THE PROFESSIONAL: MAKEUP ARTIST AARON DE MEY
Meet Sephora’s new Artistry Ambassador for North America.
New Zealand-born international makeup artist Aaron de Mey recently joined the Sephora team, and we couldn’t be more excited. His makeup collaborations with Lancôme (in his past role as Makeup Artist and Artistic Director) were some of our favorites. He’s basically a magician on shoots, and we’ve already heard from the Sephora PRO Team that his workshops for them are wildly inspiring. The Sephora Glossy caught up with him backstage during New York Fashion Week to check in. HOLLY SIEGEL
How did you become a makeup artist?
By mistake! I didn’t realize it was a job that people had, to be honest. I grew up in New Zealand wanting to be a painter. I went to art school, but I had friends who were photographers and models and they asked me to do makeup on them. They figured I could use a brush. I loved it, and I loved that I could be part of a team. Art can be quite lonely—you are mostly working by yourself. I also thought it was a good way to escape, to see other things.
What do you think you connected with about makeup?
Makeup is a great aspect of fashion, and I love fashion. I like the idea that makeup is quickly adaptable. When you cut your hair, you have to wait for it to grow or get a wig; if you buy a designer outfit or jewelry, it’s expensive, and people can’t necessarily do that all the time. I like that makeup is for everybody and you can change it very quickly. It’s very empowering.
So how did you get off the island?
Most kids leave when they finish high school or college, and they go to England traditionally. I stayed and created my career in New Zealand. I did fashion work along with music videos and television commercials because there weren’t enough fashion gigs to work every day. It gave me a broad spectrum of experience. After I got as far as I could there, I came straight to New York. It was the most difficult place to go, so I was attracted to it. I bought a one-way ticket at the very end of ’98.
Do you remember the first time you came to Sephora?
I was shocked by it! In New Zealand, there weren’t a lot of products available. You couldn’t get things like Make Up For Ever. The makeup I was using…I dread to even think about! Sephora was mind-blowing. I loved that it brought beauty to everybody. I’d experienced the department store, but to me it felt very elitist. I liked the idea that Sephora is elite, but it’s for everybody, too, and it brings a lot of worlds together. I was in heaven. I’m such a product junkie and I’m so into anything that’s new.
What products are you loving right now?
That Koh-Gen-Do stuff has really impressed me. I love Hourglass a lot; I think it’s really luxurious. I think Sephora Collection is really smart and I can’t believe how crazy comprehensive it is. I love the style of it, the simplicity—I love that the color speaks for itself; it doesn’t need all this packaging to sell it.
What are some of your basic beauty must-haves?
I think brushing and grooming the eyebrows is really important because it automatically gives polish. Anastasia Clear Brow Gel is so genius; it’s sheer and it’s clean and easy. Of course, concealer – my favorite is Laura Mercier for the texture and colors, and Bobbi Brown for darker skin colors.
Speaking of color, I know you know what the Sephora + Pantone Color of the Year 2014 is. Have you been playing with it?
Yes, and it’s one of my favorite colors! I hope people believe that when I say it. It’s very versatile and complementary on a lot of different skintones. It’s a staple, as far as I’m concerned!
Bobbi Brown / Creamy Concealer Kit
Laura Mercier / Secret Camouflage
Anastasia / Brow Gel
Sephora Collection / Colorful Eyeshadow
Koh Gen Do / Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Make Up For Ever / Rouge Artist Intense