Maybe It’s Yadim: Meet Maybelline New York’s Latest Makeup Whiz

by Paige Reddinger

He’s worked with Gisele and Lady Gaga, he’s shot with Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, for Vogue Paris, and he was once the assistant to famed makeup artist Pat McGrath. In April, Maybelline New York came calling and named Yadim their global makeup artist. We caught up with him to get the scoop.

What is it about your style that you think appealed to Maybelline?
A “go for it” and “own it” approach! I don’t limit myself and I like to take looks all the way, to really have them make a statement. I believe every woman should experiment and have fun with it. Maybelline adopts the same ideals.

What does it mean to be a global makeup artist of a massive makeup brand?
In a nutshell, from leading fashion shows to worldwide advertising campaigns to developing products and shades, I provide creative vision and direction for the brand.

Do you work on product development?
It’s one of my favorite parts of the job! All those times you think to yourself, “I wish there was this one thing,” now I get to make those ideas come to fruition. It’s very exciting!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Finding time to rest! From shoots to product development to fashion shows and all of the travel in between, you really have to make an effort to prioritize your time.

Do you remember your first encounter with a Maybelline product?
I grew up with my mom and my sister using Maybelline. The first Maybelline product in my kit was a Great Lash mascara. To this day, I must have one in hand at all times. Needless to say, my Maybelline product arsenal has grown quite a bit since joining the brand.

Maybelline’s mascara is iconic. What’s next in line?
Color! We’re working on new eye shadow, lip, and nail shades. I really feel that Maybelline is the authority when it comes to color, so that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment.

How did you get your start doing makeup?
As a teenager, I found a passion for color and artistry playing with face paints and glitters from art-supply stores and applying them on friends before they would head out onto the club scene.

First big break?
Landing my first major solo job working on a shoot alongside fashion photographer Sharif Hamza for the October 2010 cover of Dazed & Confused. It is still one of my favorite covers.

You were once Pat McGrath’s assistant. What did you learn from her?
I am very grateful that I am constantly surrounded by talented and creative individuals on a daily basis. It is difficult to pinpoint one when I have learned so much from so many.

What is the wildest or most fun editorial look you’ve ever created?
I’ve worked on so many wild and exciting editorials, from covering a performance artist’s face with black glitter for i-D magazine, to smearing Lady Gaga’s face with tons of colorful paint, to giving Rihanna her “ghetto goth” look, as she called it, for 032c magazine.

Any fun photo shoot stories you can share?
One of my favorite summer shoots I did was with photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. We shot an entire issue of Vogue Paris, including the cover, in Ibiza over the course of four days. It was my first time in Ibiza, and we got to ride around the entire island shooting in such gorgeous and exotic locations. It was the grunge issue of the magazine, so there was an ease to the images that I loved. At one point, the photographers loved the way a picture looked when the production driver made the air dusty with dirt from the wheels of the car. In order to get the shot just right, the photographers had the car drive back and forth on the dirt road so that the air would get full of dust. In the end, the image, with top model Saskia de Brauw, looked hauntingly beautiful.

What celebrities have you done?
Besides the Maybelline spokeswomen, recently Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Gisele Bündchen, and Amber Valletta.

Which celebs/models, past or present, do you find yourself channeling regularly while whipping up products?
The Maybelline spokeswomen themselves, Christy Turlington Burns, Adriana Lima, Jourdan Dunn, Marloes Horst, Emily DiDonato, and Kemp Muhl are all inspiration. They all have different backgrounds, experiences, and colorings that lend to the variety that is the Maybelline woman. They are amazing modern-day muses. From the past, I love iconic, strong women such as Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, and Natalie Wood. Some other icons that left a mark on me are Diana Ross, Madonna, Anjelica Huston, and Cher.

What’s the weirdest—but effective—trick you’ve picked up on the job?
Applying Baby Lips on the eyelids for a glossy finish.

What’s the most overrated beauty “secret”?
That you have to buy luxe! A good makeup product is a good makeup product regardless of the sticker price. It really is all about the application and how you rock your look. Some of my favorite products in my kit are also some of the least expensive. Just as women love to mix high-end wardrobe with high street brands, it’s also okay to mix high-end makeup with drugstore brands. Sometimes you get the most versatile looks and colors that way.

What current makeup trends would you like to see die?
No makeup! There is always an opportunity to whip on some mascara, groom your eyebrows, or put on a little highlighter. Even a little makeup can go a long way by just enhancing your naturally beautiful features. That doesn’t mean a full face of makeup everyday; you can go almost completely bare and use just one or two products to either polish your look or even make a statement.

What’s a hot makeup look for the summer?
Bright pops of color or metallic finishes. Being outside in the bright sun allows you to play with colors and textures that stand out a little more. Poppy orange color on lips, like Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipstick in Electric Orange, is perfect this season. But I also like a hot-pink lip with a hyper glossy finish. With metallics, you can wear a striking gold on your lids like Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Gold Rush; feel free to lay it on thick, add touches of bronzer, and complete with shimmery highlighter on the cupid’s bow, tops of the cheekbone, bridge of the nose, above and below the brows, and on your collarbone.

If you had to walk out of the house with just one part of your face done, which would it be?
Perfect your skin. Start with a moisturizing SPF, either Maybelline’s BB Cream or a moisturizer with SPF from La Roche-Posay. Use a touch of concealer where needed to even out skin tone and create a flawless complexion. To take it a step further, try a subtle highlighter. I love Maybelline’s Face Studio Master Hi-Light. Use it on cheekbones and high planes of the face for a gorgeous glow.

Should we really use bronzer on our legs/chest?
This isn’t always necessary, but for special events or a night out, it can be fun to give your legs that flawless quality. I would opt for a BB Cream like Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream, because it not only will add a dose of color, but it will also blur skin imperfections and moisturize, for an overall evened-out complexion and dewy look. And for a bonus, there is SPF in there too.

Key to maintaining makeup in sweltering heat and humidity?
You can always use a waterproof mascara like Maybelline’s Pumped Up! and, of course, to keep your face from looking greasy, use blotting cloths. But I honestly suggest do what you can when you are applying so that you can really just enjoy those summertime moments.

Any common makeup mishaps?
Contouring with a shimmery bronzer. Bronzer can be applied for the overall look but don’t use it as your tool to contour because the art of contouring is to make your face look naturally sculpted. Another is applying mascara without first curling your eyelashes. To get the full impact of the mascara, curl then coat.

What’s the trick to finding the right powder or foundation color for your skin?
Always use natural daylight when trying a foundation color. Indoor light can be deceiving.

What is something that should be in every girl’s summer makeup bag?
Maybelline’s Baby Lips in Cherry Me.

What do you do when you need a break from all things makeup-related?
I got a puppy earlier this year, so on a daily basis I’ll take her to the park. When I really need a complete break, I head home to California or to Brazil, my favorite vacation spot.

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