We all know that when it comes to celebrity glam, your mug can make or break your entire look. Whether it’s a red carpet or a reality TV close-up, your makeup always needs to be on point! Needless to say, celebrity makeup artists are a vital role in a celeb team. (Without them, a lot of stars would be using way more filters when posting their Instagram selfies.) And if there is one person who knows how to slay a celeb’s face, it’s makeup artist Rokael Lizama.
Lizama has an extensive list of superstar clients, including Beyoncé, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, and Mel B. The makeup guru got his big break after his work with Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset star (and his former roommate) Lilly Ghalichi. From there things really started to take off, as he caught the attention of Kim Kardashian. We spoke to the makeup artist about his recent work, traveling the world with his clients, his upcoming eyelash extension line, and more.
What is some of the work you’ve recently done?
Rokael Lizama: I just finished doing Christina Milian’s show Turned Up for E! and I worked with Beyoncé for Grammy weekend. I also recently started working with Naya Rivera. We did the Golden Globes.
How did you come up with Naya’s Golden Globes look?
We just went for a really fresh look. She loves full lashes, so we did a nice full lash. I’m working on my mink lash line so we did a style that was really similar. It was clean and crisp.
What’s your opinion on people saying Naya is trying to emulate Kim Kardashian’s look?
I love them both and I think they have their own personal style. If there is a current trend that somebody started and people follow, I think that’s a compliment.
Does Beyoncé or her team give you guidelines for her look?
She’s a super amazingly smart woman, so she basically knows what she wants. For a past gig, she said, “I want a wet eyelid, nice fresh skin, and a pink on the lip.” From there I went and did my own version of that, and we met in the middle.
How do you prepare for a booking that you don’t have any makeup direction for?
I always have to be fully prepared, so I take as much as I can. At this point I’ve been doing [Beyoncé’s] makeup for a while, so I kind of know what I need. I have a million products but I still know exactly what’s in my kit, what colors, etc.
So what are some of the essential items in your makeup kit?
I always have a moisturizer (Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream), and I always have glow. I also have mascara, an eyelash curler, and a versatile blush to use for lipstick.
What do you think are some of the big beauty trends right now?
Right now, it’s eyebrow extensions. They look so real and they’re so gorgeous. I’ve been working with people where they didn’t tell me they had them but did. They don’t last long but if there’s something you want to look extra special for, they look great.
Any trends that you hate or wish would just go away?
The overly concealed eyebrows. I’ve noticed on Instagram it’s starting to fade out, but for a while it was just too much.
Speaking of Instagram, how has social media impacted your career?
I would have never imagined that my career would have moved so quickly, and I think it has a lot to do with social media. Social media has given me a platform where you’re exposed to everybody. I can be tagged by a celebrity, and then another celeb who follows will say, “Who’s that?” and then calls you. Also with Instagram and social media you can be a brand. A lot of makeup artists now have their own TV shows, they’re a host, they have makeup lines — so you can build an empire just like your clients.
Who do you travel with?
I went to Thailand with Kim Kardashian, which was absolutely beautiful, for [Keeping Up with the Kardashians]. I got to go to Russia to do Miss Universe with Mel B. And I’ve been to London, Mexico, and Cancun for X Factor.
What’s it like traveling the world for work?
It’s all been fun! Being a makeup artist, you never get to do the same thing twice. You’re constantly dealing with different personalities, good and bad.
Let’s talk more about your eyelash extension line, how’s that going?
Great! I’m doing a cruelty-free mink eyelash with flutter lashes and they’re reusable up to 30 times. I’m going to do three bottom styles and three tops.
What’s been more difficult, creating your own product or working with some of these big celebs?
Honestly, the product. It’s your baby. You really have to take your time and plan it all out. And to me, it’s always about quality. I’m not the type of person who just wants to get something manufactured. I always try to make sure it’s the most beautiful, innovative product, so people are like, “Wow there’s nothing like this on the market.” That’s my goal with my brand, that people think every product I put out is amazing. When they become obsessed with it, it becomes a staple in their makeup bags.
Are there any other celebrities that you’d like to work with?
Because of my style and the work that I do I would love to do Jennifer Lopez.
See more of the VIPs in celebrity teams.
[Photo Credit: @rokael_lizama]