Absolute Beauté:
A BN Exclusive Interview with Beau Nelson

With his own signature line of cosmetics, regular celebrity and Fashion Week work and a gig on Canada’s Next Top Model, Beau Nelson is a rising star in the world of makeup. We sat down with the artist himself and got some insight – exclusively for BN readers.

Q: What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
BN: I grew up in a small town in a farming community, there was not a whole lot of anything to do with fashion available to me in my earlier years with the exception of magazines like Elle, Vogue and Allure, and Fashion Television once a week if I was lucky enough to catch it. I suppose I’ve always had an interest in fashion but it shifted to beauty more so around age 14 when I really started to buy Elle magazine. At that time, Elle had some of the best beauty pages and articles and I noticed they caught my attention more than the other articles and pages. I decided then that I would do makeup as a hobby. Thats how it started but once I started the interest became a lot more intense.

Q: Is there a signature ‘Beau Nelson’ face? If so, what is it?
BN: I like to think of myself as a fairly versatile makeup artist but there are a couple of things that I find myself drawn to. I like classic looks made modern with new textures or interesting variations on color. I also love monochromatic makeup looks. I’m also a fan of the classic smoky eye and perfect skin as a canvas.

Tara & Sinead from Canada’s Next Top Model, makeup by Beau Nelson

Q: How did you become the makeup artist for CNTM?
BN: I met Jay Manuel almost 7 years ago while I was on vacation in Toronto, this was pre- Top Model and he was working for I-Iman Cosmetics, in town doing an event. I knew of him through some friends we had in common. I introduced myself and we chatted for almost an hour that day. I did not see him again for almost 6 years but of course I had followed his career and watched him on America’s Next Top Model. When the opportunity came up to audition for head makeup artist, I decided that I would go to the meeting and do the screen test. A copy of my book was sent to Jay as well as my screen test and he and the producers chose me.

Q: What has been the most difficult look on the show to execute?
BN: Because the show was only in its second season, and Jay was joining as the host for the first time, the budget was relatively small which meant that I only had one assistant. The American show normally has one makeup artist and one hair stylist per model, which means that they can spend a lot more time on each look. One of the first episodes we taped was a post makeover beauty shoot during which we did some pretty intense makeup. My assistant on that shoot was amazing and helped me prep all the skin properly but I always like to finish off all the color myself, so it was a long day for sure, but everything turned out beautifully.

Q: You recently launched your own product line, Beauté Cosmetics. Is there a particular vision that you have for the line?
BN: Beauté was created in response to what I feel is lacking in the cosmetics departments of the world, its a line that focuses not only on beautiful and innovative packaging, but also the most technologically advanced formulas and the latest cosmeceutical ingredients. I wanted to create a line in which every single product stood out as something special and interesting. I also wanted to create something that appealed both to women and to makeup artists. I really think that the consumer is becoming very educated about makeup now and that makeup artists are demanding more out of the products they use as well, so its a perfect time to launch something really new and fresh.

Q: What’s special about the Beauté glosses and brushes?
BN: Our brushes are each hand made and carefully weighted for optimal makeup performance. The shapes were all hand chosen by me to reflect the way that I wanted to do makeup and the techniques that I personally use. I believe that the right brushes are the key to a professional finish.

The Luminous Volume Gloss was an idea that came about with a ton of research, I literally spoke to hundreds of women about what they wanted in a gloss. We found that the texture of the gloss was really important to women; they wanted something really moisturizing, non sticky, and they also wanted something unscented. Armed with that knowledge, the lab and I went to work, adding 3 separate actives to the gloss, one that creates instant volume called Marine Filling Spheres, another that stimulates collagen production in the lips and hydrates the lips intensely called Maxi Lip, and finally Orchid Extract OS which is an ingredient that revitalizes the lip tissue by reintroducing the minerals found naturally in the skin and regulates the natural moisture flow of the lip. The color mandate of the line has always been to make sophisticated wearable color that is great for everyday, but also not boring. Our first 12 shades are all very wearable colors that look great on a wide variety of skin tones.

Q: When can we expect to see additional products added to the line?
BN: New products will be coming in the early spring. Expect Lip Pencils that are unlike any other texture available on the market, and also some really incredible lip and cheek stains.

Q: Can we gals in America get our hands on Beauté products? Are any US stores on the horizon?
BN: Our website ships to the US, but we are also looking into some US distribution in major department stores… I can’t say anything yet but some very exciting news will be released shortly!

Q: Finally…what’s the best part of your day?
BN: I guess that depends on the day! Sometimes falling asleep and knowing the next day is coming is the best part, and other times you have moments you never want to end. I suppose my favorite moments of any day are the ones I spend laughing, creating, or dreaming.

To learn more about Beau Nelson and Beauté, visit beaute-cosmetics.com.

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