Mario Dedivanovic (or, Makeup by Mario as he is best known as on social media) is arguably the world’s most influential makeup artist. He is the man that Kim Kardashian West trusts with her face (alongside many other celebrities, such as Chrissy Teigen and Chanel Iman), he is the man who popularised contouring and he is the man who revolutionised the beauty industry.
When the opportunity arose to watch Mario perform his magic on his iconic muse and BFF, it was clear that this once in a lifetime opportunity was something I needed to do. Flying halfway across the world to Dubai, The Masterclass brought with it some extremely high expectations – which were met with flying colours! Mario’s sheer professionalism, perfectionism and overall enthusiasm to his work is what makes him so interesting to watch. (Bonus, we got to see the whole look unfold on beauty royalty and contouring queen herself, Kim Kardashian West!)
Hundreds of women from all over the world packed into the grand and lavish Dubai MusicHall to watch in amazement as Mario recreated the signature glam, smokey eye look that he is best known for. Kim K patiently sat on stage for the entire 6-hour class, often asking Mario makeup related questions or sharing personal stories about her daughter’s love for makeup, her favourite looks and even her current ‘vibe’. There was a huge LCD screen on stage which displayed exactly what he was doing, up-close and personal, so that we could really see exactly how each technique worked and which products were being used.
The final look was nothing short of perfection and something that only a true artist could create, regardless I learned a whole new world of information and since the class my makeup game has definitely stepped up a notch – or two! Here are the top tips I took from The Masterclass.
1. The most valuable and surprising technique I learned was Mario’s contouring technique. As social media has recently popularised and over-saturated contouring and its purpose, it was extremely refreshing to see that Mario actually uses a very subtle technique to chisel out the face. Rather than applying lots of dark product, Mario opted for a soft cream product, two shades darker than Kim’s skin, which he then flawlessly blended into the hollows of her cheeks until it was virtually undetectable.
2. Layering! Mario is a firm believer of laying eyeliners and concealers in order to get the most natural yet perfect finish to the look. He layered pencil, gel and liquid liner in order to ensure that his liner stayed perfectly black for the duration of the makeup’s wear. When concealing Kim’s under-eyes he used a total of four very thin and very well blended layers of concealer, in order to correct any dark circles, while highlighting the face. This may seem like a lot of makeup, however, his blending technique really made the concealer one with the skin and of course created an extremely flawless finish.
3. Go easy on the foundation! Another aspect I found very surprising was how little foundation Mario applied to the skin. Having watched other Kardashian makeup artist’s techniques (Ahem, Hrush and Makeup by Ariel), I had expected thick and mask-like layers of foundation – however, Mario did the exact opposite. Using a cult classic, Bobbi Brown stick foundation and I.T Cosmetics face-brush, small amounts of foundation were gradually applied to the skin and buffed in effortlessly, in order to create a very soft base. He shared that cream foundations were his go-to, due to their ability to alter the coverage as desired.
4. One of the most valuable tips Mario shared was to avoid following trends. He believes that while makeup should be kept modern, the beauty industry tends to create trends for ‘wow-factor’ rather than purpose. He urged to stay away from OTT colour correcting or harsh contouring techniques, as it simply requires excess product and effort, with little or no outcome. He spoke about how he believes to be a very old-fashioned makeup artist, who focuses on creating beautiful looks, rather than following what’s trending. For Kim’s red-carpet looks, he often gains inspiration from her outfit choice, rather than other artist’s work.
5. Blend, blend, blend – repeat. Throughout the entire class it became evident how crucial blending really is when creating a seamless look. Mario’s attention to detail really helps him perfect and achieve such cohesive and eye-catching looks. After every step, he would take time to then properly blend and blur each product into the next, so that the look became one with the face and skin. It was interesting to note how gentle he was with the products and how little he actually applied to the face. There is certainly nothing harsh about the way he works.
My final thoughts? If you love makeup and are ever given the opportunity to attend one of Mario’s classes, you have no choice but to go. Not only will you learn life-long skills to perfect your makeup application, but you will be gifted some amazing products and learn so much about the beauty industry and how it truly works. Mario is a true master of his trade and simply a very talented artist who absolutely lives and breathes makeup and beauty. He is honestly one-of-a-kind and the King of makeup.