After exploring the contents of his mother’s makeup bag at the age of six and igniting his passion for beauty, Michel Coulombe went on to become Global Artist for Laura Mercier. Having also studied industrial design – which “sharpened” his eye for beauty, fashion, shapes, and colors – Coulombe knows a thing or two about creating dreamy definition, so we had no choice but to pick his brain during his recent trip to Dubai. From mastering the cat-eye flick to picking the perfect foundation, he reveals all below.
Who is your ultimate beauty icon and why?
I have many beauty icons that inspire me with their unconventional beauty, their flaws, and the risk they take by constantly changing their looks. To name a few, I would say Emma Stone, Kate Moss, and Tilda Swinton.
What three products are always in your kit?
A moisturizer as well as the ‘Secret Camouflage’ concealer and ‘Translucent Setting Powder’ by Laura Mercier are definitely my must-haves!
What are your tips for using makeup to add structure and definition?
The best way to add structure and definition is always by enhancing what you like about your features and sculpting the areas that you do not want to add focus on. The best tip is to work with a very fine highlighter rather than something too shimmery, and use a contour color that is more gray-based than orange to sculpt and shade some areas.
Can makeup be used to make eyes look bigger?
Why not! Many techniques are available to enhance the shape or size of your eyes, such as using a shimmery color on the lids, reshaping the crease above your brow bone, and using a thicker line above the pupils of the eyes.
What about making lips look bigger?
The mouth can also be enhanced by drawing the lip line above your actual lip line, as long as the color is well blended all over the lips! You can also draw the line higher in the center of the lips to make them look rounder and shorter on the side for a pouty look.
What’s your favorite beauty trend at the moment?
My favorite beauty trend right now is the return of fresh skin. We are slowly shying away from super contoured faces and foundation that looks like a mask – it’s about time!
What’s the biggest makeup mistake you see women making?
Applying way too many complexion products and hiding the beautiful skin underneath. Another one is choosing a foundation that is too light or too dark for them.
What do you think will be a big makeup trend next season?
A big trend coming up for spring/summer are gorgeous matte and beautiful, brighter lip colors. We are launching 24 new shades next month, and I know everyone will find a few new shades they love!
What’s one makeup trend you wish would be banished from the beauty world?
I don’t wish any particular trend to be banished. Trends come and go; they amuse us, scare us, or make us learn new things. They represent a period of time and the social values of a specific era. It’s sometimes what the people make of them that becomes “banishable”, like the extreme contour, the “boxy” brow, the dot of highlight at the tip of the nose, etc.
Help! How do we stop our makeup from sliding and melting off in the heat and humidity?
Use a water-based primer rather than a silicone-based one, and always use it before you apply your makeup. Try to choose long-lasting formulas, such as Laura Mercier’s ‘Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation’ and ‘Smooth Finish Powder Foundation’. Lastly, always set your makeup with a translucent powder to prolong its wear and prevent having to do a lot of touch-ups.
How do we know what shades best suit our eye colors?
Not an easy question as everybody has a different eye shape and there are so many variations of eye colors. It also depends of the intention; do we want bright shades that are similar to our eye color to blend or do we want to create a contrast by using complementary colors for a more dramatic effect?
You also have to look at the pigment in the eye shadow; is it brown-, blue-, red-, or orange-based? My best tip would be to choose a bright color that you love and apply it softly, using a fluffy brush on a clean lid or on top of your neutral eye shadows, and build more color intensity to push your comfort zone.
The cat-eye flick is still the bane of many women’s lives. What’s a simple way to get a flawless flick every time?
Look straight in the mirror, follow and extend outward along the natural shape of the bottom of your eye, and then draw a thin line on the upper lid by the lashes, connecting outward with the lower line that you just created.
What’s the best way to cover up blemishes without the need for caking on makeup?
The best way is to use a water-based/oil-free primer and work with our ‘Secret Camouflage’ concealer layered with a translucent setting powder. Always use brushes for the application; you will use a smaller quantity and obtain more precision.
Finding the right foundation is a daunting task. What’s your advice for women when it comes to finding the right one?
Finding the right formula is easy; just listen to the needs of your skin and change your formula according the climate and the time of the year. For the color, pick three shades and test the color on your jaw line – never on your wrist! You can also do a test on the forehead and décolletage to see if the color blends on these areas. If you’re still not sure, seek the advice of the in-store professional artist.
Gorgeous, glowing skin will always be in, so what are your top tips for getting a flawless face?
It starts with the right skincare regimen! Apply moisturizer – I love our ‘Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil’ – before makeup, and pick a formula that is suitable for your skin type and desired finish. Also use strategically positioned face illuminators and/or highlighters on your face to get a maximum impact when the light hits your face.
Makeup is like clothing; you should wear it differently for various occasions.
What’s your ultimate makeup trick?
For eye shadows, blushes, brows or finishing powders, I always like to blend a few shades together. It has the purpose of adding multiple hues of color to your makeup and more dimensions to the face. Customize trends and looks to suit your own features – do not “cut and paste” what you see on social media! Makeup is like clothing; you should wear it differently for various occasions. Be yourself, be confident, and embrace that what makes you unique makes you beautiful!