Interview: Makeup Artist "Nicolas Blanchet"

Name: Nicolas Blanchet
Age: 33
Agency: Folio Montreal
Hometown: Charlesbourg, Quebec, Canada
                                                                                                                             Photo: Max Abadian
When did you realize a career in fashion was for you?
Frankly, the idea of ​​working in the fashion industry has never been a career plan of mine, even less as a makeup artist. I studied photography, in order to pursue a career in visual arts… this proves that life is full of surprises!
What is it about makeup that you fell in love with?
Makeup for me is a quick and ephemeral creation.
Why did you choose a self-taught route vs. an academic one?
I was not interested in academic studies and I am more comfortable in the action. I believe that you learn more in this technical job through personal experience.
                                                                                                                   Photo: Malina Corpadean
Would you say that being self-taught has given you a unique edge in the industry?
Having learned everything by myself definitely gave me a boost of confidence within myself and in my work. I have had very few people and/or situations that were able to confirm the accuracy of my work. I had to perform well and remain confident.
If you could describe your aesthetic in one word, what would it be?
Did studying photography aid you in understanding fashion makeup?
Tremendously. In fact, strangely enough, it was the best makeup school. Familiarizing yourself with lighting is a major asset to have as an artist; by doing so, your work will shine. Makeup can be beautiful in a room, but can also be nonexistent when put under the spotlight. I think that a makeup artist’s true talent is to master lighting. We are all good at applying eyeliner, the real challenge is creating depth and bringing out features even under the flash of cameras.
                                                                                                                     Photo: Malina Corpadean
Could you describe the artistic and design community in Montreal?
It’s a community that is torn between a strong commercial presence and the rarity of creativity; a sensitive and poetic community.
How has the design community in the city influenced your work?
I am much more inspired by science fiction and comic books. For me, everything derives from a character, a role, and strong identity. I appreciate models that are able to transform themselves into such characters.
How have you watched the city change while you’ve been working there?
I don’t think it's the city that changes, it’s us. Our personal taste evolves with age and as we mature. Therefore, it is our view of the city that changes.
                                                                                                                     Photo: Malina Corpadean
Where does your inspiration come from? 
From movies, books, people on the street; punks and other cultures…
This is probably a hard question but, do you have a favourite line of makeup?
Indeed, it is a difficult question. Honestly, all cosmetic companies have their strengths and hit products.  If I had to choose a particular line, I would choose Nars, a cosmetics company created by Francois Nars, an artist that I have a lot of respect for. He has managed to change the definitions of both individual and collective beauty. The NARS line offers different options, instead of keeping all women in the same basket. His choice of pigments is always flawless, nothing less!
If you could speak to any makeup artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Let's say I would rather watch them work. I love watching other makeup artists' work!! I study how they move their hands and the way their eyes scan a face. But to answer your question, I would choose the inevitable Pat Mcgrath for her technique and creativity.
                                                                                                                              Photo: Max Abadian
What is your favourite part of Montreal?
My house.
Have you ever thought of moving elsewhere to work? If so, where would it be?
So far I am very happy here in Montreal. But if I had to develop another market, it would be New York for the artists and the art community.
If you weren’t working in fashion, what would you be doing?
Massage therapist or architect.
                                                                                                                                  Photo: Owen Bruce
Do you have a favourite beauty trend from the past? Likewise, what is one trend you ever want to see again?
I'm probably not very original but faded eyebrows have been a fun trend. They enabled us to discover beautiful characters and gave our canvas a whole new dimension.
What are you looking forward to in beauty trends for Fall 2013 and the beginning of 2014?
I am not a makeup artist who follows trends. I'm curious about new makeup technologies, new textures, new products and how to adapt them in the light. I'm probably more of a chemist than a makeup artist who follows trends. Otherwise, I like makeup that is closer to art, or at least applied to an artistic photo concept. This is what represents me the most. I'm not the type that gets excited for the new blue of the season. I'm either classic or completely punk: I avoid gray areas… 
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo: Anouck Lessard
Agency: Folio Montreal