Made up with Madge - style secrets from Madonna's make-up artist
With rising summer temperatures, stage lights, tight-fitting costumes and complex dance routines, it’s a tough job for Madonna to keep her make-up intact while on stage here in the UAE.
Luckily, she has a team of experts helping her maintain the right look. One of them is make-up artist Gina Brooke, who has been working with Madge for 10 years and created the make-up looks for the MDNA tour.
We caught up with the beauty expert to discuss her favourite looks for the Queen of Pop, the singer’s best feature and why she can’t live without a certain Make Up Forever product…
Q How do you come up with looks for Madonna?
A It’s a collaboration of make-up, hair and wardrobe. However, Madonna always has an idea of how she wants to look and makes the final decision. Creating the looks for a tour is an amazing process. At the beginning, I receive the costume sketches from Madonna’s costume designer, Arianne Phillips, I then observe the rehearsals for two weeks before creating a story board in which I pull references from everything from art books to abstract designs and colours and then start drawing sketches and adding them to the story board for each look for each performance. Madonna chooses what she most identifies with, based on what will bring her vision for the tour to life and then makes the final decision on which looks to go with.
Q What’s been your favourite look for Madonna?
A One of my favourites is from ‘Reinvention’ in 2004 because her look was all about beautiful flawless skin and make-up. I also loved her look from ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ in 2008, which was all about the disco era - enhancing Madonna’s eyes, which is my favourite feature to bring forward.
Q Madonna will be feeling the heat on stage in Abu Dhabi, how do you combat sweat issues with make-up?
A It’s all about prepping the skin properly so that the make-up lasts a long time. Dancing and the heat along with the stage lights is my biggest challenge. I look for products that are reliable and have a profusion of colour. I need to use products that make my job effortless, like Make-up Forever’s Aqua range...I’m obsessed!
Q What do you admire most about Madonna’s make-up choices?
A I love that she isn’t afraid to take risks. She’s fearless. She pushes the boundaries and is open to expressing herself unlike anyone I have ever worked with.
Q How will you keep Madonna looking fresh throughout the set?
A Intraceuticals infusions, which are oxygen skin treatments, are essential for prepping the skin to give it a hydrated, healthy glow. I also always use primer to prep the make-up.
Q What can readers learn from her styling?
A Don’t be afraid to take risks with your make up and try something new. Make-up is a tool to express one’s individuality.
Q Madonna’s red lips are iconic but what is your favourite Madonna feature?
A Aside from her skin, to me her eyes are one of her most beautiful features so enhancing the eyes is one of my favourite things to do as an artist.