JUNO Awards: Q & A with MAC Cosmetics Senior Makeup Artist Melissa Gibson

The 2012 JUNO Awards capped off a tremendous week of music in the capital all while celebrating some of Canada’s best talent.  Ottawa Life Magazine’s Fashion Editor, Alexandra Gunn went behind-the-scenes to meet with veteran MAC Cosmetics Senior Artist Melissa Gibson who created Carly Rae Jepsen’s look for the Awards.

Gibson has been in the industry for twenty years and has worked with a variety of celebrities, including Tilda Swinton, Salma Hayek, Anna Paquin, Cher, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, American Ferrera, Michelle Williams, Helen Mirren, Fergie and Evan Rachel Wood.  We spoke with Gibson to find out how we could replicate Carly Rae Jepsen’s look, her favorite MAC products and why she loves working with the JUNO Awards every year.

Alex: You worked with Carly Rae Jepsen for the JUNO Awards. What inspired you to create her look?

Melissa: It started with her dress. She likes makeup and has a great face for wearing it so it was fun to pull inspiration from her dress colour and tie it into the makeup.

Alex:  Can you explain how you created Carly Rae Jepsen’s look? 

Melissa: Her look was focused on the eyes. It started with more of an icey metallic sheen. That kind of gave it that little extra sparkle. And then when I added the dark colours, I kept it close to her lash line and at the outer corner for a slightly smoldering, sexy look to the eye.  She loves a neutral sculpted cheek to offset all the colour in the eye so we used “sculpt” to achieve this – slightly sculpting the face but with minimal and neutral colour.

Alex: What are some of your must-have MAC products and why?

Melissa:  It’s so hard to decide. I have to have every product with me at all times for whatever project I am working on – I really use everything in my kit!  Give me any M?A?C concealer, any powder, a mascara, a lipstick and at least one brush and I can do a whole face – those are a must! But if I had to name just one product that I love for everyone, I’d say M?A?C Studio Sculpt Foundation – it is a product I like on every texture and tone of skin.

Alex: How do you prepare for awards shows, fashion shows and working with celebrities for the first time?

Melissa: Background information on the person/designer is important. Sometimes I get information from their management team that can be helpful but I always look online for research to see what they have done in the past – do they have a specific “Look”, likes or dislikes? When it comes to working with celebrities for the first time, many times it comes down to personalities and how you interact as well  – overall, the more you know about them the better so I’d say research is how I prepare, it’s important.

Alex: You’ve worked with a wide array of celebrities and fashion designers. Who would you like to work with in the future and why?

Melissa: I really loved working with Carly – loved her personality! It was easy to spend time with her. I’d happily work with her again.  If I had to choose someone different,  I’d love to work with – Martina Sorbara! After seeing Dragonnette perform at the Junos – she really rocked it! I’d love to paint another amazing Canadian woman’s face.  I always enjoy working the Junos every year – it always feels good to support Canadian talent.

Featured Image Photography by: Jessica Deeks