Mally Roncal usually dishes out her beauty advice to a bevy of big-name clients, but this week you don’t need to be Beyonce, Rihanna, or Hayden Panettiere (to name just a few of the famous faces she works with) to learn her favorite tricks. The makeup artist is hosting a master class at Henri Bendel in New York City on Thursday, with both group and one-on-one sessions being offered. In between filming QVC segments for her own product line, Mally, and enjoying an abnormally warm spring afternoon with her daughter, Roncal spoke with ELLE.com about what to expect from her class and why you need to put down the translucent powder.
ELLE: The term “master class” always sounds so serious—will this be your version of beauty boot camp?
Mally Roncal: I think I approach the master class a little differently than most. I am all about love and acceptance and family and really treating each and every one of my Mallynistas—as we call them—as part of my family. It’s usually the big, bad Wizard of Oz standing in front of people, telling them exactly what to do and what products to use and, “My word is law!” And while, yes, I certainly have a very particular point of view with my makeup and application, I also still love to talk to the customer. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a master class that’s going to be scary. It’s not going to be like an algebra class. I went to [a master class] once and after was like, ‘He took away the fun from makeup! How is that possible?’ As a celebrity makeup artist I have a lot of stories behind the products and why I created what I created. It’s about fun, eating, drinking, application, lots of Q-and-A, lots of me pointing out different techniques to the customer. So it’s really just a big party!
ELLE: What part of the face do people have the most questions about?
MR: Number one, the skin. How to make my skin look flawless? How do I get that glow? I look so tired, my skin is so sallow….All those tips and tricks about getting that perfect complexion. That one I get number one. Number two is almost always about eyes. How do I look like I had an eyelift? How do I get a natural look so my eyes look awake? How do I look finished and polished? So those would be the two that are the most popular. A very close third is, How do I contour my face?
ELLE: Are there any beauty tips that we hear over and over that actually drive you crazy?
MR: Matching foundation to their face, because it’s always wrong, it’s always too light. You have to match your foundation either on the lower part of your neck or your collarbone so that it’s one tone. You don’t want your face to be lighter than your body! And in the same breath, it’s that yucky, nasty translucent powder that I cannot believe in 2012 women are using to mattify their face. Because it’s disgusting and is making everybody look like Casper the Friendly Ghost.
ELLE: What’s the biggest difference between the advice you give to the celebrities you work with and the advice you give to “real women”?
MR: It’s less about making a statement and more about giving people tools and ideas to make them look and feel as fierce as they’ve ever looked. When you’re doing a fashion show or somebody for a red carpet, you want to make them look beautiful but you want to make a little bit of statement so [their photo runs] online and in magazines. It’s less trendy and more about really educating everyday women.
ELLE: Quick: You have five minutes to get ready, what do you do?
MR: Concealer, eyebrows, mascara, blush, and gloss. Concealer covers up the dark circles, the brow lifts your brow and gives you a beautiful look, mascara opens your eyes, blush makes you look alive, and you can’t go wrong with pink [gloss].
ELLE: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
MR: I have to tell you, ironically, it has nothing to do with makeup. It’s to smile. Believe it or not, you can have 50 pounds of makeup on, you can have no makeup on, [but] if you just smile and treat everybody with the kindness you want to be treated with, that emanates more beauty than any eyeliner or lipstick can do to you.