. A 24 Hour-Wear foundation isn’t going to work on everyone, and neither is a super glowy, luminous formula. Find the one that works for you and invest in that formula.
**If you also geek out in regards to MUA’s, you have the chance for Fiona to answer one of YOUR burning questions! Makeup, skincare, technique, anything you want to know, just leave it in the comments below as well as your Instagram or Pinterest handle. I will randomly pick ONE question from the pool for her to answer, so make sure you submit yours by 8 P.M. EST Wednesday August 5th.
xo, and be well, Erica
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