In the Kit

Mario Dedivanovic’s Huge Beauty Closet Is Practically a Sephora

And he even has a separate storage unit for all the extra.

By: Katie Becker
Photography: Alec Kugler

Mario Dedivanovic is arguably the most influential makeup artist in the world. With six million Instagram followers, a schedule of sold-out theater-sized The Master Class events, and a client list that includes Gabrielle Union, Kate Bosworth, Suki Waterhouse, Demi Lovato, Megan Fox, and, of course, the Kardashians (with whom he famously worked and rose in the ranks), the artist has redefined beauty in the age of social media. It can also be said he made contouring what it is today. Needless to say, we *knew* the Bronx native had an epic beauty closet somewhere in his new Manhattan penthouse.

We weren’t wrong. In fact, Dedivanovic gets somewhere from five to seven boxes full of makeup per day. (Even beauty editors at major magazines don’t see this amount of product sent to their doors.) We paid him a visit to catch a glimpse of his epic collection, talk about his new position in the Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Collective, and his makeup collaboration with Kim.


“I obviously can’t use all of the products that I’m sent, so I put all the stuff in my closet that I plan on using. But this overflows a lot, and I have to constantly take stuff out. I have a whole separate storage unit that’s an entire room with floor-to-ceiling shelves of makeup. My older sister will open everything for me, she lays it out, or my assistant will go and sort it out for me. Sometimes I’ll go and do the little IG stories or Snapchats of it.”

“As soon as I look at [a product], I know whether I like it or not. Nothing excites me except for something with a good formula. We are so oversaturated with launches, so it’s just the little simple things that excite me. I’ll do the hand test; if I like the hand test, I put it into a bag, and it comes here [to my apartment]. There are a couple of brands that I actually request and collect that are sent straight here, like Laura Mercier, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie, Beautyblenders…”

“I started my career in beauty as a fragrance consultant at Sephora when I was 17. [At that point] I knew nothing about makeup. My experience had been bussing at restaurants in the Bronx. I wanted to work there so badly. I had spent so much time there. It was one of the first Sephoras in America, and I was just overwhelmed. It was at like, Rockefeller Center or something—it doesn’t exist anymore.

“I applied [to Sephora]. I kept calling, and I somehow found on the internet—I didn’t even have a computer, I went to the library, I think—the woman in France at Sephora who interviewed me, and I was like, ‘Hi, I’m so-and-so and I really want to work at your store, but no one’s calling me back,’ and she was like, ‘OK, I’m going to be in New York in two weeks, come and meet me.’ I went in, and she asked my experience, and I was like, ‘Well, I love cologne. I have a lot of colognes at home,’ and she just kind of laughed and was like, ‘All right, we’ll start you here at the new store at 19th and Fifth, and you’ll do fragrance.’ And that’s how I started.”

“The [Laura Mercier] Flawless Fusion has a matte finish that doesn’t look scary-dry, it’s really amazing. Every time I use it on my clients, they always ask what it is. You don’t need a lot of powder with it. You get the coverage and a nice matte, silky finish, and it’s really long-lasting. Some foundations you worry when [the clients] leave or go to the red carpet that they’re going to start getting oily or going to touch themselves up. But with these you don’t get greasy-looking, which is great. And then, obviously, the Translucent Loose Setting Powder is my number one powder for sure. I can’t work without it.”

“I carry [a Louis Vuitton or Goyard duffle] to work every day. It’s kind of like my purse. It has my camera and all that stuff. I use the Rimowa [for my makeup kit] because I travel so much, and it’s easy to roll through the airports.”

“This used to be the master bedroom. It took a year or so to finish all the design in the apartment. We have a private rooftop, it’s so nice and is my favorite part of the house. But I’m already looking to move. I want something bigger now. You outgrow places. I want one extra bedroom and a proper makeup-room-slash-office.”

“[The Laura Mercier Velour Powder Puff] is kind of my signature. I literally have this in my hand all day on the set—it’s what I use to protect the face. The whole time I’m working, this is on my finger.”

“When people say, ‘What’s the one product you can’t live without?’ [for me] it’s the Beautyblender. I use them with every single makeup, no matter what look I’m doing. I use about three or four on each client. I use one for foundation, one for concealer, one to blend contour, and one for highlight.”

“I kind of hoard Kylie makeup. I love the packaging—I think it’s so cute. Every once in a while I’ll bring it to my Master Class and use it as a giveaway, and the girls go crazy. I’m like, ‘OK, who came from the furthest country?’ and someone will yell, ‘India!’ and I’ll give them a Kylie, and they go crazy. My sister and I get into so many fights over Kylie because she wants all the lipsticks, and I won’t give them to her. So for Christmas or her birthday I’ll surprise her and give her a few lipsticks. It’s just one of those brands that I need to save and not use them because one day I know they’ll be a collector’s item. I do use her gel liners. They’re actually my favorites in my kit.”

“A lot of companies say things are limited-edition, but they’re really not because they come out with it again. But the [Anastasia Beverly Hills] Master Palette [by Mario] was truly limited-edition, and now they’re selling for like, $600 online. So you know, I keep those. No one knows that I have all of these. You don’t understand how people are always trying to get these palettes, and I say I don’t have any more.”

“I have a collab coming up with Kim in 2018, so [we’re] working on it now. I did a little tease post of it. I can’t say what the products are, but it’s going to be a really fun collection that comes out [in] 2018. Next year, 2018, is going to be 10 years, a decade, of working together [with Kim]. We’ve kind of had a pretty heavy influence in beauty in the past 10 years, so the collection is going to reflect that.”

“We recently did a Mercier Mario Master Class with all the influencers in L.A., and that‘s where they had these [oversized puffs] made for. They were going to give them out when people walked in, and I was like, ‘No, put it under their chairs so no one sees it.’ I started doing the demo, and I was dead serious [holding the giant puff], and I’m like, ‘OK, let’s start with the brows.’ And I put this up to her face and everyone in the audience started laughing, and I was like, ‘What are you laughing at?’ And they are like, ‘What is that puff, why is it so big?’ I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ It was so funny, and they all had them under their chairs.”

On some of his favorite products:L’Oréal Voluminous mascara is my favorite. I go back to it [and have been using it] for the last 18 years. I try new ones, like the best, most expensive ones, but I literally always go back. This is the one where the clients always ask, ‘What mascara is that?’ It just works. These [wipes] are Koh Gen Do. They’re not greasy and don’t have a smell to them. I use both the Anastasia [Beverly Hills] Brow Definer and the Brow Wiz. The Definer is thicker and more angled and for when I want less of a precise brow, when I’m just filling in color. The Wiz I use when I want little hairs. I love the Tatcha spray to spray when I’m done with the makeup. I’ll spritz it, and it just gives a beautiful, natural glow to the skin. Especially if you use powder, when you use Tatcha you never have to worry that the skin looks powdery. A lot of times I’ll also spray on the damp Beautyblender and then I’ll bounce it just on the cheek area, and it just gives that little bit of expensive wet glow. Surratt Beauty is my favorite, favorite lash curler.”

From left: Laura Mercier Translucent Powder and Velour Puff, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and Brow Definer, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation, Beautyblender, L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara, Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water Cloths, Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler.

“I don’t do any exclusive [contracts with brands]. I have like, 12 contracts right now—everything from teeth, skin, [to] vitamins. Exclusive doesn’t work for me. I can’t be authentic. If I teach classes, I can’t be authentic if I can’t use whatever I want. [I’m probably most picky about], I would say, probably foundations and concealer. With concealer, it depends on the under-eye issue and complexion. I usually use like, two on each client. I use Laura Mercier Camouflage, Dermablend sometimes, Shiseido, Nars.”

“I always wish, for a future book, that I saved every plane ticket or hotel room key as a collector. I would’ve filled boxes. I just had to get a new passport, and it’s so full of stamps and visas. I had to get the new one when I went to Brazil because there was no more room for stamps. I travel a lot. I don’t know how many miles, but I travel a lot.”

“I am obsessed with beauty, whether it’s decor or whatever. When I was a little kid, I grew up poor and humble in the Bronx in a basement apartment, and there was nothing beautiful around me. So I would ask my dad if we could please go drive to the nice neighborhoods, you know, in Westchester, because I wanted to see the lawns and the homes. My mom was a housekeeper, and she would clean up these houses, and I would beg her on Fridays, ‘Please let me go with you,’ and I would go and just die over these apartments. I always loved that, and it would give me chills when I was around these things. At the time I didn’t know what it was, but I know now [that's] what it was that I was inspired [by].”

“I like to make a woman look and feel really beautiful. I like doing creative and editorial stuff too, but for me, makeup is just about beauty. There’s always parts of it that are undone. I’m not a fan of false lashes, like people would assume I was, but there are a lot of things that I leave discreet or undone, whether it’s lip, lip liner, eyeliner, sometimes I don’t contour, I just like a very balanced look, and I like someone to look very beautiful and feel beautiful. I always end every session with the client by looking in the mirror with them, and I always say, ‘Do you feel beautiful?’ and so when they say, ‘Love it, yes,’ then I feel happy.”

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