Senior Artist, MAC PRO. "Makeup has the unique ability to straighten ones 'emotional posture'."
Never underestimate the limitless power of kindness,” says Senior Artist Victor Cembellin. Joining M·A·C in the mid-90’s, the Senior Artist’s infectious enthusiasm and generosity has won him a host of fans and allowed him to create celebrated and memorable runway looks.
He recalls doing his date’s makeup for his high school prom, an experience that allowed Cembellin to realize for the first time just how powerful being a makeup artist can be. “Makeup has the unique ability to straighten one’s emotional posture,” Cembellin states, “making other people feel good is his raison d’être, as he continues to work closely with clients to maximize their natural beauty and encourage them to glow.
Cembellin’s career began as a theatre makeup artist in high school. “After taking my final bow on stage in 1995, I shifted my efforts to learning about beauty, runway and editorial makeup, which ended up becoming my true passion.” Cembellin has since had the great privilege of working regularly with Liza Minnelli and three days after their initial meeting, found himself aboard a private jet performing backup vocals to the singer as she warmed up her voice. “It remains the craziest experience of my career,” he recalls fondly. “I will never forget that wonderful trip.” Other career highlights include working on shows for Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan and Alexander McQueen. Cembellin has an affinity for old-school glamour and keeps a library of references spanning movies, music videos and historical art movements. “In order to understand where we are going,” he says, “we must know where we have been.” It’s one of many pearls of wisdom he has for aspiring makeup artists and serves to explain why his preferred makeup looks are often what he terms “strict” – a perfect red lip, a clean, flawless black liner and other hallmarks of the classic, Hollywood look.
Cembellin counts Madonna’s Vogue period as an enduring source of inspiration. As a child he loved to dance, and in another life might have been a contemporary dancer. But it was theatre, where he worked front and back of stage that gave him the confidence to take life bythe horns. “I developed confidence to express myself in front of hundreds of peers and strangers,” he explains, while stating his belief that theatre should be mandatory course for all children in school.
Born and raised in northern California, where he remains today, Cembellin enjoys the variety of an area that offers surfing, snowboarding, wine tasting, hiking and biking, as well as the company of his beloved dog Pinto Bean, who he rescued from the streets after a return home from Paris Fashion Week.