Mario Dedivanovic’s Debut Line Takes Us Inside The Celebrity Makeup Artist’s Mind

It’s been 20 years since celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic entered the scene, forever contouring the shape of the beauty world with highlights, shimmers, and perfectly winged liner that launched an army of copycats on social media. 

Now, Dedivanovic, whom the New Yorker recently heralded as “The Makeup Artist at Ground Zero of Internet Beauty Culture,” has taken his years of expertise, massive internet fame, and a few personal checks to labs across the world to create his dream: a self-funded line of products titled Makeup by Mario. 

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #19 series on my blog.

For Dedivanovic, this moment is huge. He begins to tear up on a Zoom call as he discusses the project he began working on three years ago. “I’m just so excited for October 1st”—the launch date, Dedivanovic’s birthday, and the date he began working on the Sephora floor many years ago—“because it almost still doesn’t feel real to me,” he says. 

The artist comes fully loaded with all the bonafides to make a bestselling beauty line. He’s most famous for his work on one of the 21st century’s most famous canvases, Kim Kardashian-West, and helped launch her KKW Beauty line. He’s also had brand partnerships with Laura Mercier and hosts a mega-popular Masterclass. This is the last box to check on his way to beauty moguldom. 

For Dedivanovic, the Sephora gondola, the display for all a brand’s beauty products inside the store, is the ultimate symbol of his success. “I used to manifest into those Sephora bottles when I was cleaning them, that I would one day have that, knowing very well that I had to work very hard and it probably wouldn’t be 20-plus years until I did that,” he explains. “I’ve been dreaming about this moment for a long time.”

His dreams are finally a reality. The new line includes 21 products and tools, including eyeshadow palettes, brushes, and highlighters created to flatter any and all skin tones. “When I work, I tend to like products that I can use on all skin tones,” he says. 

Below, a few beauty tips from the seasoned vet, plus a peek at the products in his collection.

He knows you’re bad at winged eyeliner.

A standout product in the line is the Master Pigment Pro Pencils, inspired by his older sister Vicky, a relatable queen with an inability to work with eyeliner. 

“I think it’s hard even for an artist to really do a beautiful wing,” Dedivanovic says. “I know that a lot of people want to do wings, but it’s challenging and can be intimidating. With this pencil and brush shape, you take the pencil and draw a line from there [the center of your eyelid] to the corner. You stop at the corner and flip the brush over and up and lift. [The brush] literally does the flip for you. I wanted to make this technique very, very easy.”

Dedivanovic added that he will provide new content that inspired tools like the eyeliner and tutorials around how to use it on his social media platforms. 

He likes both contoured and natural makeup.

“I know I’m [known] as the contour king, but I think there was a little misconception,” he says. “I’m not the type of artist that typically will do the heavy stripes and all those types of things. I like makeup to look as if one were born with it in terms of the colors and finishes on the skin. I like it to enhance a woman’s face, not to have it feel unnatural or that they have a ton of makeup on. My goal at the end is that when you are up close, in person, you do makeup to make it look beautiful there. But for me, that’s not enough. I want it to look beautiful for the person as well. Bot in the sense, Oh, wow, your makeup is beautiful. More in the sense of, Wow, you look beautiful.

The brand is for novices and beauty experts alike.

While the line is infused with years of experience from Dedivanovic, he wanted to create something that was easy for the most green of makeup appliers to use. 

Here’s his tip for the Master Metallics palette:

“This is a very creamy formula that’s a blend of powders and creams, so it’s very easy to use with just a swipe of a finger on your lid for a quick application. I wanted to separate my products by texture because as an artist, I was always trained from the very beginning that you always separated your mattes [from] your metallics. That’s the way you packed your bag as well.”

The packaging is the future of beauty.

Dedivanovic was inspired by the iPhone and how easily it can fit into your hand. He wanted the tools to feel accessible and comfortable while you apply your makeup. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey meets BTS’s “On” music video: The full, nearly all-white kit comes in what looks like a briefcase from a space-age population that cracked the code on product design. “It felt like the future of makeup in a sense,” he says. “I hadn’t seen something like this when it was presented. Also, it felt pure.” 

The Master Prep and Set

Available in three different tones—light, medium, and deep—each set comes with six shades to be used as an eye primer. Dedivanovicoriginally tried to get this product in the palettes but couldn’t configure it correctly and inclusion would make the palettes gigantic. Thus, it evolved into its own separate product. 

Buy at Sephora $37

Master Mattes 

The Master Mattes were the first product Dedivanovic began working on in 2017. “The Master Matte palette is inspired by human skin tones,” he explains. “It’s inspired by the technique I have done for many years, in which I shape and contour the eyes using typically different, varying shades of foundation and/or concealer to shape and contour the eyes before I apply eyeshadow.”

To find the right human skin tones for the palette, he researched the different pigments that make up our skin tones. The shades also have a bit of translucency because he prefers subtle to extremely pigmented eyeshadow. 

Buy at Sephora $64

Master Metallic and Master Metals

The all-metallic formula is a creamy blend of both powders and creams, making it very easy to use with a single swipe of your finger onto your lids. Dedivanovic, a self-proclaimed geek, researched the inside of our bodies for the pink, brown, and cream hues. “This is sort of representative of the shades that are within all our bodies on a cellular level,” he explains. “What’s really interesting is when you swatch all these colors together, it’s the epitome of my dream color palette when it comes to shimmery shades.” 

Buy at Sephora $64

If you’re looking for the easiest-to-use product in the collection, this palette is your go-to. But, if you’re looking for more of a high-intensity pigment, Dedivanovic created the Master Metals and Master Metals Manipulator to create your very own dream eye looks. “The idea is that the artist could scrape several shades and mix their own metal shades,” he says. “What happens when you use the Master Metal Manipulator is it turns it into a molten liquid metal. You can do liquid liners with it, you can do a quick all-over eyeshadow shade, or just the inner corner. 

Buy at Sephora $64

Bonus points: The Master Metal Manipulator also turns them into a completely waterproof product. 

Mario’s Master Metal™ Manipulator™ is the ultimate mixing agent for metallic pigments. It instantly transforms loose or pressed metallic pigments into a liquid, creating a gorgeous metal foil. When mixed with pigment, it provides intense grip, lasting power, and locks the formula in place.

Buy at Sephora $18

The Master Crystal Reflectors

The Master Crystal Reflectors come in three shades: quartz, citrine, and bronzite. The reflectors are a few of his favorites because of their sheer finish that “sparkles while dancing on the eyelid.”

The product also reflects light beautifully and gives a bit of reflection and dimension to the eyelid, but can be worn all over the face. “It’s a global exclusive formula, so no one can ever have this formula,” he adds. “I’m very excited about that.”

Buy at Sephora $32

The Master Secret Glow

“For years, I liked to use a highlighter on the cheek or on the eye that is a completely sheer emollient glow,” he says. “I envisioned this even for the girl who really doesn’t wear any makeup. I do clients that have a very natural look and I like natural looks as well. This product really fits both of those.”

Buy at Sephora $29

The Master Tools 

Master Mattes™ Brightening Eye Pencil  

For the collection, Dedivanovic created four pencils and four eyeshadow brushes. According to him, “Pencils are one of the most transformative aspects of makeup, especially when it comes to the eyes.” He incorporated his signature liner techniques into crafting them. 

Buy at Sephora $27

Master Pigment Pro™ Eyeliner Pencil

Mario’s dual-ended liner has all you need to create a precise line. The velvety gel-based formula delivers a full-coverage finish in a single swipe. It has incredible grip after it sets but still allows time to blend, layer, and define. For a soft, symmetrical line, use the brush to smudge and blend.

Buy at Sephora $29

Master Mattes™ Liquid Eyeliner

This liquid liner is extremely pigmented and features a super sharp, flexible felt tip for ultimate control. The bulletproof formula grips the lid and is completely smudge-proof for bold and lasting definition.

Buy at Sephora $29

EF 1 Makeup Brush

The brushes are inspired by the eyeshadow brushes he usually works with from Japan. They’re designed to work with the other formulas in the collection like the Master Mattes to make for an easy blend and application.

Buy at Sephora $29

EF 2 Makeup Brush

This brush has fluffy, soft, flexible hairs that are ideal for blending and softening on the eyes and face. It’s also perfect for applying and blending matte shadows. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free, made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.

Buy at Sephora $29

E 3 Makeup Brush

This brush has fluffy, soft hairs and a wide, tapered shape. It’s perfect for effortless eyeshadow application and an easy sweep of color across the lid. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free, made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.

Buy at Sephora $29

E 4 Makeup Brush

This brush features a denser, rounded head with flat hairs and works well with cream and powder formulas. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free, made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.

Buy at Sephora $29

E 5 Makeup Brush

This brush’s small, tapered head makes it the perfect detail brush. Use it to apply shadows wet or dry or to blend and smoke out eyeliner with control and ease. All Makeup By Mario brushes are cruelty-free and are made with a custom blend of synthetic and vegan fibers, and 100% FSC-certified birchwood handles.

Buy at Sephora $29

Gentle Makeup Remover Wipes

Last but not least, he created gentle makeup remover wipes. “When I work, I’m very particular with wipes,” he says. “I use them to gently exfoliate the skin right before I go on with skincare.” He wanted to move away from traditional oily formulas so he created something without fragrance or the normal oily residue. “These are made with 100 percent natural, pure cucumber water, and they don’t leave any oiliness.” 

Buy at Sephora $20

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BeautyBlender Alternatives

By now we’ve all heard of THE Beauty Blender – the magic sponge for flawless makeup. Since it came out in 2007 (13 years ago) there definitely appeared many alternatives at competitive prices.

Some of my personal favourites are:

EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender $4.99
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge $5.99
E.L.F. Cosmetics Makeup Sponges $5.00-$10.00
Juno & Co Microfiber Fusion Sponge $6.00

Morphe Sponges (individuals and sets) $6.00-$16.00
Japonesque Kumadori Beauty Sponge $9.00
NYX Cosmetics Flawless Finish Blending Sponge $10.00

L’Oreal Blending Sponges $11.00-$13.00
Sephora Collection Sponges $19.00
Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge $22.00

Of course there is a myriad of textures, colors, functions, etc. Please consider your personal needs and online reviews if you’re unsure whether it’ll be right for you. And if it’s not – on to the next one! Sponges should be replaced around every 3 months, due to product buildup and bacteria. As well, please wash your sponges after every single use.

What are your favourite makeup sponges? Do you use them or brushes alone? Let me know in the comments below!

Makeup and Tools Sanitation Basics

Whether you are a working makeup artist, or simply use makeup often, it’s extremely important to sanitize your tools, wash your brushes and sponges, make sure cream and powder products are in their best shape, and liners/mascaras/eyebrow products are within their suggested use period and are not hard on your eyes.

While attending any Makeup Academy, professional makeup artists learn the sanitation process through and through. Some basics to keep in mind for working makeup artists (that can also be applied to makeup lovers) are briefly summarized here:

  • Before beginning the work – sanitize all of the tools (eyelash curlers, tweezers, mixing tray, spatula, sharpeners, and other tools), clean your brushes (deep clean if you have more time or with a fast-drying solution), use unscented hand sanitizer throughout the process;
  • To ensure your clients’ confidence in proper sanitizing practices, make sure you state that all products have been sanitized, have alcohol solution and fast-drying brush cleaner within easy reach, as well as your unscented hand sanitizer;
  • Foundation, concealer, and other cream products – scoop out as much product as needed onto a flat (sanitized with alcohol) makeup mixing tray, use a (sanitized) spatula, and apply products on the client;
  • Powder, bronzer, blush, highlight, shadows, and other powder products – use a tissue to wipe off the top layer of the product, then apply with a clean brush;
  • Lipstick – spray the lipstick with alcohol and gently wipe off the layer with a tissue;
  • Lipliner and eyeliner – sharpen them before using on a new client;
  • Mascara and lipgloss – use a disposable wand and never dip the same wand into a product again, use a new wand;

Clean your kit regularly! It’s recommended to do after every client to prevent the spread of bacteria that can be sitting on your tools or products. Deep clean brushes regularly, and ensure your mascaras and cream products are within their recommended use time.

I know it can seem tedious at times but this is the only way to prevent anything bad happening to your clients or yourself. And … there’s no better feeling than a newly-cleaned soft brush on a face!