Famous for making up (and keeping up with) Kim Kardashian, Mario Dedivanovic is the king of contour. HELLO! Online beauty editor Nadine Baggott asked him to reveal the highlights of working with Hollywood's finest and to share some of the tricks of the trade.
Softly spoken, super polite, discreet, loyal and fiercely talented – it's little wonder that Mario Dedivanovic is not only Kim Kardashian's go-to make-up artist but one of her closest friends and allies, too. Credited with turning the naturally pretty reality TV star into a global beauty, Mario also works with Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Lopez and, of course, the Kardashian-Jenner clan. During a recent visit to London we persuaded him to talk all things colour, creative and contouring…
Armed with his contour palette, Mario gets to work on Kim
Is it true that your mother used to clean the offices of L'Oréal and now here you are working with L'Oréal Paris?
"Yes it is – how did you know that? I got my work ethic from her; she is incredibly hard working and taught me that if you really want something, you have to be prepared to work for it."
People think of you as an overnight sensation, but you have been a make-up artist for many years and have worked with some great photographers – including Steven Klein and Patrick Demarchelier…
"Yes, I was a full-time make-up artist but also still assisting because that's where you really learn your craft. To sit and watch masters at work and to help; that's how you prepare for your big break."
Mario regularly works with Kim
Your contouring work with Kim Kardashian has become the stuff of legend. But, be honest, are you a little fed up of being asked about it?
"Sometimes, but I honestly love creating that classic Kim look. However; I love all make-up. And despite the stereotype, I like clean, pretty make-up and a fresh face as much as I love contouring."
So let's talk contouring – although I feel it should begin with a capital K…
"Ha, I know. But I should start by saying that I did not invent it; make-up artists have been doing it for ever. Contouring goes way back to Mr Max Factor and, in fact, my idol Kevyn Aucoin was the man who inspired me when I was growing up. He took it to a whole new level and actually wrote a book taking celebrities and reimagining them as other celebrities."
Kim sports killer cheekbones courtesy of Mario
But you were largely responsible for bringing it back into fashion…
"Well thank you, I guess so. Sculpting is always a part of my routine with Kim; it helps to define features, it's a diet for the face. Kim does not need it every day, but when you are being photographed as much as she is, it really helps. It's great in selfies and who doesn't want high and more-defined cheekbones, a slimmer face and a more defined jaw?"
Your Instagram @makeupbymario features photos of women of all ages on whom you have worked your magic and the transformation is incredible. What are your top tips for sculpting?
"Start with the cheekbones, go along the hairline, under the edge of the jawline and, if you are feeling brave, down either side of the nose. Pretty much every face benefits from sculpting under the cheekbones. It warms up your face and accentuates your cheekbones and that is aesthetically beautiful."
Nicole Scherzinger shows off a sculpted look
Anything to be wary of?
"It's hard to sculpt the nose; the secret is to use minimum product and to blend. Not blending is the biggest mistake people make. The aim is to mimic the natural shadows and light that appear on the face, so you should never see a harsh line. I see a lot of extreme contouring on social media; this is not for everyday and does not suit most women."
Where should you add the highlighter?
"Atop the cheekbones, above the cupid's bow, right in the centre apples of the cheeks and in the centre of the forehead; then blend. This adds light to the face. Use a lightening formulation, not a shimmery one – when you add highlight to the forehead and chin, you do not want shimmer or it will look shiny. Add your shimmer after, only where you want it."
Jennifer Lopez smoulders in make-up by Mario
Should you sculpt under or over your foundation?
"Over it. I prefer a cream formulation but the new powder-to-cream palettes are very clever and do not cake into the skin. You only need two shades: one to sculpt; one to highlight."
You also sculpt and define eyes beautifully…
"Thank you. I always define the crease of the eyes then define the lashes and lash line to make the eyes look a more elongated, almond shape. I even sculpt and define lips; think of it as getting your lips done but without the needles. Quick, easy, simple – and you can wash it off at the end of the day."
What can we look forward to from you this year?
"I am creating an eye shadow palette with Anastasia [Soare, the queen of eyebrows] that I am very excited about."