The celebrity makeup artist reveals more info about her upcoming cosmetic line and the only three products she needs to survive.
When it comes to predicting the next movement in beauty and makeup, there is no one better to guide us there than the purveyor of contour herself, Joyce Bonelli. The makeup artist, designer, mom, and soon-to-be beauty mogul has been the mastermind behind every signature cat eye and high-gloss cheekbone for the likes of Nicki Minaj, Emily Ratajkowski, and most famously, the Kardashians for over a decade. From her start in special effects to glamour makeup for Playboy centerfolds to television, premiere press circuits, tours, music videos, red carpets (and the list goes on), Bonelli has carved her own very influential space in the field.
After we rummaged through her wardrobe and balanced leopard Manolo Blahniks on cheeky chairs, we sat down to chat about her upcoming beauty line (she hinted at a few things ~below~), the three beauty products she can’t live without, and where she sees makeup trends going in the near future.
Her first beauty memory:
“My first makeup memory is when my mom put on Mary Kay parties just for fun in our house. She would have her friends come over and do face masks, then they would start doing the makeup. The transformation was so interesting to me. I’d always take a lot of the samples and go to my friends’ houses and do their moms’ makeup, which is so weird. [Laughs]”
The 101 on her career trajectory:
“I went to school for special effects and animatronics. I was in a different part of the makeup side of things. When I was 19 [years old], I started doing beauty and makeup for Playboy—I started doing high-glamour makeup through that with a lot of covers and centerfolds. I did Girls Next Door, too. After that, I went on several tours with Demi Lovato, did music videos and toured all over the world with Nicki Minaj for two years, and have worked with various models from Emily Ratajkowski, Lily Aldridge, Cara Delevingne, Hailey Baldwin, Joan Smalls, Chrissy Teigen to Gigi Hadid. Between then, I did the Kardashian show and then all of their spin-offs. I’ve always done a little bit of everything.”
To her, there’s no difference between special effects and glamour makeup:
“Makeup is all painting to me. You’re bringing out or disguising different things. [Special effects and glamour] are just opposites. You’re bringing out the beauty [with glamour makeup] rather than creating a scary face or making someone look older [with special effects].”
Her most recent career highlight:
“Working with Salma Hayek in Cannes was a recent highlight. We did different looks every day like the pink wig look. I admire her strength as a woman and love talking to her while we glam. She knows all kinds of music that are really crazy and interesting—it’s always just a good vibe. She just has that aura. She’s so captivating in conversation in film and also music and dance. We share videos and vibes during glam and it’s so inspiring.”
Where she sees beauty going next:
“I believe the next evolution in makeup will be the same kind of definition and contour but more translucent, rather than caked on. There are so many different techniques in accentuating a jaw line, for instance, without it being so literal. It’s really showing people how you can still get those results without so much [makeup]. We’re going to be seeing that in a lot of brands—they are going to be doing more of a naked vibe.”
Creating her clients’ signature looks:
“Reinvention is part of my own evolution with each client that I work with. I try to do what’s unique to each of them and where their brand is going. Everyone is so different. Some artists, you see their makeup and it looks the same on everyone. I like to do different things on everyone, like that’s them. Like with Nicki Minaj, if I don’t do her makeup for six months, she still does the eyeliner, the lashes the same way—basically where I left her, she still does the same exact vibe. I like building a signature look together [with my clients].”
What you need to know about her upcoming beauty line:
“I’ve been wanting to do that for a really long time. Just this last year, all of the components came together for what I want to create and produce. Being that it’s a huge line—for the first launch we have 58 SKU’s—and we’re talking with Sephora, it just keeps growing into a bigger and bigger thing. If we’re lucky, we’re going to have a spring ’18 launch. A lot of people right now are doing the drop one item and then the next item [tactic]. We are doing an entire line. It’s honestly my dream come true. Everything is really luxurious—it’s beautiful. The packaging [for Joyce Bonelli Cosmétiques] is very modern—I’ve always wanted to do that and it’s all coming together.”
Her vision for the collection five years down the line:
“The vision is to have it take its own place in the beauty industry. It’s really a line that not only a lot of different artists will use, but love and want to be apart of. I want it to be a moment of teaching. I’m not just selling a bunch of bullshit. It’s really important to me and I believe a lot of professionals are going to be attaching their names to this brand.”
Three things she’d restock if her makeup kit was missing:
“Mascara, brow gel, and lashes.”
How she balances it all:
“There’s never a time that I don’t feel guilty about something, so it’s a really hard balance. I find my way in that I will take my kids with me [on business trips] if it’s two nights or more. That way, they are always with us. When Zeplin was in his first year, it was really hard because I had to travel a lot. He would come with me and I would have 20-hour days. It was just really hectic, running back and forth from the hotel room to work. I’m really blessed that I don’t do that so much anymore—I don’t work out of town as much as I used to.
“Now that Zeplin is in school, working a few hours during the day is great. We have after school activities and we cook together and we just make even brushing teeth fun. You know? Every little second counts. I feel like I have a pretty good balance with it now.”