The devil wears Prada and gets her makeup done by Robert Weir. photo by Miguel Jacob
He’s the artist that professional photographers and fabulous fashionistas call when they arrive in Toronto and need to amp up their look. Maybe it’s because Robert Weir is so ferocious in his own right, or maybe it’s because he has no fear when trying to please a client.
“I love when I come up with something for them that exceeds their expectations,” he says.
When the doyenne of the fashion world, editor-in-chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour, selects you to do her makeup, you’re on the right track.
“It was hilarious because I memorized the latest issue of Vogue and watched The September Issue five times to prepare. She only gave me 20 minutes to do her makeup, and my only instruction was ‘daytime,’” says Weir of his experience with the fashion industry icon who is known for her obsessive perfectionism.
He knew Wintour approved of his talents when she waved goodbye in the lobby and booked him for the next day.
Weir also works for major beauty brands, but the bookings for his list of high-profile clients, such as Chanel and Laura Mercier, did not come overnight.
Before he became an industry go-to for beautification, he was a boy growing up in Cambridge, Ontario, dreaming of the world of fashion as an escape. “It was an environment where my talents would be celebrated instead of ridiculed,” he says. “It allowed me to fantasize about a time when things would get better.”
Weir focused all his energy on absorbing as much as he could about hair, makeup and fashion and headed straight to the bright lights of Toronto.
His formal education came in the late 1990s in Humber College’s fashion arts program. Practising his craft, learning new products and mastering application methods on a variety of face shapes and types gave him the technical grounding he needed for success.
“It has been 13 years, and I’m still growing as a makeup artist every day,” he says. His love of the work keeps him motivated to develop continuously.
“I think the most important thing as a makeup artist is to love what you do,” he says.
Weir’s advice for those aspiring to conquer the world of fashion is to take any opportunity to share your work until people take notice. “And they will,” he says.
As Pride approaches, what secrets does the prince of gorgeousness have for getting through this treacherous season flawlessly? What should you do if, after celebrating outside for an extended period, you find your reflection in the mirror is more rock lobster than rock star?
“The best product, in terms of cover-up for a man, is the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer,” Weir says. “If things have gotten really out of hand with that burn, you can feather Laura Mercier secret camouflage on top.”
Our alcohol intake can also wreak havoc on our vanity if we don’t drink enough water to counteract the dehydration that will show in our skin.
If you need help staying fresh-looking, Weir suggests “the Prevage hydrating serum or the Chanel hydra max serum. I use them on all of my clients.” But, he reminds us, “there is no substitute for water.”
Nearing the finish line of Pride Week, the lack of sleep and abundance of “celebrations” can creep up and expose itself as dark circles under your eyes.
Weir suggests a tube of concealer as a quick fix to this baggy nightmare, specifically “the YSL Touche Éclat for a natural but refreshed appearance.” But his recommendation comes with a warning: “I think when you cover too much it looks unnatural. Products that are thick can get goopy under the eye.”
Feel free to use these insider tips while looking fabulous this Pride, or at least get yourself a pair of Wintour’s trademark sunglasses to hide your sins from the world.
Robert Weir is beauty editor of Plaid Magazine and is represented by Ford Artists. Scott McCreight is both a rock lobster and a rock star.