Make-up Artist Leah Rial discovered her passion for the make-up world when she worked as a Dior counter girl in college. From there, she found herself working with South East Asian royalty and eventually with A-list celebrities in film and TV – a make-up artist’s dream! Her list of clientele can also attest to her success. She’s recently worked with Teri Hatcher, Julie Bowen, Anna Gunn, Demi Lovato and Monica Potter, to name a few. Known as your beauty cheerleader, Leah has an infectious laugh and it’s no surprise that everyone loves working with her.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR CALLING AS A MAKE-UP ARTIST?
My beauty journey started when I was a counter girl for Christian Dior Cosmetics in college at FIDM. It was the historic looks from Mr. Dior’s fifties “New Look” period – the corseted hour-glass figure iconic. That’s what I fell in love with! To me, it was historic because of the make-up. The dramatic sweeping cat eye that later become a trademark for Audrey Hepburn along with the dark, lush lips. I think it was the first time that a signature make-up look was created to accompany a collection. It was timeless perfection.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST JOB AS A MAKE-UP ARTIST.
Amazingly, my first paying job was for the Crown Prince of Brunei [of southeast Asian royalty], his family and entourage. It was such a surreal experience, as you could possibly imagine. After that, I was hired by my roommate and friend, the amazingly talented photographer John Patrick Salisbury. We did a lot of test shoots together, and I still have some of the images on my website from those shoots – some from even twenty years ago!
BEST ADVICE YOU GOT FROM ANOTHER MAKE-UP ARTIST WHEN YOU STARTED?
Garen Tolkin told me to care. Take care, give care, work with care, but mostly care about my artistry.
WE KNOW YOU LOVE YOUR JOB. BUT, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU TRULY LOVE ABOUT BEING A MAKE-UP ARTIST?
It’s a fleeting luxury, a snapshot in time. When you wash your face, it’s gone. The Ta-Da! That moment when someone sees their make-up is fantastic and a big smile forms on their face. Knowing they look fantastic, watching it elevate their mood, that’s the best. When I send someone to set or to an event or in front of the camera, I like to say, “Go, Fight, Win!” because I know that looking great makes you fierce and fabulous! And how do you replicate that moment?!? It’s amazing!
TELL US, DO YOU HAVE A BEAUTY MUSE WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My dog Myrna Loy with her sweet doe eyes. We named her after the great and beautiful film star of the fifties.
IS IT HARD WORKING WITH HOLLYWOOD STARS AND HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEIR PERSONALITIES?
I’m there with my soft brushes and a magic kit of colors. I find that no matter how big the personality or what’s happening around me, I’m usually the calm spot in the storm. I haven’t really had to “cope.” I know everyone wants to hear a story about a bratty Hollywood star. I’ve seen people misbehave but it’s never really been directed at me.
AND FOR THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION…WHAT IS THE ONE BEAUTY PRODUCT THAT EVERY WOMAN CAN NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?