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Five Questions For…Vincent Longo, Makeup Artist

Photo: Bellasugar

The first thing you notice about Vincent Longo is his meticulous personal style. This afternoon, the makeup artist and founder of Vincent Longo Cosmetics met me at The Palm Court restaurant inside The Plaza dressed in a crease-free suit, skinny tie, and purple button-down. This is clearly a man who pays attention to detail, and it shows in his cult line: bold shadows, faultless foundations, and model-gorgeous lip stains. Born in Australia to Italian parents, Longo moved to the Riviera as a teenager, where he worked as a baker in his family’s store before finding his calling in beauty. He’s done makeup for everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Hillary Clinton! These days, Longo is busy relaunching his line with a blend of classic and new products (all in innovative, good-for-your-skin formulas). He took a break from his trunk show at Henri Bendel to chat with me about his work and to share some insider tips.

On his top beauty inspirations…

Growing up in Australia, I was always struck by the starkness of the outback, with its vibrant colors and open skyline. Nature was all around us: we would have kangaroos coming to the backyard fence! I’m equally inspired by the history and culture of Italy. When I moved there and started working in my family’s bakery, we would have a whole line of Italian mamas waiting outside the door for freshly baked bread. I still aim to meet women’s expectations by giving them a different kind of fulfillment. To me, there’s always been a connection between food and beauty: you have to think about how to create a recipe to have a cohesive result. When I started making baked eyeshadows like my Wet Diamond formulas — it felt like coming home.

On the ways the beauty industry has changed… 

When I started my line fifteen years ago, we couldn’t blend a pearl pigment with a matte base in a blush because the compact would break up. I had to layer a highlighter on the cheeks over a solid color if I wanted a shimmery flush effect. Now the technology has become more sophisticated, so you can have highlight and lowlight effects in one blush and skip the extra step. I’ve also added bells and whistles to my original formulas in the form of peptides, hyaluronic acids, and plant actives.

On how to wear powder without looking like a ghost…

When I’m doing runway or stage makeup, I’ll use two shades of pressed powder on the face for a 3-D, natural effect. I apply the slightly darker powder as a base and bring out the features with the lighter powder by applying it below the eyes and on the bridge of the nose. Naomi Campbell loves this effect. 

On how to rock a runway look without going overboard…

Pick one element you love on the model’s face and take it down a few notches. I remember doing one show where I applied white shadow all over the lids and topped that off with white mascara. It had a dreamy fairytale effect, but you can’t mimic that look off the runway. For everyday wear, I would opt for a swipe of white liner under the eyes or a touch of white shimmer just below the brows. 

On the It makeup looks of the season…

Try a hyper-defined lip in a dark wine shade with a beautiful, soft cheek. I’m also a fan of applying false lashes to the outer corners of the eyes and pairing that with nicely arched bold brows. The trick is to break up the face and draw attention to one set of features, rather than aiming for a balanced look. 


P.S. Another major fall trend we’re loving: color liners

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