Celebrity makeup artist Gina Brooke talks confidence

Gina Brooke applies makeup

Gina Brooke is a celebrity makeup artist that has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Brooke has over 25 years of experience as an internationally acclaimed makeup artist, is a Brand Ambassador for Australian skincare brand Intraceuticals and is the mastermind behind the key makeup looks for Madonna’s iconic Rebel Hearts tour.

We caught up with Brooke to find out whether her job is really as glamorous as it seems along with what it really takes to make it!

Madonna takes the stage

Where did you find inspiration for the makeup looks you created for Madonna’s upcoming Rebel Hearts Tour?

GB: Love and Romance was the central theme of this show... the original looks stemmed from the work that Madonna and I created around the promotion of her Rebel Heart album.

Some of her makeup has been modified by the artist I trained on tour. [The finished look had] more of a matte finish and heavier brows than what I had originally created.

Although this is my fifth world tour, as a working mother, I opted to not go on the last two tours and focus my time and creativity towards consulting for tours and with comsmetic brands along with editorial work.

Is the life of a celebrity makeup artist as glamorous as it would appear?

GB: It's actually completely the opposite of what people may think... The life of a celebrity makeup artist is inundated with long hours, lots of organisation and endless travel.

However, there are some amazing moments. For example, expressing your creativity and seeing it published is a wonderful feeling. Most recently, I created real gold eyeshadow with an artisan jeweller for Madonna and seeing it on her is extremely rewarding as an artist.

What does it take to be the best?

GB: Hard work, dedication, passion, organisation and most of all, being a professional.

What is your top beauty tip for a glamorous night out?

GB: My top beauty tip for a glamorous night out is flawless skin, enhancing bone structure and a bold lip.

Have you ever experienced a ‘diva moment’ when working with a celebrity?

GB: People tend to forget that celebrities are real people... There’s certainly more pressure being in the spotlight with many people waiting for them to be seen as less than perfect. It is my job not to judge them and offer a service that empowers them to look and feel their best!

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You’re often the celebrity’s last contact before they go on stage; do you believe that you impact the star’s confidence?

GB: I believe that beautiful skin and makeup provides [my clients] with the confidence to be the character they need to play on stage.

Something I remember that Anthony McMahon, CEO and Founder of Intraceuticals always says is;

"It doesn't matter whether you’re the most famous star in the world or a mom taking her child to school, it's really about the last look in the mirror that gives you the confidence to be who you need to be."

With over 25 years of experience as an internationally acclaimed makeup artist, what is your secret to success?

GB: My secret to success is being open to learning and recognising the endless possibilities that the beauty industry has to offer.

I truly believe that success in any field is the interconnection between luck and being prepared when the opportunity presents itself.

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What has been the most memorable moment of your career to date?

GB: The highlight of my career was developing diamond lashes with Mr. Shu Uemura, which became the most expensive lashes in the world. Shu Uemura was the very first makeup I purchased when starting out as a makeup artist [and] having the opportunity to represent the brand as the artistic director was an unforgettable experience.

Do you have anything exciting coming up after the tour?

GB: There are a lot of exciting projects in the works. I have a book coming out, I’m developing a TV show and as always, continuing to create new and innovative products for my brands.

Words: Frances van Eeden