Makeup Artist Karl Giant, Smashbox Cosmetic's Vivacious Virtuoso, Shines at the Fall 2006 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week


Karl hard at work!

Sunday March 19, 2006 marked the beginning of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Culver City. As the camera flashes popped lighting up the studio, the faces of Hollywood celebrities and socialites were seen scattered throughout the audience. Models marched down the runway adorned in sumptuous Sue Wong gowns and vintage-inspired Jennifer Nicholson sailor pants. With fashion heavy hitters like Louis Verdad, Agent Provocateur, and Kevin Hall showcasing their creations, it was no surprise that the glitterati migrated in droves to this fashion extravaganza. However, no one personifies glitter or extravaganza more than Karl Giant, lead make-up artist for Smashbox Cosmetics.

Karl takes a moment to chat.

While the audience was whisked away by this whirlwind of glitz, glamour, and gift bags, Karl Giant, world renowned make-up artist, worked feverishly for the Jennifer Nicholson show creating the elegantly effortless make-up look for the Fall/Winter 2006 season.  Models were transformed into whimsical woodland nymphs, with silver glitter around the eyes, shimmering pink cheeks, exaggerated eyelashes, and glossy nude lips. This pure and candid look is quite distinct from Giant's signature style: electrifying make-up artistry that seemingly comes alive on the face.




Karl applies his staple item: eyelashes!

Amidst the flutter and flurry of brushes, products, and models (oh my!), Giant was the hub and heart of this massive make-up mission. He darted about personally applying glitter to the models, advising the work of his colleagues, and even stopping to thoughtfully answer my questions. Although this was technically an interview, it felt more like a conversation, or fashion play date, with a fabulous friend! Giant's eyes lit up and sparkled with passion every time he answered a question. He was having fun, enjoying every shimmering moment of the night. 

Karl shows us what every woman should add: eyelashes, eyelashes, and more eyelashes!

Giant's whirlwind make-up career originated from aspirations to become a comic book artist! It's no wonder that his electrifying make-up style seemingly explodes off the face, much like the animated action found inside a comic book. Giant transitioned from comic books to make-up without any formal training. Make-up for Giant, it seems, is an innate talent. He landed a Christian Dior show as first job. From there, Giant's resume quickly grew to include celebrity clientele Cindy Crawford, Matthew Broderick, Christy Turlington, Franz Ferdinand, Phish, Kathy Bates, Faith Ford, Maria Shriver, Muriel Hemingway, Seth Green and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and designers Marc Jacobs, Victoria's Secret, and Petro Zillia to name a few.



Karl talks with Lawrence Davis, LA Splash publisher and editor-in-chief.

For Giant, the face is his canvas on which he creates elaborate and awe-inspiring artwork. He strives to avoid repetition, instead producing new techniques and looks for every individual face. 'You have to take a picture of it, or else it's gone forever!' Giant exclaimed. He paused from adding silver sparkles to a model's eyes holding his make-up brush steadily in his hand, with an inquisitive look coming across his face. 'After all, when the models step off the runway, the make-up is washed off,' he said wistfully. 'Like sandcastles are whisked away by the ocean!' Lawrence Davis, our publisher and editor in chief, chimed in. 'YES! Exactly!' an exuberant Giant agreed.

Karl's wonderous wood nymph

Giant envisions Los Angeles as eventually becoming one of the top 3 fashion hubs of the world. 'Right now, people think LA follows fashion. But, I see LA as influencing fashion.' And how does Giant see his involvement in this revolution? 'I would like to think that I am a leader in this, that I am helping to influence this transition.' He is fashion forward, striving to be a trend-setter in the fashion industry by pushing the envelope and constantly creating innovative and imaginative looks.

Always a perfectionist, Karl does one last touch-up.

Karl Giant's polished professionalism, innate artistic aptitude, and dazzling dedication to his craft make him a shining star in the make-up and fashion industry. He is truly an artist by any means. 

Photographs courtesy of Jack Fleming.

For more information on Karl Giant, click here.

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