Few things get us more excited than getting to peek inside the mind of a creative genius. Julie Cusson is a Canadian makeup artist whose work graces the covers of Elle, Vanity Fair, Flare Magazine and many more. Her artistry has allowed her to work on major beauty campaigns, create red carpet looks, and landed her the coveted position of official Chanel makeup artist for Canada. We sat down with Ms. Cusson to hear her ideas for reinventing your holiday look, when to spend vs. save, and a few products every woman should invest in!


DTK: What has your journey been like?

JC: I was studying literature and cinema when I fell in love with the idea of being makeup artist. I started to explore different avenues in makeup and finally I did my first photo shoot and realized that I wanted to work in fashion.  For many years I increased my knowledge of designers, arts, iconic models, and international fashion photographers in order to understand the power of a picture and the role of a makeup artist in the creative process.  Being a makeup artist is about more than applying a shade; it’s also about understanding features; bringing out the power of a face.  That’s why I often say that I see my work as a form of sculpture.

I have worked with famous models, actors for cover shoots, and I recently discovered another passion: creating red carpet makeup looks for celebrities. A few years ago, my work was presented to Chanel and they selected me as their Canadian makeup artist. Since then, I’ve worked with Chanel Canada on numerous projects, from editorials to red carpets.. When people point out that I have done a lot, I like to think:  it’s just the beginning!


What is the biggest beauty innovation in recent years?

Makeup brushes!


Three Chanel products every woman should own?

Le Blanc de Chanel multi-use illuminating base, Rouge Allure Ink, La Palette Sourcils de Chanel brow powder duo.


What are the common mistakes most women make when applying makeup?

I see a lot of women choosing their foundation product only because it’s trendy. You should always ask yourself: how is my complexion; what is my type of skin; what is the result I would like when I apply a foundation? And then make an informed choice.

Also, if you decide to wear bold colour on your lips, choose a long lasting formula to make sure your lips will always be impeccable.


How can we keep our skin looking dewy and radiant during the winter months?

Use a moisturizer with a rich texture to keep a glow on your skin.  Then, the key to a dewy skin look is a CC cream.  The CC cream will correct complexion, smooth out imperfections, maintain hydration and protect your skin. On top, use a liquid illuminator to bring out more radiance.

Contouring vs. strobing vs. highlighting: It can be so confusing to navigate between the three. Can you explain the difference?

  • Contouring is creating some depth, [adding] some structure to your face with darker shading.

Strobing is defining your features with shimmer powder, keeping everything shiny. So it’s the same technique as contouring but you use bright, shimmery shades to structure your face in order to bring out the contours.

  • Highlighting is when you bring out highlights on specific parts of your face.


All three of these techniques look amazing at night, but how can we make them work during the day?

These techniques mean you are going to layer a couple of products, so limit your action to 3, max 4 products to not look cakey.


A luxury-only beauty cabinet isn’t entirely realistic. Which products do you find are worth the investment?

Skin care products, perfume, and foundation!


What’s an affordable way to add extra holiday glamour to one’s look?

With a smokey eye or bare eyelid, I love to put Vaseline on top to create a high gloss on the eye makeup.


What do you suggest for a unique holiday party look?  

Play with red lips or red shades on the eyes; so strong, feminine! And if you’re feeling inspired, use waterproof lashes glue to add some sequins, diamonds or fake precious stones around your eyes.


Let’s fast-forward a bit to spring. What can we expect in terms of beauty trends?

Next spring is so inspiring!  The spring 2017 runway shows are literally a splash of pop and bright colours, major prints, and metallic items.  And the spring 2017 makeup trends are simply the mirror of this: intense colours, pink on nails, vibrant red-coral on lips, natural shine on skin, and metallic gold—platinum shades are hot. You can apply each one of these trends with a minimalist approach.


Can you give us a hint of what we can expect from Chanel in the coming months?

I travel a lot and I can’t wait to try the new eye mask from Chanel Le Lift. For Spring, Lucia Pica (Chanel‘s Global Creative Make up and Colour Designer) designed a new top coat that changes the original nail colour when you apply it on top of nail colour; it’s perfect when you don’t have time to change your nail shade! My life story!