Kristofer Buckle: Hollywood’s Sought After Makeup Artist Shares His Favorite Things

The Spotlight

-Kristofer Buckle-

The greatest thing about make-up is the illusion it can create. No one blends the illusion and natural beauty better than top celebrity makeup artist Kristofer Buckle. He has a gift for creating glowing skin, gorgeous bone structure and incorporating color beautifully. Maybe he’s highlighting and enhancing what’s already there, or maybe it’s just an illusion. With Kristofer, one will never know, because it looks like her flawless skin, her natural coloring, her stunning symmetry. He’s like a magician in that way, because you notice the woman before you notice the makeup. His brushes and products disappear and revealed is breathtaking glamour.

I wanted to find out how he creates his magic and what he has learned about beauty on his way to the top. Gorgeous skin is always “in,” but during summertime it’s essential. I think his tips will help you tweak some of your techniques to achieve the enviable sexy looks that he does so well.


Interview with Kristofer Buckle:


 Q.  You’ve worked with incredible women, many who are very admired for their looks. Is there a universal truth that joins all women together no matter who we are?

A. Yes. The one thing that all beautiful women have is a smile. It doesn’t have to be painted red or have perfect teeth. Being happy is the first step to any beauty regimen. A smile is an instant face-lift, puts light into the eyes, and sends a positive message. Confidence is another unstoppable attribute to have and, just like thick lashes, it doesn’t have to be real to be effective.


Q. There is a lot of range in your work, but your signature is clean, highlights bone structure and is infused with glamour. What do you do to build that look?  Do you focus on contouring? 

A.  I first approach a face knowing that every face has beauty, so I decide what is distracting from the beauty and reduce it or conceal it.

Contouring is really the basic principal of makeup and I use it to add balance and reinforce shapes.

I then highlight the complexion to magnify the contouring and add light reflection.

The rest is reinforcing all of the beautiful qualities of the face using shapes and colors that are appropriate to the wardrobe, environment, or fashion trends.

*Kristofer’s work gracing the covers of Marie Claire Magazine


Q. I know just recently you were in Paris; you travel a lot. Is makeup regarded differently around the world?

A.  I don’t like to generalize because I’ve been all over the world and, no matter where I go, there are some women who love makeup and others who don’t.


Q. What are a couple of your favorite looks or magazine covers that you’ve done?

A. I love the Rolling Stone cover of Christina Aguilera when she is dressed like a military Vargas pin up girl. It is very period correct and it’s a beautiful example of when makeup, hair, photography and wardrobe come together successfully.

I also love Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic” album art. Strong, graphic and precise.



Q. You’ve worked with famed photographers Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier and many others. Do you have to adjust to the photographer’s artistic concepts and what’s something notable you learned from one of them about makeup and photography?

A. Yes. Annie doesn’t like to see makeup. She likes real, not cosmetic, so I have to hold back and make sure the makeup reads “real.” Steven Meisel taught me that it’s more important to make it right than to make it quick.


Q. You’ve been very gracious in naming products you like from drugstores. What are a couple of affordable products that you recommend?

A. You can find some great stuff at drugstores. L’Oreal Visible Lift is a great concealer.

Revlon PhotoReady is a good foundation. There are so many great lipsticks too!


Q. The luminous looks you produce are drop-dead gorgeous. Are you using mostly cream or powder shimmer to highlight? 

A. I use iridescent powders to create a “dewy” effect on the skin. It creates a reflection that mimics moist skin without being wet or sticky. Using a dry product keeps makeup long-wearing, non-transferable and more predictable/controllable.

You can use eye shadows or I also like Laura Mercier Loose Shimmer Powder in Star Dust.

If you use a cream or liquid formula highlighter, it can look less clean in photographs and become too shiny as the day goes on.



Q. What does it take to get the pristine skin you create? Does it start with skincare? Are there any moisturizers or foundations you favor?

A. I love Dr. Brandt products for the skin. His line has a solution for every problem your skin may have. A perfect canvas can be faked with makeup, but why fake what you can avoid.

I really love the Tom Ford Traceless Cream Foundations. They are emollient and well pigmented. They don’t change the texture of the skin and they wear very well. They also don’t require much powder to set it.


Another of Kristofer’s looks that captures the radiant skin, balance and sheer beauty that he delivers.


Makeup artist Kristofer Buckle’s impeccable eye and unfailing devotion to the perfect balance of intrinsic beauty and the power of makeup has garnered the attention of the beauty, fashion, and film world alike. His reputation for strong bone structure with attention to individual style and innate glamour has consistently made him a popular name with Hollywood A-listers such as Renée Zellweger, Sharon Stone, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Demi Moore. He was then catapulted onto the fashion scene when Steven Meisel booked him for the cover of Italian Vogue. Kristofer’s work has since been featured on the covers and in the pages of Allure, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and i-D. 
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