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Carolina STYLE Magazine

Carolina STYLE Magazine

Style Beauty Q & A: Laura Mercier’s Jody Formica


Style Beauty Q & A: Laura Mercier’s Jody Formica

MakeUp NewYork 2013 was an informative event with great networking outlets for beauty professionals within the industry.

Amongst the talented attendees was NYC based Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Jody Formica; Carolina STYLE Magazine had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Jody to ask the questions all makeup lovers want to know.

Carolina STYLE Magazine: What made you want to become part of the beauty industry?

Jody Formica: When I was in high school I worked at a department store in the accessories department, which was right next to cosmetics. I longed to be one of the elegant women who worked there with their flawless complexions, red lips and dramatic eyes. Even then I would buy high-end makeup and try to make the beauty advisers notice me with my way-too-intense-for-my-age makeup application; but, well, I was a kid wearing too much makeup for whom they just didn’t have the time. If you haven’t noticed, they generally don’t hire kids in cosmetics.  Soon, I found myself representing Lancome, while studying art history at Virginia Commonwealth University. I ultimately became a global trainer for Aveda – that was a glamorous life! Now I am a freelance makeup artist that has dabbled in almost every aspect of the beauty and entertainment industries. It is as much fun as you would imagine (most of the time)!

CSM: What are the must haves for every makeup kit?

JF: For my on-set kit, I am all about being prepared, which translates as over packing. I make sure I have a complete skincare system for various skin conditions, double stick tape, clothes pins, safety pins, nail polishes, hair styling products…. oh, and makeup! Lots and lots of makeup. I couldn’t get by without Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage (all eight of them!) and Translucent Loose Powder + powder puff, Kevyn Aucoin Medium Contour Powder, Shu Uemura Seal Brown Pencil, a range of matte eyeshadow, but especially a rich brown, a taupe and a subtle peach. I also love Laura Mercier’s Creme Eyeliners – they are creamy and easy to apply especially with a Flat Eyeliner Brush or Angled Eyeliner Brush. My favorite brushes are dual fiber brushes for a subtle, build-able application – adesign makes a great line of them.

Below: The adesign brushes.  Photo Credit:
CSM: What eye makeup strategy do you recommend for women with brown eyes?

JF: The choices for brown eyes are nearly limitless! Brown eyes come to life with color, but not necessarily bold color, although that can be a lot of fun when appropriate, of course. If your brown eyes reflect a golden green, enhance that with purples; if there are glints of amber, accentuate that with blues and cool grays; if rich red dominates your big browns, bring that out with a little green. It’s the contrast that brightens the hues in the iris of the eye. Brown shadows are still an option, of course, but something with a little warmth (pink, red, orange) works best. And black eyeliner for pop!

CSM: Being a makeup artist you witness first hand the dos and don’ts of makeup application.  What are some common beauty mistakes?  

JF: The mistake I encounter almost daily is the use of bronzer ALL OVER the face. You might as well just use a darker foundation if you are dusting on bronzer from ear to ear, chin to hairline. I prefer a more strategic placement that accentuates your bone structure: at the perimeter of the hair-line, under the cheekbones at the hinge of the jaw brushed subtly forward, down the sides of the nose, along the jawline to strengthen or minimize and on the neck just under the chin where light can not reach and glows white against a tan face and décolleté. 

I also find that eyebrows are either completely ignored or have been the focus of your attention for a lifetime, in other words, over-tweezed. Brows should be subtly defined with a pencil or powder that is a dull version of your hair color (like your brows) to create a subtle shadow behind your existing brows. You don’t want to be able to read color in your brows.  I realize that years of following brow trends can leave us a little sparse. That is when you may have to rely on pencil and powder to recreate your brows. It looks a little less artificial and has greater longevity if you layer the two.

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres


CSM: What do you consider the three most essential makeup must haves?


1) Almost everyone needs, yes, needs mascara! It can open up the eyes and make them appear bigger. I prefer black for the majority of women, except when lashes and brows are very blond.

2) Brow definer, whether it’s a pencil or powder, a defined brow serves as not just a frame for the eyes, but for the face as well. They are like half a pair of parentheses (the other half being your lips). You can even change your appearance by lengthening or shortening your brows – they are magical!

3) Lip color, the other half of the parentheses, will lend balance to your brows and can take you from a daytime look to an evening look with just a shift in depth or definition. The most versatile color you can choose is RED! Yes, red is “neutral lipstick” and works with anything you wear, even jeans. Press a sheer amount onto your lips for a natural look or layer on full coverage for full on glamour.

CSM: What would you say is your signature look?

JF: I’m known for a defined, natural look. It sounds antithetical, but when makeup is well blended, no matter how intense, it has the appearance of being more natural, where deep contour shades blend to mid-tones and to highlights seamlessly. I also favor the “tight-line” – a Laura Mercier technique, where liner is tucked into the roots of the lashes from below and above, enveloping the roots of lashes with a fine flat brush for a lush lash look and definition that is understated but undeniable. Facial features can be lost without contouring and highlighting the bone structure, which also makes the skin seem to glow, even when matte products are used.

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

CSM: What beauty advice would you give our readers?

JF: When you go to the department store or beauty boutique, and you are ready for a full makeup application, seek out an artist or line whose makeup is what you visualize for yourself. If you don’t see anyone whose makeup you would want to sport, do a little research and provide a photo from a magazine or one of yourself that has always garnered compliments, as a reference for the artist. They may not be able to make you look exactly like the celebrity, but it gives guidance.

You have so many choices when it comes to makeup, so experiment and have fun with it. Try to step outside your comfort zone, even if it’s just baby steps away from your go-to colors. As we mature, the inclination is to stay matte and subtle, but low-contrast matte can look flat and dry. A satin finish shadow can make the skin appear more supple and dimensional than matte.

Most importantly, keep in mind that flawless makeup starts with flawless skin, so be open to skincare suggestions – exfoliate and hydrate! It makes the most noticeable difference in the way your makeup looks.


Jody Formica demonstrated one of the hottest makeup trends- the infamous ombré lips.

Below: Ombré Lips; the outer corners of the lips start with a dark shade of lipstick while gradually lightening towards the middle of the pout.


Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

The Smokey Eye never gets old! This look combines a deep blue eyeshadow on the lid and plum pigment on the crease; pair this look with red lips this holiday season!

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

Photo Credit: Bianca Torres

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Bianca Torres is a native New Yorker with a natural passion for fashion, beauty, celebrity gossip and cuisine. Case Manager turned blogger, shortly after her relocation to Raleigh, NC she began volunteering for local events and found Carolina STYLE Magazine.  Shortly after, she also began writing for Carolina STYLE, working her way up to Contributing Lifestyle Editor. After her promotion, Bianca returned back home to New York and became the magazine's NYC Market Editor.  Currently, she hold the position of Content Manager for Dutchess County Legislator Francena Amparo and writes for as an NY Beauty/ Celebrity Examiner. Editor, blogger, foodie and cosmetic connoisseur, Bianca loves to give the inside scoop on the latest trends. Contact Bianca at: Website: Facebook: Bianca Torres Tumblr.: Fashion Beauty Culture Twitter: @bianca_inc Instagram: @bianca_inc Pinterest: Bianca Torres

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