Amazing fashion graduate Sabrina Rinaldi has experienced many huge achievements to date within Canada’s fashion industry. From appearing in numerous fashion magazines and print advertisements to picking up a major award in 2011, Sabrina has become a tour de force of Canada’s fashion world. Complections recently sat down with her to catch up. Sabrina was full of cool stories and great advice for aspiring fashion makeup artists!
You have accomplished so much since graduating from Complections! This past November, you were awarded the title of Best Makeup Artist from the P&G Beauty Awards. What was it like to receive national recognition for your work?
Winning was so unexpected and surprising but once I got over the initial shock I was just so touched by the honour. I received so much love and congrats from my peers, which just made it all the more special. It really was a memorable moment in my career and a moment where I could stop and reflect at how far I’ve come in the last 12 years since graduating.
You’ve been working with Elle Canada a lot this past year. Can you tell me about some of the shoots you did with them? Which was your favourite?
One of my most memorable shoots for Elle was a 60’s inspired story, shot by photographer Richard Bernardin and top Canadian model, Taryn Davidson. We all had to meet at the Elle office to catch a ride to a remote location about an hour away. However, the driver got lost and it took over two hours to get there. Needless to say it put us way behind schedule and I had about twenty minutes to get the makeup done and style the model’s hair in a huge beehive! It was a lot of pressure since ideally I’d need an hour, but since a beehive is one of my favourite go-to styles for my own hair, I knew how to get it all done in the short amount of time requested. I mention this story because when you look at a photo in a magazine, you may think that the hair and makeup artist had hours to do what they did, but the reality is sometimes you have only 10 or 20 minutes and it has to be done and perfectly!
As for my favourite shoot, I always think the last one I did was my favourite. I just always love the newest concept, trend, idea – so it’s usually the story I just shot that won’t be out for a few months that’s my favourite.
Your December 2011 cover with Elle was fabulous, but that wasn’t your first cover shoot. Can you tell me about some of the covers that you have worked on?
I actually just shot two more covers for Elle, which won’t be out until summertime. I can’t give away too much information, but they are stunning and I was honoured to have worked on them.
What was the experience of working on your first cover like?
My first cover was with my favourite fitness magazine, Oxygen, and the model was my best friend, fitness model Maggie D. Working out is my other passion in life and when I was able to shoot the cover of Oxygen magazine and with my best friend as my model it was so fun and memorable. Combining my job and my personal life made for a rewarding shoot and I still have all the Oxygen covers I’ve worked on but will always remember that first one.
You’ve also done a lot of print and fashion advertising work. Can you tell me about some of these opportunities? What are some of the fashion labels and corporations that you have worked with?
Working with clothing brands is always fun and challenging because the hair and makeup is an integral component to help convey the message and identity of the brand. Working with these brands season after season is rewarding because there are new ideas and concepts but a familiarity with the crew and the brand as a whole. Some of the brands I have worked with: b2, Rudsak, Smart Set, Suzy Shier, Dynamite, Reitmans, Point Zero, Dex and Melanie Lyne.
How did you get involved with Judy Inc?
After I graduated school in 2000 I spent a few years working at MAC and doing creatives on my days off to build up my portfolio. I had initially gone in to see Judy Inc after graduation but was told I needed more natural makeup shots in my book to succeed in the Toronto market. I’ve always been very self-motivated so I kept myself busy arranging shoots to expand my portfolio until I felt ready to go back. It took me almost three years but I did it and was signed immediately as a full-fledged artist. I’ve been with Judy Inc since 2003.
What are some major photographers/celebrities that you have worked with?
I’ve been working with Jann Arden for the last few years whenever she is in town doing a press junket or appearances. I have worked with a lot of Canadian musicians but I absolutely adore and love Jann. She is an amazing woman and makes me laugh the whole day, even when I’m doing her makeup at 5am. We’re always having a good laugh.
Has there been a particularly notable job that has stood out for you in the past year?
A job that stands out would have to be my first shoot for Elle. I was super excited to be working with them and the shoot fell on the day after my birthday. So I spent my 33rd birthday driving to Montreal and sewing hair extensions in preparation for the shoot the following morning. The shoot went amazingly and I’ve been working with them ever since.
What inspires you as a makeup artist?
I am constantly inspired by the “new.” There’s always a “new” trend, runway season, beauty product, musician, fashion editorial, model and/or experience that somehow strikes a chord and inspires me. I love that. I love how things are always evolving in the world and I thrive on evolving with it.
How important is it to be able to both apply makeup and style hair in the fashion industry?
It is essential. For Canadians, it isn’t really even an option to only do one service and expect to compete in the industry.
Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring fashion makeup artists?
My best advice is: take your time. There is no rush and years of building your skills and career is the best way to have long-term success. I know some individuals may want to come out of school and start working on exciting jobs with some of the industry’s best photographers. However you learn so much by being humble and eager and working your way from the bottom up. Also, you only get one chance to make a first impression and you wouldn’t want to be put into a work situation you aren’t ready to handle. So understand that a slow building career will really be the best in the long run.
What do you consider to be your biggest career accomplishment to date?
I think winning Makeup Artist of the Wear at the P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards was a big moment. Like I said earlier, it really allowed me to stop and reflect and look at what I have accomplished. I’m always striving to reach my next goal and sometimes forget to stop and appreciate all the steps it took to get me where I am today.
Are there any jobs coming up soon that you are particularly excited to work on?
Well I’m off to Montreal tomorrow to do two fashion editorials; one with LouLou and one with Elle. Doing editorials are always fun and rewarding days so I’m definitely looking forward to the week ahead. But mostly I am excited for this summer. Summer is the busiest time of year in the industry so I always look forward to what’s ahead for me.
What are your future career goals?
I want to keep doing what I’m doing but ideally I would love to work closely with a cosmetics brand as a spokesperson. I would love an opportunity like that; to work one on one with a brand and establish a long-term relationship. I think it would be so fun and a great new and exciting challenge.