When a musician or rock star hits the stage, the crowd usually breaks into hysteria. That's what happened last week when Val Garland, the makeup-artist world's superstar, walked out onto the glossy white runway at Milk Studios. The room, packed with hundreds of makeup artists, photographers, and fashion and beauty influencers (many of them boldface names as well), lost its mind.
She is their Stevie Nicks. And they were there to witness the artist at work for MAC Cosmetic's Master Class. As the last stop in this tour (she's already taught in London, Sydney, and L.A.), Garland showcased twenty of her favorite looks in a runway show — from Vivienne Westwood shows to W magazine editorials to Lady Gaga album covers — and re-created a handful of them onstage, all while giving out indispensable tips (like, say, use a concealer brush to paint lips quicker) and offering a taste of her unique humor. "I was telling my team once how to do the lip like I like to do," said Garland as past members of that team erupted into a giggle fit. "I said, 'I want a big, fat lip, I want a big, fat lip brush, I want a big cock-sucking lip.'" And thus, the "CSL" look was born.
The Cut sat down with Garland, pre-show, to discuss her career.
How did you select the twenty looks for this master class?
They had to be moments that I thought people would remember. So when you see them you’re like "Oh, that was this show," or "Oh, that was that show." And because it’s a makeup master class, it is quite makeup-y.
What common mistakes do women make with their daily makeup application?
Too much blush or too much bronzer. I often see people out in the street and you think there’s something odd going on there … I don’t really think you want to feel that.
Do you ever do that as you’re walking down the street — critique people's makeup?
I did say it to one of my colleagues who I’m working with on this thing, who is a very experienced makeup artist. I said, "Why do you use that pink on your cheeks?" And she said, "It gives me a bit of color." "Maybe you should be using apricot, because you’re not that sort of blue-based skin tone." And she goes, "Oh, I’ve never thought of that." "Because all I see is this pink, and it makes you look cold." But sometimes I think, "Whoops, shouldn’t have said that."
Who was your first big celebrity moment?
Well, I remember the first time that I worked with Kate Moss. I was doing a show in London; I’d just arrived from Australia and I’d somehow gotten an agent and somehow was on this show. The show was for Bella Freud, who used to work with Vivienne Westwood, and I was the lead makeup artist. The first time I was in London and I see Kate walking into the room and I think, Kirsten Owens is in the room, Gail Elliott. I think Helena Christensen is in the room — and nobody knows who I am. They don’t know who the lead makeup artist is, and I can remember Kate sort of saying, "Who’s doing the makeup, then?" And somebody said, "Oh, Val Garland." And she said, "Who’s she then? We’ve never heard of her." I was petrified. But I remember Kate walking in and she had no makeup on, a little short skirt, flat ballet shoes, and there was just something about this girl, it was like there was this aura around her, she just oozed this presence. She was wonderful. I did her makeup and she was just really beautiful and down-to-earth and natural.
Do you still get nervous when having to do makeup?
Yes. It was quite funny doing this master class. For about three weeks before I did the one in London I couldn’t eat. I was so nervous, petrified. As a makeup artist you are behind the scenes, you are doing the makeup; the spotlight is not on you. I’d just rather be behind the scenes. So to be onstage, and do makeup in front of a lot of people, and talk about it … because when I do makeup I kind of go into the zone and when I’m applying makeup I’m actually quite silent, then I’ll talk in between. So to have to do makeup onstage and talk, it was a horrifying nightmare. But we got there.
Click through the slideshow to the looks from her master class — from haunting Vivienne Westwood to avant garde Alexander McQueen — then start thinking Halloween 2013.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Viewed Stories
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Reportedly Broke Up
Donald Trump Spent the Morning After the Debate Fat-Shaming Miss Universe, Again
Hillary Clinton’s Sickest Debate Burns
It’s Finally Possible to Understand What Happened to Amanda Knox
Ask a Boss: My Co-worker Wants Everyone to Call Her Boyfriend Her ‘Master’!
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Former Miss Universe Becomes U.S. Citizen So She Can Vote Against Trump
Area Woman Interrupted by Man 25 Times in 26 Minutes
Our Scowling Hero Breaks a Smile
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Beauty FeaturesMen Who Protested Ryan Lochte’s Presence on Dancing With the Stars Are Charged With Misdemeanors
Two men were charged with two counts of misdemeanors on Monday.Serena Williams Refuses to ‘Stay Silent’ About Racial Inequality
“It’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.”Young Girl Calls for End to Police Brutality in Heartbreaking Speech
It’s a devastating plea.The Y Has Returned in a Big Way to YSL
This is what Saint Laurent looks like post-Hedi.The Most Dramatic Backstage Photos You’ll See All Fashion Month
Preview the book Landon Nordeman: Out of Fashion.Even 100 Years Ago, People Were Worried About Technology Ruining Relationships
An old cartoon echoes some very modern anxieties.This Lipstick Was Designed by a Woman Who Can See 100 Million Colors
Maureen Seberg can see so many more colors than you.Brad Pitt Skipping Premiere to Focus on ‘Family Situation’
The actor may be gearing up to tell his side of the story in the tabloids this week.Please Help Wesley Snipes Find His Leather Jacket
He will be cold without it.The President of NARAL on What Abortion Means in This Election
It signals how the candidates feel about women.
The stretch feels like a backbend—but for your feet.Amy Schumer Just Broke a Major Milestone for Women in Comedy
She’s the first woman to land on Forbes’s list of the highest-paid comedians.The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in 2016
An ambitious woman and the angry men who want to stop her.Ivanka Trump Is Great for Women, Says Man Married to Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump is the perfect person to handle “women’s issues,” according to her husband.World’s First 3-Parent Baby Is a Healthy Boy
He was born in Mexico to Jordanian parents.Nation Recovers From Post-Debate Hangover With Mary J. Blige and Hillary Clinton Memes
“What will you do to fix the national epidemic of hateration in this dancerie?”The Hottest Party of the Year Is This 6-Year-Old’s Drake-Themed Birthday Party
It has everything: an OVO cake, Drake balloons, fake money.See Haute Couture’s Most Romantic Looks
Intricate pieces, out for a stroll around Paris.Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Reportedly Broke Up
TMZ reports that all the baby-shower drama stems from a breakup.Fashion Bloggers Do Not Deserve This Backlash
Neiman Marcus jumps on Vogue’s bandwagon and blames social media for declining sales.