Madonna's Makeup Artist Gina Brooke Shares Her Beauty Secrets

I had breakfast with Madonna's makeup artist (no biggie!) and got the scoop on her favourite prodz.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: most of the time I get more excited meeting the beauty people who work with celebrities instead of the actual celebrities themselves.

Not that I've really interviewed a ton of famous people, mind you. But the ones I have? Who knows what they are really like, but for the most part when they're talking to the media they are SO scripted and never stray from the talking points, so it's all very robotic and boring. (Although the Beckhams were an exception. I knew I was being manipulated and I did.not.care. We joked around! Victoria showed me her necklace! David called me by my first name! I was totally buying what they were selling. And yeah, I'm keeping that interview tape forevah.)

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Let's talk about the most legendary of all celebrities: Madonna. Not that it would happen in a million years, but I think I would be waaay too afraid to interview her even if I had the chance. And so the fact that her makeup artist of 10 years, Gina Brooke, was in town the other day, well, that's probably even better.

Yeah. I had breakfast with Madonna's makeup artist. No big deal. Just look at this pic and witness how insanely glamorous she is:

The reason why she was meeting the press: Gina collaborated with Make Up For Ever to create the official lip color for Madonna's MDNA tour. Yep, it's the colour she's wearing above and the packaging looks like this:

It's called Aqua Rouge Waterproof Liquid Lip Color and the deal is that you get the intensity and longevity of a stain with the high-impact shine of a gloss. There are 12 shades in the lineup, all out this month:

Couple more things you need to know about it. First of all, this stuff Does.Not.Budge. Seriously, you need an industrial-strength oil-based eye makeup remover to get it off... which is a good thing, because who enjoys eating a meal and then having your lipstick turn into some ring-around-the-lips situation? Ew. Plus, if it's good enough for Madonna sweating it up on stage during her tour (where Gina has only 90 seconds in between songs for touch-ups!) then it's certainly good enough for us.

Second, the Madonna shade is #8 and it's an iconic, universally flattering red that works on ALL skin tones. They are not lying. It's so pretty on, and may be just the thing to get me out of my extended no-lipstick mood that's been going on for almost a year now (!!).

The red lips belongs to one of three looks that Gina created for Madonna's tour. This is the main one for the show—a 1930s Parisian-inspired look:

This one is actually what starts off the show. It's what Gina calls a “super vixen” look, with emphasis on the eyes and a pale lip:

And then the final one is at the end of the show—it's a variation on the one above, "a little earthier," and with a stronger emphasis on Madonna’s eyes:

I love them all.

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Gina also gave us the scoop on her (and Madonna's) favourite Make Up For Ever products. The fact that Madonna likes MUFE is a big deal, guys, because from what I've heard, that woman doesn't suffer fools. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend you read the book But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous by Jancee Dunn. One of my favourite non-fiction books EVER, and there is a chapter on her interview with Madonna. After reading it, I was not surprised at all when Gina told us the tale of how she first started working with The Madge. You won't be surprised to hear this, but Madonna is extremely detail-oriented and tests (i.e. grills) her people HARD to make sure they know their shiz inside and out... which really is the best strategy. Because as a celebrity you don't want to be surrounded by "yes people" who only do what you want.

That is, after all, what's happened to Christina Aguilera:

So you see, Madonna surrounds herself with people who would never, ever let a situation like that happen. Even if Madonna asked for it. Because Gina keeps perspective. Make sense?

And now on to their top products. I've been using this on my cheeks—the Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Colour in Peach—and it might be a new cream blush fave. (Warning: it has a bit of sparkle, so best saved for evening. And yeah, surprisingly I am okay with the sparkle. I don't know what's happening to me.)

They also use this luminizer to add light to the face. (Like Carmindy, Gina prefers to contour with light instead of darkness.)

And apparently, Madonna is a "creature of habit" when it comes to her off-stage makeup look, preferring creamy skin and a cat's eye. To get the look, use Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow...

...and the Aqua Shadow Waterproof Eye Shadow Pencil:

Last thing: I also just found this older article on Stylelist that says Madonna is a fan of one of my favourite foundation primers, the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer:

Apparently Gina was so impressed with its performance (it's oil-free, has SPF 15 and absorbs oil as it reflects light) that she became artistic director for the brand. I've got to bust this one out again—I don't think I realized before that it's also paraben-, sulfate-, phthalate- and fragrance-free. Impressive!

Oh, and the last Madonna secret you should know about is that she does Intraceuticals oxygen treatments all the time. Like, she bought her own machine to do them at home, she likes them so much. (I know this because I wrote this story on oxygen beauty for ELLE Canada a few years ago.) If you've never had one, they're an amazing way of getting a glow before a special event. Way better than a regular facial.

And there you go! Now we can all look like Madonna. Just be careful that you don't do too much of this here business.

Are you excited to try this new long-lasting lip colour?

Have you tried any of Madonna's other top prodz?

Do you think beauty people need to sometimes keep celebrities in check?

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