Last month I got the opportunity to attend the MAC Pro Masterclass in Milan hosted by
Francesca Tolot. As the only make-up artist and blogger from the UAE I got invited to
meet her and to see her work in real life. Francesca has worked with countless A-list
celebrities such as; Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Shakira and
Gwen Stefani just to name a few! She also did the make-up for most of Beyonce’s
music video’s from her latest Visual album such as; Drunk in love, Superpower, Blow,
Haunted, Yonce, Partition, Flawless and the list goes on.
Her work has been an inspiration to me for many years so it was a great honour for me to meet and interview Francesca!
Francesca Tolot, born and raised in Italy had never dreamed of becoming a make-up
artist, her first love is painting. She was handed an opportunity to work as a make-up
artist and ever since she hasn’t stopped. One of the first make-up jobs that she has done
was for Revlon when she was in her early twenties. Ever since the ball kept rolling until
she moved to LA to pursue her dreams, which she did.
Her first book ”One woman, 100 faces” is a first of its kind book that chronicles the
transformation of one woman. All pictures in the book have been photographed by
Francesca’s husband Alberto Tolot. Her son Cristiano Tolot has been responsible for the
design of the book since he’s a graphic designer. I love the idea that her whole family has
been involved in creating this book, this way you can tell that it’s 100% created out of
passion and love.
How did you manage to come this far in your career and working with
countless A-list celebrities?
It happened organically, usually it happens by word of mouth. Once you start working
with one celebrity and meet their PR or agent. If they’re happy with your work they will
start talking about it. Or if you do editorial shoots your name will be credited in the
magazines and a lot of people will see it. So it happened this way.
What has been the highlight in your career? I’m sure you had many but
has there been one that really stands out?
Fortunately I did have many highlights in my career, so it’s really hard to find one. Back
then I have worked with Elizabeth Taylor which has been a magical and priceless
moment. Then I started working with Madonna which was at the beginning of her career
so I didn’t even know who she was. But then it turned out to be a great thing and a great
opportunity. The same with Beyonce, actually the same with many celebrities I have
So, Beyonce is the celebrity you work the most with?
Yes I do. In the last 12 years I did mostly everything that she has done.
I noticed that when I went through your resume there was an entire list of
the things you have worked on with Beyonce.
I loved the recent shoot you did with Beyonce for CR Fashion book, how
was that for you?
I absolutely enjoyed doing that shoot. It was very different from what we have done in
If you could go back in the past, is there anything you would change in
I wouldn’t change anything!
Is there anything you could have done better?
Better, yes! There is always room for improvement. You can always get better, but does
that change anything? No, I wouldn’t change anything.
I have to ask you about Beyonce’s make-up during her Super Bowl
performance in 2013. Her make-up looked amazing and it stayed flawless
through out the entire performance while she was dancing and sweating.
Which products did you use to keep her make-up in place?
Unfortunately I’m not allowed to mention any brand names that I used on Beyonce.
I did use good make-up primers in order to keep the make-up long lasting through out
Your must have make-up items?
Definitely the MAC Extreme Dimensional 3D Mascara, absolutely.
Do you use that mascara on many celebrities?
I use it on everybody! I love this mascara, it’s the best!
In the Middle East, many women struggle to find the perfect concealer.
Because of their dark complexion, they tend to get really dark and brown
circles under their eyes. What is favourite concealer, and which concealer
do you recommend for Middle Eastern women?
MAC Cosmetics has great concealers. But generally speaking if someone has a dark
complexion they have to use an orange corrector before applying any concealer,
otherwise it turns into grey. So just make sure there is some orange corrector applied.
Products you can’t live without? Whether its make-up or skincare.
For myself I can’t live without La Mer skincare products, the Creme de La Mer in
particular. When it comes to make-up I really can’t live without the MAC Extreme
Dimensional 3D Mascara, its absolutely amazing. It really makes the lashes long and
What is Beyonce’s favourite make-up look?
She loves everything! From natural looks to very dramatic looks to sophisticated looks.
Whenever I do her make-up we do talk about it because there should be a purpose for it.
There is a reason why we sometimes do a crazy look or something extremely natural.
And she really trusts my work so she always tells me to do whatever I think is right.
So far she has always been happy with it.
Being fully trusted by your clients is something every make-up artist
Absolutely! She is a dream to work with and she’s beautiful so it couldn’t be any better
Congratulations on your first book ”One woman, 100 faces”. Will you ever
be launching a make-up line too?
Lately I’ve been asked that questions many times. I really don’t know, at the moment I
don’t have a desire or the need to launch a make-up line. I always said that I would love
to design make-up for somebody else, but I don’t have the desire to have one with my
name on it. I don’t know, you never know in life. I’ve learned to never say never because
tomorrow morning who knows what will happen.
Any tips for up and coming make-up artists?
To me test shoots are the best thing to do! You are free to do whatever look you want to
do without worrying about what other people like or dislike. Its just for you to learn, to
experiment and to make mistakes. This way you will be safe whenever you’re on the job.
Because nobody is there, nobody is paying for it so you’re not responsible for any body
else because you do it for yourself and thats a great experience. You either learn or if you
come up with something amazing then you can take that to work. There are so many
looks in the book that I actually have transformed and did it on Beyonce or Christina
Aguilera. To me it’s the most useful thing.
I’m lucky because my husband is a photographer so I don’t have to look for a
photographer to do test shoots with but its definitely worth the effort!
I had a great time interviewing Francesca. She is such a sweet and humble person.
I got really inspired and fascinated by her. From all the amazing make-up artists
I have met and interviewed she is definitely the most inspiring one. I couldn’t thank
MAC Cosmetics enough for giving me this opportunity, I feel truly blessed!