Stalker: TMG Interviews Celebrity Makeup Artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen…

It has been a long time since I have done one of these…I have met so many great makeup artists over the past 6 years!  I started the STALKER series on TMG to highlight talented makeup artists that I am obsessed with.  This installation features Celebrity Makeup Artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen.

Here is a bit of background on Brigitte…

As one of the industry’s most respected makeup artists, Brigitte Reiss-Andersen works at the highest level in the worlds of fashion and celebrity. With over 200 magazine covers to her credit, Brigitte is known for her refined creative expression, her range, and her virtuosity of technique.

She got her start in Paris working with such legendary photographers as Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, David Seidner, Albert Watson and Hans Feurer. After moving to New York, Brigitte expanded her working collaborations to include top photographers Patrick Demarchelier, Herb Ritts, Arthur Elgort, Annie Leibovitz and Irving Penn. She teamed up with renowned stylists Grace Coddington, Phyllis Posnik, Paul Cavaco and Tonne Goodman to create iconic editorial stories. She also keyed innumerable fashion shows both in Paris and New York, from Romeo Gigli, Valentino to Roberto Cavalli, Oscar de la Renta and BCBG. Most notably, she is also Cindy Crawford‘s makeup artist and has known her from the time she was an 19 year old model to becoming a business woman with an empire that includes her fabulous skin care line Meaningful Beauty.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Brigitte recently at one of my favorites, the Empire Hotel in New York and here is what she had to say.

TMG: Hi Brigitte!  So Nice to meet you!! How are you?

Brigitte: Hi Lianne!  The pleasure is all mine, I’m very well thank you!

TMG:  I was upstairs in the lounge looking for you!

Brigitte:  it’s so loud up there I can’t think so I decided to conduct the interviews down here in the bar….very nice right?

TMG:  Yes, I love it down here! So I’m recording you is that alright?

Brigitte:  Absolutely…

TMG:  Okay here goes…what is the first thing you do when you prep Cindy’s skin for an event or anything really?

Brigitte:  Moisturize, number 1. What you want to do is make sure that you are paying attention to what you are trying to do.  Make sure the skin is clean…if there is anything there I take it off.

TMG:  What do you use to remove the makeup?  What is your number one thing that you use? To get everything off…

Brigitte:  I have like 10 different favorites but most of the time my clients come with a clean face so I just use a cotton pad and water and that will get off any sunscreen or whatever that they have on. Then I moisturize, so I’m looking for a moisturizers that won’t get oily on me.  I don’t want any surprises 2 hours later that suddenly it will be really shiny.  I want the skin to be smooth and nourished but not like an oil slick.  Moisturizing is very important, and then you can do all sorts of things on the face.

TMG:  Okay so moisturize #1 and do you use a primer underneath?

Brigitte: No.  I don’t use primers I look for dewy skin.  I love the dewy look… so After moisturizing maybe I use a drop or two of the Glowing Serum because it has that light reflecting quality.

TMG:  I haven’t tried that yet! I have noticed that most of the shows I have been to this season are featuring really really perfect dewy moisturized skin.  Is that a trend you think that will stick around?

Brigitte:  Right now, the big shift in makeup if you look back over the past 20 years is really the quality of the skin. It went from really thick and heavy, contoured, powdered, matte skin to actually wanting to look young and healthy.  Everyone wants that look now.

TMG: Which is very important…

Brigitte:  Right,  but most makeup doesn’t reflect that new thinking.  Glowing healthy skin has become a commodity, like a status symbol of youth and so that’s why you want that dewiness.  You look at kids running around and their skin has that quality.  So I like to try and recreate that look.

TMG:  What do you do for breakouts?  For that horrible cystic acne that is hormonal and possibly female driven because I heard from a dermatologist that if it’s on your chin, it has to do with your reproductive system.

Brigitte:  Yes, when it’s on your chin, it is most definitely female pluming issues! My trick for that is actually tea tree oil.

TMG:  Really?? I need to go grab some right now!

Brigitte:  Dab it on with a q-tip that’s what I use on models….but however in general, I have found that if you exfoliate often you don’t get breakouts that happen that regularly because it cleanses your skin and takes away the dead stuff. Things don’t get clogged up.  For models it’s very important

TMG:  Right because they layer on makeup day after day after day…

Brigitte:  Yes, and some of them may not be disciplined enough to take it off.

TMG:  What kind of exfoliator do you prefer?  A peeling one or one that has grains?

Brigitte:  I prefer grains because I want it to be instant.  I like fine grains like sand to remove all the dead skin.

TMG:  I like the fine grains too!  Now as far as Cindy’s daily makeup looks, whenever I see her, she looks the same.  She doesn’t seem to deviate from the look she wears on a regular basis.

Brigitte:  Yes, but on the other hand I did a shoot last spring for Vogue Mexico and we really went there!  She had fun though because nobody ever does anything like that with her.  We had graphic makeup, hair and everything…very futuristic.  Glowing skin and beige lips….that was really fun.

TMG:  So she likes doing things that are out of the box then?

Brigitte:  Oh yeah, with the right circumstances. I’ve been working with her since she was 19 years old.

TMG:  Wow, so you have seen her grow up before your eyes then…

Brigitte:  Yes, and actually I have a blog called Fashion for the Face!

TMG:  You do?  I’ll have to go check it out!

Brigitte:  Yes, It’s where I pontificate on makeup! I have a story up now on how I met Cindy for the first time and how I have seen her evolve into the person she is today.  She was always impressive and smart even then (see that article here). The quality of her skin is amazing, she was using sunscreen before it was popular.

TMG:  I am so excited about this interview and I thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today!

Brigitte:  No problem Lianne!  So nice to meet you!

So congratulations Brigitte, you have been stalked 😉

Stay Pretty!!!

About Lianne Farbes

Lianne Farbes is the Publisher and Editor In Chief of TheMakeupGirl. She is a Beauty Expert with over 20 years of experience working with makeup and skincare and has held every retail beauty position from sales girl to counter manager. She has made a living as a professional makeup artist and continues to spread her beauty knowledge through seminars and speaking engagements throughout the US. You can follow Lianne on twitter at @LianneFarbes or beauty related tweets at @TheMakeupgirl Follow us on Instagram at @MakeupGirlBlog for swatches and other cool pics too! You can also visit me on Google+