When it comes to celebrity makeup artists, Joyce Bonelli is one of the most in-demand ladies, with a loyal clientele that includes Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba. Bonelli, who has also worked with the Kardashian-Jenner clan for decades, was even the hair inspiration behind the platinum-blond hair look Kim Kardashian debuted earlier this year. “I’m really lucky because I have genuine friendships with lots of my clients,” Bonelli tells us when we sit down at the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto for Shoppers Drug Mart’s new Be Bold With Beauty program. “Makeup is really intimate, and when you’re on set or travelling together for hours it’s important that you like who you’re working with.” Here, Bonelli shares how her expert contouring fuels plastic-surgery rumours and the key to getting her signature, Instagram-worthy makeup look.
What’s your beauty philosophy?
What I do is transformational makeup. I love a really beautiful monochromatic look with flawless skin and contour. From there, I like an eyebrow that’s a little brushed up and defined but not too perfect. It’s so funny because a lot of people have credited me with making that really stencilled Instagram brow popular but I actually don’t like the look of a Sharpie on your eyebrow. So yeah, besides flawless skin and good brows, I really don’t have any other beauty rules.
Your contouring is so good that Khloe Kardashian was suspected of having a nose job.
It’s so funny! Everyone thought she had work done after I contoured her, but trust me, it was the cheapest nose job out there! Lots of people ask me how to contour. The biggest tip I can give women is to go two or three shades lighter than you think when choosing a contour colour. I use both cream and powder, depending on the lighting and situation, but for every day I love using a few different shades of foundation to contour and then layering on a bronzer to help define areas. Of course, blending is everything. I personally like using brushes to blend, but no matter what you use, always apply less product than you think and build up from there.
Kim Kardashian has been quoted saying she misses “Joyce lashes” if she hasn’t seen you in a while. What’s the key to your lashes?
My mascara process is that I get really in there! It’s not pretty and I kind of attack their eyeballs. [Laughs] You really need a good curl to your lash. Take your metal curler, hit it with a blow dryer for a second to heat it up and then curl your lashes to really lift and open them. Then apply mascara really close to the lash line and wiggle it back and forth. I coat the inside, outside and in-between each lash, and I like a lot of mascara. I apply coat after coat and then use a safety pin or tweezers to separate any clumps. It looks crazy, it feels crazy, but my lashes are gorgeous.
Thanks to social media, fans can see a lot of the behind-the- scenes process. What’s something that would be surprise people to learn about your job?
I’m basically a [director of photography] because lighting is everything to me. I always bring my own makeup light. One time I was with Kris Jenner–she wants to look as much like an 18-year-old as possible and she’s a bit older, so the lighting really matters. You want the light to be straight on, not from the side. I ended up taking the lights away and reworking this poor guy’s setup by using my makeup light. A few months later, I was working with Jennifer Lopez in a hotel room and we had people coming in to film but the lighting was terrible. It turns out the same cameraman was there and he had gone out to buy my makeup light! So he came in and helped me light Jennifer, which saved the day.
So it’s not just all about makeup.
Exactly! It’s attention to detail. I was working with Mariah Carey at Disneyland for a performance and I was running around like a crazy person trying to adjust things and tell people what angles to shoot from so she looked amazing. People see when you care that much and that’s why they keep using you. It’s all about trust–well, trust and a good contour!
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