World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto is all about showcasing the talent and visions of Canadian designers in high fashion and debuting the latest collections and trends. As the week was winding down the scene backstage revealed a sea of models preparing to walk the runway for the last few shows. Flat irons sizzled, cameras flashed and Grace Lee, lead Makeup Artist for Maybelline Canada applied the finishing touches on her model.
With 13 years experience Grace has worked with celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Hilary Swank, Yoko Uno and Anna Paquin. Her exceptional work has graced the runways of Milan and Paris and in shows by Oscar De La Renta, Alexander McQueen and Roberto Cavalli.
(Backstage with Maybelline and Redken)
I interviewed Grace as she masterfully prepared for the show Brit Wacher, an interesting collection created by Canadian designer Brittany Wacher that focused on fantasy and the passage of energy through time and space. The style consisted of both shapely, tailored pieces and flowing draped elements.
Q: What do you find most challenging about working on a fashion show like Brit Wacher?
Grace: This show is not really challenging, there are 15 models and it’s at the beginning of the day so it’s very doable. The most challenging thing is that we do 35 shows but I have a great team and we need a lot of energy and a lot of adrenaline; it’s just about keeping our energy up and keeping hydrated.
Q: How do you think the growing influence of social media like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube has influenced the beauty industry?
Grace: Social media is key because it allows us to share information with a very fast output. You can tweet or Instagram something and get it out there instantly which gives people a live feed of what’s going on. Maybelline actually started using Google Blast which is even quicker! It shows an intimate view of what happens backstage.
Q: What are some of your favorite Maybelline products this year?
Grace: Right now its all about a strong brow and the Maybelline Brow Drama is a really good sculpting mascara. Lash sensational is coming out in December, and with the Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipsticks you can’t go wrong, I like a matte red lip.
Q: How would women go about choosing the right red lipstick for their complexion?
Grace: I think it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. There are a lot of undertones, the orange undertones look great on olive skin tones, the berries look great on fair and dark skin but there is no right or wrong, it’s just a matter of experimenting to find the right shade.
(Maybelline Vivids: On Fire Red)
Q: How does the fashion influence the makeup looks you create?
Grace: Well I design 35 shows and the process usually takes about three weeks. I meet with every designer and we collaborate and come up with the look for their show. Sometimes it’s a direct conversation of what they want and sometimes it’s more of a collaboration. It really varies and we cater to every designer here.
Q: What is the style for this particular show (Brit Wacher)
Grace: She wanted a really strong brows, she wanted the girls to kind of look like they were from outer space, I don’t want to say alien-like but it’s very matte. We whitened up the skin a bit for a semi-matte look, created a bold brow and we used a bronzy-brown shade to contour the face for a very triangular shape. She wanted brown dots along the cheekbones to give the look something different and a nude lip.
Q: What fall/winter trends are you loving?
Grace: The nude lip can be seen on the runway and it’s a trend I love! The Buffs Collection by Maybelline has a color for every skin tone.
Although juggling talk shows, press events, and leading a team of artists may seem daunting Grace handles it all with stylish flare and produces gorgeous runway looks year after year. As she dabbed on the last bit of eye shadow Fashion Week ended on a high note.
Other products used to achieve Grace’s runway looks included: the Great Lash Mascara and the Maybelline Nude Palette which contains essential base colors that are great for blending and suitable for every season.
I had a fabulous time hanging out backstage in the Maybelline lounge, savoring their delectable doughnuts and chatting with some great people. If you missed Fashion Week this year, the spring shows are just around the corner!
*Special thanks to Grace Lee, Alyssa Whited and Maybelline’s PR team.