MVL Chat w/ Celebrity Makeup Artist Stephen Moleski

July 10, 2011

By Katrice 

I knew Stephen Moleski's work before I knew Stephen Moleski. In the midst of planning my look for this year's Trumpet Awards, I came across a photo of the standard-bearing Kim K. smokey eye and sent it to my makeup artist with a note: "This is it." The photo led me to the celebrity makeup artist's YouTube tutorials and well, here we are. His delivery of the sultry daytime smoked out look, changed my whole take on dark dramatic eyes as only wearable at night. Thank goodness Stephen brought us into the light. But, his eye work -- only a mere introduction to his portfolio at large. His clientele includes entertainers like Nicole Scherzinger, The Pussycat Dolls, Julianne Hough, Adrienne Bailon and Mel B. as well as an impressive assembling of magazine credits such as Vanity Fair, People, Details, FHM, Radar, Maxim, Playboy, Women's Health and others.

I got a surprise package of his new faux lash line Smoke & Mirrors Beauty Lashes in the mail last month, and immediately became a fan of the "New Yorks" and the man behind the masterpiece collection. 

MVL: What made lashes the first beauty item from your line?

Stephen: Well, I do all the glam girls. I started my career working with Play Boy and then I did "The Girls Next Door," and then I worked with Kim {Kardashian} and The Pussy Cat Dolls. And everyone would always ask, 'what lashes do you use?' I would always design them specifically for my clients, so finally my business partner Niki {Toney-Pressley} and I got business savvy and developed a line a little more sensibly, and came out with Smoke and Mirrors Beauty Lashes.

MVL: Of the seven styles, what is the most popular?

Stephen: The "New Yorks" are my favorite just because they're not over the top and you can wear them without putting mascara on but still have a mascara look. Plus, you can wear them a long time. But, I think the "Nashvilles" and "Vegases" [sic] {are the most popular}. The "Vegases" are the ones I designed for Kim Kardashian and so anything really attached to that name is very popular. And then there is the "Heart" lash, which is a limited edition, that I did for Carrie Underwood's wedding. Those sold out very quickly. But, probably of the whole line –- I think the "Nashvilles" are the most popular.

MVL: What do you think will be your next product?

Stephen: I'm really big into highlighters because I think for any ethnicity or skin tone, you can highlight and make the biggest difference in your overall look. And it also works with any age. So, probably a highlighting product will be my next move.
{Kim Kardashian}

MVL: When did you know you'd officially made it as a makeup artist?

Stephen: Whenever people Googled me. But, honestly, I've never really thought about having made it. I think whenever people started e-mailing me and saying I was an inspiration to them, and that they strived to have my career -– I knew I was doing a good job. The whole concept of “making it” doesn't make sense to me because everyone's making their dreams happen on whatever path life brings them. When people ask me, 'how did you get to where you're at,' I say, 'luck.' I literally met the right people … people respected me, word of mouth … I've never really had an agent; I've done it on my own. And it really is God's blessing and the Universe playing the right cards. I'm a big believer in Karma and what you put out there, you get back. I've just always done my passion and stayed true to myself.

MVL: Who are your industry mentors?

Stephen: Kevyn Aucoin was my inspiration. Ever since I knew I wanted to do makeup, I followed his career. I always took note of his motto and what people said about him and how they respected him. It wasn't so much the makeup, it was about the energy that he put off when he was doing someone's makeup and how he made them feel. So, Kevyn Aucoin is by all means my top inspiration. Other people in the industry that I really respect: Sam Fine is amazing. Billy b is pretty ingenious with some of the stuff he's come up with for Lady Gaga; it's completely out of beauty but it's so fashion forward. And then Scott Barnes is another living legend because if I'm known for Kim Kardashian, he's known for JLo and they're pretty much neck in neck. 

MVL: What beauty item(s) should every girl have in her makeup bag?

Stephen: A good eyelash curler, mascara, a tinted moisturizer, bronzer and lip gloss. Mac Studio Fix Mascara is my favorite right now. 

{Melanie Fiona}

MVL: Can you offer my readers a quick makeup tip that we may be looking over in our makeup routine?

Stephen: The biggest misconception with makeup is foundation. People will spend all this money on foundation and struggle to match their skin. It starts with good skincare. Put your money into your skincare and not your makeup. You're trying to achieve perfect skin and having a healthy skin regimen starts with doing facials and doing exfoliation like the Clarisonic skin brush, which is all my clients' secret to having tight, beautiful, glowing skin. It begins with good skin care and then worrying about going to a concealer and tinted moisturizer. 

For more info on Smoke & Mirrors Beauty Lashes visit: and

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  1. I got my eye on him! :-)

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