Forget the paparazzi and the journalists. The busiest people during the Toronto International Film Festival are the ones in charge of transforming the actors and actresses into glamourous superstars. Enter M∙A∙C Cosmetics Senior Artist Melissa Gibson. The Plutino Group-repped makeup artists has worked with everyone from Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren and Salma Hayek, to Alicia Keys and Pamela Anderson. When she’s not working with celebs, she has also collaborated with fashion megastars like Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, and has lent her talent to campaigns for M∙A∙C Cosmetics, David Dixon and The Bay. We caught up with Gibson to find out what she does in her down time and why she loves M∙A∙C.
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
I am not a girly girl but I am a girl that loves makeup, more so to put on others than myself. My happy place is at the cottage. I feel whole when it’s quiet but couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than the city. I love to read and appreciate a good glass of wine. I love to eat and hate to exercise. It’s a disaster of a combination. I hate to fly and love to travel. I guess I’m a bit confused.
Finish this sentence: I love M∙A∙C because…
…it showed me that there was a place for me, with like minded people. I started with M∙A∙C 22 years ago. I’ve grown up, got married, divorced, had a child, gone through loss and love with some of the most amazing people that I am lucky to call my friends.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
My family, friends and artistry. They all help me breath a bit better every day.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
That’s a tough one! When we go out to eat, we really try and switch it up all the time. Ones that stick in my head are Union on Ossington, The Black Hoof, Carens in Yorkville, Woodlot off College. I know I am missing a ton here and my best friend would probably be yelling names at me if she knew I was writing this!
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
I am a red wine drinker. I love a good Malbec, although my dream is to one day make it to McLaren Vale, Australia. This area has produced some of my favourite wines, ever. Until then, I will have to suffice myself with numerous trips to the LCBO.