| Lifestyle | One-On-One with Tom Ford's National Artistry Executive, Carter Daniel

| Lifestyle | One-On-One with Tom Ford's National Artistry Executive, Carter Daniel

I recently had the honor of meeting Tom Ford's National Artistry Executive, Carter Daniel! Not only is he charming and fun, he's incredibly talented! While he taught me the tips and ticks of the Tom Ford Face, I thought I'd conduct a little interview with one of the latest and greatest in the industry. Carter often tours around North America doing makeup in various Tom Ford counters and boutiques, if he's ever dropping by your local counter, I highly recommend you book a session with him. He is totally honest and such an amazing artist.

**I have included a picture of Cater's original work below but because it was such a hot day, much of my makeup was melting down by the time I got home to take pictures, so the pictures are not that great. I have re-created his look for this article to show you the step-by-step process. However, since I do not own everything her used on me, I did substitute a few products. I will include all substitutions throughout this post. I also did shot this recreation very early in the morning, so I did some parts our of order.

Here s the original look Carter created. I love the shades and my brows look absolutely incredible! I haven't been able to get my brows to look like that again... *insert sad face*

So we took a picture together but I hate the way I look in it, so I'm a including a pic of Carter I stole from his Instagram. He always looks amazing!:

Since I came in with a bit of makeup on, Carter started the process by removing my makeup with the Tom Ford Purifying Cleansing Oil, which is so luxurious and smells like a dream. He massaged this luxurious oil all over my face with his hands and then took water on several cotton pads to remove everything. My face felt very fresh and didn't feel greasy at all afterwards because the oil is a semi-dry oil and doesn't have a heavy greasy texture. Then he went in with the Tom Ford Makeup Remover, which is classic dual-phase makeup remover to take my eye makeup off and gently remove my long-wearing mascara. Again, with water soaked cotton pads, he removed any residue on my eyes. It felt so fresh, I thought he had used a cleansing water on me!

He asked me what I wanted to focus my look on today but I told him "makeup artist's choice". I am pretty much open to anything, as many of you know, and I really wanted to see what he would choose for me.

** I paraphrased some of Cater's answers because while I took notes, I did not record our entire conversation word for word.

Question: How did you get started in makeup artistry?

Carter: I was 18 at Macy's stocking for the Chanel counter. I never thought I would be a makeup artist. It was never part of my plan, I was about to go to college and I thought I would be a lawyer or doctor or something. My mom was a makeup artist and thought that this would be a good summer job for me. I was intrigued by the luxury of Chanel, the history, and the heritage. I was really much more interested in the lifestyle behind the makeup.

Question: How did you get into Tom Ford? 

Carter: I spent 6 years at Chanel, working every position from stocking to counter manager. I was too young to be a regional manager and there was no real place to go up from there. Nordstrom department managers take on talent to grow and nurture, so I ended up as a Dior Department manager fro Nordstrom in San Francisco. Eventually, I was approached by a Tom Ford executive in Nordstrom San Francisco and asked if there was anyone I knew who would be interested in a position at Tom Ford. It was a 4 month interview process!

Carter then asked me what kind of moisturizer I preferred, because I preferred a richer moisturizer, he used the Tom Ford Intensive Infusion Ultra-Rich Moisturizer. This moisturizer is rich and again, feels so luxurious on the skin. It feels creamy and nourishing. It really makes my skin plump and glow. He then began prepping my skin with the Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, a cult classic from the range.

For my re-creation: I used the Tom Ford Radiant Moisture Souffle (full review here) because I don't own the Intensive Fusion Moisturizer. 

Question: What is your makeup aesthetic or style? 

Carter: I would say, everyday glamour with a touch of red carpet. I want my clients to have a look that looks like themselves and is achievable but I don't want it to be so easy that anyone can do it. I want them to aspire to achieve the look.

Carter and I are definitely on the same wavelength when it comes to makeup aesthetic and style. I love a an everyday glam and if I'm getting my makeup done, it better be something that I can't easily achieve at home, something more involved.

Carter then went in with the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick, a favorite of both of ours, and began to do my base. He actually has this really cool technique that he's coined called "pre-loading". What that means is he "pre-loads" his brush with all the product he is going to need, places it where it should go, then blends. It's a super cool makeup artist trick for when you don't have time to be constantly dipping into product. So he took a ton of the foundation and worked into his brush, then he swiped it in 4 areas; my cheeks, forehead and chin, the started to lightly buff the foundation all over.

The key to Carter's perfectly blended foundation is that he's really gentle and works in these small circular motions. It felt like I was being kissed by the soft brush, instead of aggressively working the foundation into my face. The result was a truly flawless finish but with very little product.

Not my sexiest face...but you can see how glowing my skin is from just the moisturizer and primer!

Carter and I got on the topic of "limited edition" and seasonal releases. I was saying how much I loved the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Glow Stick (full review here) and he said he can take some credit for the creation of this product! Be still my beating heart, I think Carter and I are clearly beauty BFFs! He said that one day John Dempsey, Estee Lauder Executive Group President, came into his store and asked everyone what innovative delivery system was something the brand needed. Carter quickly grabbed a dual-ended contour stick from another brand and suggested it. Six months later, we had the glorious Shade and Illuminate Stick! Thank you Carter, because it seriously made me love the Shade and Illuminate formula even more!

This is actually what is so unique about Carter's position in the Tom Ford company. He's not only a makeup artist but he has a lot of impact and say in the products and events that Tom Ford hosts. He works very closely with other Tom Ford higher-ups to create product and experiences for their customers. His rise to this position is an amazing and inspirational story. While he has worked for Tom Ford for almost 3 years, he has only recently been promoted to this very high level position and he looks so young! He really is inspiring for any young makeup artist.

He then applies some contour with the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in Intensity 1 with the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Brush. He gently swipes the product on my face and blends as he goes. The product is very emollient, so it blends very easily and beautifully.

Question: This one is a hard one, what are your top 5 products from Tom Ford?

Carter: This is a hard one! Hmm... umm... Illuminating Primer, Shade and Illuminate, Brow Sculptor, Cream and Powder Eye Colors, and our Classic Lip Color. I feel like you can do your whole face with just these products.

I loved Carter's picks. I can't imagine answering this question myself!

Question: What's one technique every makeup-wearer should perfect? 

Carter: Blending foundation. You can get full coverage and still make it look like your skin.

I 100% agree with Carter! Heavy and cakey makeup is not pretty. You can definitely achieve a full coverage but still make your skin look really natural. I would recommend using Carter's foundation application technique.

Question: Do you have a makeup pet peeve?

Carter: No, not really. I feel like I accept all makeup for what it is. If you want to wear something garish than you do you. I will even apply makeup that I don't think looks flattering for a client because that's how they like their makeup and it makes them feel good. I do however, think that highlighting under the brow bone is a little dated. It's just not my thing.

He actually made me really laugh with his honesty about applying ugly makeup on people because that's what they want. I have to also completely agree with him on the highlighting the brow bone thing, I will do it sometimes but I often prefer not to. It really isn't necessary.

Carter then moved on with my brows, he used the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso.

I used the Burberry Effortless Brow Definer and the brow gel from the Eyelure Brow Magician.

Question: What's the secret to brows?

Carter: Feather-like strokes.

His technique was really flawless when it came to his feathery strokes. He held the pencil very delicatly and more toward the end so he flick the pencil in these really short strokes. The other important part for getting clean brows is that he sharpens the pencil well before applying. The Tom Ford Brow Sculptor comes with an awesome little sharpener that shaves the tip into a nice sharp angle to get perfect brow strokes. He then finished my brows off with a little bit of the Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Taupe. He chose taupe because he didn't want my brows to be too dark and be the center of attention but he wanted to add some texture into my brows since I had enough brow hairs for it.

Time for eye makeup! Carter primed my eyes with Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach, using the cream color. This is one of my favorite products ever! I was actually what I was wearing that day until he removed it. Again, Carter used his "pre-loading" trick on a fluffy blending brush and they buffed the cream shadow all over my lids, starting from the center of the mobile lid. This ensured that the cream shadow blended seamlessly! It was the smoothest application! This is also how I perfer to apply my cream colors with a fully blending brush but now I am going to try his pre-loading technique.

Carter said that he actually prides himself on being able to do Asian eyes really well. It has become his specialty and after my makeover, I couldn't deny this fact! My makeup looked the best it has ever looked when someone else has done it! I usually hate getting my makeup done because my eye makeup usually ends up horrendous! Carter's techniques really shape and flatter my eye shape so well!

He then went in with the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Honeymoon, one of my favorites and probably one of the most popular quads in the range. Carter took the lightest gold shade and placed that in the inner third of my eye and the deeper golden shade on the outer corner of my eye. His trick is really blend as you go, which I know is something many of us hear often but Carter takes it to a whole new level because my eye look looked seamless! Each color just blended into each other perfectly and the edges of my makeup just disappeared!

Apply Light Gold in the inner corner.

Anyways for more definition, Carter used the red shade in the palette in the outer crease. His trick with this color is press the color into the brush because otherwise, it can be a bit gritty and cause fallout. Since he didn't set my face yet, he wanted to avoid fallout at all costs. He takes a bunch of the product on a fluffy blending brush and then presses the brush into his hand to really work the product into the bristles. Then he gently presses it into my outer crease. Then with just a very light tap into the seep purple shade, he applied that into my outer crease for added depth.

Don't forget to blend very well!

Adding the Red shade into the outer corner. 

Adding a touch of the purple shade into the deepest part of the outer corner.

Using the Tom Ford Eye Khol Intense in Espresso he lined very closely to my lashline and used a detail brush to blend it out.

He applied Tom Ford Ultra Length Mascara to finish my eyes. 

Question: Is this your preferred way to do liner?

Carter: Yes, most of the time. I like the softness of this technique but sometimes I will do a liquid liner. It is very on-brand to have a soft liner.

Question: Speaking of on-brand, the Extreme Collection is pretty different for the Tom Ford range. What do you think about it? 

Carter: I love it! The pigments are actually really dense so you have to use a synthetic brush or finger and really press the shadows on otherwise you're going to have fallout.

To clean up and finish my face, Carter used the Tom Ford Highlight Pen in Dusk Bisque under my eyes. He said he loves this product so much because of it's brightening peachy tone. He said he would have put it on his top 5 list but it this shade doesn't work for everyone. However, it does come in 3 shades, Dusk Bisque is his favorite. I actually have wanted this product for some time and I ended up purchasing it after our session.

Cleaning up and brightening with the Highlight Pen.

On to the lips, Carter actually decided to do something a little off-brand for me because he thought a Kardashian-inspired lip would really suit this look and my face. He went in with the new Tom Ford Lip Sculptor in Extort, which is actually a brown lip liner, not usually my thing and he lined my lips. The unique thing about this lip liner is that is has a triangle shape that allows you to always have edge to use and makes it easier to get clean lines.

I used Make Up For Ever 1C Lip Liner (discontinued), my closest brown lip liner but still a bit light compared to Tom Ford Extort. 

The reason why this is so off-brand is that Tom Ford actually hates lip liner! He hastes it because he thinks women don't use it properly and it doesn't look natural. Due to popular demand for lip liners by customers, he decided to release this range.

Then to create a softer more on-brand ombre effect, he blended it in toward the center of my lips. He then took one of my favorite lipsticks Tom Ford Sable Smoke, and applied it to the center for a Kardashian-esque nude lip. While not usually, my kind of thing, I really liked how it turned out!

To finish my complexion, Carter dusted on Tom Ford Ultimate Bronzer in Gold Dust, all over with the Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (one of my faves!). Then is lightly dusted on Tom Ford Love Lust Blush on the apples of my cheeks and a bit on my nose, forehead, and chin. He does this because you don't just blush or flush on your cheeks, its a bit all over. He then taps on the highlighter from the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate palette onto the top of my cheekbones for a glow.

I used the Tom Ford Ultimate Bronzer in Terra, which is matte instead of shimmery.

I used the Tom Ford Blush in Inhibitionwhich is matte instead of shimmery.

Applying the Shade and Illuminate Highlighter. 

Finally he powdered my face very lightly and strategically with the Tom Ford Translucent Powder in Ivory Fawn. He said "Powder with purpose.", which is always my motto when it comes to powder. I often try to avoid as much of it as I can.

Final question and it's a big one...

Question: Can you tell us anything about any upcoming launches or collections? 

Carter. No. Well, I'll let this one out of the bag, the anniversary for Fucking Fabulous is coming up and there's a fragrance that will be just as bold and with a just as striking name!

Question: Omg.. Why can we expect this?

Carter: September.

Well guys, that concludes my makeover and interview session with Carter! Not only did he reveal a lot of amazing trick and tips, he spilled a little secret for an upcoming launch! I couldn't be more excited about what this mysterious and striking fragrance will be, especially the name! I think Tom Ford already broke the internet with the release of Fucking Fabulous (review here)! Cater is such a talented artist! This is probably the only time I have ever been happy after getting my makeup done, I'm picking and particular. I wish I would have taken better photos of the original look but I will include images of my recreation of his look. If you ever get a chance to meet him, I highly recommend you book a session. He is so kind and honest. He's also so fun to chat with. Thank you Carter for the beautiful look and letting me interview you!


Shop this look: 


  1. Liz, it looks like they’ve got a tradmark out for ‘Bitter Bitch’ so I bet that’s the new Fucking Fabulous 😊

    1. Whhhaattt?? That's going to be a great compliment to Fucking Fabulous! I'm excited to get a whiff of it!