Interview: Alicia Quarles' Makeup Artist


Alicia Quarles' makeup artist is a force to be reckoned with!  Keesh Winkler-Smith, makeup artist and groomer for E! News, has the confidence, creativity and talent to create looks suitable for the fierce personalities behind the network.  I had the pleasure of watching her create the radiant yet edgy masterpieces on Alicia's lids throughout filming the Dove commercials and working the Emmys red carpet.  Here, she fills me in on her inspirations, craft, and makeup bag must-haves.

I was so impressed by the looks you created for Alicia for the Dove commercials and Emmy red carpet. What inspired you? 

I am inspired by everything in life around me. Magazines, blogs, other artists…. When I see my clients I like to feel out their personality and I also take in account their choice in wardrobe and accessories for the event. I always get a instant idea of what I am going to do for the occasion. For both Dove commercials I kept Alicia very Fresh & Radiant to capture her natural glow & beauty. I used a purple eyeshadow shade as a bottom eyeliner with a angle brush for application to pick up the natural hues in her beautiful purple dress making what I call  "Pop Of Color"  to intensify the complete look.

For Red Carpet Emmy's Alicia's wore a beautiful deep royal blue gown with beautiful Green & Blue accessories for the. I decided to apply a Golden yellow shimmer eyeshadow, a soft brown shade in the crease and a neutral tone on her brow bone. I kept her lips a very soft nectar shade and I used bronzer instead of blush.

Regardless, if I am doing television, Red Carpet affair, Photo Shoots, Bridal or Editorial work I always stick to my "makeup mission" of course depending on my clients needs. I believe in always keeping a clean and simple face with "A Splash of Color".

Do you and Alicia collaborate on her looks or do you just work your magic?

I actually just work from my natural instincts that I was lucky enough to be Blessed with. It's also great because Alicia trusts my vision and gives me full control to be creative. This helps a lot because I am able to just do my thing without over thinking.

You seem to always play up her eyes, how come?

I believe the eyes are the window to your soul... Eyes have always been my favorite and most exciting part of application to the face! I get to be creative using color while applying my own signature style and concept depending on the look.

Your use of color is abundant, yet strategic.  Can you give us a tip on how to incorporate color into a look without over doing it? 

I like to use a technique I call "POP OF COLOR" using either a color liner on bottom or using a bright shade on the lid with a very natural crease and highlighter. Knowledge of the color wheel and what colors are complimentary is essential when I decide to apply color.  My mantra is "COLOR IS YOUR FRIEND", with that in mind and paired with a few pairs of lashes yes, I said a few pairs!  Have fun with it because it all washes down the drain at the end of the day.

What are some of the staples in your kit and why?

I absolutely love these products and I have also listed reasons why I keep them in my kit:

  • Ardell eyelashes : they add fullness with a slight glam look. I love to cut them up and create my own personal touch.
  • Mac Mineralize Skin Finish Natural Powder : provides a very flawless finish without looking too heavy on skin.
  • Makeup Forever Eyeshadows : They have a great pay off - the pigmentation is rich and very easy to blend. Also they come in FUN COLORS!
  • Murad skin care: because makeup looks even better with healthy skin underneath. I encourage all my clients to stick to a regiment. (Clarifying Cleanser, Renewing Eye Cream, Oil Control Mattifier w/SPF 15 | PA++)

Murad also has a wonderful skin specific treatments and anti-aging products. Pretty much I am in love with the entire line as their products are so good. You can use alone or under makeup.