We had the opportunity to sit down with Celebrity Makeup Artist Leora Edut to talk about her trip to LA for the Oscars, some causes that are close to her heart and, of course, beauty tips! Leora has worked with celebrities like Molly Sims, Rihanna, P Diddy, Shontelle, and Sonja Morgan. She works closely with the GEMS Campaign and the Art of Beauty Experience.
A Beauty Loft: You recently went to LA to work the Oscars, can you tell us a bit about that?
Leora Edut: I went to the Oscars to work with The Help Campaign [2011 film, The Help] and the National Domestic Workers Alliance on an event to help bring awareness to the unfair treatment of domestic workers and their low wages. It is often swept under the rug. After the Golden Globes, Octavia Spencer [star of The Help] met with the press of NDWA. They had a private viewing of ‘The Help’ and on Sunday they had their own Oscar Party. They felt what it was like to have someone serve them, give them a treat for a change. For me, it was a way to connect with beauty on a whole different level. We partnered with Iman cosmetics, Beyonce’s hairstylist Kim Kimble’s Salon and many not-for-profits. These domestic workers came from all over the USA, 15 women in total. I was in charge of organizing the whole event, especially the beauty. They all felt beautiful and special. It was a fantastic experience!
ABL: You are involved with the GEMS Campaign and the Art of Beauty Experience, can you tell us a bit about them?
LE: GEMS is for teens and young women who have been sexually trafficked in NYC. You would be surprised how many of these girls there are. GEMS offers them housing, emotional support, Holistic consoling, art classes, yoga, schooling, you name it. The goal is to get them refocused on their goals and dreams. We want to get them to live a life of a young adult, get them to enjoy life. I became involved with GEMS after I attended a viewing party of their movie “Very Young Girls” which is about their cause. I am a survivor of issues similar to theirs, so I feel like they can relate to me. I want them to see me focusing on the inner beauty, hear me teaching them about having role models and rising above the horrible deck of cards they have been dealt. It’s such a beneficial and necessary experience for them.
ABL: And the Art of Beauty Experience?
LE: The Art of Beauty Experience is about teaching girls to look inside for beauty. In our industry, so many people focus on the superficial beauty, but it is so important to primarily focus on the inner beauty. If your inner self is beautiful, your outer self will radiate that beauty. We teach these teen girls to look inside and find things they love about themselves. It teaches them self love, self care and respect for their bodies.
ABL: Let’s change directions and talk about some makeup! When applying makeup, what is one technique you always use?
LE: I warm foundation up on the back of my hand. When you warm the foundation, that allows it to sink into the skin and blend much better. Also, I always use my Beauty Blender (Available at beautyblender.net. Suggested Retail: $19.95) to apply foundation.
ABL: What is your ‘secret weapon’?
LE: Skin. Flawlessly covering the skin is so key, so important. When someone walks up on one of my clients, they can never tell there is any makeup on them. The Beauty Blender and great concealers help with that.
ABL: What is one product you use to achieve the flawless skin?
LE: Graftobian Concealer (Available at Graftobian.com. Suggested Retail: $23.99). It is so creamy, it covers well and it doesn’t look like anything is there. It smooths into the skin seamlessly.
ABL: How did you know that being a Makeup Artist was your career of choice?
LE: What if I could say I didn’t? It happened by accident! I moved here from Detroit to attend FIT at 25. I had a MAC Pro Discount because I had previously taken classes to be a manicurist. So I used my Pro Status and took a makeup class at MAC. The teacher was so inspiring and he was doing all that I wanted to do with clothing, but with makeup. It seemed exciting, there was tons of traveling and cool people. I was just a small town girl with big dreams. So, I purchased all the products and started doing makeup for coworkers. Then I started taking more classes, got business cards and had a lot of wishing on a prayer. It’s a feeling of being alive, trying something new. It’s a journey, it humbles you.
ABl: What is something you do to care for you skin that you think is essential?
LE: I use all organic skincare products. Brands like TaTa Harper and Josie Maran. The TaTa Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex (available at TaTaHarperSkincare.com. Suggested Retail: $45) is incredible. I use it 2 times a week, it exfoliates and tightens.
ABL: Can you offer any advice for women with problematic skin?
LE: Being a health nut and having a lot of great friends who are graduates of the Integrated Institute of Nutrition (IIN), I learned a lot about how diet impacts your skin. I changed my diet and it changed my skin. I do not eat dairy, chicken, or beef. Food plays such a serious role in our lives and skin. I cut out whites and I sleep as much as possible. My skin is the best it has ever been.
ABL: What is you favorite skincare product?
LE: I use coconut oil to take off makeup. You can get it at Trader Joes. Rub it all over your face and neck, wipe with a damp cloth, then use a gentle cleanser like Philosophy One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths (Available at Sephora. Suggested Retail: $20).
ABL: Do you ever feel pressured to wear makeup because of your job?
LE: Yes, but I like it. I am a glam queen. I do not go to the gym without makeup. It gives me a wake-up! I never leave the house without some lashes!
ABL: What is your favorite drug store brand product?
LE: Iman Cosmetics (Available at Target). I really like their blushes. They are true to color and very pigmented. The blush wheel is great too.
ABL: Can you give our readers one makeup tip you think is essential?
LE: 1. Take care of yourself first. When you treat yourself like the goddess you are, you’re easier able to give to others. Beauty radiates from the inside out. 2. Don’t be pressured by trends. Find what looks and feels beautiful to you and embrace it!
A huge Thank You to the wonderful Leora Edut. She contributes to underprivileged by doing what she loves and brings forth the importance of inner beauty. On top of it all, she’s genuinely enjoyable to work with! For more information on Leora Edut, go to www.makeupbyleora.com. For more information on GEMS, go to www.gems-girls.org. For more information on The Art of Beauty Experience, go to artinmotionshow.com.