Maria Pia Saragnese, Makeup Artist: Inside Elite Model Look

In our series meeting the people behind the cameras at Elite Model Look, we get to know Beautik makeup artist Maria Pia Saragnese. She will be overseeing the team making the model look their best, at the five-day model bootcamp, and at the Final Show.

What kind of look will you be creating during the boot camp and for the Final Show?

For the Elite Model Look World Final, I will be creating a natural look for the models, which will allow us to see their true beauty. The goal is to show each model’s individual features. I will use a concealer to cover any blemishes, just a bit of foundation in order to make the skin smooth and flawless, pink blush and nude lipstick for a fresh look, natural brown eye shadow blended on the lid and very soft mascara. Finally, I will define the eyebrows and highlight the skin to make it glow. I will also be creating looks for the dancers during the show, one for the female dancer, another for the male dancers, but that’s a surprise!

Models have to have makeup on and take it off a lot during a big job – like the World Final, or when they do a lot of shows at fashion week. What tip would you give Finalists for taking care of their skin?

My tip would be to clean their skin each time and use a toner and cream every day. I would also suggest using a scrub and a hydrating mask once a week for beautiful skin. 

How did you become a make-up artist?

I decided to study at a makeup academy in order to develop my passion for makeup and learn how I could make it my career. Makeup has always been my passion. I grew up in a family of artisans, and this helped form my love for art and handmade objects, and especially the act of creating something of my own. It is, for me, an art form through which I can express my creativity. After I finished the academy, through the contacts I had made, I began to work for Beautick. 

What does your role involve day-to-day?

My role changes every day, depending on the context. Some days I am in Beautick, a prestigious salon in Milan’s famous Quadrilatero fashion district, where I am the makeup artist and beauty consultant for top clients and celebrities. Other days, I work at fashion week, campaigns, or festivals.

What’s the best thing about your job? What are the challenges?

What I like most about my job is the fact that it is dynamic and creative. I can use my imagination every day and it is always interesting. It also gives me the chance to meet people from all different cultures and to travel, which I love. The biggest challenge is constantly staying on top of the latest trends and looks. It is also challenging to invent new looks and makeup styles.

Who do you admire in the makeup industry?

While working backstage, I had the opportunity to observe top makeup artists and their techniques. They inspired me and, thanks to them, I was able to enhance my skills and knowledge. I have admired artists such as Tom Pecheux, Val Garland, Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Peter Philips, Lloyd Simmonds, and Mary Greenwell.

If someone wants to become a makeup artist, what steps should they take?

A person who wants to become a makeup artist should study at a good academy. Doing research is also very important: on makeup looks, the history of makeup styles as well as the artists who made that history. Experimenting with products also helps to develop technique. It also takes hard work and dedication.

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