Linda Mason, Makeup Artist

Linda Mason took some time out of managing her beautiful makeup shop in New York City to answer some questions regarding her book, makeup line and artistic style.

About Linda Mason

Linda began her career in the late 1960s, training with Lancôme's chief makeup artist, Mr. Ulysse. After this successful venture, Linda traveled to Paris where she not only trained with other makeup artists, but also spent some time modeling. During this time she became dedicated to establishing herself as a freelance Fashion and Beauty makeup artist. Soon Linda got her first big job with the legendary Toscani at Elle magazine and became a fixture within the fashion and beauty world.

Always on the hunt for a new challenge, Linda eventually discovered New York and quickly established herself by creating a look for Steven Meisel that would prompt the Wall Street Journal to comment, "Mason took face painting out of punk and into high fashion". She continued to work with an ever-growing list of celebrities as diverse as Cameron Diaz and Isabella Rossellini, in addition to working on major campaigns for Clairol, L'Oreal, and Absolute. In 1998, Linda opened a shop that showcases her artwork and makeup lines and provides women the ability to experiment with makeup in a relaxed atmosphere. Linda has also authored a variety of books and videos. Most recently she released Makeup, The Art of Beauty (Watson and Guptill1, Sept 2003), and Teen Makeup, Looks to match your every mood.

Interview With Linda Mason

How does makeup help define a woman's personality?

We search to find clothing, hair and makeup which show us off to our advantage. A woman who wears makeup is a woman who cares about others. How she chooses to wear it, is how she would like to be perceived. We have different sides to our personality and certain knowledge of makeup can allow us to express these different sides so we may change our makeup depending on how we feel. With my Astrological makeup Melodies, I have put kits together so that if a woman would like to express different sides to her personality she can do this by changing a kit. She still has a certain amount of free expression within the kit as she has nine colors to mix, but they are mistake proof so they allow her to experiment with a minimum of risk.

How do you define true beauty?

True beauty is a spark, a warmth and generosity of Spirit.

What is a quick way to change a day look to a special occasion or nighttime face?

Make your makeup more dramatic and add contrast by either darkening your eyes and lightening your lips or just strengthening your lip color.

You are known for your use of color, what advice can you offer women on how to best choose the right colors for their face?

They have to choose the colors that they are drawn most towards. Experiment with a mixture of things, the skin, and the personality. What I do think women should not say is that if it is bright, it is unnatural. Some of the bright colors can be very simple and soft and almost more natural than the very strong natural colored makeup. If they see a new color or different color they like, just put it next to the lashes. And then you can see if you will look good in it.

With lipstick color you shouldn't be afraid of experimenting, but also keep in mind you might have to alter a color slightly. So, when you are choosing your lipstick, it is almost better to choose it without any eye makeup on. Then instantly you will know if it makes your face look better and a good color for you. Very often women choose a lipstick because they feel they need to have a lipstick; but it doesn't really do much to enhance them. I think you need try a lipstick on, or at least hold it up to your face. Keep in mind the type of lipstick too, as a rule the matte lipsticks tend to look classier with a deeper color. If you want to look more feminine, or flirtatious, then use a tinted gloss. If you find a color you have put on is a bit much and you are a little frightened by it, and then add a little lip gloss to make it more wearable.

Even when I am selecting colors for women I can be surprised, as a lot of women suit a lot of colors. There is not just one color out there, what happens with the color is it creates different kinds of feelings and I like to match personality to makeup.

What is the most important makeup tip we all should consider?

I do think it is very important to apply more concealer in the evenings.

What is the best way for a woman to improve her overall beauty?

Keep your life stress free and full of fun.

Describe "The Art of Beauty" and your specialty makeup line.

I strive to make my line beautiful, practical and compact. I would like a woman to enjoy looking at the product as much as wearing it. I want to add a little brightness to all women's makeup collection. I like to use colors as highlighters, which is different then what other people do. I allow my customers to create their own compact of colors, or they can select an Astrological compact. These kits are designed for a mood and personality, like romantic or more serious. You can experiment within the kits also, as they are not geared toward just your astrological sign. The colors work together to create that type of feeling.

What are the current trends in makeup today?

I believe that women are more adventurous. They are also more knowledgeable, so this means they would like to be able to express themselves with special touches of color or with unusual products. They are more ecologically aware, so the packaging and products need to be in harmony with that.

What advice do you have to makeup artists just starting out?

Make the opportunity to do makeup on everyone around you so that you get as much practical experience as possible, and just go for it. Never forget, almost anyone can make top models look good and throw color on to be creative. It's when you can make up all different types of women well, and make them feel like a top model, that you will truly be a makeup artist.

How much art is actually involved in makeup application?

We are walking works of Art. It is not just in the techniques that we put the finishing touches to our personal tableau, but also with our form of expression. Some of us are minimalists and others more expressionistic. A makeup artist is a true artist and you can see this if you study the portfolios and styles of different makeup artists. Their art accentuates and embellishes in very different ways.

Linda Mason.com

For more information or to order her products online, visit her website:

Linda Mason, Makeup Artist