Celebrity makeup artist Gina Brooke has been Madonna’s personal makeup artist for over a decade. We talk to Gina about her favourite makeup creations with Madonna keeping her cool under pressure, and how to keep a superstar’s makeup constantly evolving.
You have worked with Madonna for 12 years, what has that experience been like?
“Working with Madonna has been a journey,” says Gina Brook, makeup artist to Madonna. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world to over 50 countries on four separate tours, experience different cultures and see first-hand what it takes to put on the kind of show Madonna is known for.”
Madonna is an incredibly creative and dynamic artist, how have you worked her makeup over the years to correspond with her changing image?
“Madonna’s constantly evolving and so has the makeup,” says Brooke. “With each project I’ve chosen to accentuate one feature for example, Sticky and Sweet was about accentuating the eye with a double feline flick, or, in the case of the latest tour, a bold lip highlighting feminine power.”
What is your most favourite makeup creation that you have created for Madonna?
“I love both looks from Sticky and Sweet, accentuating her eyes which I think are her best feature and Hung Up which also accentuated her skin and eyes,” says Brooke.
What are the challenges you face when creating the makeup for concerts as big as the ones Madonna puts on?
“The biggest challenges as a creative makeup director is training artists to replicate the looks without compromising the integrity of the original vision,” says Brooke.
What tips do you have for makeup artists to create beautiful makeup that stays put under lights, heat and sweat?
“Prepping the skin is the key to long lasting makeup,” says Brooke. “Hydrating and priming the skin is essential.”
How do you stay calm and create beautiful makeup under pressure?
“For me, it is more important to always remain professional even under the most stressful experiences,” says Brooke. “I don’t react in fact, I pretend nothing’s happening and I continue working.”
What are the makeup looks you have created for Madonna’s Rebel Hearts Tour?
“The looks for Madonna’s tours are always a collaboration,” says Gina Brooke. “Since the central theme for Madonna’s Rebel Heart looks were Love and Romance, the original looks stemmed from the work that Madonna and I created around the promotion of her Rebel Heartalbum. This was originally developed for her live Grammy performance for “Living for Love”. We kept the makeup exactly the same with the exception of changing her lip colour and adding gold eyeshadow to the last section of the show.”
What was the inspiration for this/these looks?
“The inspiration for the looks were Love, Strength and Romance,” says Brooke. “There’s a Joan of Arc inspired section representing strength and a 1920’s section representing love and romance.”