Saturday, October 8, 2011

Getting to Know Mikey Castillo, Le Métier de Beauté's Director of Makeup

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


xiao said...

Great interview! Love getting to know more about the famous Mikey :) and the holiday kaleidoscope sounds amazing as well

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, xiao! I loved your feature on Ken's Lip Crèmes.

Nemo said...

Oh, so exciting! Thank you so much for inquiring about the LMDB Holiday collection! I just can't wait! I love the Modern Merlot eye kit as I have mentioned so much before. It is impossible to use too much of it. It is so subtle and lovely. Thank you again for asking, Charleston girl! Boy, did you make me happy!

Nemo said...

And please permit one more thing. I love people who love beauty. I honor people who create beauty. It all relates back to God, beauty's self and beauty's giver.

Charlestongirl said...

Nemo, fabulous! Glad to ask. Wasn't the answer intriguing?

Eileen said...

Hi Crystal,

Lucky you! You're gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! You need to share with us what he used on you :-)

Hi Charlestongirl,

Thank you for the unusual interview. I love asking various make-up artists to tell me a bit about themselves while they work on me. I find that many of the best have a strong background in art. After all, proportion, color theory, and esthetics all come into play when making a woman up. When you think about it, we really are just a canvas of sorts waiting for the transformation into a unique expression of beauty. Sometimes it's dramatic, sometimes it's romantic, sometimes it's edgy, sometimes it's sophisticated--but it's always a thing of beauty.

Leigh said...

I am flipping out over the description of the new Eye Kaleidoscope. Today, you might be interested to know, I went to the Mazza and the SA at the LMdB counter pulled out an Oscar de la Renta Kaleidoscope! Apparently they received only 10 of these. I nearly squealed, remembering your gorgeous swatches. Now I am the proud owner of a LMdB/Oscar Kaleidoscope. The SA also gave me a makeover using the Oscar and Silk Road Kaleidoscopes, and the results were just stunning. I'll try to put the pictures up on my blog by tomorrow, if anyone wants to see how they look together.

Thank you for the insightful interview. Keep them coming!

Clarisse said...

Thanks for the interview: it's great to see how much art counts for directors of make-up and Eileen has written about it all, more beautifully than I would:-)
Crystal is stunning too! great job!
You didn't tell us what make-up Mikey used for you, Charlestongirl, I'm sure you looked gorgeous too:-)
I read on the right side (twitter part) that you had a massage for pain relief and that things may help to soothe your back pains: I do wish they will! Have a lovely (sunny?)Sunday ♥

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

It's fun when a makeup artist will actually talk so passionately about his or her interests. Mikey was just darling.

Charlestongirl said...

Leigh, I totally forgot I was supposed to tweet that! I told Lisa Lingis that I would let DC gals know that Mazza had received 10 of the Oscar palettes. I guess it's not too late to do so. I think it's fabulous you were able to get one!

Did Michael do your makeup?

Charlestongirl said...

Clarisse, I didn't have time to get my makeup done. Chat, chat, chat...and Crystal waited for me to finish talking to Mikey, which was really sweet.

I enjoy watching others as much as I enjoy having a pro do my own makeup, so I was happy. :)

The results from the pain massage therapist were fleeting, but so nice while they lasted. She did give me some tips for sleeping posture, which I practiced last night. Who would have thought that my arm placement was so important while sleeping?

Nemo said...

fYes, the answer certainly is intriguing. So much so, it's about all I've been thinking about!!!!!

Holly said...

Thanks to your blog, I scheduled an appointment with Mikey this past Friday at Mazza Gallerie. I learned so much about the line and subtle variances on how to apply makeup more efficiently. Loved meeting Mikey and I felt red-carpet ready after he was finished.

Charlestongirl said...

Holly, I am so glad - isn't he amazingly good? Hope you had somewhere to go and be seen, even if it wasn't a red carpet.

I think it's such a privilege to get our makeup done by a top-tier artist. Glad you got the chance!

Lisa S. said...

Great post, I hope Mikey will visit Houston. Not only would I love to have a makeup appointment with him, but also to talk about Fiestaware! I inherited my mother in laws original collection, the bright colors make me smile every time I see it in the cabinet. Such happy colors.

Charlestongirl said...

OMG, Liz, don't let anything happen to it. Those collections are getting more and more valuable. While it has never been my cup of tea, it's a slice of our history that's got a humongous fan club, with more looking for the older pieces every year. I thought Mikey's cup display was so warm and comfy looking on the wall.

I have a friend who has an enormous (and valuable) Fiestaware collection. I was (and still am, I guess) into Majolica for my color fest. The best old pieces, though, have reached stratospheric prices. I have to appreciate the ones I have. Can no longer afford to purchase the pieces that cost $5K.

Leigh said...

Charlestongirl, I'm glad I could help remind you. This was my first time at LMdB Mazza. A very warm and friendly lady named Ileea (I think? I'm deaf, so she typed it on my iPhone and spellcheck kept trying to correct her name) helped me out, and there also was a distinguished looking gentleman at the counter. Is that Michael?

I have put up the photos of the Oscar de la Renta/Silk Road combination on my blog. There also are step-by-step instructions for any readers who want to play with both kaleidoscopes. I did link back to your Oscar de la Renta swatches, and gave you credit; if you'd rather I not, please let me know. I appreciate what your blog does for us.

Eileen said...

Hi Leigh,

I just popped over to your blog to see your LMdB look. You are supremely beautiful and glamorous. Thank you for all the details about the make-over.

Charlestongirl said...


You look gorgeous! What a fun visit to Mazza!

I am not sure how to spell the makeup artist's name, but you got it right on how it sounds. Yes, Michael is the product rep there.

That Oscar Kaleidoscope was meant to be!

Leigh said...

Eileen, thank you for the compliment. It's very kind of you to say. I also appreciate that you took the time to see the work I did on my blog post.

Charlestongirl, it truly was meant to be! If Ileea hadn't chosen to show me the Oscar Kaleidoscope, I wouldn't have even known to ask about it. The treatment I received at Mazza was excellent, and I foresee many more trips there in the future.

katie said...

I am just beginning to buy items by le Metier de Beaute (so far, I love the few that I have). I have been looking at your past le metier entries and wondering....did you ever find a foundation color that suits you (the entry I found said that you thought #4 was perhaps a tad dark). I think we have very similar coloring (chanel b10 - ish?) and I would love to purchase the foundation, was thinking of ordering #3. Also, have you used the Peau Vierge and, if so, what do you think? Would you mind sharing what you believe are the must-haves? I don't have a counter near me so I order on-line from Nordstrom. Love their brushes and eyeshadows; haven't tried any of their foundations/powders or concealers.... Thank you for your help!!