Interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist Sébastien Tardif – Creator of Veil Cosmetics.
I was honoured to be able to connect and interview one of my makeup artist idols Sébastien Tardif. I love his approach to makeup artistry and his work is impeccable. He has mastered the art of the “no makeup” makeup and his cosmetics line reflects his knowledge and understanding of the skin. Sébastien Tardif’s is a Celebrity makeup artist whose work has taken him to New York, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo and beyond. For more than 25 years, he has led innovation for many global luxury brands, and has beautified celebrities including Naomi Campbell, Nelly Furtado, Jane Fonda, Olivia Palermo and Glen Close to name a few. He has led makeup direction for more than 100 fashion week shows in New York and internationally, and his signature illuminated makeup has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle magazines and more. He is the creator of Veil Cosmetics, renowned for its textural superiority, and a cult favorite amongst beauty experts and professionals.
Q. Holly: I absolutely love that your vision for creating Veil Cosmetics is to create a makeup line that can help you create the “no makeup – makeup look” that we both agree is the hardest to achieve. You have been a trailblazer with creating a product line that is a vegan, cruelty free makeup that performs. Can you tell us more about why you created your own makeup line and about your vision for Veil Cosmetics?
A. Sébastien: I knew from a very young age that I would own a business later on in life and when I became a makeup artist, it became very obvious that I would create a cosmetic line. Now, after years of working with different makeup lines, I was always in a problem solving mode as a makeup artist: if it’s too sticky, create a surface that’s smooth or if it’s too thick, make it thinner. If it doesn’t go on smoothly, you know try to fix it with technique, use different brushes. So when it came time to create my own line, it was very obvious to me that it was going to be a makeup line all about weightlessness, makeup that would just be so easy to apply and create that no-makeup makeup approach to celebrate skin and letting it breathe. I have always been known for my signature makeup style being radiant, beautiful glowing skin; not mask-like, always fresh, real looking skin. Skincare is an integral part or having great skin so all of Veil Cosmetics are infused with skin care ingredients and benefits.
Q. Holly: I love hearing that skin inspires you and that your favourite part of doing makeup is creating a makeup look that has your clients glowing from within. Can you tell us why Veil works for everyone and more about your signature product Complexion Fix Concealer and how we would choose the right shade for our skin?
A. Sébastien: Veil Cosmetics works for all skin types because they are oil free and I removed all of the negatives like parabens, triclosan, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, alcohol and no fragrance. It’s great for sensitive skin and if it’s great for a sensitive skin it’s great for everybody. Complexion Fix Concealer particularly is great for all skin types, all skin tones, you can use it as a corrector, as a concealer or a highlighter. So depending on what your need is, I always recommend using a couple different colors because you can really do anything: brighten, neutralize, spot conceal… Radiant skin, that’s what it does. The best way to choose your shade is to first know your skin undertone because it comes in soft pink, gold or neutral undertones. Most people are neutral so that’s probably a good place to start: if neutral looks a bit yellow, then go for a pink undertone. If neutral looks a bit pale or grey, then go for a gold undertone. We have a website that’s extremely useful and easy to direct everyone to their perfect shade. Plus, we have a Shade Match service so let our experts help you find the right shade.
Q. Holly: As a makeup artist myself, I love a fresh makeup look where “less is more” and I loved hearing that your makeup line keeps the integrity of the skin intact. After trying your products, I’m obsessed! I love the idea of getting rid of the “powdered look” and using products that set without applying a powder. I would love to hear more about your Automatte Mattifying Balm versus a traditional setting powder.
A. Sébastien: Traditional powders tend to age skin, they always leave specks of dry chalk on the surface. They will enhance fine lines and dry patches, they will enhance acne, they will enhance dry skin all together. When it comes to Automatte, it’s completely translucent. It is a universal balm that goes on transparently and it instantly takes shine away but not in a chalky way like we know powder does. It actually looks like fresh, cleansed skin; it has a satin finish and it really helps keeping skin looking smooth and not shiny but just a natural looking skin because it does not add a layer of makeup. Automatte can be applied under makeup to prevent oil buildup and sebum production so it absorbs the excess of oil before it gets to the surface, as well as on top of the makeup as a powder substitute to instantly take away shine. Your skin just feels so soft, so smooth and fresh like real skin.
Q. Holly: I find using primers can be hit or miss and I have never found one I have loved until your sunset light primer serum. Can you tell me about the creation of this primer and how it works so effectively on the skin?
A. Sébastien: My intention when creating Sunset Light Primer was to actually have skincare mixed with the priming abilities that we love: smoothing, easy blending and the longevity of makeup paired up with hydration, with brightening of the skin over time, plumping of the skin and just a general fresh feel when applying it. Because it is water based, the skincare ingredients will actually be efficacious. Meanwhile, silicone based primers will feel more tight on the skin, they are not hydrating and you won’t be able to have all of these beautiful natural ingredients as a bonus. It is mother nature’s golden hour bottled up
Q. Holly: As makeup artists we all love cream products! You have created the gorgeous velvet palette. Can you tell me more about this palette and does the velvet palette have staying power – so we can have a nice lip colour that stays put even while taking our masks on and off?
A. Sébastien: When I created the velvet Lip and Cheek Palette, I was really wanting to have a texture that would not feel sticky, that would not bleed or end up creating a makeup meltdown. I really wanted a cream that would blend easily, but also stay on. Most creamy lipsticks will stick to your water bottle or glass of wine and cream blush has your hair sticking to your face. That’s not the case with Velvet, it feels like a skin conditioner. It feels smooth and it’s transfer resistant. I released the palette just before the pandemic so who could have predicted that we would all be wearing face masks… Upon removing your mask you’ll probably find lip colour all around your lips and chin. However, Velvet is transfer resistant! I’ve had so many testaments from close friends telling me that they absolutely loved Velvet colours because they are the only colours that will stay on.
Q. Holly: I think we both agree that makeup artistry is an intimate experience. In having one on one time with your clients, what are some of your favourite moments?
A. Sébastien: My favorite intimate moments are always the ones when I feel like I’ve really helped a woman feel great and find her new favorite makeup like her favorite concealer. Because I created Veil Cosmetics it’s a double win as there is so much satisfaction in solving their beauty problems with my own products.
Q. Holly: What is your proudest moment of your career ?
A. Sébastien: Definitely creating Veil Cosmetics; it’s been a lifelong dream but it’s also been able to stick around nine years later and thriving.I still remember being at New York Fashion Week backstage with my own team of makeup artists using all of Veil Cosmetics line and prototypes. Then seeing all these beautiful models strutting down the runway looking absolutely gorgeous with my friends in the audience watching the show… Such a great moment!
Q. Holly: A fun question for you! If you were working backstage at fashion week and could only have three products, which ones would you choose?
A. Sébastien: I definitely need my Complexion Fix, that is an absolute essential; I can brighten eyes, I can spot conceal, I can turn around a sallow looking complexion into fresh skin in seconds… Number two would definitely be Automatte because it instantly takes shine away. We always need to take down the shine at Fashion Week; models are stressed out, the spotlights are warm and that is the perfect combo for an oily looking face down the runway. I also need color so I have to have my Velvet palette for cheeks and lips but I also use it on the eyes and it looks great. It blends easily and it stays on
Q. Holly: What would be your best advice to aspiring makeup artists who are getting into the industry and also to those already working as makeup artists?
A. Sébastien: You’ve got to know the history of fashion and makeup so that you are prepared to do any assignment. Fashion and makeup are always very referential and if you don’t know what 70s makeup was about, what the 20s were about or Renaissance makeup… You will struggle and be caught off guard.
Q. Holly: I love how veil cosmetics is “weightless beauty’. Can you tell us more about how your makeup line works for all ages – both youthful and mature skin types?
A. Sébastien: It’s pretty simple, full coverage makeup is very maturing looking and always ends up looking like a mess on mature skin. Heavier makeup formulas with wax and oil will completely melt down on young oily skin. Veil Cosmetics is the no-makeup makeup authority: it looks great on any skin types, any skin tones or age group, whether you’re 16 years old or 80 years old, you want your skin to look its best. An even toned complexion is what makes your skin look best and by using sheer, buildable-medium coverage concealer and foundation that are oil free you are able to accomplish that. It’s not makeup. It’s Veil.
Thank you to Sébastien Tardif, I adore you!