It was last year (2013) April at IMATS (International Makeup Artists Trade Show) that I’d first met Sharon Gault aka Mama Makeup. We’d know of each other for many years as she and I both have worked with world renowned photographer David LaChappelle over the years (very few MUA’s get that opportunity because his “family” is tight knit). I was with a friend of mine while passing through the myriad of vendor booths and standing quietly at the RCMA booth, I saw the profile of one fire red head diminutive girl speaking with an older man. I immediately knew who she was,…it was indeed Sharon!
I walked over to her and said “Hi Sharon, I’m NZINGHA.” Immediately she hugged me ,”NZINGHA! OMG! For real, finally I get to meet you! I’ve heard so much about you!” We hugged and giggled like two little girls in a candy store. “Sharon I’m so happy to meet you too! I looked and instantly knew it was you! How are you muffins?! How’s David doing? Tell him I said hi!”
We talked for quite a bit before I was able to introduce her to my friend who was with me shopping and enjoying the show. Sharon immediately introduced me to the makers of RCMA cosmetics and we all chatted. She and I immediately found a place to sit down and chat for about an hour! We spoke to each other with no reservation and telling our life stories to each other. It was truly a sister bonding moment, like we’ve known each other for years. And in a way we have…through our art.
I wanted to talk with Sharon forever it was such a joy. Her presence is warm and fuzzy yet powerhouse all rolled into one. We talked about everything but makeup!!! Hahaaaahaa! We mostly talked about life in the fast lane of life and family.
As I looked at her I thought what a doll baby, how could anyone treat her with malice or cruelty. I recalled briefly in my mind her time on tour with Madonna and the ugly behaviour Madonna displayed in the film “Truth or Dare” and I thought about Sharon “You can’t stop a great woman from being who she is destined to be!!!” Sharon moved past Madonna and anyone or anything else that may have appeared to be an obstacle! “Team Mama Makeup” all the way!!!
I also recalled many years back while I was on tour with Janet Jackson, as the tour was coming to a close I got a call from someone telling me about Madonna’s tour and her looking for a Makeup Artist, I’d been referred.
After seeing that Truth or Dare all I could think of was “not gonna work for any amount of $$$” my West Indian self and her…”Nah man, mi a haffa go beat her pon she head, mi no take tea fa di feva, she come bruk up mi son! Mi give her new eyeshadow called “FIST”!”
I was young and extra spicy then, Lololol! My reply to that person who called me was a healthy no and boy am I glad about that. Had I gone out on that tour I would’ve missed the whole new wave of R&B artists that were about to kick the door down.
Sharon was also on that wave with her roster of musicians and actors that seem endless to even mention. Did I mention Lady Gaga? No?…Lady Gaga….team MAMA MAKEUP all the way! Needless to say Sharon is a fabulous face force to be reckoned with! Some say their brush is not a magic wand but in the hands of Sharon Gault I beg to differ!! Sharon is pure magic on makeup,…the skin comes alive with warmth, depth and boldness.
The original interview with Sharon Gault aka Mama Makeup by Vaga Magazine
Like many people who grow up with little means, the choices are: become a victim of your situation, or use it as an impetus to break free. Though her childhood may have been bleary, her escape (as it is for many) was the world of fashion. Collecting fashion magazines like some people collect baseball cards, Gault had every issue of Vogue: “I was obsessed with collecting my Vogue magazines, and I loved the make-up in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.”
Surprisingly, make-up was not where Gault started off. Sharon Gault got her start as a wannabe photographer in California after she became infatuated with a sexy boxer named Lee Canalito. “He looked like a Michelangelo sculpture – he is so beautiful. I started photographing him and photographing things at the gym.”
But as a babe on a budget, photography soon proved to be an expensive habit this was back in the days when people still used film – imagine that. So Gault got a job as a receptionist at Vidal Sassoon.
And thus a new chapter began.
“I used to have a Farrah Fawcett kind of hairdo, like feathered hair and highlights. So I became a hair model.” Her mane soon became the sounding board for Vidal Sassoon. Red, black, platinum, asymmetrical cuts, shaved, she did it all. “I’d go from having this long gorgeous lion’s mane hair to cutting all my hair off, being a house model at Sassoon.”
Though she loved modeling the different looks, Gault’s interest ran deeper than just the superficial.
“I was fascinated at how hair revolutionized fashion and I was really excited about studying what Vidal Sassoon did and how he created his signature shape.”
Her fascination with hair soon led to Gault doing hair for others. She studied at the Vidal Sassoon Academy where she honed her skills as a hair and make-up artist.
Her charming, personality and skills soon took her to the top of the celeb circuit where she notably became famous for appearing in Madonna’s movie, Truth or Dare. Under the guidance of Peter Savic, she keyed the hair for the background dancers and singers for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour.
Though she may not have become Madonna’s BFF, she did find a soulmate in David LaChapelle. “He’s the closest thing to a husband I’ll ever have,” she jokes. After meeting LaChapelle at a photo shoot in New York, the two became fast friends.
“I was assisting a hairdresser and someone on set said, ‘If you and David LaChapelle meet each other, you will be inseparable.”
And inseparable they were. She went on to become LaChapelle’s muse, working with him on an i-D magazine shoot in which she appears naked lying underneath a bubble perched on a field. Gault may have appeared calm and serene, but in reality she was lying on a trash landfill.
“I’m lying on this landfill, sweating, thinking I’m going to get some bad toxic thing in my system. I’m sitting there crying. And they had no permits and the police were driving by, and here I am naked, and everybody is looking at my coochie.”
Though most people might be a little hesitant about appearing naked even if they have model-perfect bodies, Gault says she was comfortable being photographed nude.
“My mom tried to teach us to honor our bodies. It’s that side of me that likes to show that people love me for me, not for my body.”
Not unlike what she did for the Calvin Klein “Pepper” fragrance commercial.
The commercial was all about encompassing different body types, different people,
and different looks.
“Kate Moss used to live with me, and it’s so nice because it opens up with Kate talking – and at the end it’s
me, and I’m like, ‘It’s for you, it’s for me, it’s for everyone.’ Like we’re all one.”