From television shows to New York Fashion Week, makeup artist Cynde Watson has been trusted with the faces of some of the most well known entertainment and fashion names. She has worked with Queen Latifah, Giselle Bundchen, Cynthia Nixon, Lauren Conrad, Tara Reid, and Tyson Beckford to name a few. Cynde started her glamorous career as a model, which led her to winning the title of Miss New Jersey. Two years later, she was a full-time makeup artist and even introduced a makeup line of her own.
Here, Cynde talks about her trajectory from runway to backstage, in addition to a few tips for us mere mortals to look great in front of the camera.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you find your calling as a makeup artist?
While working as a model, I found myself doing my own makeup as well as the makeup for other models. I received a lot of positive feedback and realized I could combine my formal education in fine arts with my understanding of color and love for makeup and beauty. My work as a model led me to the Miss New Jersey Pageant where I won the title in 1992. Two years later, I transitioned from beauty queen to beauty expert.
I’ve been making my mark in the beauty industry full-time for over 20 years. From being crowned Miss New Jersey, I went on to serve as:
- Executive Director of Global Makeup Artistry/Education Development for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
- Lead Makeup Pro for Mark/Avon Cosmetics
- Business and Product Development Consultant for Sephora Collection
- Media Coach for Make Up For Ever & Butter London Cosmetics
- Diversity Makeup Consultant for Lancome Paris
- Strategic Marketing Consultant for BECCA Cosmetics
- Makeup/Beauty Expert: doobop.com as well as
- Creator/Co-Founder of Color by Cynde Watson Cosmetics on HSN 2007-2009 and Rich Makeup Studio
It’s clear that beauty is my calling.
You’ve worked with so many celebrities—are they easy to talk to? What was one of your most fun experiences working on a set?
I try to remain focused while I’m applying their makeup and only get chatty if I’m working with a longtime client and we have plenty of extra time. I always enjoy working with the beautiful designer Rachel Roy. I love Project Runway and Project Runway All Stars and Rachel has been a celebrity guest judge several times on the show and it’s always a blast!!
What makeup trends do you see happening this summer?
Right now, I’m loving flirty lashes, bright orange lips, colorful eye shadows (brights & bronze shades), and natural glowing skin.
What’s the best way to camouflage under eye shadows? Bags?
A common pro makeup artist tip to reduce eye swelling is to apply a dab of Preparation H under the eyes. Completely wash it off after 2 or 3 minutes, then apply eye cream /primer to smooth and ensure that the concealer glides on and stays put.
Choose an under eye corrector (a concealer with peachy/pink tones) before applying a concealer, to conceal any discolorations and puffiness. The peachy/pink tone corrector neutralizes the discoloration/shadows and creates an illusion that camouflages the puffiness. To brighten the under eye, layer a concealer one shade lighter than your foundation.
Please share a tip for our readers about how to look their best in photos?
To look amazing in photos, use a bronzing powder to contour and warm your skin. Bronzer warms the skin and indents or recedes areas.
Choose a bronzer that’s suited for your skin tone, as bronzers can sometimes appear orange or muddy on the skin. For a more natural finish use a bronzer with a bit of a peach and golden tan tones for lighter/medium skin and copper and golden brown tones for dark/deep skin tones. A matte bronzer should be used for contouring, which can take pounds off while defining your cheeks.
Draw in your cheeks to find the hollow part of your cheeks. Using a small angled makeup brush, apply bronzer to the hollow of your cheek in soft sweeping motions. Don’t go too heavy and make sure to buff away the harsh lines … you want subtle contouring, not a hard harsh line.
Other places that you can bronze/contour include your jaw-line, the sides of your nose for a slimmer nose, your temples, as well as cleavage.
What skincare or makeup product would you absolutely have to have if stranded on a desert island?
My desert island beauty product is the no!no! Hair- Pain free Hair Removal System.
You can use no!no! to treat facial hair. It’s amazing to use on peach fuzz, girl stash, and unruly facial hair. no!no! Hair leaves skin soft and smooth and allows skin care and makeup to go on the skin beautifully. It’s also great for legs, underarms, bikini line, etc. Unlike many laser treatments, women with very fair skin and very dark skin can use this product successfully.