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Ivona Dixon

Make-up and Beauty | Denise Gevaras

May 2, 2011

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I first met Denise Gevaras simply out of necessity.  I was traveling back to New Jersey for a week, and I was planning a boudoir marathon.  I knew that I wanted to have a make-up artist on hand to doll-up the clients, and I wanted to work with the best!  I’m so happy that I was able to meet Denise.  Not only does she have a passion for make-up artistry and has wonderful experience, but she is very sweet and kind!  My clients and I are very lucky to work with her.
We have another boudoir marathon coming up on June 12th-you may read about all the details HERE-so I thought, let’s introduce Denise and learn more about her!  Enjoy! 
Photography by Ivona:  How did you get started in make-up?
Denise Gevaras:  I actually started out in the skin care industry.  Although I loved skin care, I found that my favorite part was the end result after doing a mini-makeover or and seeing the final result of a beautiful face enhanced with a makeup application.  I love to see the look on someones face when seeing themselves made up for a special event.  It still thrills me to hear “I love it”!! 
I was fortunate enough to land a position working for Chanel, which was a great stepping stone allowing me to train under fantastic makeup artists as well as doing makeup applications for women of all ages and ethnicities.  My freelance career really took off from that point in doing makeup for weddings and special events.  I attended workshops and classes in NYC and also decided to go to school to obtain a  NJ state license in esthetics. I have since done freelance work in the TV industry and am currently key makeup artist for a local TV station.  I have done makeup for videos, print and TV commercials as well.    
Ivona:  Was this ever a dream?  
Denise:  Yes, the Beauty Industry was always my passion.  I didn’t pursue it early on and actually worked in a corporate atmosphere for many years.   I took my first step away from the corporate world back in the 90’s, working part time as a licensed nail techician. I think I realized my artistic ability at that time doing intricate nail art and designs.  I remember my instuctor telling me she had never seen anyone do nail art with such great detail.  I loved being in the salon atmosphere, the fashion, trends etc. That was my first step away in realizing my dream.
Ivona:  Did you think it would ever become your successful reality? 
Denise:  Although I  hoped it would, first starting out I honestly didn’t think it could ever be something I pursued full time.  I tend to be more cautious and realistic so doing makeup as a full time career didn’t seem practical or something that could actually be a full time job.   I never expected my business to flourish as quickly as it did and it becoming a full time job that I love.
Ivona:  Where do you find inspiration and how do you stay with the trends? 
Denise:  I am so inspired by other successful makeup artists.  I love to see the variety of work from one artist to the next.  The internet is such a great wealth of information.  I follow several makeup blogs and participate in several makeup forums online.  And of course, following the newest trends on the red carpet and out of Hollywood is always fun. Even just flipping through a fashion magazine or watching TV,  from newcasters to movie stars, I love studying the makeup on the faces I see.   I love trying new products and techniques. One new technique or great product can make all of the difference.   I love to learn and keep learning.  I’m hoping to attend more advanced workshops offered in NYC once my work schedule eases up a bit.    
Ivona:  What are your favorite “looks?”  Are you known for a certain “look?” 
Denise:  Oh, that’s a tough one.  I love creating looks from fresh and natural to sultry and dramatic.  I think the makeup application really depends upon the overall effect the person is looking to achieve.  Bridal looks, for instance, need to look great in person as well as in pictures.  I find that most brides opt for a bit more than natural look but nothing over the top.  The classic bridal look is a common request and I’m told quite often from my brides that they would like to still look like themselves just a little more “special” with emphasis on the eyes. On the other hand, a smokey eye for Boudoir, in my opinion really fits the mood of the photos.   I think I am known to have a lighter touch even with a dramatic look.  
Ivona:  When you see a face, do you automatically envision the “look” you’ll apply to that individual? 
Denise:  Quite often, yes!!  There are just some looks, depending on the person’s features, coloring, etc.  that look better on some and not others.  Of course, I always take into account what the client envisions and so I try to incorporate  what they want as well as what I think would look best.
Ivona:  What are your favorite products? favorite brands? 
Denise:  I have so many favorites!!  My kit consists of several brands of pro products including MAC, Temptu, Chanel, Benefit, etc.  I love MAC eye products from shadows to liner for their rich pigmented colors to long wearability.  Love my Temptu airbrush foundation and highlighters!!
Ivona:  If we took a peek in your purse, what would we find? 
Denise:  I always have tissues, blotting paper, chapstick and at least 2-3 different glosses.
Ivona:  What are the essentials for a quick application for a girl-on-the-go?  
Denise:  Keeping it really simple… moisterizer, concealer for quick touch ups, spot coverage and undereye circles, bronzer, mascara and gloss…This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes each morning.
Ivona:  How do you enhance an individual’s facial characteristics? 
Denise:  To enhance an individual’s facial characteristics, contouring and highlighting is essential. It amazes me how just a bit of highlighter can give the effect of high cheekbones, brighter eyes and less wrinkles.  Contouring can slim down facial features, as well as sculpt the cheekbones and give the eyes a dramatic look.
Ivona:  We all want to look younger.  What makes someone look youthful?  
Denise:  Simply put, less is more.  Heavy foundation as well as heavy under eye concealer can really build up and instead of covering and will accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.  Staying away from older trends such as dark lipliner or heavy eye makeup paired with a dark lipcolor can really make a difference.  Nobody wants to look “dated”.  If you’ve been doing your makeup the same way you did “back in the day” it might be time to try a new look or technique to update your look. 
Ivona:  What’s the one beauty item you can’t (and we shouldn’t) live without? 
Denise:  Sunscreen!!  Whether it be in your moisterizer or foundation, it will protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun as well as the premature aging effects. The only time it should be skipped is when doing makeup for pro photos. Flash photography and sunscreen aren’t a good match..
Ivona:  Liquid OR pencil? 
Denise:  MAC fluidline!!!  Love it!!  Easier than liquid and longer wearing than pencil.
Ivona:  Lipstick OR lip gloss? 
Denise:  Gloss…easy and quick to apply.  No mirror necessary!!
Denise:  Don’t be afraid to try something new….something as simple as new lip color can make all the difference.  Makeup is fun and there are no set rules…Experiment with different looks to find your comfort level.  Go for a smokey eye on a night out with the girls or a red lip with a simple black dress.  Never under estimate what you can do with makeup!!
Ivona:  Any additional make-up tips/tricks? 
Denise:  I have so many clients tell me all of the time they love makeup but never learned how to apply it.  Practice makes perfect.  Can’t apply liner?  Try using a black or dark brown shadow with a small brush in place of the liner for the same effect. Having a hard time applying eyeshadow and choosing the right colors??  Just remember to blend well.  It only takes two colors to create a simple daytime look.  And always remember, you can never go wrong with neutrals.   Have a hard time applying foundation??  Try a powder foundation and apply with a big fluffy brush.  Your skin tone will be even without any harsh lines.  Experiment and have fun!! 
Skin care DOs 
Follow a daily skin care regimen.  
Remember to moisterize daily and exfoliate on a weekly basis.  Your products will work better and skin will glow.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!! Use more potent products containing retinol or anit-aging ingredients in the evening.  
If time allows treat yourself to a professional facial every few months.  
Drink plenty of water to hydrate!!
Skin care DONTs  
Always cleanse in the evening and never go to sleep with your makeup on.
Stay away from harsh products that burn or sting.  They’re most likely doing more harm than good. 
Don’t pick at anything on your face.  We’re all tempted, but letting a blemish heal on its own is much better than having scars that remain behind.  
Most importantly, stay away from tanning beds.  Spray tans and self tanners are the way to go!! 
Ivona:  What is one thing we can all do to enhance our natural beauty? 
Denise:  Take care of your body from the inside out.  Exercising, eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water will not only make you feel better but look better.  I believe that every woman is beautiful in her own special way. Makeup can enhance our physical features, but true beauty goes beyond our physical appearance. Look beyond your flaws and focus on the positive realizing that not everyone is perfect.  Stay true to yourself!!  
Ivona:  Where can we find your work and contact you? 
Denise:  Feel free to visit my website at to see many examples of my work and  for all of my contact info.  Join me on my Facebook page “Makeup Artistry by Denise” for the latest happenings, to see new photos of my work and to hear about upcoming events.  
Thank you for your expertise, Denise! 

comments +

  1. Denise Gevaras says:

    Thank you so much Ivona for posting!! I really enjoyed the interview and hope that by reading your clients will get to "know me" a little bit better. I am so thankful to have met such a wonderful person and amazing photographer as well!! Looking forward to many more successful photo shoots together!!

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