Their work is carried in the backstage and you rarely get to see them, you rather see the final product. They’re just one of those people who know that beauty is in every person and try to emphasize it so that the others notice it as well. Only they know the transformation they put a person through with instruments as simple as brushes and effects in the forms of color.

The make-up artists, those busy little bees who can make you look like you’ve never imagined before, those who pimp celebrities’ looks and create magic with their brushes, have lots of thoughts to share on their work and experiences. French make-up artist based in Paris and London, Carla Dias, agreed to share some pieces of her experience as a make-up artist with the Mole Empire team.

A professionally trained make-up artist at the The Make Up Forever Academy in Paris, with an interest in colors, the human body and visual art, Carla has practiced her skills in all fields of the her industry: fashion, TV, cinema, theater, photography, beauty, body painting and even special effects. Even though she has worked with some resonant names from these industries, she still enjoys every aspect of make-up and tries to emphasize the beauty in each and every model she has the opportunity to work with. She believes that everyone is unique and that this is the most amazing aspect of her work, to “extract” the beauty out of anyone if she can, and offer it to the eyes as it is.

Carla Dias French make-up artist body painting demonstration

How the portofolio of a make-up artist looks like

Having worked with so many different types of make-up in the industry, one can say that Carla is an accomplished artist. Her passion for body painting brought her second place at the Body Paint World Championship in Austria, where she teamed up with Loriane Leger. After working for different French TV shows like Star Academy, Nouvelle Star or Miss France, Carla extended her interest towards fashion, where she collaborated with designers like Guillarme or LeFranc Ferrant for their fashion shows or hair dressers Tony&Guy and Alexandre De Paris. But her experience does not stop here. She also worked at several music videos, including “Fally Ipupa feat Olivia” on the track Chaise Electrique or those of French Bands Les Neg Marrons and Austerlitz or at photo shoots of actors like François Xavier Demaison or Samuel LeBihan.

Carla Dias French make-up artist theater make-up

For beginners: passion and perseverance

Carla confesses that it is important to follow an education in the branch in order for you to find your own style and direction. Self-study, freelance work and talents come as an extra to the techniques you learn to master in school. In a job like this, where the artists in the front get the attention, Carla says that it’s important that your main motivation is passion and that you are perseverant. Having an open mind and an optimistic character also helps, at least it helped Carla when work wasn’t so easy to get and when the competition was hard. The classical way to step into the industry would normally start with TV shows, video and fashion, and then theater, or cinema to explore another side of the job. And although it may be difficult to get noticed in the beginning, it’s important that you realize your contribution to the entire project and be content with your final result.

Carla Dias French make-up artist special effects

Thoughts on inspiration

Carla finds inspiration in everyday life, getting her ideas from people, places or colors, having her art stands alive through faces and bodies. Also, all types of make-up require using your imagination, creation, and different techniques. Other take a great amount of work, so as an artist you get more satisfaction when you’re done. So is the case with special effects, one of Carla’s favorites. She tries to make them as realistic as she can and I think she actually succeeds. She practiced movie make-up on David Austin’s “Le jour ou les huissiers envahirent l’univers”, a French burlesque movie with a taste of contemporary feeling, as she describes it.

Thoughts on natural beauty

When it comes to beauty, it is said that the best thing is to look natural. However, it takes make-up to look natural. As a make-up artist, Carla states that make-up can emphasize the lines and beauty of a person, but she thinks that it takes just some light and not too much make-up to create the illusion. To realize this illusion, Carla prefers products from Make up forever, because of their large range of colors. Other brands she prefers are Nars for blushes, Guerlain for meteorites and Dior or Channel for varnishes. “I think even the lightest make up that exists has to be a part of a woman’s life because it sublimates her face. It’s also our exclusive woman touch that we don’t share with men!”. Carla states that beauty has its own way and that she likes to work with different types of persons, regardless of their sex, age or looks: “For me beauty doesn’t have the same codes than what media are showing us every day on TV or magazines”.

Carla Dias French make-up artist realisations

Giving back to the society

As an artist, it’s important to get involved in social issues and give back to the world. Carla has worked with little children during special events, to help them discover the beauty and creativity around make-up and painting. She’s also looking forward to work on a project which provides make-up to women in hospitals suffering from different diseases. “If I can spend time, talk, show some love, and make up a woman who wants to look good in her own eyes to start, I will feel that my make-up has a good purpose than the usual things I do in the industry” says Carla.

Carla is confident about the future, as she sees it very bright. She’ll continue to work in the same branches of the industry, but in the meantime give more of herself to people recovering from diseases in hospitals. Next stop for her is Paris Fashion week, but she’s also working on launching her own professional make-up company, providing make-up lessons. She’s also looking forward to her new blog targeted on make-up advice and she’d also like to have her own column in an online magazine, where she’d offer her professional opinion on different trends in beauty and make-up or make-up products.

Do you think that make-up artists get the recognition they deserve? Is their work regarded as an art?

Check out more samples of Carla’s work below:

Carla Dias French make-up artist theater make-up 2

Carla Dias French make-up artist body painting

Carla Dias French make-up artist special effects 2

Carla Dias French make-up artist David Austin movie make-up

Carla Dias Make up realisation

Carla Dias Make up realisation 2

All images are courtesy of Carla Dias