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For makeup artist Kacie Corbelle, the genius of a flawless look lies in cosmetic application. “It really is like painting a picture, but your canvas is the human face,” said Corbelle, a Boston-based professional hair and makeup stylist for online and print promotional materials, runway shows, film, and video. “A good makeup artist knows how to showcase the brand while still being creative and artistic,” said Corbelle, a freelancer who also is a wedding beautician, helping brides get camera-ready.

Can you give an example of how you approach a typical project?

“What’s the mood that the client is trying to convey? What’s the company’s identity?” These are just some of the questions I try to answer before setting my parameters. For a shoot promoting the Boston Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet,” for example, the art director explained his vision, and together we created a look for Juliet — the hair was very curly and romantic; the eyes had very white pearlescent shadow and a nice winged eyeliner.

What’s the most common flaw that you need to correct?


Eyebrows are a big one because they help frame the face. Before I even start, I ask if I can shape the eyebrows a bit if needed. A lot of time, eyebrows are too thin, frayed, or too severe. I’ll shape, pluck, and also fill in the brow with pencil and powder.

What’s in your makeup kit?

I like to try out different new brands, like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics; they’re 100 vegan and cruelty free. I like their Lip Tar, a highly pigmented liquid lipstick that comes in a rainbow of colors, including purple, green, black, and white – I have almost every shade. Because I worked at Mac so long, I also know their products really well.

What are the current fall trends for fall makeup that you’re following?


We’re seeing a lot of cat eyes on the runway; also a lot of orange and plum-hued eye shadows, very either shimmery or really softly diffused — nothing too bold, more like a wash of color. Wine-hued lips are also trending, which I love, because they’re so elegant.

This is a very competitive field. How did you become a makeup artist?

I was such a tomboy, but in middle school, I opened a drawer and discovered my mom’s cosmetics. I started doing makeup for my sisters and all my friends. I studied marketing and worked at Mac cosmetics on the weekend, but when the economy tanked, I started freelancing. I looked up a photographer and offered my services for free, just to get experience. He sent his images to local agencies for critiquing, and they wanted to know who did the hair and makeup. I signed with the agency and the work started coming in.

I’ve read that brushes are really important in makeup application.

Brushes are indispensible. I have over 100 brushes — they’re my life. I have a brush belt that I wear. Brushes are important in achieving a good makeup application because they help blend in a way that is flawless. If you get good brushes, they’ll last forever. I have brushes I bought 15 years ago that I still use.

Cindy Atoji Keene can be reached at cindy@cindyatoji.com.