Make-up artist Marina Michenet can look back on an enthralling 20-year-long career, her passion and talent are as vibrant as ever today, and the best, she says, is yet to come.
She fell in love with make-up when she was a young girl and has never looked back – even though 12 years of high-level synchronised swimming helped her to get the movements and timing just right.She qualified as a beautician and moved from her hometown Tours to Paris in 1991 to study make up at the Christian Chauveau School. She soon realised that – outstanding though that school’s academic standards were – making up literally hundreds of faces was the only way to really learn her trade. That was why she skipped from one internship to the next, caught a string of breaks in modelling agencies, met fashion photographers who have since become celebrities, and promptly compiled an impressive portfolio.That unrivalled experience intertwined with her flourishing flair, she qualified at the top of her class, was finally ready to start her career, and thrived. Make Up For Ever hired her instantly and she spent the next four years travelling the world as that brand’s ambassador. And she carved out her niche in show business, where image rules and the oldest and most strictly codified artifice of all – make-up – is a sine-qua-non. She has since spent over 20 years helping the top movie stars to face the flashes, frantic interview marathons and the fanciest parties with panache. Marina turned out to be a make-up prodigy. Star actors and entertainers are often fragile people, and they find that a stroke of her brush reassures them. She has a knack for bringing out their natural magnetism and for highlighting their charisma to outshine stress, exhaustion and nerves. She unveils faces without distorting them, and conceals blemishes without altering characters.She also radiates that quintessential brand of French class, and befittingly shies away from exaggeration and pretence. Her endearing yet self-effacing, decided yet deferential, and available yet loyal personality shines through her make-up art.Besides the ephemeral and living art she treasures, Marina also paints and sometimes exhibits canvases, and has delved into decoration and interior design to bring places to life as she brings the light out of people.In 2003, she was called in to make-up Nicolas Sarkozy, who was still French Interior Minister back then. That job could have been inconsequential – after all, political leaders need make-up as much as the legendary figures of the stage and silver screen do. But the man who was to become France’s President loved her artful transparent style and natural touch, and asked her to work for him. An adventure quite unlike any other had begun. Marina stood by the man who presided over the destiny of the world’s 5th economic power everywhere he went for over a decade. She witnessed history in the making and electric moments, from the sidelines, almost invisible – and yet fully focused. She often had to give 110% in extreme situations, when the tension was palpable on faces and everyone in the room was on edge. Other world-famous leaders also requested her services during this amazing adventure, when they needed their look to befit the historical events unfurling outside.
IN A NUTSHELL Marina was born in Tours, France, in 1972. She has been making up and standing alongside media celebrities, models, actors, singers, sportspeople and politicians for over 20 years.
1991: graduated from the Christian Chauveau School of Make-up1992-1996: taught at the Christian Chauveau School of Make-up1992-1996: worked as a make-up artist with Make Up For Ever2003: met Nicolas Sarkozy (then French Interior Minister)2007-2012: served Nicolas Sarkozy (as French President) as make-up artist
1992-2013: made-up countless celebrities
Marina Michenet’s career is only just starting, and the best is yet to come.
Photographed by Philippe WARRIN
© 2014/2016 - MARINA MICHENET