Brandy Gomez-Duplessis gets to create beauty everywhere she goes as a Professional makeup artist, beauty expert and blogger. She has worked her magic on celebrities including Kerry Washington, Angela Bassett, Jordin Sparks, Reggie Bush and Usher; and at major events including The Golden Globes, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, The Oprah O! You Tour, and for EssenceMagazine.com at the Essence Music Festival. Take a peek behind the glamorous curtain in this COCOBelle of the Month interview to find out how Brandy balances her professional and personal lives, what her off-duty style is like, and what she keeps in her Ultimate Makeup Arsenal.
Tell us about a day in the life of a professional makeup artist? What’s your favorite part about what you do?
My days can be very busy, especially if I’m working in the city because I awake at 4am for my commute. While on the train I read and return emails, post beauty tips on Twitter and/or behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram, and update my schedule. On set during slow times or on break I check emails again, make calls, and do phone interviews with magazines. After the day wraps, I either take another assignment or meet up with friends before returning home to Connecticut.
My favorite part about being a makeup artist is seeing my looks on television, in magazines, etc. It’s an amazing feeling to see your work visualized on a real life canvas.
When did you first know you wanted to be a Professional Makeup Artist?
I’ve always known that I wanted to be in the beauty industry. I was a weird kid; I loved being alone in my bedroom as a teenager playing with hair and makeup. I used to love to sketch faces, not knowing I was making face charts back then, lol.
How do you balance the demands of your career with those of your personal life?
Balancing my career and my personal life comes easy to me. Everyone is always so amazed by how I can keep it together. My support system is my husband: he understands my demanding schedule so I think everything else became easy.
Additionally, I’m old school–I like to write things down in an organizer. I’m one of those people who likes to scratch things off. I also like to color code things for work, personal and family. In the office I have a jumbo size calendar that I write everyone’s schedule on so we can all keep up with what’s going on.
Do you have a regular diet and fitness routine?
No, I don’t have a regular diet or fitness routine yet. I should because of my lupus but I don’t. I can’t even lie. I’m slowly getting better, though–it’s a work in progress changing my bad food habits.
You’ve worked with some pretty major celebrities, including Kerry Washington, Angela Bassett, Jordin Sparks, Reggie Bush and Usher. What’s one piece of beauty advice you give to your celebrity clients that you would be willing to share with our readers as well?
I’m really big on skincare. I feel that you must take care of the skin to get the best results. Taking care of the skin allows for a longer youthful and flawless face.
How would you describe your personal style? Does it change a lot between what you wear to work, versus your off-duty style?
My personal style does change especially if I’m at home. Now that I’m in Connecticut, and living by a lake, I like more resort wear: chic clothing in simple shapes. I own many cover-ups, voile dresses, great over-sized cashmere sweaters, and sandals.
My (professional) style has changed from when I first started in the industry. When I’m working I like timeless contemporary pieces from boutiques or retail stores like Club Monaco, Theory, Eileen Fisher and Madewell. I like effortless pieces, clothing that I don’t have to wear spanks with (laughing). But I still love a big chunky piece of platinum jewelry or a gaudy ring.
Tell us about your own makeup routine. Do you have a tried and true “face” or do you like to switch it up?
My makeup routine is just like my clothes: it’s very classic, unless I’m feeling flirty, and then I’ll rock a bold color eye. My signature makeup look is a smoky grey eye with a strong contoured and highlighted face, finished with a semi-matte nude lip.
What are some of the beauty and makeup trends you’ve been excited about this summer?
This summer I’m excited about more colors being used on both the eyes and lips. I’m glad shades like pinks, purples, burnt browns, and greens are staying. Shimmer eye shadows and lipsticks are still going strong. So summer makeup (has been) fun this season.
Tell us what three products you keep in your Ultimate Makeup Arsenal–those products for creating the perfect look that you just can’t live without?
This is so hard!!! Let’s see… I must have a cream/gel liner, any color would do. Any primer that blurs the face for that flawless look and a bronzer with shimmer because I like to make the skin glow for that fresh youthful look.
You work in a very glamorous industry filled with makeup and fashion, so beautiful things surround you; but what does it mean to you to live a beautiful life?
I have been extremely blessed to do what I do, and to see what so many people would love to peek into for just a day. Seeing material things that are beautiful has made me appreciate what I surround myself with. My lifestyle has recently changed because of lupus, so everyday that I wake up is a beautiful one. Still being in demand in the beauty industry, working major assignments, creating looks for designers, adding to my artistry by speaking at events as a beauty expert, and then coming home to Connecticut, I get the best of both worlds. So I must say I do live a beautiful life.