Famous for making celebrities like Madonna, Anne Hathaway, and Gisele Bündchen look red carpet-ready, celebrity makeup artist Gina Brooke has mastered the art of mixing luminous skin with stunning eyes. But she's also known for her work on editorial shoots; in advertising campaigns for brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, and H&M; and for developing a few groundbreaking products along the way, too. Remember the craze inspired by Madonna's faux mink lashes? Credit Gina Brooke. And, as Shu Uemura's artistic director, she created and launched the glorious lash collections in their Lash Bar. Last year, Brooke signed on as artistic director of indie brand, Hourglass Cosmetics, and has been creating cool new products ever since. Here, she gives us some pro makeup tips, dishes on a new lash product she's launching, and shares a weirdly amazing eyeshadow trick.
What do you love about creating products for an independent company like Hourglass?
"Because Hourglass is still relatively small, I can really make an impact and my voice can be heard. Which is harder to do at a larger company. Hourglass founder Carisa Janes is the real genius behind the brand and very much involved in all aspects of it. I love working closely with her and bringing a makeup artist’s perspective to the brand."
Editorial shoots can be long. Do you have any secrets to making makeup last?
"Primers are an excellent way to ensure long wearing makeup. I recommend Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 which is sweatproof, waterproof, and also protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays. And you only need a small amount: Put a little on the back of your hand and apply the primer to the skin with a foundation brush in the direction of the growth of the hair. This will give you a smoother application."
On the flip side, fashion shows can be short on time. What's your favorite, easy, go-to makeup trick that anyone can do?
"Adding color will always make an impact. A pop of color on the eyes or the lips… as long as it’s color."
What's your beauty trend forecast for summer?
"I like to stay away from trends. But for summer, I do love a bold lip. Bright red, orange, or hot pink are some of my favorite shades."
What's one of your beauty secret weapons?
"I recently had a baby and discovered that Grandma El’s diaper cream doubles as soft, creamy eye shadow. I liked the effect so much that I used it on an Italian Vogue shoot."
Do you have any secret skin care tips?
"Yes, Intraceuticals Infusion is my secret weapon to beautiful skin. It’s basically a machine that hydrates by infusing a cocktail of vitamins into the deepest layers of the skin. I can't work without it."
What's one product you can't live without?
"My new, favorite must-have product has yet to hit the market, but I have to share it with you: Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer. It’s an extremely glossy, top coat for your lashes that instantly emphasizes them. It’s amazing and I’m completely obsessed with it. Be on the look out for it at Sephora in the next couple of months."
What products or looks are your celeb clients into right now?
"I'm into the 1930s and 1940s at the moment. I love a timeless look, especially bold lips—anything other than neutrals. The Hourglass lipsticks in Icon and Raven have become an obsession with many of the people I work with."
Would you ever branch out into other sides of the beauty market, like skin care or fragrance?
"Yes, absolutely. I have tons of ideas, I just need to focus on one of them!"