Arcade Fire, Grimes, Irina Lazareanu, Amber Rose, Jay Baruchel, Sarah Gadon and Melissa Auf Der Maur are just some of the celebs who’ve trusted their enviable visages in the hands of makeup artist (and hair stylist) Leslie-Ann Thomson over the years. As one of the top makeup artists in Canada, Thomson’s calendar is peppered with bookings to shoot fashion editorials with photographers like Max Abadian and Richard Bernardin, as well as ad campaigns with the likes of ALDO, Le Chateau, Marcelle and Anabelle. Her specialty? If you ask us, it’s definitely her ability to make anyone look like he or she has porcelain-perfect skin, and the fact that she’s Grimes’ go-to girl when the Montreal musician wants a look that’s totally unique is a testament to Thomson’s creativity with a makeup palette. Her work has appeared on the cover of Billboard Magazine and Elle Quebec, as well as in the pages of Rolling Stone, New York Times Style, Nylon, Woman Espana, Bullett and Elle. We recently caught up with Thomson to find out what’s currently in her beauty bag and what trends she’s most looking forward to for the upcoming season…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I am self taught. I worked in the fashion industry for many years before becoming a makeup artist. I grew up in Aylmer, Quebec and moved to Montreal in 1999.
How did you get interested in the world of beauty?
Cosmetics have always been an obsession of mine. When I was in high school, my trademark look was blue mascara and liner.
What are some of the most exciting days you’ve had on set?
Shooting the video for “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” with Arcade Fire was really fun. The team was awesome. I loved working with director Vincent Morisset. The costumes were by Montreal designer Renata Morales.
What’s your beauty must-have?
Kiehl’s Açaí Damage-Protecting Toning Mist. It makes the makeup become one with the skin and smells like the spa.
What beauty trends are you excited for this year?
This fall, it’s all about lips and eyes. I love the return of a burgundy/wine coloured lip. We’re also seeing cat eyes in unexpected colours and shapes.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
I love the Scandinave Spa in the Old Port in Montreal – such a relaxing space.
What’s the one – yes, just one – product you can’t live without?
Mascara. Right now I wear Hypnose Mascara by Lancome in black.
If you were a nail polish, your colour name would be?
Favourite beauty/style ad campaign of the past decade?
So hard to chose! I love the campaigns for Armani, Nars and YSL, but lately, the Tom Ford beauty campaigns are just amazing.