There is a quote by Mother Teresa which says: “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” On the way to his dreams make-up artist Georgi Sandev has definitely shed not merely a few tears of happiness! Suffice it to throw an eye on his professional portfolio and you are going to be convinced of this at once. For years the famous Bulgarian make-up artist has been living in New York and doing the make-up for the fashion shows of designers such as John Galliano, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford and Mark Jacobs, as well as some of the biggest fashion magazines. Among the famous beauties whose faces he has been painting on are Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Marisa Tomei, Kristen Dunst, Gisele Bündchen, Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, while among his latest achievements we could point out the make-up for naked Naomi Campbell (for French magazine Lui) and Kendall Jenner (for the cover of Vogue). A bohemian by nature and an artist constantly provoking himself, Georgi adds a stroke of professional uniqueness to all the make-up he does.
We are following his professional achievements and successes (as well as his Instagram profile @georgisandev) with apparent admiration and this is why it was sheer luck to be able to challenge him with a few questions about open opportunities and the secrets of beauty…
Sheer luck, chance or a lot of work is the thing that makes your way to the backstage of big fashion shows and the covers of international fashion magazines?
For me everything started quite by chance… I had never imagined that I would ever work in this business. In the beginning, I started volunteering to do the make-up of my partner as part of our preparations for dance sport competitions (a favourite hobby of mine, which I was practising for a long time). Afterwards, during my stay in California in the summer of 2005, I finally found the courage to send an e-mail to a very famous American make-up artist, whose work I had come across by chance only to be irresistibly inspired. Quite unexpectedly, he wrote back the next day and we started keeping in touch. He gave me the courage to believe in myself and try doing make-up professionally. The rest is loads, loads and loads of work and a tiny bit of luck, obviously (smiles).
Which projects do you count as your greatest successes throughout the years?
My work for the last two years with a number of super models, celebrities and magazines such as Vogue, W, Interview, Harper’s Bazaar and others, as well as many advertising campaigns for Alberta Ferretti, Givenchy Jeans, Versus, Emporio Armani and IRO.
Do failures make you despair or do they stimulate you to go ahead?
In my opinion, if a person likes their job, they will never despair. I just turn a new page and move on.
You have done the make-up for some of the most popular models in the world. Whose face is the biggest challenge for you?
Each face is unique on its own, but to me, this is part of the pleasure which I derive from my job as a make-up artist. There is always something new and interesting.
And the secret of the successful make-up artist?
I am still trying to find it (smiles).
Where does the beauty of a face lie: in symmetry, in facial features, or…?
In each and every freckle, in each and every eyelash, in the depth of dark eyes or in the serenity of blue eyes, in lush lips or in seductive cheekbones. Each and every face is poetry and my duty is to give the most inspirational recital.
Spill the beans and give us a small make-up artist’s trick which could make every woman’s face shine!
My favourite trick, which is also exceptionally easy, is curling the eyelashes and applying a little bit of dark mascara at their base. Afterwards, I use a minimum amount of lip balm on the lips, the eyelids and the raised part of the cheekbones in order to create a feeling of freshness and brightness.
What about the products which every lady needs to have in her cosmetic bag?
An eyelash curler, mascara, lipstick, a lip moisturiser and some soft face powder (in case it is necessary).
Who are you most grateful to and why?
I am grateful to my parents because they have never stopped me from chasing my aspirations. To the European Union because it opened the doors for all Bulgarians (including me) to incredible opportunities within the whole continent. And to all exceptional people who I have met along my way as a make-up artist and who have had faith in me.
Have you thought about what you might be doing today if you hadn’t become a make-up artist?
A molecular biologist, a biochemist, an organic farmer, an environmental activist, an engineer, a PR specialist, an artist, a sculptor or a diplomat.
Text: Veliana Simeonova
Photos: Georgi Sandev, Personal Archive