Watching Marcus Monson

Marcus Monson, GuerlainMarcus Monson, national makeup artist for Guerlain, was in Dallas this past weekend, and I had the profound pleasure of meeting him and watching him work.

Forgive the artistic photo that doesn’t really look like him. You may have seen Marcus on TV — he often does segments on local morning shows, and he was just on QVC (after Guerlain won a CEW award for their Rouge G lipstick). He is a total charmer and a brilliant artist, and if you have the chance to sit in his chair, don’t pass it up.

Naturally he was using Guerlain’s new-for-fall eye palettes for his appointments. He did two makeovers with 10 Rue de Francs Bourgeois and one with 93 Rue de Passy (the two palettes I felt pretty sure I could pass on), and they all looked stunning. The woman wearing Rue de Passy left looking like Sandra Bullock. I’m back to wanting all five palettes.

Guerlain, fall, 2010, palette, Ecrin 6 CouleursThere were a few things about Marcus that really impressed me. When he wrote out a post-makeover face chart, he asked his client to name each color. His logic was that he could write, “use ‘sand’ in the crease,” and a client could look at their palette and pick an entirely different shade — because they might have a different idea of what color “sand” was.

He also had an unbelievably light hand when it came to application. I know we all know to apply with a light hand, but watching him work really drove that home to me. (I guess I needed a reminder.) With the lightest imaginable touch, he was able to create such elegant looks. Note to self: you don’t need a lot of shadow (or eyeliner) to make an impact.

Just a few more tips and tricks I learned by observation:

  • Eye cream on a q-tip is like a Tide Magic Eraser for your undereye area. (I had been using dry q-tips to clean up mistakes or fallout.) The eye cream cleans up any wayward eyeshadow dust, and also rehydrates and illuminates the area.
  • A brighter, more shimmery highlight (say, subtly shimmery pink instead of matte cream on your browbone) makes the dark parts of your eyeshadow look darker without making the whole look more smoky. A great trick for evening events.
  • If you keep your eyeliner really subtle and close to your lash line, then make a small wing, and smudge everything with an angled brush, the liner blends into your shadow, adding really subtle definition. (He also did set his pencil liner with shadow.) I loved this look; I want to try it.
  • Marcus also applied each eyeshadow color twice, to prevent creasing or fading in hot weather. (But he didn’t use an eyeshadow base.*)
  • *Well, he did use an eyeshadow base. He used Guerlain’s Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator (their fuller-coverage version of Touche Eclat).  He used it as eyebase, concealer, and on the jawline to blend foundation. But I don’t think Precious Light promises creaseproof, long-wear eyeshadow support.

Have you met Marcus? I have a feeling I’m going to be a repeat customer.

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7 Responses to “Watching Marcus Monson”

  • Estelle says:

    Sounds AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing his strategies with us, Karla! My Rue de Passy should be arriving today! Yay!

  • Ebontien says:

    The Q-tip and eye cream trick can be extended by using any moisturizer (depending on how sensitive your eyes are) to remove eye eyeshadow in case of an emergency. I’ve used moisturizer and tissue as a quick eyeshadow remover, even with a base on when I find myself crashing at a friend’s place.

  • Eileen says:

    It’s always a pleasure to watch great MA’s in action. They really are artists and know how to get the most out of a woman’s features while promoting their brand’s latest products. It’s easy to see why they rise to the top. Lucky you! You got to experience the Top Guns from Armani and Guerlain.

  • KarlaSugar says:

    Eileen, you are so right — I DO feel so lucky! I guess I’m going to have to stop complaining that NYC gets all the great events. :)

  • GiAGiA says:

    Next stop for west coast, I heard Marcus will be in Guerlain at The Palazzo store on August 25,2010 between 12noon to 5 or 6pm.
    I can not wait to see him in person and learn some tips and tricks!!!!!!

    Just in case, The Guerlain Boutique number
    # 702.732.7008

  • KarlaSugar says:

    Woohoo! I can’t wait to hear about your experience!

  • LOVE Marcus! I’m always delighted when I get a chance to have him do my makeup. He’s so wonderful to work with and has such great tips. Can’t wait for him to get to San Francisco in September.

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