I think pretty much everyone can agree that Madonna looks amazing in the May issue of Elle. Her gorgeous makeup look is the work of Gina Brooke, the artistic director of Shu Uemura. As Madonna's personal makeup artist, she's also responsible for those legendary mink-and-diamond lashes from a couple of years ago. Last week, I was lucky enough to chat with her right before she headed off to do Madonna's makeup. Read on.
How do you work with Madonna to come up with makeup looks?
It's definitely a collaboration. She has an idea; I have ideas. Then we combined the two along with hair and styling. It's a collaboration between the hair stylist and makeup artist — and Madonna, of course. She always has an idea of which direction she wants to go in. Usually on certain jobs you walk in and go, "OK, this is my idea." She's like, "No, this is my idea, and then you guys give me what you've got."
What was the idea for the Elle shoot?
For years I've been obsessed with a photographer named Sam Haskins. Every time we have a photo shoot or something big coming up, I always break out my Sam Haskins and I'm like, "Here, what about this?" She's always turned me down. And then finally we actually did a Sam Haskins-inspired shoot for the cover of Elle.
To find out which lipstick color and foundation Gina used for the cover,
I wanted to ask you about that makeup. What is Madonna wearing in that shoot?
I used the new Rouge Unlimited Crystal Shine in PK301S from the Shu Uemura collection. I wanted it to be about matte skin, so I used our new Face Architect Smoothing Fluid Foundation, which is water-based. It gives a really flat, beautiful finish.
We at Sugar HQ cannot get over how amazing Madonna looks on the cover of Elle and in her new video.
When you see the next video, I think it's going to be one of the best videos I've ever done with her in terms of hair and makeup and styling. Between her stylist Arianne Phillips, me, and the hair stylist, I think it's going to be one of the best videos. It's something I've always wanted to do with her, and I'm finally able to do it — it's going to be really amazing.