There was a lot of change in Mario Dedivanovic’s life after he met Kim Kardashian. The New York City kid was working full-time as a make-up artist for Sephora when his photographer friend begged him to fit in doing the aspiring reality star’s glam. At this time, in 2008, Kim had filmed one series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians and was barely a household name.
What followed? Mario found a friend for life - as well as becoming one of the most sought-after make-up artists of a generation, thanks to Kim’s subsequent meteoric rise and Mario’s undeniable talent. For the past decade Mario has created iconic looks on Kim, released collaborative make-up with her, partnered with Laura Mercier and taught thousands his secrets at regular masterclasses.
When Grazia meets with the star ahead of his Dubai-based Laura Mercier live demonstration, he’s far from what we expect. Shy, unassuming casually dressed, Kim Kardashian’s closest ally sips a latte as he quietly reflects on his career, Middle Eastern make-up and the universal beauty tips he swears by. We’re all ears…
As a world-famous make-up artist, can you share advice for aspiring professionals?
Work hard and make sacrifices. When you choose work opportunities over things like vacations and going out with your friends it can make a huge difference to your career. Also, be a good person, come to a masterclass and take social media very seriously. You have to put out beautiful content. They need to invest in good lighting, models and be professional – not posting that you’re on a night out.
Did you have a plan-B if being a make-up artist hadn’t been successful for you?
I always thought I was going to be a teacher. When I was a kid every day after school the other kids would go out and play and I would stay in the house and play teacher by myself. Ironically enough I sort of found a way to become a teacher with the masterclass. Teaching is definitely the most fulfilling part of my job.
Is the least fulfilling part your friends asking you to do their make-up all the time?!
[Laughs] They know better now than to ask me! My family and friends know it’s not happening.
Is there a universal beauty trick you can recommend all women to do?
Curling the lashes. It makes such a big difference and people don’t realise. Another one is spraying hairspray on your eyebrows, as they can be unruly and that keeps them in place.
Is there a beauty rule you like to break?
All of them. I’m not a big believer in rules. What I teach is that there is no one rule that works on everyone, it all depends on each person’s face. I like to say have fun with make-up and try things if you’re curious. If you don’t like it you can wash it off.
What do you make of Middle Eastern beauty trends?
Women have such a distinct look in the Middle East. They unapologetically wear more make-up and they wear it well. I like the way women here express themselves.
What inspires you?
A woman wearing no make-up. It’s charming when there’s nothing on and I can really see the face.
Finally, what do you like to do away from the beauty bag?
I spend so much time travelling that any chance I can to be home in the calm and quiet is what I really love to do. I have a rooftop garden and I love to spend time up there in the morning.
Mario's make-up must-haves...
Photos: Supplied and Instagram @makeupbymario