Isabelle Fink

She’s the head of makeup at Cirque du Soliel. Nobody knows beauty better than her. Meet Isabelle Fink.

Define beauty.
It is a state of mind, and it needs to be owned. I’m a true believer in self-confidence, not matter what your physical attributes are. It’s feeling you can take on the world on the worst of days, being kind, laughing out loud and knowing that your cellulite, blemishes, wrinkles have nothing to do with your beauty!

What is your skincare routine?
I drink lots, and lots of water to keep my skin smooth and supple. In the morning, I use a clean washcloth with hot water to rinse out last night’s  cream, which oxidizes during the night. I swear by Laroche-Posay’s skin care line. So, I’ll start the day with Effaclar Mat Sebo-regulating Moisturizer Anti-Shine, Anti-enlarged Pores. Even after being  42 years old, I still get blemishes, this cream helps me keep them at bay. In the evening, I start by removing my eye makeup with a gentle remover and cotton pads, then I’ll wash my face with Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream. I follow-up with an eye cream and a good moisturising cream. I exfoliate my skin two-three times a week in the shower, to keep my skin from flaking, especially in the winter months where it can get brutal here in Montréal.

What’s in your makeup bag?
Being a makeup artist, I could easily go overboard. But here are some favourites: L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, Make Up For Ever Aqua cream in Pink Beige, Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara in very Black and Carmex Original Lip Balm. Then there’s a whole lot of stuff from  M.A.C, which includes the Pro Longwear Concealer, Blot Loose Powder and Mineralize Blush in Gleeful.

What is your favorite beauty treatment?
I have a fabulous esthetician, Helen Leblond at EQlib in downtown Montréal. I have a facial every three months or so and I like to have a delicate chemical peel once a year. On my next visit, I’ll ask her about removing a couple of brown spots, caused by my younger days of lying in the sun.

How do you handle fear?
I wouldn’t say I’m fearless, but growing up in a small mining town seven hours away from Montréal (the closest big city), I had to dream big! Meaning, it was easy to follow the small town mentality and stay there all the while imagining another kind of life for myself. I always ask myself, “what’s the worst that could happen?” and usually it’s not that bad. I choose not to be paralysed by fear, to me, that’s even more frightening. Over the years, I’ve manage to have a more “naïve” attitude towards challenges, going in without too much expectations and actually thinking everything will work itself out. I truly believe hard work can beat the crap out of fear.

How do you handle criticism?
Depending on the source, I welcome it! Family, friends, coworkers who muster up the courage to tell you your shortcomings, fumbles or mistakes deserve to be heard and acknowledged. I’m grateful for any of these people who will take time out to challenge me to be better. This being said, if the source is questionable, it really doesn’t ruffle my feathers, if I know I did my best, what else can I do? I did a couple of YouTube and Facebook makeup videos for Cirque du Soleil, I really don’t feel the need to go and see the comments. First, seeing and hearing myself is quite uncomfortable and secondly, I truly wish to focus on the experience we had filming those videos, we had a blast!

What is your beauty advice to women?
If something bothers you, do something about it! You love your bushy eyebrows, the jiggling under arms, the mole on your chin? I’m all for the natural look, if you are happy with yourself, it will shine through. But, if any of those things bother you, there are so many possibilities for a more comfortable you. I draw the line at exhaustive and invasive plastic surgery (for me at least) but, better nutrition, exercise, a good haircut/colour, laser hair removal can do wonders for self-esteem. Nothing is taboo anymore with estheticians, be bold and take care of yourself.

What is the biggest beauty myth?
Working with circus artists, who wear a lot makeup every day, the biggest myth is that makeup is bad for your skin. I agree, that no makeup is probably better than piling it on, but what is even more damaging is your make-up removal routine. I see so many artists who are rubbing off their makeup every night, pulling on their eyelids, rubbing their skin raw, not hydrating at all. This is where the real damage occurs. Small wrinkles prematurely appearing, dry and itchy skin and breakouts can all be the result of a poor makeup removal routine. You want to use gentle products, I even suggest olive or coconut oil, you want to let the product dissolve the makeup, especially around the eyes. For very sensitive skin around the eyes, forgo the cotton pads, they can be quite abrasive, I suggest baby washcloths, they are very soft, gentle and cheap. Always finish with a good moisturiser adapted to your skin type.