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Giving Pretty

I love Fashion Week… Its fast-paced, inspiring and glamourous shows motivate me to paint pretty. Another thing I love just as much is giving back. This year, while fashion models strutted the cat-walk looking flawless, I dedicated my personal time to mentoring young women with the help of my friend and client, singer Adrienne Bailon at the Lower East Side Girls Club local charity.

I spent months researching charities that promote self-confidence and self esteem for young women.  I came across The Lower East Side Girls Club in NYC and thought they were a perfect match. They prepare the girls for real life experiences such as college interviews and internships. With the generous sponsorship from NYC NEW YORK CITY COLOR, JOSIE MARAN, GIELLA CUSTOM BLEND COSMETICS and SALLY HANSEN, we gifted these amazing girls with great tools to promote natural beauty from the inside out.

Adrienne Bailon, native lower east side girl herself, was so great as she answered questions and shared advice and life experiences with the girls.  She also modeled for me as I gave a full makeup lesson, revealed tricks of the trade and exposed the “real” beauty in each of them.  I focused on adding bits of color to enhance and brighten the face rather then cover or conceal.  Thanks again to Adrienne, NYC New York City Color, Josie Maran, Sally Hansen and Giella for helping put smiles on their young faces. A special thanks to The Lower East Side Girls Club for putting a big smile on my face and hopefully all of yours.

PS.  If you know of any local charities such as TLESGC, please let me know as Id love to continue “Giving Pretty.”

Xo – Mario

Sky’s the Limit…

AC Magazine Sky Nellor small

She’s a former mega model turned renowned DJ and  she’s one of my favorite faces to paint!  Sky Nellor is gorgeous.  I met Sky a few years ago through my freind, hairstylist Ricardo Rojas who recommended I do her makeup for a New York Times feature.  After using an image of her today for my TWIP of the day, I figured I’d show you some more images of our work together.

sky nellor

sky nellor1 behind scnee

Vegas Magazine

This Vegas Magazine shoot was my first cover with Sky and my first time working with photographer Sante D’Orazio.  Ricardo Rojas styled the hair on all images above.  Stylist was Rebecca Weinberg.  Hope you like it!  Xo Mario

Looking back… way back!

JESSICA butterfly

This is my freind Jessica that I used to practice on when I first started in makeup at 17 years old.  I’ll never forget this shoot because it was my first shoot ever!  I remeber she was laying on the kitchen floor as I was holding a lightbulb over her face while my freind Stephan took the pictures.  I think I used a clay mask all over her face to get that texture.  At the time, Sephora used to make these lipsticks that came in every color imaginable and I used them on her eyes and lips, LOL.  Then theres the butterfly.  Then theres the chunk of glitter right on the hairline.  Good times!



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I’m Loving… Josie Maran Cosmetics!


Josie Maran recently sent me some goodies from her environmentally freindly makeup line and and I’m LOVING it!  I first heard of Josie’s makeup when I was in Miami and searching for new and different makeup remover wipes.  At Sephora, one of the girls recommended the Bear Naked Wipes by Josie Maran.  They smell really nice, are made with healty and natural ingredients and your skin feels fresh and clean after wiping with them.  Oh, and a portion of every package goes to protecting polar bears! 😉

You may recognize Josie Maran from her successful career as a  top model.  She was the face of Maybelline for nearly a decade, featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for three years in a row and she was also a GUESS girl!  Needless to say, top models like herself know their stuff when it comes to makeup because of all the years working with and learning from amazing makeup artists, day in and day out.  Trust me, they’ve got some tricks up their sleeves, LOL. 

The bronzy packaging for Josie Maran Cosmetics is one the nicest that I’ve seen out there – sleek, simple and lightweight.  I’m going to share some of my favorite products from the line and help spread Josie’s philosophy – “luxury with a conscience.”


 Finger Paints in Sweet – You can use your fingers to appy these shimmery colors to eyes, lips and cheeks!  Apply the lightest shade under your brow bone and to the center of your lip to highlight.









Eye Shadow in Beach – This eye shadow may be my new favorite color right now.  It’s a shimmery champagne or pale sand shade.  Looks gorgeous on the eyelids and you can apply it wet or dry.  Texture is velvety.  Love it.









Cream Blush in Sunset – This is a coral shade cream blush that glides on sheer and looks natural.  I love it on the apples of cheeks.  For a super natural look, dab some on your lips and blend.









Argan Oil – This is a light-weight oil grown organically in Morocco packed with tons of Vitamin E and fatty acids.  For a dewy look, apply to the apples of your cheeks and/or cheekbones.  Soften and heal your cuticles with it, or put it on split ends!









Bear Naked Wipes – Dont leave home without them!








I hope you get a chance to try Josie Maran’s products and if you do, please let me know what you think!


xo Mario

Profil Magazine Cover and Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia/Hungaria.

This beauty story that I worked on just came out on the cover of Profil magazine.  It’s also been published in Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia and Bulgaria (how random, right?).  The shoot was so much fun to work on and I’m very happy with the end result.  My freinds/photographers Ron Contarsy and Seth Karecha collaborated on this story together and Deycke Heidorn did the amazing hair.  I have worked on a few different fashion and beauty shoots with Ron and Seth and they’re definitely one of my favorite teams to work with.

I remember being excited for this shoot when I heard that Aleksandra Martynyuk was booked as the model.  I’ve worked with her on a few shoots as well over the past couple of years.  She has beautiful fair skin and is such a sweet girl! 

The inspiration for the makeup came from the big flower head peices.  Deycke and myself collaborated together to determine which makeup and hair looks would go best with each flower.  Oh, and here’s a little secret makeup trick for you – I used the old Hollywood face tape to really pull the brows up and open up the eyes.   🙂  Hope you like it!

Check out Ron’s site too see more work – 

Answers to your questions ;) Part 2

1.     Hello Mario,

I think the work you do is very beautiful especially on Kim kardashian and the recent wedding post was great. I love the bronzed look and i use bronzer from Smashbox Suntan Matte and i was wondering if the product from model co BRONZE Airbrush Face would work better?

I’m not sure if it would work better on your face or not.  It’s a totally different kind of bronzer so it would give you a different look.  I do love model co products.  I use their body bronzer sometimes.




I use a few different foundation brushes.  If you want one that gives you more coverage, try the Giorgio Armani foundation brush..It’s shorter and the bristles are very full.

3.     Hi Mario!

I was wondering what color eye shadows you recommend for blue eyes. I have more of a gray/blue eye color.

Thank you!!

I love that eye color!  I don’t use grey shadows that much but with your eye color, they do look great.  Try grey’s, black’s if you’re doing a stronger eye, bronze shades would look good too, purples, etc.

4.     Mario,

I can honestly say that you are one of my favourite makeup artists right now. I love your modern, fresh take on makeup and how well your vision for the person’s face translates and brings out their absolute beauty.
I guess I really don’t have a question, but i just love seeing your work and reading about what products you love for what and what works best for you, and seeing videos of you doing makeup because i really learn a lot and i love recreating your looks, so keep em comin! Oh I thought of something….as a makeup artist, I find that I still haven’t settled on one particular brand of foundation…do you recommend any brand in particular? like MUFE, Graftobian, Kryolan….Nars…etc?

Thanks a lot!

I think as a makeup artist, you should have different brands of foundation for different jobs, looks, people, etc.  Right now im using NARS, MUFU, Dior, Armani, etc.

5.     Hey mario! You are very talented!
I was wondering what you do in the summertime to keep makeup looking fresh and lasting all day?

What are some good everyday foundations?

With girls who wear makeup everyday, what do you suggest doing to stay away from breakouts?

To keep your makeup looking fresh and have it last all day in the summer heat, use a primer first and a loose powder to set the foundation.  If you have oily skin, use a oil-free moisturizer and foundation.  Lorac makes a great everyday oil free makeup.  If you have dry skin, try the Armani makeup or a tinted moisturizer.  Laura Mercier makes a great one.  To prevent breakouts, go with a oil free makeup.

6.     Greeting Mario,
Repetative question, but your fans are all dying to know how you pull of your concealer look for your clients. Specifically Kim K’s. What brand of concealer do you use and what brand of powder are you using under her eyes. What is your technique? I can’t wait to see the video you and Kim are coming out with. I’m such a fan of your work. Thank you, 916 Baby Girl

To see my technique and products I use, please watch our makeup video on youtube.  I love the Make Up For Ever lift concealer and the Laura Mercier translucent powder.

7.     Like many fans of your work on here, I love blush and brozners. The problem I have have is choosing the right colors for my complexion and apply blush correctly. I am a woman of color and finding products can be difficult at times. If possible, can you do a video tutorial for applying blushes and bronzers?

You are by far the most talented make up artist I have seen. Keep up the good work and thanks for creating a blog to share your tricks and tips with us!

Refer above for blush techniques.  For darker skin tones, use blushes that are not too light or that have white in them, for example a light pink would not work.  Try reds, bricks, or pigmented peaches.

8.     Hi Mario!

First I have to tell you that you are the best! I love all the looks that you do and I think it’s amazing that you have a blog! Here are my questions:

1)    I know that in the wedding post you suggested the laura mercier loose setting powder. For everyday would you suggest that one too? And if yes do you suggest the traslucent or the beige one?


Yes, you can use that for every day.  If you’re not pale, use the beige one.

2)    Ok may be this is going to sound like a funny question but do you know the product lashes to die for night time eyelash conditioning treatment by peterthomasroth? If you know it what do you think about it. It’s $125.00 at sephora and I really don’t want a buy it if it doesn’t work. Lol


No, sorry I don’t know about it.

3)    Which anti aging cream do you recommend?


Soooo many that are good.  I like the Olay regenerist line.

9.     Hey Mario

– First of all i think you are g.r.e.a.t . I learned sooo much from just watching your video’s !! i looove you!

– I have this question i asked so many “beauty-specialists” here in Germany but i never never got a satisfying answer and thats why I always bought the wrong ( but very expensive ) make up. I have some small scars on my cheeks (left from acne,little bit depressed)..when i dont wear foundation they are hardly visible but when i want to go out or when i have a date i want to put on foundation etc…but make up always makes it look even worse because of the shadows that are created on my some lights it looks really bad i hate it so much that i became obsessed with trying out different foundation but nothing seems to help..or am I doing something wrong?..i use matte bronzers(MAC) and matte foundations (MAC) and a anti-oily-skin creme to prevent “shining” …but its still not how i want it to look :(..i mean i know foundation cant make them dissapear, but Mario do you know something that would help,something to put under the foundation or a technique that would make them less visible? I know you are working all the time with people with “perfect” skin..but I thought I’ll ask it anyway =) i hoooope to hear something from you!! Thanks in advance! Have a nice weekend!

There are a lot of creams out now that can help to reduce the appearance of scaring.  First off, you should begin using those.  The trick would be to not use heavy makeup.  Try using the Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturizer then apply a loose powder with a velour powder puff.  MAC has a great, soft puff.

10.                        for under eyes that somewhat sink in, what is your advice to make it look smoother and more flat under the eye?  Use a lighter concealer to help bring out the “sunken in” look.

if you have acne scarring, what should i do to conceal that…apply concealer before or after foundation? After

is there a way to use the beauty blender without it soaking up the product?  Wet the beauty blender, squeeze it out so that it’s damp and apply the makeup to the skin first, then blend with the sponge.

what bronzer is good for african american skintone(nc50) Try using a pressed powder in a darker shade.

11.                        Hi Mario

Just wondering where i can find the Beauty Tech concealer palette online..I live in Canada so trying to find a website where I can purchase it online..
M  If they don’t have it online, you may have to call them and order it.

12.                        Hi Mario. I’ve modeled in the past and had some really amazing makeup artists work on me and the best were masters at contouring. I’ve tried to do it at home and I can never get it right! Can you share some tips? Thank you so much!

Choose a matte bronzer that isn’t too dark.  Frame your face with it.  If you check out my makeup videos on you tube, you can see how I like to do it.

13.                        Hi Mario,

I’m a Vancouver based makeup artist. I recently graduated from John Casablancas Institute. I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how you could started and how you got yourself out there. my email is thank you!

Build you portfolio by testing as much as possible and assist other makeup artists as much as you can to learn.

14.                        Mario- How do you get the undereye area above the cheek bone on Kim Kardashian to look so bright? I love it! What product do you use and specifically where and how do you apply it? Thanks!!

I use different products to highlight that area.  Candlelight by Kevyn Aucoin is one of my favorites.  Apply right on the cheekbones with a smaller brush.

15.                        Hi Mario, i love your work, Keep it up, i just have a question if you can answer me back please, on kims face i seen you ues a power under her eyes i just wanted to know the name of the product.

Laura Mercier translucent powder.

16.                        Mario ,

You are really talented!! Love your blog

Can you please share what highlighter you used on the model for this blog post? Kevyn Aucoin highlighter in Candlelight.

Kim always have this bronze glow on her skin, legs , shoulders.. What can I do to achieve such a look?  Try using the Skinsheen leg spray by MAC on the body.

cant wait for your next post.. I really respect you because you are very people-friendly and your fans love that!!

Mario’s fan here!!! Mario rockssssss..

Wedding makeup tips and tricks…


Tis the season to get married!  I figured I should do a wedding makeup post since so many people are getting married in the summer and fall.  I think makeup is really important for a bride on her wedding day.  It’s photographed by a professional and you will see the images forever.  If there’s any day in your life that you want to look you’re very best and most beautiful, it’s your wedding day. 

I get emails everyday from brides-to-be from all over (some as far as Moracco!) asking me to do their weddings.  I feel terrible because unfortunitely my schedule now doesn’t really allow me to book weddings anymore, but I have done many many weddings in the past and I always loved making a woman feel beautiful on her special day.  Below are some products and tricks to help you out. 

The pics here are of my beautiful sister Vicky.  She got married last summer and of course I did her makeup, lol.  I love you Vicky 😉  Vicky usually does her makeup pretty natural so we kept with that theme of warm, natural and nude colors.  Theres also a couple of pics of Dara Godfrey, wife of the amazing designer Jay Godfrey, on their wedding day.  I flew out to Miami for their wedding.. it was really beautiful and so was she!  The last pic is a bridal cover I did a while back, “For The Bride” magazine.

Tips and tricks –

Photo Finish Foundation Primer by Smashbox.  This is a really good primer to use all over before you apply your foundation.  It helps keep the makeup last longer and keeps it smooth.

Secret Camouflage by Laura Mercier.  This concealer had 2 shades that u can mix to get the perfect match for your skin.  Go alittle lighter under the eye and for blemishes, match the exact skin color.

Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier.  This is good to set your foundation and concealer.  It’s very silky and sheer and has a bit of light reflecting which helps to smooth fine lines and imperfections.  Try putting a bit of it on a velour puff and applying it that way.  Great to touch up with also through out the day and night.

Oragasm Blush by NARS.  It’s a peachy pink with shimmer and just looks beautiful and so many skin tones.  Brush it on the apples of your cheeks (try not to go too low on the cheek with it).

Dior Bronze – Amber Tan by Dior.  A matte golden bronze shade of bronzer.  Brush it all around the frame of the face to warm your skin up.  Dont forget to apply some to the neck too!

High Beam by Benefit.  This is a  luminescent complexion enhancer.  Apply it on your cheek bones for a dewy glow.  I like to use it on the center of the lip too for a hightlight and on the bridge of the nose.

Silk Eye Shadow Wash by Stila.  It’s a water-based liquid-to-powder eyesshadow in a shade called kitten (pinkish gold tone)  It looks great on alot of skin colors.  Use it on your eyelid or to highlight.

Powerpoint Eyepencil by MAC.  This pencil is great for a wedding because its waterproof but you can still blend it nicely for a smokey eye.  Also great for the inner rim of the eye.  After applying on top lids, brush alittle translucent powder over it and apply again.  This will give the line alot of pigment and really pop.

B-Dazzle by GIELLA.  The perfect shade eye shadow for the inner corner of the eyes.  Makes you look more awake and gives that “angelic” look.  GIELLA can also custom blend it into a pencil. 

All products except for the MAC and GIELLA can be found at .  Remember to keep your makeup classic looking on your wedding and don’t overdo it!  Xo


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