Peer behind the curtains on a Chanel photoshoot set and you might not be able to tell who’s the model and who’s the makeup artist. That’s because Cyndle Komarovski, a Chanel celebrity makeup artist, with her refined bone structure and sylphlike form, is flitting about with a calm grace befitting a modern-day Coco Chanel.
But as much as she nearly glows with glamour, she also brushes it off. “Oh, I’m just a big makeup nerd,” she says and laughs. She’s also real when it comes to her approach to makeup.
In fact, she started her career far from the Champs-Elysees: working on everyday women. “I wasn’t working on a 17-year-old with a perfect face,” she recalls. “When a woman sits in your chair, the first thing they do is they start saying things like, ‘I’m sorry I look really tired today,’ or ‘I’m sorry that I have this pimple.’
And it became about doing makeup with a different approach, a sensitive approach, which is helping this person find what they love about themselves and highlighting that.”
That’s not to say Komarovski can’t dial up the looks for a photo shoot. After studying photography at the Art Institute of Boston (she dropped out to move to New York to pursue a career as a makeup artist), she adores playing with light and texture.
“I love that part of the process of working with a photographer on how makeup might react to different light sources,” she says. But there is one theme that unifies all her work. “I have always been obsessed with skin and making it really beautiful. Get that right and then you can do a very dramatic eye or just play with the details,” she says. And “play” is exactly how she views makeup now.
Forget the perfectly defined pounds of Instagram makeup. With a painterly, unfussy approach, Komarovski raves about multipurpose products and often advocates for fingers over brushes. The new Chanel Ombre Première Laque in Quartz Rose from the Spring collection, which you can swipe on and smudge with your fingers, she says.
She’ll add on a flick of the new metallic Le Liner de Chanel pens. “I love that it has a texture to it and it adds a hint of light to the eye—even the darker shades,” she says. She might cap that off with accented “fluffy brows” using the Chanel La Palette Sourcils in Light Brow Wax and Brow Powder Duo. “The way the powder is you can build up volume,” she explains.
As for her tip on achieving the perfectly-done-but-minimal skin that’s become her signature? Komarovski reaches for the Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint in Medium Light, which is possibly the freshest kind of tinted moisturizer around. “It’s this beautiful summery kind of look that still allows skin to look like skin,” she says.
But if there is one secret weapon to invest in, Komarovski says it’s the Chanel Baume Essentiel in Sculpting, which gives a wet-dewy look (without the oil slick) to anything it touches. “There are the classic high points of the face like the cheekbones, bridge of the nose and the cupid’s bow that you can accent, or you can even brush it into your eyebrow for a wet eyebrow look, or use on your shoulders and décolletage for a summer glow,” she advises.
“We’re all tired and running around. This just brings a look of health immediately.” Sold.
Makeup Cyndle Komarovski
Model Camilla Deterre