Check out our interview with celebrity make-up artist Allison Giroday.
With a range of depth in expertise, and over a decade of industry experience, Allison specializes in flawless transformation. Allison brings out each of her subject’s unique features through a variety of clean, sophisticated, glamorous, sexy and classic looks. Allison believes in and honors the beauty of all her clients which includes mega superstar Pamela Anderson. Allison is also a feature make-up artist for GQ and has worked on features for the magazine with actors Patrick Schwarzenegger and Justin Baldoni, along with NFL Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Follow Allison @allisongirodaymakeup
Hi Allison, please tell us a little about you?
I’m a freelance makeup artist, born in Vancouver, BC. I have a younger sister and we’re of Scottish, English, Slavic and French descent. For any astrology lovers here, I’m a Virgo sun, Sagittarius moon and Virgo rising. I love being able to make people smile and feel confident through the work that I do.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Ambitious, intuitive, loyal
When did you start in the business?
I’ve loved makeup since I was probably around 7 years old. As soon as high school was finished, I went to school for makeup artistry and after that, I worked at MAC Cosmetics for almost 4 years. From there, I took the leap and became fully freelance. It’s been several years now and I haven’t looked back.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I’m a big fan of Mel Robbins’ “The 5 Second Rule”. The theory is based on the fact that we have less than 5 seconds to act on an impulse and spring into action before our subconscious deters us. It’s helped me to create new, life-changing habits. I highly recommend any of her content!
What is the key to your success?
A good personality and positive attitude carry as much weight as talent in this industry so it’s important to have all of that. We’re working very closely with people so a lot of it is about who you are as a person and the energy you bring into the room. Clients must feel good on both the outside and the inside.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
It can be so much fun. Being able to contribute to somebody’s special life/career moments is pretty uplifting, and the travel opportunities are great as well. I’ve worked in cities like Toronto, LA, Vancouver, Miami and NYC as well as a few exotic destinations. That said, it’s not always glamorous. This work can be high pressure, at times hard on the body and it can be stressful sometimes dealing with the financial/administrative end of things, but going for frequent massages and working with agents has been a game changer.
Now what about your work as a celebrity make-up artist? Can you name a few of your celebrity clients?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many great people for various shoots and events. A couple of examples would be Pamela Anderson for several occasions, including her appearance on The View, at Art Basel, and for a variety of editorials and magazine covers including BC Vegan and Odda Magazine, to name a few. I’ve worked with Justin Baldoni, Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Schwarzenegger for GQ, and the list goes on. It’s nice to work with the same clients repeatedly and have rapport.
Who is on your bucket list to work with?
I love the energy of Kate Hudson and Tabitha Brown. And my current favorite follow on Instagram is Tinx so definitely her as well. She’s authentic, brilliant and hilarious.
What do you think is the secret to having a successful business in a very competitive market like yours?
First and foremost, you have to be very good at what you do. Next to that, a good attitude is a must. It’s smart to create genuine connections with industry professionals, including other artists because you can refer each other. A thick skin is imperative because you will run into things that could throw you off track if you don’t have a strong mindset. Get your work out there through platforms that resonate with you.
What do you look for in an assistant? What advice might you give?
I rarely use assistants but when I do, first and foremost, I look for reliability and a good attitude. Assistants will often get jobs that the artist can’t do eventually so it’s a good idea to never burn a bridge. Have integrity and patience, check your ego at the door. Mistakes will be made but that’s how you learn.
Who are some of your favorite models and stylists that you’ve worked with, and why?
Tough one, so many! Keltie Straith has the most classic face, she’s an incredible canvas and as sweet as they come. Julia Logacheva is a Guess girl from Russia and she’s a phenomenal model. I had the pleasure of working with her for Dolce Magazine along with Oretta Corbelli, an Italian creative director and fashion stylist. Oretta’s work is unbelievable, I can’t say enough.
How would you explain your fashion style?
Have you seen the meme that says you’re either looking like you’re going to a red carpet event or homeless and there’s no in between? Well that was written by a fly on my bedroom wall, who was spying on me and then it somehow went viral. No clue how that happened.
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
Hands down, the 90s supermodels.
How would your best friend describe you?
Warm, detail-oriented, and free-spirited.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Living in alignment with your authenticity. My personal 4 pillars are currently: connection, beauty, wellness and knowledge, which I try to incorporate into my every day. So for example, I’ll try and make sure to chat with friends or family, get into nature, move my body and read something, daily. This is how I feel balanced and grounded which contributes to overall happiness.
What is next for Allison Giroday in 2021?
Despite the collective uncertainty and detours following this past year and a bit, I’m hopeful. Things were put on a bit of a pause but I’m looking forward to continuing to create with others. I’ve also been working on some educational material that I’ll be excited to share.
Something people don’t know about you?
I’m a nerd about psychology, behavior and neuroscience. I can’t get enough. My current favorite podcast is ‘Expanded’ which covers a lot of that. I’m also lit up by nutrition and fitness. I love the outdoors and am not afraid of getting my hands dirty.
Who was your role model as a child?
I love this question because it was Pamela Anderson – I would practice for an hour each day, applying my makeup so it could look just like hers, which is ultimately what led me to become a professional makeup artist. If I had told my younger self that she would one day get to work with Pamela, that girl would have been mind-blown. Full circle!
What are your makeup bag staples when traveling?
It’s nice to be able to look polished quickly while away so I’m a big fan of the 5-minute face. It requires a bb cream and/or concealer, a two-in-one lipstick and blush (Stila and Nudestix have great ones), tinted eyebrow gel, eyeliner and mascara.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one but I’m going to keep it light. I’d like to hang with Jimmy Fallon. He seems so fun and hilarious, I love funny people.
What is your favorite healthy food?
My go-to’s are Buddha bowls, smoothies, salads, wraps and sushi, forever and always.
And your favorite cheat foods?
Chocolate, cheese, and wine.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Anything that feels disrespectful or disingenuous like being on the phone too much, being rude to wait staff, or one-way conversation. Integrity, kindness and consideration are all dating GREEN flags.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I have yet to go to Cannes for work so I’m calling that in. I think it’s an incredible opportunity and France always holds a special place in my heart, as my roots are there.
In five years from now, where do you see yourself and your career?
Aside from being surrounded by family and loved ones, I look forward to seeing more of the world and expanding on sharing my knowledge with others.
What music do you like?
For me, it depends on mood. I like a lot of indie music I find on Spotify and I love Grimes, Tegan and Sara, and of course, Lights. Angel voices, in my opinion. They’re high vibes.
What do you like to watch on TV?
I don’t watch much TV but I do love documentaries, podcasts, and sometimes stand up comedy.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Slow morning, maybe some coffee shop treats or breakfast at home, exercise in nature, beach or cozy day (weather depending). Loved ones or all alone. Wine and chocolate are almost always welcome.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s what you make it. I don’t really scroll too much. If used intentionally, it can be a fantastic tool for connecting, marketing and finding inspiration.
Favorite quote: “Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” I believe that wholeheartedly.
Drink: Spicy Margarita
City: Both NYC and Paris
Where can we follow you?
You can see my work and connect with me here:
Cover & Pamela Anderson – Liz Rosa
Jimmy G – John Will Clay