Joanna Schlip: Beauty Steals & Worthy Splurges From A Celebrity Makeup Artist

Joanna Schlip creates enviable looks on clients including Denise Richards, Ellen Pompeo and many more. She’s a true innovator in her field and a real girls’ girl. We were thrilled to talk to one of the busiest women in Hollywood about her career, ideas on beauty and her makeup must-haves at all price points. 


What is your idea of beautiful?

A. At this point in time unique beauty is highlighted! Everybody has their own look and it’s celebrated.

At 18, you moved to Paris hoping to work with French Vogue. How did you get started without speaking a word of French?

A. I traveled to Paris and just got the address to Vogue Paris and managed to get a meeting with the beauty editor. They sent me to an agency where I began working as an assistant.

I lived in a five story walk up with three male models; we partitioned the flat with furniture we found on the streets for privacy. In my spare time I would do test shoots with models, charging 100 franks, and I lived on that. I was experimenting and learning that way, while building my portfolio. I knew I had a lot to learn. At that time, there was no photoshop, no internet. I knew what I wanted to do and I was attracted more to what they were doing in Europe. It was so creative and over the top.

You’ve created so many glamorous looks. What’s a pro tip to pulling off a dramatic smokey eye or a bold red lip?

A. There isn’t really a formula to it. You have to look at someone’s face. It really depends on the face. Step back and look at your face. Anyone can do anything they want, but you should have a balance to the face. Also, you want to highlight your best features rather than follow trends.

“If you hear a compliment about yourself over and over again, about your eyes or your lips or your bone structure, that’s what you want to highlight.”

If you have strong lips and do a red lipstick, you can add a smudged liner to define the eye and bring color into the face with bronzer or blush.

As a makeup artist, what inspired you to become an author and create a product line?

A. Everything came about organically. I created my book, Glamour Gurlz: The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide to Great Makeup and Gurl Smarts, when I overheard a conversation between my nieces about where they were at with their self-esteem and their makeup choices. I was looking for something to buy for them; however what I had in mind for them wasn’t out.

As I was working, a makeup product didn’t have what I needed, so I began working with a chemist to create Red Carpet Kolour. With RCK, I wanted something for women everywhere, and for my clients to wear on the red carpet, that didn’t transfer.

“They could hug George Clooney and it wouldn’t get on his suit.”

I didn’t have a business plan, I just began creating things that I couldn’t find, that weren’t available on the market. I sold my company RCK in October 2018. I got a great offer out of the blue, and had way too much on my plate, so it was perfect timing.

What are your latest must-have beauty splurges & steals?


Laura Mercier - Cream Foundations & Tinted Moisturizers

MAC - Hyper Real Glow Highlighter Palettes
Kiehl’s - Micro Blur Skin Perfector …great primer!

Bausch & Lomb - Lumify Eye Drops!

Professional Makeup Artist and author Joanna Schlip has worked with some of the most celebrated women in the entertainment industry. She continues to be a force – setting trends, educating and sharing all things beauty. Photos of Joanna and Denise Richards courtesy of @joannaschlip instagram.