Interview with Allison Giroday

Hello and welcome all! Today we have an interview with Makeup Artist Allison Giroday. She offers us some insights and advice on the industry, as well as some tips for achieving that summer look! Find all that and more below!

Thank you so much for this opportunity! I’m excited to share a perspective not often highlighted in the entertainment industry.

Thank you for having me! I’m very happy to be sharing some behind the scenes insight.

Q. What got you into makeup initially?

My obsession with makeup transformation started very early on. I was in my Mom’s makeup bag so often that she’d have to hide it from me. [laughs] My love for it never died, it grew from there, so it only made sense that I eventually made a career out of it!

Q. What was your journey like? Were there any specific challenges you faced? Did you find you had it easier or harder as a woman coming up in the industry?

Upon completing the makeup artistry diploma program at the school I went to, I took a job with a cosmetics retail chain. That was a valuable experience because I was quite young and didn’t really know where to start. I then had to work very hard and make sacrifices to build a name for myself in the freelance world after leaving the company and venturing out on my own. It was tough and I felt stuck at times.

I don’t think my gender has impacted my success. It comes down to having the passion and drive to stick things out, continue to evolve and perfect your craft. That in combination with being professional, humble and positive develops the type of person that people want to have around. Those are some of the things that can make or break your success.

Q. Are there any funny stories you could tell? And are there any jobs that you’ve passed up that you wish you hadn’t?

There was one time where I missed out on an opportunity to work with a very famous boxer. I would have loved to have worked with him. He was legendary so it would have been so interesting but I missed the call due to a half asleep,  pre-coffee move. I meant to place my phone beside me into the cupholder of the car, forgetting that my smoothie was already there! [laughs]

Q. What has been your favorite project that you worked on and why?

I have so many favorites but a recent highlight was the Juno Awards. It’s an annual event and the biggest night in Canadian music. It’s an event that is exciting to be a part of and with it comes a lot of pressure. The night can get stressful because it’s jam-packed with events and the pace is very fast. But everyone is there because they’re great at what they do and it’s a very special night with so much incredible talent in one room. The energy is electric. It’s really quite something.

Q. What is your favorite aspect of working in the industry?

I think the beauty industry can sometimes be perceived as shallow or superficial revolving around vanity purposes only. But it really goes so much deeper than that and if certain people only knew, I think they would wind up having a newfound respect for it. I’ve worked with so many women who were going through some hard situations and challenges and were struggling emotionally because of them. It’s amazing what feeling beautiful can do for someone’s confidence and spirit even if it’s temporary. Nobody needs makeup but it’s fun and it can be empowering and embracing femininity is something that should be celebrated.

Q. What are some of your always have on hand products?

Some of my currents favorites are my beauty blenders. I don’t know what I did before they were around. They’re just the best tool. I must always have a setting spray as I love a Dewy finish at the moment. Right now I’m using one by Tatcha most often. I also have to have my Kevyn Aucoin concealers, MAC Strobe Cream, Loreal Voluminous Mascara and Becca cream highlighters.

Credit to Liz Rosa

Q.Is there a beauty product you wish existed but hasn’t come around yet?

I used to imagine a brush cleaning device because washing brushes always felt like a chore, it would take so long. My friend and I would talk about inventing one. I should have jumped on it because now it exists and let me tell you, it’s a game changer! I can clean my brushes to perfection in 10 minutes.

Q. Do you have a favorite era or trend for makeup?

I love a bold lip as well as a smoky eye. I also adore a winged liner. These are classics that came out of different eras and they’re all fantastic.  I’m also loving a “no makeup” makeup where skin and soft, brushed-up brows take center stage.

Q. If you hadn’t gotten into makeup, what do you think your career would be?

It’s hard to imagine having any other career because I feel like this is my calling. I have however had some jobs in my earlier, pre-career years which included a retirement home, a daycare center as well as working in bars and restaurants. They’re quite different but the commonalities there are that I love to help people, and I get to be sociable and personable. What I do for a living encompasses all of those things, and I get to make a living from doing what I love and being creative.

Q. Is there a pet project that you have that you’d like to see come to fruition?

I’m so grateful for many opportunities and experiences that have come my way because they’re all enjoyable and rewarding. Because of that, it never feels like work to me, even though I work really hard. There are many moments that can make you feel like you’ve “made it”, but I’m always looking forward to the next big thing. I’m not sure that there’s one great artist out there who doesn’t dream of aligning with a Vogue cover and having their work seen on such a legendary fashion bible. I think that’s the ultimate goal. It is the longest-running, top selling, and arguably the most influential fashion/lifestyle publication in the world; it’s been around since the 1800s! I don’t know what tops that.

Q. Do you have any advice for those looking to work in makeup?

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received when I was first starting out was, be very selective about who you work with when you’re trying to build your book. You’re only as good as the whole team. Choose wisely, take risks,  and go after what you want. Put 110% into everything you do and never get too comfortable. Always try and find ways to make your makeup better than your last and stay current. Keep a “big picture” mindset. And I’ll say that I think working in an establishment/for a brand and/or assisting someone can be very beneficial because there is so much to learn in the industry. Not just in regards to the artistry itself, but the business side of things. I started out this way and I don’t regret it.

Q. Working in the industry must be stressful. Do you do anything on the job to help you relax?

There are times that can get stressful but usually they have to do with time constraints. In those times, you just need to be focused, but I find doing makeup to be extremely therapeutic and relaxing. Being organized and prepared is key to things running smoothly and I always like to have snacks and water on hand. Being hangry or dehydrated is not so zen. I also have a short sleeve and a long sleeve in my bag so that I’m always comfortable and I love the energy of rose quartz which I always keep with me.

Q. If you could have a lifetime supply of any product, what would it be?

I go through so many lashes, it’s the one thing I find myself having to restock the most so I’d probably have to say that. Also Lamer foundation. It’s an investment but it’s worth all of the hype. It’s DIVINE, so a lifetime supply of that would be like winning the lottery.

Q. Do you have any beauty tips for our readers? I’m sure we’d all love to hear anything you are willing to share.

Beauty starts with great skin. Own both a great exfoliator and moisturizer. When it comes to makeup, I love a less is more approach. I love a sheer finish foundation or just a BB cream or serum and then I like to apply concealer only where necessary. Another thing you can do is add a few drops of beauty oil with your concealer and custom blend your own foundation, that way it can also make your product last longer over time. I like to use minimal powder and instead use setting sprays. Cream blushes and highlighters are beautiful if you like a dewy fresh skin effect. And I always like to tell people rather than applying too much too soon, its’ best to start small; you can always build upon that if you desire. Also, our hands often times can be our best tools.

Once again I’d love to say thank you to Allison for this awesome interview! It’s great seeing a fellow Canadian being successful in such a competitive industry. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @allisongiroday and @allisongirodaymakeup respectively!