I had the opportunity this weekend to make an appointment with and interview my friend Maxwell Leclerc.
For those of you that don’t know, Maxwell is a makeup artist, who studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and he is a Beauty Adviser/Color Expert for Sephora in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. You can find Maxwell on Instagram here.
My questions will be in italics and all of his answers are his own words. We decided it would be amazing for him to do a makeup look on me, using his absolute must have products. There are pictures from that session, interspersed through the interview.
How long have you been doing makeup, and what got you started?
I’ve been working in cosmetic medium for approximately 5 years, but I have spent my entire lifetime exploring the beauty and aesthetics of women since I can remember. I specifically remember seeing a Playboy at age 3, and that must be where the interest stems from. My grandfather was an artist and his home was filled with sculptures and paintings of the nude femme body. I was obsessed… The hair, the makeup, the flesh. I also recall my mother wearing incredibly stunning and dramatic makeup throughout most of my childhood and teens. I always just wanted to somehow capture and create work that represented my strong affection towards beauty and women. My primary work as an illustrator has always been faceted by strong ideals of beauty and sexuality, so it is entirely inherent that I became a makeup artist.
I’ve seen some of your paintings on Instagram and they’re gorgeous, how long have you been painting?
I have been painting since I was a child. The Little Mermaid was my first dose of inspiration. All my stick figures had red hair! In High School I won a national Scholastic award for a series of 27 illustrations I did from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’urbervilles, and then attended the Art Academy for 4 years. Once I realized I wanted to do makeup full time I dropped out right before graduation and my true pursuit of beauty began to blossom.
What other Artists are you inspired by?
So many! I’ve always been inspired by the work of Alberto Vargas, Aubrey Beardsley, Eduard Manet, Halston, and McQueen of course… These artists’ aesthetic of beauty have gravely influenced how I’ve shaped my own.
As a Makeup Artist, what are some of your must have products?
Must haves: Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, Make Up For Ever Smokey Extravagent Mascara, Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes shadow pencil in ME-54, urban decay Naked 3, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Nars contour Bronzer Duo in Olympia, Hourglass femme rouge velvet cream lipstick, makeupforever aqua lip liner, and Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer lip gloss.
Products shown and used: Nars Radiance Enhancing Pro Prime, Nars Sheer Glow in Siberia, Makeup Forever Aqua Matic in ME54, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eyeliner in Jazzberry, Urban Decay Naked Three Palette the colors:Strange, Buzz and Trick, Darkside, Marc Jacobs Full Coverage Creamy Concealer in Awake, Makeup Forever HD Setting Powder in Translucent, Nars Blush in Unlawful, Nars Bronzer in Olympia, Nars Highlighter in Albatross, Makeup Forever Rouge Artist in #22 Pink Peach, Marc Jacobs Lust for Laquer in 306 Sweet Escape, Makeup Forever Smokey Extravagant Mascara in Black
Of course, since this is a Fashion Blog at heart, what is your go to outfit for when you’re running late?
When I’m running late I like to combine something comfortable with something chic. An easy look is best to relieve anxiety of already being late so I like to wear a wife-beater with a cool blazer and a pair of jeans or running sweats.
And finally I know you’re a movie buff, what is your must watch movie list?
Melancholia, Under the Skin, Nymphomaniac and Matilda
And here’s the final look:
and outside in the daylight:
I plan to buy everyone of the products that he used that I don’t currently have. They’re amazing. And a very sincere thank you to Maxwell for agreeing to this crazy interview. It’s rare you get to work with someone who’s not only talented, but incredibly intelligent as well.