Marcus Monson is a National Celebrity Artist for Guerlain, which means he spends about 90% of his time traveling and doing makeup for celebrities and special events. (The other 10% of the time, he says, he spends at home in Dallas, Texas.) He is also the brand's spokesperson for interviews, so you may have seen or heard of him before. I personally first heard of him years ago via KarlaSugar and hoped to meet him someday from that date onward, so I was thrilled out of my mind when my good friend Sarah invited me to come in for a makeover by Marcus at her Guerlain counter.
As a sidenote: I've been to many events like this one hosted by a variety of cosmetic brands now, and in every other one I've attended, the setup has been something like this: the event boasts a makeover by the brand's famous national artist, so you come in for that. What you actually get is being "prepped" by a local freelance artist who does your skincare and all of your makeup except for one "key" feature you choose; then, the famous artist swoops in, spends 5-10 minutes applying makeup on the feature you've chosen (eyes, lips, contouring, whatever), gives you a hard sell on the products he/she used plus several more, and then moves onto the next client.
Let me tell you, with Marcus, it was different. This was a real treat for me. I came in, sat down, and just like that, Marcus came over to greet me. We introduced ourselves, and then he got to work and we got to talking. He told me bits and pieces of what he was doing as he applied my makeup, but didn't insult my intelligence/cosmetic know-how by making the application process our only subject of conversation. I had a great time getting to know him as we chatted about all kinds of topics: traveling, self-image, dieting and health, eating out, makeup looks we love, and more. I even learned some of his housecleaning habits - don't worry, Marcus, I won't tell anyone! In all, he spent over an hour with me, uninterrupted, one-on-one. He also didn't push me heavily on what I should purchase, which I sincerely appreciated.
I learned a few really interesting tricks from Marcus, too. He told me about how he likes to layer eyeshadows, something I've never experimented with much, to create unique textural and color combinations. He layered the purples in Guerlain's Attrape-Couer quad with greens from Les Verts to create this look - see how the lid color looks purple from afar, but reflects green? You might need to click to view full-size. Check out the purple mascara, too!
Long story short, I had a fantastic time. I've already swatched and photographed Attrape-Couer, which I purchased that day along with some other items, so I'll do a post on that soon. For now, let me leave you with this picture of the three of us: my friend Sarah (also the Guerlain counter manager - this is at the Nordstrom in Bellevue, WA), myself, and Marcus.
(Marcus, you were right about the camera adding ten pounds, but in this particular instance, I think it added all three of our ten extra pounds onto my face! Go figure.)