Name: Isabelle Gagné
Location: Saguenay, Québec, Canada
Facebook: Esthétique Isabelle Gagné
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m 31 years old, married, and mom of two young boys. I live in Québec so I’m a French Canadian. First of all I’ve been an esthetician for 11 years now and a freelance worker since then. I specialize in BioSculpture nails and eyelash extensions (Misencil). I’ve done many makeup contracts for high school runway shows, weddings, photoshoots and makeovers.
What made you decide to become a makeup artist?
What I wanted when I enrolled in makeup courses was to increase my makeup skills and add some experience to my CV. I expect to teach esthetics in a few years, so I need to learn as much as possible. I was not really searching for makeup lessons when I saw the QC Makeup Academy website. When I got through student testimonials and features, I knew that it was a unique opportunity to get professional assistance from incredible, passionate, and well-established makeup artists. The online schooling method is for me the only way to continue working, being a mom, and learning.
So, you’re a makeup artist, but you also create incredible nail art. Where did you learn that?
Well thank you so much for the compliment! I first learned it during my esthetic classes. After that, I did a workshop with BioSculpture Canada. These lessons taught me how to work professionally with different products and I chose to continue with the gel technique. Creating pretty nails is an art that needs much practice. So that’s what I did for years to be able to create original designs. I experimented with many ways to do designs and I developed my own.
And speaking of your nail art, your designs are amazing! Where do you get the inspiration for your creations?
I’m inspired by all I can see. Sometimes it’s a fabric, a piece of clothing or a wallpaper design, but it also can be nail art I saw from another artist. When I get inspired by another nail artist, I always take time to reinvent the concept and not just copy it. I’m also a paint artist, so I use my skills to do tiny paintings on nails.
Tell us about your favourite job or client so far.
What I love is to make people look their best. I also adore seeing my work in beautiful pictures. I think my favorite jobs are working for weddings, proms, and photoshoots. When we do a woman’s makeup, we increase the natural beauty we see in her. Sometimes, it’s difficult to work with a client that doesn’t see her own unique beauty. I think we don’t see enough imperfect beauty in makeup industry, so many people think that the only way to look good is to change their natural face with makeup.
What’s up next for you? Where do you see yourself (and your business!) in the next 1, 5, and 10 years?
The best lesson I learned over time is to be confident about what’s coming next. I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I’m sure I will be teaching someday. The next step for me will be to get hired for publicity or major events. However, the only thing I’m sure of right now is that the new skills I got through my courses are going to serve me for the best.
What’s your best advice for a makeup artist just starting their training or career?
An important thing with this kind of job is to believe in yourself. You have to convince people you’re the best makeup artist for them, so it’s important to believe it yourself. The best advice I have to give is to never let yourself think that you don’t have to learn every day. The only way to get to the top is to continue learning from other professionals, even if they are not as experienced as you. Everyone can teach you something you didn’t know!
And the question everyone wants to know—what makeup product is an absolute essential for you?
Of course, as an esthetician I would tell you that the best trick for a nice makeup application is to have well-prepared skin. Clean, exfoliated, and moisturized skin always looks better under makeup. But if I had to choose only one makeup product, I would pick my concealer. The one I prefer is the Malu Wilz Camouflage Cream.
A look at some more of Isabelle’s incredible work…
Photographer: Maryline Rivard Photographie