Dany Sanz is the crimson-haired mastermind behind Make Up For Ever, the French cosmetics brand beloved by pros for its dramatic, full-spectrum product line. She’s also something of an industry mentor, having taught such big names as Stéphane Marais and Tom Pecheux. This month the 27-year-old label—which is sold in 50 countries—will open its second Paris boutique, in the Marais.
How did you become a makeup artist?
In the early Seventies I was painting sets for a play, and they needed to paint the face of one of the actors to look like a white mask. The makeup artists were classically trained, so they didn’t know how to do it, but I knew I could. Within a few years, fashion magazines were hiring me to paint clothes from the collections onto models’ bodies, and soon after that designers began asking me to do this for their shows.
What made you decide to do your own makeup line?
In the Eighties, when I was teaching at the Ecole Chauveau makeup school in Paris, I started making products in my kitchen mixer because those that were in existence at the time were pretty poor in quality.
Who is your target customer?
I imagine both ladies and makeup artists. I am inspired to find new concepts and new colors, but I produce them in a way that is easy to use.
How will the Marais boutique be different from your first location, on rue de la Boétie?
Our Boétie shop is more for pros. I know it sounds crazy, but they don’t want to mix with the masses! The Marais boutique will be more for the public—we won’t have fake blood, plaster wax, and that kind of thing.
What was your most unusual makeup experience?
I was once visited by an embalmer—he’d heard that I had great foundation. We became friends, and he ended up inviting me to a school for embalmers so I could understand their methods. While I was there, I did makeup on a corpse—I used to be a sculptor and I know how to do special effects, so it was easy for me—and then the embalmers ended up asking me to teach them.
Sanz’s latest creation, Smoky Lash tinted mascara.
Is it true you made a kit especially for firefighters?
A fire captain came to see me because he needed to know how to re-create wounds. He was planning on training first-time firefighters, many of whom had never seen bloody cuts, and he wanted to make sure they would not be afraid to treat victims. I taught him and his firemen how to do special-effects makeup. It was actually very amusing to see them dabbing on foundation with a little puff!
Polaroid: courtesy of Dany sanz; Mascara: Pamela Cook