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Beauty Secrets with Marc Harvey

In Part One of this webinar, various topics were discussed, including:

  • Marc’s professional background, and his story as an “accidental makeup artist”.
  • The celebrities Marc has worked with, and how his product lines have even been featured in popular movies such as The Hunger Games.
  • How, as the first African American man to be recognized as a beauty expert, Marc has been known to break barriers within the industry.
  • The importance of diversity and range within your makeup skillset, as well as understanding color science and makeup theory.
  • Tips and advice for developing strong relationships with both clients and vendors.
  • How to develop your brand, and how you can succeed in the makeup world.
  • Marc’s business brand, as well as an in-depth look at his makeup and skincare lines.

The free knowledge that Marc shares during his interview is the type of career insight that most people would pay to have. We strongly encourage you to check out this interview, as it’s definitely not to be missed!

Part two of Nathan’s webinar focuses on Marc demonstrating the full effects and potential of airbrush makeup, by creating 3 different looks on a female model: a Natural makeup look, a Bridal airbrush application and Marc’s take on Editorial airbrush makeup.

Learn more about Marc Harvey

Expert Tips

Start with Skincare

On the topic of skincare, you never know what sort of skin your client is going to have. It may be smooth and flawless, but it may also be poorly kept! Furthermore, as a professional, you need to know what type of skin your client has. Start by having a chat with your client and asking her questions.

Find out if she has a skincare routine, what it is, and what products she uses. If your hands are clean, you can touch her face to get a feel for her skin as well. Is it dry? Oily? Are there any blemishes or acne? These are all of the things you need to find out.

Restoring the Skin’s Natural Moisture with Jojoba Oil

Before Marc applies any makeup, he first ensures that the natural moisture barrier in his client’s skin is restored. He does this by spritzing her face with a skincare product known as jojoba oil, and then gently tapping it into her skin with his fingers.

Packed with vitamins, fragrance-free, non-allergenic, and anti-microbial, jojoba oil is a type of rose water that also creates the effect of instantaneously brightening the skin. As the day wears on, Marc insists that this product will keep your makeup looking fresh. That being said, it’s not just makeup that will be accentuated—jojoba oil makes sure that above all else, your skin is the star.

Make Sure You Prep

The most common question Marc says he gets is, “What do you prep with for airbrushing?” The answer, and Marc’s personal recommendation? MySkincAir Anti-Aging Elixir!

Apply a little bit of product around your client’s face and then lightly work it into the skin. Don’t forget to add a bit of coverage to the neck, and extra coverage around the client’s mouth. After all, there’s extra dryness there, especially during the colder months.

Pro Tip

It’s a popular misconception that prep is not necessary for airbrush makeup. This is wrong! Most airbrush looks need prep, or your client’s skin will suffer for your mistake! Marc admits that some airbrush makeup looks can’t have prep beforehand, but that’s simply because of the quality of the paint being used. As a standard practice, always prep the skin before applying any airbrush makeup.

Start with Conventional Makeup

You might think that airbrush makeup wouldn’t also include any traditional makeup as well, but this isn’t the case. In reality, you don’t do everything with airbrush makeup! All 3 looks that Marc is creating involve a balance of the two.

Color Correcting

After prepping the skin, use concealer to cover up any dark spots your client has around the face, such as under her eyes. On his model, Marc he relies on his knowledge of color science to color correct. Because the model has darker skin, he first applies a more golden hue beneath her eyes, before applying a lighter color overtop. This will prevent his model’s skin from appearing ashy.

Precision when applying makeup is key! Always keep your layers sheer and thin, and then build over them to increase the strength of the coverage! This will produce a much more natural-looking effect than simply caking it all on at once. It will also reduce the risk of melting, cracking, or needing to use a ton of powder on top.

Next, your client’s skin needs to have its blemishes, marks, and/or discoloration fixed. This will be done by color correcting the skin it neutralizes. This way, everything becomes one even tone. When additional makeup is added over it later, the results will be more natural, and have a consistent flow. Color correcting will be done using your airbrush machine.

Airbrush Color Science

Marc breaks this down as follows: The even numbers in his Exclusive Airbrush Foundation Collection are your red-pink undertones and the odd numbers are your golden, yellow, olive undertones. If you then have a client whose skin might be a combination of both, you can then color correct by using both even and odd products together.

Knowing Your Client’s Skin Shade

In order to color correct your client’s skin, first you have to know what shade it is in the first place. Once you know how to do this, you’ll be able to look at a client and make an educated guess straight away as to the color(s) needed for her face. To start, you should be able to look at someone and know which skin group they fall into: Fair/Light (0-3), Medium (3-6), Tan (7-10), Brown (11-13), or Deep (14-16)

the skin tone spectrum of colors

Once you narrow down which skin group your client is in, then you can consider the different shades within the group. You can narrow it down further from there. For example, Marc’s model’s has tan skin. Since you know that, you’ll then know that there are only 3 to 4 choices for the exact color of her skin. You can then work from there to color correct and build coverage accordingly.

When first color matching to your client’s skin, the prime spot to do this test is the neck and jaw. Your goal is to try to match as closely as possible to your client’s skin tone, so that you don’t see the undertones naturally. If you want to add them on top of the natural skin color as nuances afterwards, that option will be up to you.

Embrace the Different Colors of the Face

That being said: if your client’s face naturally has different skin shades in different areas (such as vitiligo), don’t cover it up! Honor these natural shades as they are, as these are the codes her skin is exhibiting. She was born with that “natural contour”, so don’t take it away from her!

When Using the Airbrush Machine…

Marc openly admits: there is NO secret, one-size-fits-all way of using the airbrush! However, there are tips that can help you improve your technique!

For starters, when getting used to the air pressure of the machine, don’t practice on somewhere else’s skin. Instead, try it on your own (such as your arm or wrist), or a piece of paper. When pulling the nozzle back to release the makeup, it’s unnecessary to pull it all the way back, as this will release too much air pressure. As you gain experience with an airbrush machine, you’ll get a feel for how much to pull it back, in order to release soft and hard pressures.

When using the airbrush on a client—unless you’re zeroing in to cover, correct, or create finer details—try to keep your hand a few inches away from the face. Bringing it too close will result in the makeup being splotchy, uneven, and way too heavy. To prevent your client’s hair from getting in the way, simply push it back and cover the hairline with your hand or fingers.

When color correcting and/or applying even coverage, focus first on the areas that have discoloration.

For the airbrush colors themselves, always make sure you shake the packages before using them, as the colors will settle otherwise (especially darker hues, since they contain more pigment). Use no more than 2 to 3 drops of color in the airbrush machine at a time. Marc also suggests that when working on a client’s face, go with its natural angles and shape. It’ll make the application process a lot smoother.

Pro Tip

Use a “powder block” to avoid getting any excess airbrush makeup on unwanted areas. A powder block is when you pack more powder than usual onto the area you wish to protect, and don’t blend it in. Should there be fall-away from the airbrush machine, you can then clean it off the unwanted areas, without it damaging the work you’ve done!

Airbrush Look #1

a natural look


A natural beauty look is the most practical, in terms of everyday wear. It’s also the look most popular in skincare ads! The beauty of the natural look is that your client will essentially look exactly the same—except with skin that everybody’s jealous of!

Keep in mind that all colors used on Marc’s model in these 3 makeup looks are chosen based on HER skin shade! If your client’s skin is different, use your knowledge of makeup theory and color science to select the appropriate colors.

Having already prepped his model’s skin, color corrected it, and added contour, Marc then completes the rest of this look. To replicate it yourself, you would do the following:

1. Contour

Add saturation and dimensions back into your client’s skin by mixing in the deepest color shade in her skin shade range.

2. Highlight

Bring the lighter tones and highlights back to your client’s face. Do this by choosing one number lighter than the lowest number in her skin group. For example, Marc’s model is tan, and tan falls between 7 and 10. To pop up the highlights on her face, Marc chooses a 6. Focus on highlighting above and below the contoured areas, particularly along the shelf of her cheekbones.

3. Add bronzer

Give your client’s skin a sun-kissed glow. The three main places to apply it are her cheekbones (at the contour), the bridge of her nose, and her eyes.

4. Set with powder

This is an optional step, used if you feel your client’s skin may react to the makeup throughout the day. One such reaction may be creasing. If you notice her makeup is creasing, simply smooth it out with a brush or your clean fingers, before setting the look with powder.

5. Fill in the brows

After brushing her brows with a spoolie, fill them in lightly with hair-like strokes. To keep them looking as natural as possible, it’s OKAY to leave gaps. If you fill them in completely, it creates a fake, stenciled appearance.

6. Add extra contour

Marc takes a #14 and adds a very faint contour underneath his model’s cheekbones. Moving to the area beneath the inner corners of each eyebrow, the idea is to contour downwards, creating a narrowing effect of the bridge of his client’s nose.

7. Gloss the lips

A simple, thin layer of transparent, shiny lip gloss is all you need.

8. Add a hint of blush

Like with the last step, only a little product is required. Adding in this blush mimics the natural pinkness of her cheeks.

Now you’re done, congrats! Watch Marc exact this look in full detail.

Airbrush Look #2


Building upon the previous look, Marc advises that you would create this bridal makeup in the following steps:

1. Add a hint of pink to the upper eyelids

Use the same pink you used for your client’s blush, and apply it using the airbrush machine.

2. Build bronzer on the eyes

Choose a bronzer that works naturally with your client’s skin type, then build the coverage on top of the eye. The goal is to create a shadow, while accentuating her natural crease.

3. Lighten the eyelids

Using a regular brush, choose a pinky, creamy, or beigey shade. Apply it over the eyelid. Keep it contained to below/within your client’s crease. Not only does this correct any textural issues that the eyelid may have, it also darkens the bronzer on the crease, thus adding even more dimension!

4. Darken the crease

Go back in with a darker contour color and add the slightest bit of product to further darken the crease of his model’s eyes. Remember to keep the outer corner of the eyeshadow aimed on an upward diagonal. If it points downward (towards the cheek), it’ll make your client’s eyes look droopy. Marc demonstrates how to use his finger to create this upward angle.

5. Make a smoky eye

Use a blending brush, and add a slightly darker (but still natural) hue to the outer corner of your client’s eyes. Blend it in and layer it on to gradually create a darkened, organic smoky look.

6. Add a sunrise shimmer to the eyes

Going back to the airbrush, now it’s time to add some gold to both the center of the upper lids and the inner corners. It’ll not only make the center of your client’s eyes pop, it’ll contrast well with the darker shades you’ve already laid down.

7. Outline the waterline

Using a tight brush and a dark brown shade, outline the waterline of your client’s eyes. Afterwards, blend a lighter brown directly under the waterline to soften the line and give the under-eye a softly smudged look.

8. Highlight beneath the smoky eye

To sharpen the smoky look beneath the eye, take a very light shade. With a tight brush, apply just the tiniest amount directly underneath the dark brown applied in the last step. After letting this lighter product set for a short period of time, blend it into your client’s skin. For extra contour, you can gently pat that light shade down her nose, outside of the contour. This adds even more shape!

9. Open up her eyes

Take a white eyeliner pencil and color in your client’s waterline. This will make her eyes appear larger.

10. Fill in her lips

Using a flat brush, select a slightly darker shade that compliments your client’s skin tone, and apply it evenly across her lips.

Marc ends the bridal look here, but you can watch each of the above steps broken down further.

Note: To complete both the natural and bridal looks, you would also do your client’s lashes as well. The only reason Marc has not incorporated this step is because he’s transitioning each look into the next, and lashes will be dealt with during the editorial makeup look.

Airbrush Look #3


Editorial makeup is typically seen in fashion, on magazine covers, and during photoshoots. It tends to be bolder and more extreme. This is so it can be easily picked up on camera, seen from a distance (such as if the model is on a runway), etc. That being said, an editorial look can easily be an “everyday” look, too! It’s whatever you and your client want it to be!

Marc continues to expand upon the first two makeup looks he’s done for us, and transitions over to the third and final look. This editorial look is achieved in the following steps:

1. Add the plum to the upper eyelids

Creating that same upward diagonal with your finger (like you did in Step 4 of the bridal look), use the airbrush machine to add a plum color to the smoky effect already created on your client’s upper eyes. You’ll notice how complimentary this plum shade is with the golden sunrise shade—gorgeous!

2. Accentuate the outward corners of the eyes

With the darkest brown, use the airbrush machine and go in a little closer to the very outer corners of your client’s eyes. Spray it into the corner, and then work it ever so subtly into the outer crease. Look how much depth this adds!

3. Build more contour

Marc then adds just a tiny bit more contouring to the bridge of his model’s nose. Using the shade best suited for your client’s skin tone, you can do this, too, should more contouring be necessary. Additional contouring is added at the very high-end of the cheekbones, near the ears. This deepens the angles, which will make them pop more on camera.

4. Create a luminous glow

Using the Cotton Candy color, hold the airbrush machine a bit further from your client’s face. Spray back and forth over her cheeks and temples, then add some below her eyebrow (above the eye makeup). It’s subtle, but will catch the light in all the right ways whenever she turns her head.

5. Brush out the brows

You can also choose to make them darker, if you’d like. This is optional, though. You can simply brush them out and then set them with eyebrow wax.

6. Apply eyeliner

Using an eyeliner brush, take a dark shade and then brush it into and across your client’s upper eyelid. Add the slightest wing. You can also layer onto it with a liquid liner at the lash-line. Feel free to go back in with an eyeliner pencil afterwards, to make sure everything is fully filled in. Once finished up top, use the eyeliner pencil on your client’s waterline as well.

7. Bolden the eyeliner with shadow

With the eyeliner brush, you can then take a little bit of shadow (a dark color to blend easily with the liner) and work it into the eyeliner on the upper lids. You can also lengthen the wing and make it bigger.

8. Brighten the inner corners of the eyes

Marc uses the Pearl color from his makeup line, but you can use a light, white hue of your choosing. Apply the slightest bit of the product onto the inner corners of your client’s eyes, to highlight them. Should you wish to make this highlighter pop even more, take your airbrush machine and add just the tiniest bit more contour along the bridge of your client’s nose.

9. Add bronzer

Add it to your client’s cheekbones and temples. You can even add some on the inner corners of her eyes (opposite the highlight), before bringing it down the bridge of her nose. This bumps up the look!

10. Fill in her lips

Keep in mind that Marc’s model already had darker product on her lips for the bridal look. He then goes over this using his airbrush, with the Cotton Candy color. Doing this will make your client’s lips bright and shiny! You can then use a slightly darker shade of eyeshadow (along with an eyeliner brush) to add some lip liner. Lastly, you can then go back to your airbrush, and apply a darker, natural shade back onto the lips. This will quiet down the look ever so slightly, while still maintaining that bold vibe.

11. Under-eye highlight

With the airbrush, add just a bit of highlighting beneath the eyes. If your client’s eyes are naturally recessed, this helps to reduce this appearance. At the very least, it contributes even more to that sun-kissed look!

12. Do her eyelashes

After curling the lashes, apply mascara. Should your client also want false lashes, apply them after the mascara has been put on.

The look is now complete, yay! You can watch each step of this editorial look in exact detail.

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