Style AND Tonic chats to Alisia Ristevski, celebrity makeup artist and hair stylist about her career, specialist tips and tricks and what’s in her bag!
Tell us about your career and how you became a celebrity makeup and hair stylist?
I started my hairdressing apprenticeship at Wieslemann Salon South Yarra in 2003 after working casually for them 6 years prior. While I was hairdressing full time I was involved in a lot of hairshows, primarily with Wella. During that period I studied as many colour and cutting courses that were available and was recognised and awarded for my work. In 2007 I completed my apprenticeship at Victoria University and was subsequently nominated for apprentice of the year.
Upon completing my hairdressing apprenticeship I decided to change my career path, so I studied make-up one night a week while working full-time. At the end of my course I was fortunate enough to begin working for Channel Nine Melbourne right away. At the same time I was also freelancing which enabled me to work on TV week Logies, Melbourne Fashion week, the Brownlow Medal, TV commercials, runway shows, and independent fashion shoots as well as for some of Australia’s best known magazines.
In 2011 I joined the Channel 10 network and until recently headed up the hair and makeup department in Melbourne. Amongst my many responsibilities, I absolutely loved making up Carrie Bickmore and the boys on the TV show The Project. I also met loads of Australian and International celebrities which was definitly a perk of the job that I loved.
Who do you enjoy making up?
I am so lucky to have a job where I get to meet amazing people, some of who have become great friends. Over the years I have made up Carrie Bickmore, Livinia Nixon, Fifi Box, Gorgi Coglan to name just a few. I also love making up strong and driven Aussie women such as Natasha Stott-Despoa and Helen McCabe, who are truly inspiring.
Have you got a career highlight?
Making up Carrie Bickmore for the past 3 years has been so fun and having her hair become the talk of the town from a fashion/makeover perspective is definitely a highlight. Two years in a row Carrie was awarded 10/10 for her hair that I styed during the Logies which is something I am very proud of.
I styled Carrie’s faux bob which was named as the best hair for 2013 and that was also very exciting. Working with Carrie over the past few years has brought me so many great opportunities such as the covers for Women’s Health, TV Week, fashion spreads in Marie Claire, Madison, Women’s Weekly etc.
Have you ever been starstruck?
Absolutely! When I met Giulanna Rancic from the E Network I just loved her style and overall look. She really inspires me fashion wise. I was lucky enough to meet her makeup artist Catalina Su as well and we have kept in contact. I especially love the evolving looks they have tried on Giulanna.
I was also star struck when i meet Adam Levine backstage at the Logies. I was a makeup standby for Channel 9 at the Logies which saw me standing on the side of the stage basically in the dark. The floor manager said ‘the band’ were heading up, so I got myself ready to powder the boys before they performed on stage. As they all walked past me one guy stopped, looked at me, and said, ” Hey there.” I melted… it was Adam Levine! (Laughs)
Meeting Mr Big (Chris Noth) from Sex And The City was also a highlight. We chatted for ages about our favourite places to eat and drink in Melbourne and New York – I am a huge Sex And The City fan!
Who would you love to make up that you haven’t already?
Jennifer Lopez / Kourtney Kardashian because I love their makeup and hairstyles. They both experiment with different looks, which I love. Hair up or down, bright red lip or a nude lip, they look amazing with any look.
Which destinations inspire you?
New York because you can find inspiration everywhere and anywhere – from 5th Ave to central park to a coffee shops in SOHO. I find that New York has this electric pull and as soon as I arrive there I feel it pulls me in. There is creativity all around it. People are motivated and very driven. I say its like a rollercoaster, if you don’t jump on you will be lost and miss out on the ride.
Europe always inspires me as well and that probably has to do with the fact my parents are from different parts of Europe. I love the architecture, history and all the fashion! I also love gettting lost while look at all the amazing shops… particularly shoes! My favourite street in Rome to wonder around was Via del Corso. In Paris I love the opera district, and I always visit Oxvford Street when I’m in London. The best part of all theses beautiful cities is that they encompass the culture of where I come from.
Tell us the funny story about the MET Gala!
In 2013 I was in NYC for a make up show. I took my mum with me and we made it a shopping trip as well as mother/daughter bonding time. We were at our hotel bar having a few gin and tonic’s when I noticed on Instagram that the Met gala was on. We left our drinks unfinished hailed a cab that took us uptown to the Metropolitan Museum.
As we were walking/pushing through the crowd we could see the red carpet and after spotting an unattended TV van I bailed on Mum and climbed up the side ladder with my camera around my neck and ge a better view. I must have looked like a part of the media scrum! I saw Sarah Jessica Parker, Rhianna, Blake Lively and heaps more. Mum was checking it out too, but she was holding our bags… she’s a good wingman!
Who gets their makeup and hair right all the time?
- Jennifer Aniston
- Jennifer Lopez
- Blake lively
- Giuliana Rancic
- The Kardashian sisters Kourtney/ Kim/ Khloe
I think the Kardashians are actually trend setters in makeup these days. They have fun exploring different looks and taking risks but they also know when to pull back. For them contouring is key and they are masters at it.
Which make up artists inspire you?
I have a few I look at regurly, but the one that I have been following lately is Mary Phillips. She is Jennifer Lopez’s hair and makeup artist and I love her style.
What do you prefer?
- Matt or gloss lip – gloss
- Smoky or cat eye – cat eye
- Cream blush or powder – crème and powder, I think you always need both. A good tip is to layer your cheeks to give it dimension. It’s a great way to create angles on your face.
Favourite brands for
Concealer – Mac mineralise bright forecast pen
Foundation- Georgio Armani
Bronzing – MAC mineralize dark
Brushes – MAC brushes are very good quality and last a life time. A tip to keeping your brushes in good condition is to shampoo and condition the way you would your hair.
Hairspray – Eleven Give Me Hold and Kevin Murphy
How important are brushes when applying make up?
Very important. In fact they are the artists tools to creating the final look. Brushes are the extension of your hand. You can get into areas your fingers can’t and create perfect illusions with the stroke of the brush.
What’s the biggest mistake women make with makeup?
The biggest mistake would be that people don’t know when is enough. Sometimes people go a little over board and then it can look all wrong. Starting with a good foundation is also key.
Best advice for women over
30 – keep your look young and fresh and treat your skin as it needs to be treated with care and love. Keep makeup fun and simple. Hair can be playful still in your thirties and I think we should remember that it’s ok to have styled long hair.
40 – explore what you love and go with it. Hair can get a bit shorter and sharper. It’s ok to stay with the trends and looks that suit you.
50+ – have fun with your look but make sure you find a foundation suited to your skin, maybe move more into powder finish rather than a duey look. Hair can be short. Colour should be softer and try to go back to your natural hair colour. When women tend to go brighter as they get older, they tend to look older.
Describe your style?
My style is simple, elegant, fun, monochrome, sleek, comfy.
Best style advice you’ve ever received
Less is more
What’s in your bag?
My diary/life saver! Makeup bag, wallet, coin purse, iPhone, iPhone charger, bills (do they ever end!), lip-gloss, hair ties and bobby pins (you can never have enough of the last two items – I’m forever loosing them)
If you weren’t a make up and hair artist what would you be doing?
Blogging about it (laughs)
We’ve heard you’ve finished up at Channel 10, what do you see yourself doing next…
I’ve decided to return to freelance for the creative freedom and to get some inpsiration. I love meeting new people and being inspired by different situations. I would love to be working in New York at some stage, in fashion and/or TV. Living overseas is something I have always wanted to do and to continue travelling. I also love having more time to focus on my blog www.littledollface.com. Now I can spend time and research my products and listen to what my audience wants to know. Littledollface is the window inside a celebrity hair and makeup artist to give people the information they are looking for from someone with legitimate knowledge and experience.