A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend the MAC Technique Event, hosted by the uber talented and M.A.C's Director of Makeup Artistry, Gregory Arlt.
Gregory has worked backstage at the most elite global fashion shows in the world and has the privilege of working with a long list of A list clients.
When not dolling up celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese, he spends his days working on photo shoots, teaching M.A.C master classes worldwide, mentoring the brand’s senior artists and hosting events such as this one.
During the event, held at the beautiful Mall at Millenia, Gregory shared his expert tips and tricks on the latest trends and red carpet beauty. He created a stunning look on the model and detailed step by step the whole process.
I could've spent the whole day talking to him. He's so friendly and hilarious!! He shared some insight on how he started his makeup journey and great advice on succeeding in this competitive industry.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career, how did you get to where you are today?
GA: I'm a firm believer in timing, it's all about timing. You can never prepare for anything! I started as a professional makeup artist at 19 working at Fred Segal, I worked there for three and a half years. I'm the youngest of all girls, 2 older sisters and my mom, and my dad was an artist. So while other little boys were being taught how to throw a football my dad was teaching me to paint. And it was great! He was always supportive of me and I always loved makeup.
In early '93 I had three people in one week tell me to go work for M.A.C. You gotta listen to a sign like that! So I started working as a traveling makeup artist for M.A.C, I never worked at the counter, it was so busy that I travelled around doing makeup. In '95 I had a client who worked at a record label and she told me to check out a really cool, new band called No Doubt. She goes, you have to work with the lead singer! And that was the first time that I worked with Gwen!
We really clicked, she gave me her CD, she called me but I didn't call her back (he laments that), then she got famous so I tried to call her back (LOL) but she changed her number. I didn't see her again until 2012. Our path crossed again because I had known her hair stylist for many years before. When we met again she totally remembered me!
Arlt has been in Gwen’s glam squad ever since.
Get Gwen's signature red lipstick look:
Do celebrities request what look they want or do you figure it out for them?
GA: It's yes and yes, it's very collaborative. It depends on if its the first time you work with someone or not, for the last 5 years I've been working with Gwen (Stefani). She's a great person to work with. Oftentimes with her it will be super collaborative or sometimes she will come in and say what do you think, I have no idea. [...] Then there are some clients who are very specific. At the end of they day they're wearing it, not me. I don't want to force anything on anyone.
How do you deal with such a competitive industry?
GA: I honestly believe I do not have any competition. There's no other me and there's no other you. I always want to help people. At the end of the day we can all have the same recipe and end up with a different end result. [...] There's work for everybody.
I agree 100%! There is only one of you- no need to compare yourself to others. We are all in our different journeys and like what Gregory said: there is work for everybody.
Thank you M.A.C for inviting me and for this opportunity- can't wait to collaborate! And big thank you to Gregory Arlt for taking the time to share your story and amazing tips with us!