Shasha Fabri – Video Interview

Date of Birth: 03/07/1972

Where do you live: Rabat

Status: Separated

Star Sign: Cancer

Occupation: Senior Makeup Artist

Can you give us a brief outline of your career so far?

I started my career as a makeup artist when I was just 17 years old. After returning from abroad, where I was a dancer, I started working with a local company, doing makeup. I have always loved handling makeup, both for myself and for others. I then decided to take this career seriously, and studied makeup at a college in London.

After returning to Malta, I started working on my own. During my career, I have worked with a number of TV personalities, such as the Xarabank team and celebrities, such as Nina Moric.

During my training, I specialised in mortuary makeup artistry. I am also a makeup tutor and take great satisfaction in passing on my knowledge and tricks to my students.

Who are the people who have inspired you most in your career as a make-up artist?

No one really. Since a young age, I have always loved makeup. I used to be a dancer, so makeup was something which I constantly worked with. I then chose to focus on this field.

Throughout your career, you have had many people in your make-up chair. What is the most common thing clients tell / ask you when they sit down in your chair?

It is either, “I love your makeup”, or “I watch everything you do on TV”. Or else, “I do not like wearing makeup.”

What do you love most when it comes to makeup?

That must be when I have a particular client or personality whose look I have to change completely. It gives me great satisfaction when I receive feedback from people asking me how I managed to accomplish that particular look.

How do you keep yourself up-to-date with makeup trends?

It is important that you keep yourself up-to-date with magazines, information, going abroad, seeing what’s new with regards to trends and techniques. I must also mention quality products since they definitely make a huge difference.

In my career, I think I have changed the way I apply makeup about five to six times. For example, the current trend is to first apply the eye-shadow. The last thing I apply is the base. I use HD makeup as well. I had to change, obviously since TV is now in HD, I had to change everything with regards to products and the way I apply them.

Are men becoming more conscious of their looks and more interested in taking care of themselves?

Yes, definitely. Let’s start with my experience with Xarabank. Fifteen years ago, Peppi Azzopardi used to receive anonymous calls telling him that he was wearing lipstick. In reality, he never did. It was just that his makeup had not been applied properly. That was how I started working with Xarabank, since they decided to change their makeup artist.

What are the most common mistakes people make when they apply makeup?

The best thing to do, if you don’t know how to apply makeup, is to stick to the principle that less is always better. If you don’t know how to apply it, it can make you look worse. The most important thing, when it comes to makeup, is the base. There should be no difference in the shading between the neck and the face. It is also necessary to follow certain techniques, such as contouring, when the person has some wrinkles.

If you could be doing anything else professionally, what would it be?

I already teach, I am a makeup artist tutor, which I love doing. I do it with passion and it gives me great satisfaction when I see my students becoming so professional. Maybe, the next step is that I will just focus on being a tutor.

The makeup and beauty industry in Malta, what is your take on it?

We have loads of makeup artists, loads of hairdressers and loads of beauticians! The market is small so everyone has to survive and thrive in it. It is not easy. It is easier to get there than to remain there. So it is important that you keep yourself updated, keep your feet on the ground, your prices reasonable and to do more than one thing. Besides being a makeup artist and tutor, I have also specialise in mortuary makeup artistry. We have to be a jack of all trades, I think that happens in most fields.

Can you tell us more about mortuary make-up artistry?

Well, it’s actually my specialist area although not everyone knows about it. It give me a great deal of satisfaction but it’s not easy. It is sad as well, you have to know how to distance yourself from the situation and not take the work home.

Once I am handling a job, I have no feelings whatsoever. However, when the family is involved, you realise just how sad it all is. It’s not just the artistry, it involves how the person died. Sometimes it is a suicide, sometimes it is an accident or a sickness, and you have to know how to deal with it.

When it comes to celebrity makeup, was there anyone who left an impact on you?

With some celebrities, especially those who have come to perform during a festival here, you do their makeup and it just stops there. But when it comes to film, you spend a lot of time with the same person, sometimes, twelve to thirteen hours a day. It is great when the film you have been working on wins some award, such as at Cannes.

One celebrity who left quite an impact on me was Nina Moric. I enjoyed working with her very much and we have kept in contact through email and Facebook. Sometimes, celebrities make it clear to you that you are just there to handle their makeup. Usually though, they are just people, nice people and it is very enjoyable working with them.