Daniel assisted top makeup artist, Pat McGarth, before launching out on his own.  He is designer Chris Benz' key makeup artist for his shows.  With his knowledge of makeup and his determination, Daniel is one makeup artist to watch.  

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me about how your career started as a makeup artist?

Daniel Martin: I started my career in Virginia working at an Aveda Concept salon.  From there I started teaching for the brand, doing photo shoots locally thru an ad agency and building my book. 10 years later I’m living my dream in the greatest city in the world!

EFM: Who was your first makeup artist you assisted, if not why?

DM: While I was in Virginia I apprenticed with someone for 2 years. That opportunity laid down the foundation and understanding of session work (freelancing).  I then assisted Pat McGrath, Virginia Young and Patti Dubroff.  All three have different approaches to makeup, in which I was able to discover my own.

EFM: How important is it to assist an established makeup artist?

DM: I think it’s very important to assist. Not only is it about cultivating your craft and discovering your point of view, it’s about the relationships you build with your peers- the photo assistants, hair assistants, stylist assists, etc. The generation moves up and you all grow together creatively. It's the evolution of our industry.

EFM: What do you look for in an assistant?

DM: What I look for in an assistant is consistency, talent, drive and most of all, the ability to LISTEN.  One of the many things I learned as an assistant is what NOT to do on set.

EFM: Who are some of the fashion designers you have worked with?

DM: Chris Benz, Oscar De La Renta, Sophie Theallet, Proenza Schouler and Thakoon are just a few... 

EFM: You worked with some of the best fashion designers.  Can you tell me your best memory?

DM: There's two memorable "Fashion Moments" that come to mind. One was keying my first show at Bryant Park for designer, Atil Kutoglu and second was Yeohlee in the spring of 2005.  She had her runway show underground in the subway station right under Bryant Park. In the show was a mix of "real" women and celebrities ranging from Farrah Fawcet to fashion correspondant, Elsa Klensch.

EFM: How hectic can it become working backstage, and how do you keep organized?

DM: I have to say, backstage with me and my team is pretty chill. I’m a Virgo so I’m super organized ahead of time. I’m also blessed to have a consistent team of artists who I trust and understands my point of view.

EFM: Tell me something that no one knows about you?

DM: I love Almonds and Mangoes. You will always find those two things in my kitchen.

EFM: Can you tell me, in details, how did the collaboration come about with Lancôme?

DM: I have been quite blessed with the relationship I have had with the brand. Kerry Diamond, Vice President of Public Relations, has been my biggest cheerleader and I will be forever grateful to her and her amazing team. Kerry introduced me to Chris Benz a few years back and I have been keying his show ever since.

The time had come for another designer to partner with the brand on their Limited Edition (Pout-A-Porter) series and Kerry asked Chris and I to participate.

Chris and I spent an afternoon mixing colors in his studios until we came up with the color. Ironically enough, it was the same color I had mixed for Elettra Wiedemann when she was Chris' date to the Met Ball Gala the year before.

The lipstick was exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue and Lancome Boutiques nationwide. I am very proud to say that Chris & Tell has completely sold out!  I think its on eBay now for about $100.00 or so.... total compliment, right?!

EFM: Will there be more collaboration or maybe in the future will you come up with your own line of makeup?  Which I think will be a great hit!

DM: I've consulted with a few other lines in the past and would love the opportunity to become a creative director one day. As far as my own line goes, right now there are no plans...but never say never ;)

EFM: What advice can you give to aspiring makeup artists?

DM: Follow your dreams and keep an open mind. The journey you take is just as important as the work you produce. Sometimes its not about that great beauty story in Vogue or Gucci campaign you worked on, but rather the relationships with the teams you've made along the way.

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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