by Frederico Martins
More than a makeup professional, she’s an artist. A determined, perfectionist woman and a self-proclaimed feminist. Without fear of saying what she thinks, she frees herself of the society’s chains and finds a way to give more voice to women. We sat down with Cristina Gomes and the result… Well, that you can read below. By Mariana Nave.
Although Cristina has a career of more than 30 years she never stops learning and focusing on her personal development, being responsive to change, “so many years of career are useless, we have different challenges every day and we always have to start over again”.
Easy going and slightly carefree confesses that makeup happened without planning. “I started at an architecture college but didn’t finished the course. After that I took several classes through EEC – European Economic Community. One of those courses included makeup, in fact, it was more about special effects than common makeup.” However it was aviation that fascinated her: “if I wasn’t a makeup artist I wanted to be a pilot”, confesses. “Of commercial airplanes?”, “Yes, a pilot! That is one of the things I’m pretty sure I would be good at. I also really like mathematics and everything that’s related to it. Maybe I would choose a career based on mathematics or something like that”.
She guarantees she never lied to a client and that there aren´t difficult faces to makeup but difficult people, due to their personalities. When questioned about the definition of beauty, she admits that it's in everyone, whether a person is 18 or 80 years “there’s always something that stands out. It can be the shape of the mouth, the eyelashes or even the skin. There’s always something that is beautiful. My job is to highlight the best features of my client, highlight her strengths. I don’t care if someone doesn’t have a perfect mouth, it’s my job to make it look good and if it doesn’t it’s my fault. In the end, we need to tell people what’s good about themselves and not the other way around. Beauty is love, is what we like: quem feio ama, bonito lhe parece (beauty is in the eye of the beholder).
What do you like the most about your job?
What I like the most is also what I dislike, there’s no timetables. Our life is unpredictable, our job is unpredictable. It can be and is different every day, which also becomes very exhausting. There is not much freedom because we can’t predict anything. On the other side there’s a huge advantage because we meet a lot of extraordinary people.
And what do you dislike the most?
There’s no one more insecure than me, I’ve been working for more than 30 years with some of the most beautiful women in the world. And not only do I work with some of the most beautiful women, I also have to make them even prettier. My term of comparison is of a tremendous injustice for any woman, they’re models, presenters, extremely beautiful women. Something like that affects my self-esteem, maybe that’s the one thing I find a bit harsh about my job. I try to not think about it of course, otherwise I would go crazy. We must learn to live with that.
When questioned about what inspires her, she demystifies: “My job has a creative side like all others, but it’s not the creativity peak I always work for the client, I can’t just do what I want all the time. As a makeup artist I can either follow one path or another, but at the end the client makes the final decision. So when people say that this is a type of art, that’s not entirely true. Like any other job there’s a goal and it can be commercial, editorial, for an event, etc. The person for who I’m working must be satisfied.”
But would you like to start a project of your own? That way the final decision would always be yours.
No, I like this challenge of being evaluated all the time. It satisfies me knowing that the person I’m working for is happy. It has given satisfaction throughout the years.
Cristina confesses that she doesn’t wear makeup on a daily bases. Her beauty routine is actually very simple “I wash my face and use a moisturizing cream”. However, one of her main priorities is to use solar protective moisturizer every day. “I have a lot of caution with the sun, it’s really dangerous and not only in the summer. The sun also burns in the winter and it’s responsible for 80% of skin ageing, at a fast speed. Portuguese women need to be more careful with the sun, not only because it ages the skin but also dries it out”.
Prospects for the future?
I have to make choices about what I do, therefore I would not open an atelier. Opening an atelier means that I would have to focus on only one part of my profession and would end up losing the others variants. If I only focus on advertising, I lose the fashion part of my job. Therefore we can’t predict how our life is going to be like, we do not have work schedules in advance. But for the first time I would like to maybe get associated with a brand. I always praised my freedom very much and now I have another maturity, as such I would like to associate myself with a brand. To be some kind of an ambassador, here in Portugal, to take a brand and do my interpretation of it, add something to it, present the best products, how to get the best of each one, all the things you can do with them and so on.
With conviction, she ends the interview referring how she admires women: “my best friends are women, the majority of human beings that I admire are women. We have the capacity to endure suffering and giving that men don’t”.