Steve Jobs had died the afternoon before I had the opportunity to interview Mikey Castillo, Le Métier de Beauté's Director of Makeup, at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria. I decided that to honor Jobs, it might be fun to conduct a non-traditional beauty interview. I've interviewed many makeup artists, and I'm sure Mikey has been interviewed countless times. While those interviews are great fun, and the artists are fascinating, the results compressed into a blog feature always have an element of sameness.
Makeup...blah, blah, blah; emphasize best features...blah, blah, blah; make women look pretty, blah, blah, blah. I'll bet you understand! Steve Jobs taught us to be more creative than that, and Mikey was game. Here's what I learned about him - and, of course, a little about upcoming color collections.
I asked Mikey what he did before he became a makeup guru. He told me he thought he was going to be art illustrator - and that was his profession, specializing in fashion illustration. He even had a subscription to Vogue at age 11! Even as a boy, he knew his direction in life. Back in the days when makeup artists weren't well-paid superstars - before Kevin Aucoin changed that world - Mikey arrived one day at a job to do illustrations for a magazine. The makeup artist for the shoot didn't show up, but the work had to be finished. The photographer convinced Mikey that applying makeup to faces was the same thing Mikey was already doing on paper and that he could fill in that day. He was convincing, Mikey agreed to try it, and as a result, Mikey became a makeup artist that fateful day. It was an unanticipated entry into a career he loves.
What are Mikey Castillo's passions? His favorite may be keeping an immaculate, beautifully decorated home. The photos here were taken in his "1920's palace" in Los Angeles, with vaulted ceilings, Art Deco touches in the architecture, and his collections of Fiestaware and iconic fashion and beauty images. He described the style as a fusion of the Court of Versailles and Andy Warhol.
If you think about it for a second, as I did while we looked at photos of his home on his phone, his passions for applying makeup and decorating his living space share an artistic talent and vision for artiface, contrast, and inspiration. I love the red door and blue walls shown above. How many of us would have paired those shades? Can you envision that same talent applied to decorating faces, using contrast to emphasize a woman's best features? Mikey redecorates his home every six months or so (yikes!) to keep life interesting - and satisfy his artistic desire to create beauty.
The walls in Mikey's kitchen show off a collection of images (and some of his Fiestaware) that inspire him. Clearly, Mikey is not afraid of color! I realized as we talked that he's the kind of person I'd enjoy hanging around with. His talents and passion are matched with a fun-loving personality. Too bad he lives so far away!
I promised you I'd find out what's in store for the holiday collection. Mikey has created a new Kaleidoscope Eye Kit. The Kaleidoscope is a tribute to French cinema of the 1960's. The shades - the basics reinvented - will be, simply described, rose champagne, taupe, tan, and black. Yes, black! The most intensive shade of black - perhaps the most intensive in the beauty industry. I can't wait to see how Mikey and the other Le Métier de Beauté will use that shade to provide depth to the eyes.
There will also be four lip glosses introduced this year - the two that were designed by Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus (I'm sure you've read about them elsewhere - if not visit Messy Wands), and two designed by Mikey. Mikey's shades are raspberry and tangerine. I would love to try Mikey's creations. After meeting him, I know I'll want them.
The Le Métier de Beauté collections for spring and resort (summer) are sketched out, in line with the company's plan to introduce one new color collection per quarter next year. It will be an exciting year.
After we talked, Mikey did a makeover for reader Crystal. I stalked them while he worked, taking pictures of his progress. Here's a photo of them when he finished, with Crystal as the center of attention, as she should have been. Crystal looked great before he started, but when he had finished, she was stunning - radiant and smiling. He has that kind of effect on people.
Here's one more photo, Mikey with Lisa Lingis, our lovely Le Métier de Beauté regional representative (and a terrific makeup artist herself). If you ever have an opportunity to visit with Mikey - and I'm sure you will since he travels constantly - make an appointment. You're going to love him.
Photos by Best Things in Beauty