This week, instead of answering your beauty questions, I sought the expertise of international celebrity makeup artist Luc Bouchard.
A computer programmer who grew up in a tiny village in Quebec, Canada, Bouchard never considered himself “good enough to have an artistic career,” until a friend, an aspiring fashion photographer, asked him to try to do makeup for a shoot after seeing a watercolor sketch Bouchard had made.
Bouchard showed up at the shoot with no makeup kit, using the model’s own products and following her basic instructions on makeup application.
“I remember thinking it was like having a 3-D canvas, kind of like painting a sculpture. It was that wonderful first realization that I’d found an art form that could become a fantastic way to make a living, doing something that I love.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Bouchard, now M.A.C senior makeup artist, has worked with the likes of Paloma Picasso, Bianca Jagger, Padma Laksmi, Magherita Missoni and Petra Nemcova, as well as in fashion week shows—New York, Paris and London (Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Richard Tyler, Dries Van Noten, Vera Wang, Karl Lagerfeld), and a long list of editorial work for international magazines.
At the M.A.C Autumn and Winter Trend Presentation in Taipei, I asked Bouchard about makeup tips and trends.
What can we expect from this season’s makeup? What’s new with M.A.C?
What’s new, I think, is technology and the product. The M.A.C Prep + Prime product can change the skin texture and make the foundation that probably didn’t work on someone before, work now. It is almost like trying to put foundation on the sidewalk, or on a piece of glass. After the Prep + Prime, it’s going to glide on more easily. It helps with the texture of the skin and the glide.
My favorite product is the Face Protectant with SPF 50, because it has that luminescence to it. If you put it on your t-zone, it will not only reduce the pores and moisturize the face, it will also give a bit of light through the foundation, just a light cast. It opens the face that way, and it wraps amazingly well.
I think the way to use them is also very important to know. My advice is, use very little. They’re very concentrated, so if you put too much they’re gonna roll up when you try to put your foundation on.
This season’s makeup looks require a radiant, dewy skin finish. What products do you use to achieve this kind of makeup without the face looking cakey?
That depends on how you will apply it. Since the Prep + Prime products arrival in the market, I’ve been very light-handed with makeup. I’ve always done makeup in very sheer layers.
The first thing I do is use Fix Plus. This is a water spray with vitamins and charged water, so it softens the skin. There’s glycerin in it and vitamins, and it makes skin more pliable. After that, I would use the Active Softening Lotion from the Light Full Collection, because it helps refine pores and taut the skin a little bit. You haven’t put makeup yet, but you can now see the difference in the texture of the skin.
After the Softening Lotion, that’s when I put the Face Protect on the t-zone—verv very sheer. This helps with the texture and the glide of the foundation. Then, around the face, I usually use a moisturizer.
Next, I choose my foundation, and apply it most of the time mixed with my moisturizer. I have one of those little plates where I put a couple of drops of moisturizer and foundation and mix them. I apply the mix in circular motions using a 187 brush, in really sheer coats.
If there are blemishes, things to cover up, I will use spot concealing. A really good one is the Sculpt Concealer, because it’s very sticky and it stays in place right away. Then, I use Prep & Prime powder in the t-zone area, for it to be matte even if I want a certain luminescence. The product has optical diffusers so it can change the texture of the skin.
Then, I will use Mineralize Skin Finish Natural. It’s basically blending what’s already on the face, making sure it doesn’t become cakey.
What five M.A.C products do you recommend for updating one’s makeup?
Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50. You should invest in this first. The Mineralize Skin Finish Powder is also something very versatile; you can use it to achieve a velvety foundation. You can even use it as foundation on top of Face Protect, and this will give you a satin finish.
Opulash Mascara in Haught and Naughty is something I find so fantastic. You can do very dramatic and very natural looks with it—with the Ba Ba Black from Opulash, in particular.
Bold lipstick can be magenta or a red orange, something you can use every day. I would probably go with a satiny-matte finish—more on the matte side than the glossy side. Gloss is always easy to add on, anyway. The Pro Longwear Eye Shadow, meanwhile, is very easy to apply and stay on very long. It’s also very versatile, with good texture.