• IRK Magazine

Ismael Blanco's Passion



Ismael Blanco represented by Aurélien Paris agency

It's with passion that Ismael Blanco speaks to us about colors and textures in his work as a makeup artist. He has been passionate about makeup since his childhood in Cuba,frequently returning to his origins to inspire his wonderful work with the biggest celebrities including Elle Fanning and Camilia Cabello.

His diverse talent allows him to be both a creative artist and to bring out the natural beauty in a woman. His technique is recognized by the largest makeup brands, magazines and he has various collaborations with the greatest photographers in the world. Now Ismael is launching his own brand, Ismael Blanco, and it’s new line of luxurious and carefully tested brushes.


Ismael Blanco Make-up Brushes

Ismael Blanco Make-up Brushes

IRK Magazine welcomed Ismael Blanco at the "hôtel particulier" in a peaceful environment with the sounds of birds.He gave us a rare and insightful interview into how he became the master makeup artist he is today:

IRK: Can you tell us a little about your journey? (How did you enter the makeup industry and how long has it been?

When I was really young, I was already attracted to beauty. I did the makeup for my neighbors and my friends when they went out. It became my responsibility to make them the most beautiful. I grew up in this world. Subsequently, I became a model and when I arrived in France I asked myself the question; what do I want to do? I then studied makeup at the school "Christian Horses" and I assisted great makeup artists for television. I followed them and that's how I started my career making beauty films. I have been doing this job for 20 years now.

IRK: What are your most recent projects?

I just finished the “Mondial” for L'Oreal. Every year the different L'Oreal divisions explain what they will do during the year, and I was there to prepare all the leaders of L'Oreal.

IRK: You have a good relationship with the L'Oréal group. How did you make that happen?

Yes L'Oréal is a very good group.

It was obvious to work for L'Oreal as they have so many brands. During a shoot I met a makeup artist "Alexis" who sadly passed away. He wanted me to be part of his team in Cannes, but I did not follow up on it. I continued my career and path, and one day I learned that he had died. My agent called me to know if I wanted to do makeup for the Cannes Festival. I did not want to do it when he had asked me, but now I'm doing it partially to honor him. It is thanks to him that I knew that the Cannes Film Festival collaborates with l'Oréal. Now, I do it every year and I am very happy to do it.

IRK: Where do you get your inspiration come from ?

My first sources of inspiration are nature and minerals. My work always comes back to nature thanks to its wide range of colors. I come from Cuba, in my country there are many colors in it’s nature and animals. When I do makeup, I always find myself doing inspired by feathers, animal eyes, for shapes, (how to make eyes look like a panther.)

IRK: How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?

I love mixing improbable colors together. I take pleasure from creating smooth gradients, and also textures using minerals.

When we are trying to do artistic makeup we can go far, but also I like doing simple makeup using as little makeup as possible. I enjoy bring out the natural beauty of a woman.

IRK: Between creativity and a natural make up what do you prefer?

Creativity first, but I also enjoy being in contact with people with whom I work because in the end it is all about sharing.

IRK: What is the most crazy shoot you have done?

A shoot that I had with Natasha Poli in a boat. It was for VOGUE, and it was full of beauty, jewels…. For me it was all new and it marked me.

You worked for great photographers, is there a difference working with someone famous verses a lesser known photographer?

Each photographer has a different style. Etienne is a photographer who impressed me a lot. He always brought an emotion and his shoots were like a play. There was always background music. As soon as he saw an emotion through the models, he shouted. It was very theatrical. For example, we did a shoot with an Italian actress, Monica Belluci for Dior. It was a sublime shoot for lipsticks. A song had started in the background and the photographer started screaming because he was moved and it was this atmosphere that marks me more than a decor. It always stays in my mind when when I think of emotion.

IRK: What do you love most about makeup?

What I like most is to create colors and textures. For example, recently I collaborated with a brand to create its range of foundation colors. I took a lot of pleasure from that project. We studied colors for hues and sub-tones because there is such a huge range of colors.

IRK:You worked for large brands such as CARTIER, ARMANI, L'ORÉAL, GARNIER and others… What is the brand that launched you?

After my studies I went to L'Oreal Luxe, then to Armani as a salesman and that's where my agent found me and told me that I had the profile join his agency. Subsequently the brand that really launched me was Garnier, and it's with them where I really started making beauty films, traveling for work and going around the world.

IRK: Do you have a favorite brand of makeup?