With a lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, and mascara, Stephane Marais is able to create a new personality. He started from the golden supermodel era, passing by the biggest fashion houses and the most popular celebrities. Stephane Marais is behind the cover of famous magazines, the greatest shows, and shots.
Working with designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Lancôme, Versace, Armani, Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier… and models like Linda Evangelista, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, Rihanna, Julianne Moore, Naomi Campbell. And the list goes on and on…
Stephane Marais has received numerous international awards for his work. He is one of the top makeup artists in the beauty industry for many years.
THE INTERVIEW: STEPHANE MARAIS
DFN: Stephane, you were born in France and spent your childhood and youth between France and Africa until you joined the make-up school in Paris, right? Tell us about this period and how you discovered your love for makeup and beauty.
After returning indefinitely to France, I was directed towards economy studies at university in Paris. But I realized that I didn’t like it and all my new friends were in more artistic schools and they opened my eyes on the fact that I had to change and get a new direction for my future. I had to embrace something more artistic due to my sensibility and my passion for aesthetic. I loved museums, cinema, and photography and the aesthetic in it. Even fashion was something attractive to me. One person told me that I should discover makeup and find a school to learn what it was, so I found one, tried it and loved it.
DFN: You said, ” I started knocking at the doors of magazines with my little book full of personal tests made with young photographers and models”. How was this period of the 80s for you and what were your first steps to work in make-up?
After the school, I knew that I have to present myself with a book of my work and that I had to contact magazines and photographer’s agents. I did it and it went fast because I had a lot of determination. Don’t forget that, at that time, there were no computers or cell phones, so the personal contact was the key. Of course, it was a good time because I had nothing to lose and just go. So, people liked me and saw something in my work. For that reason, magazines opened doors and very quickly I met designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Rei Kawakubo and also photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Irving Penn….
GAULTIER: ALWAYS THERE
DFN: You started 2018 with a show of Jean Paul Gautier. Gaultier was your first big show when you were starting. What things that have changed, disappeared or are still there?
Jean Paul Gaultier stayed pretty the same and he is on top of his house and spirit. It was easy to communicate directly with him and still is, and talk about ideas for the shows or projects. His mind is always on high speed and it is fun to do his shows because of all the energy that he has.
FOR THE LOVE OF PHOTOGRAPHY… AND BEAUTY
DFN: You have a passion for fashion, photography, and beauty. Is makeup able to accommodate your passion in these fields? And has this integration enabled you to achieve the idealism in your work?
Yes, I do find my place in that. I have a passion for creation and of course I really feel that my part of a makeup artist is a part that I can bring to the process of doing an image, a film, a show. There is always a notion of a team where everybody has his contribution to the beauty of the final result.
DFN: You did not stop taking photographs in shots and shows, and already you made a book “Beauty flash” like a gallery of your best images. What did you plan to achieve with the book?
The beginning of the book was Karl Lagerfeld who saw me taking polaroids backstage during a shoot with him. He was so surprised by the quality of them and my eyes on faces that in a minute (very Karl) asked me if I had done a lot. I said yes, and in a second said: why don’t we do a book with them? So, we did it. He was so supportive. The book (Beauty Flash) came out for the first edition of his publishing company (7L Editions) in partnership with the Editor Steidl.
DFN: What would you like to learn still?
I never planned to discover things. They came to me. So, my feeling is the same now. The beauty is that I still discover things, people, photographers, girls, and creators….
STEPHANE MARAIS´S PERSONAL TOUCH
DFN: From the 80s to 2018 you have worked with beauty icons such as Linda Evangelista or Rihanna. How would you describe this period?
I started in the 80’s, and I loved that everything was new for me. I love the girls I met then and now I keep on doing still beautiful discoveries.
DFN: You have a good relationship for years with most of the models you worked with. How do you keep up with all the people you have met? Do you have any trick?
I worked so many times with these girls who were everywhere, and it became like a family business, trips, shows, shoots……always together. And this for a long period of course. It became really sentimental and growing up, they became part of my life and for that reason, we still see each other and even still work together after all these years. So, no tricks, just human relations and feelings.
DFN: You love seductive, intriguing, and powerful women. Do you think that makeup can show the independence of a woman?
Yes, I do think that makeup can show the independence of a woman. I always have the idea in my mind that makeup is the possibility to bring a different face to a woman according to her wish, to bring to light a different side or perspective. She is able to take the risk, embrace the change and accept that she can look different and play with it. Nothing is permanent with makeup if you decide to play with it, accept it and love the idea of revealing a different side of yourself … SO GO!!!!!!
DFN: You said; “Beauty is a simple fact, and you must find a beautiful face before your makeup”. In this case, what does makeup add to an already beautiful face?
In the same field, everybody has something unique, beautiful and makeup can reveal that stunning side of your face.
DFN: You seem to love black as a color. We have seen a lot of black smoky eyes and you are the only one who painted all the models black at Viktor & Rolf show. What are the expressions highlighted by black for you?
Yes, I love black. It is my main and favorite color in makeup. I feel it just mesmerizes your eyes, made them stronger, deeper, more hypnotic, more seductive and give you a real power. It is a killer color!
MAKEUP ADVICE FROM THE MASTER
DFN: What is your favorite product ever?
My favorite product is definitely a black pencil for the eyes. The one, prescriptive soft lining pencil in jet shade. So intense and really staying black during application.
DFN: Before, makeup concealed skin problems. Nowadays, skin care products and healthy habits such as sports, healthy eating, and psychological care keep the skin fresh. Do you think make-up may lose its strength?
Of course, skin care products and healthy habits really have a good effect on the freshness of the skin but makeup products have improved with amazing textures and components. So, you don’t have to mask but you can emphasize the beauty of a face with them and my key is a very natural skin looking and a strong makeup.
DFN: What is the practical product that women must use to look stunning?
A good concealer to erase little problems, redness, dark around the eyes in a very natural way.
DFN: What is your opinion on Arab make-up?
Oriental makeup. I love black for the eyes so guess I love oriental women!
DFN: Where can we find you on social media?
My Instagram is @stephane_marais_officiali
and my website: stephanemais.com
Photo Credit of featured images:
Left: Ana Cleveland
Sølve Sundsbø / Art+Commerce
Right: Photo Credit: Maggie Maurer
Sølve Sundsbø / Art+Commerce
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