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Makeup Artist Gina Riggi in HD: Makeup in Pictures

As an Emmy nominated makeup artist with over 20 years under her belt, there are very few with more talent and expertise than Gina Riggi
Gina has worked with a multitude of celebrities – including Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jay–Z. More importantly (at least to me), she’s worked with some of the most prominent leaders and cultural figures of our time – civil rights activist Rosa Parks, General David Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former South African President Nelson Mandela, astronaut and Senator John Glenn, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and President Obama, to name a few. And for the past 18 years she has been the makeup artist for The Charlie Rose Show.

Gina’s specialty is High-Definition makeup. HD can be scary for makeup artists and viewers alike. When someone is filmed in HD the resolution is so clear that it can make you feel as if you are standing on set. The problem is the resolution is so clear that you can also see every crack, line and shadow in a person’s face. Gina knows the best way to apply makeup so it looks good – from both afar and magnified in HD. And she graciously shared her expertise with me so I can share it with you!

When would an every day woman use HD products and what do you recommend? For work, I use Cargo, Makeup Forever HD and MAC. Even though most people aren’t on TV, everyone wants to look great in photos. HD makeup is designed to help skin look smooth and flawless, specifically on camera.

Cargo has their blu_ray line of foundations, powders and an excellent, lightweight primer. The powders adjust the color tones and light so your base makeup looks great regardless of lighting or setting. And their foundations use some of the healthiest ingredients and come in portable packaging that I love.

Makeup Forever has High Definition and Matte Velvet Foundations that both look great on camera. If makeup “slips” on your skin or gets shiny, Matte Velvet gives additional coverage that stays matte. Makeup Forever also has a High Definition Powder – don’t let its white appearance scare you because it blends right in as it absorbs oil and prevents future shine.

MAC Studio Sculpt is a creamier foundation with SPF 15, so it’s great for both indoor and outdoor use.

Do you have any other photo tips for wearing makeup at a wedding or special event?

  • A lot of women want a fresh, glowy look. Just be careful in bright daylight with high shine or sparkle because it can start to look to shiny – or even oily – in photos.
  • Water-resistant mascara is a must to ensure long wear [and if you plan on getting teary-eyed]. One or two coats are enough, as you don’t want that spidery mascara look.
  • If it’s your wedding and someone in the wedding party is wearing too much makeup, ask the photographer to help give direction to those involved – she or he will know how to handle the situation so the photos come out just right!
  • A little body shimmer is nice – on the décolletage and arms, for example, but don’t go over the top. I like The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze.

If you had to name one, what is your personal favorite product? There are so many – I’ve just discovered Benefit’s “Some Kinda Gorgeous” foundation faker – it’s a cream foundation in a small pot and is great for touch-ups. And I always keep Nurturing Force blotting papers in my bag to keep my makeup fresh throughout the day.

What was your favorite popular movie/TV show you worked on (outside of The Charlie Rose Show, of course)? I loved working on Saturday Night Live! I worked a lot with Jim Breuer and he was so much fun (as the Goat Boy and other SNL characters) from 1995-96. I was also the makeup artist for the guest hosts so I got to meet all sorts of interesting people.

Tell us your favorite story when working with a client. I had the privilege of spending an entire day with Rosa Parks. We were at the Mayflower Hotel in NYC (a famous spot on Central Park West that’s unfortunately no longer there), in a room waiting to tape the show Turning Point. When I thanked her for the stand that she took for equal rights, she went on to tell me the whole story. We chatted for most the afternoon, just Rosa Parks and me. It was, to say the least, a day I will never forget.

Rosa Parks with Martin Luther King, Jr.

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