Alphie Sadsad: Reality Bites

Makeup artist Alphie Sadsad has found the real way to beauty. As Ashleigh Sharman discovers.

The first thing you notice about Alphie Sadsad is his killer grin, quickly followed by boundless energy and a genuineness to connect. This is no tortured artist or makeup diva but rather a down-to-earth beauty guru who loves nothing better than instilling confidence in everyone he meets whilst bubbling with energy, passion and enthusiasm for his craft. It’s not surprising to discover then, that he hated the formal education that university provided some 15 years ago — and a six-month deferral would change everything.

“My parents weren’t happy I wanted out of university so pushed me to do something I had a passion for. I took a makeup short course and really enjoyed it which then led to a part-time course in Sydney. I finally quit university, completed a full-year course and then my diploma and soon found myself working for a small makeup brand.

Alphie SadSad
Alphie Sadsad

“My journey so far has been with three cosmetics companies, two in Australia and one in London. The first two were all about high-glamour, transforming the client; but the third was about enhancing natural beauty and working with a client’s personal style. It’s not about showing off my artistry, despite knowing that I have the ability. At the end of the day it’s all about teaching. Showing the client how and making them feel powerful in the process with just a stroke of lipstick or flick of mascara,” Alphie explains.

From Elizabeth Arden to Giorgio Armani and finally his current home at Bobbi Brown, Alphie is always on the move, discovering his passion through talking to clients and learning how to execute their needs and wants. Alphie can perhaps be described as a customer serviced-based artist with simple glamour and natural beauty forever at his side, yet he knows no limitations.

“It may be through my freelance work that I can unleash more creativity, however there are times I can be quite daunted by colour. My style in makeup right now is to make women feel beautiful through the way they look, where the transformation that occurs is based in confidence and not trickery.

“I was never into colour in college. I like to work with enhancement. I adore makeup artists like Val Garland but I prefer to embrace natural beauty. Even if there is call for a heightened look, as is often the case with fashion week with avant-garde styling, there will still be one element of natural beauty. We still crave realism,” says Alphie.

And it is fashion week, specifically New York Fashion Week (NYFW) last September that delivered one of the most memorable moments of Alphie’s life. So emotional is he when recounting this story he is on the verge on tears with pure passion in his eyes.

“When I got the call I literally cried. It was always in my mind but I never thought I’d be given this opportunity. It was the first time Australian team members attended NYFW for Bobbi Brown and that was such a privilege. I was so excited to do Elie Tahari’s makeup! It was just a bit of bronzer, powder and tinted moisturiser but he is an icon to me — and my hand was featured in his instagram!”

For Alphie, three women stand tall on his beauty altar and provide the gauge for his makeup style: Diane Keaton, for her natural beauty and classic style; Cate Blanchett, for her defined personal style; and Grace Kelly, for her classic glamour. Coupled with the past seasons, where we have seen a return to natural beauty and aesthetics, Alphie’s style is both realistic and achievable for the modern woman.

Alphie Sadsad for Sahani
Alphie Sadsad for Sahani

“Women like simplicity and enhancing their own natural beauty. You want your personality to shine, and not your makeup. The minimalist trend also enhances self-confidence, just look at the rise of skincare-based makeup like BB cream. Women want to be complimented on the way their skin looks and not their makeup application, so having knowledge is key.

“I’ve learned how to be a good teacher. Working on the floor for Elizabeth Arden, I learned that in order to sell a lipstick you need to teach the woman how to apply it. It’s about having a hand-held mirror and teaching your client step-by-step. It’s about reassurance. It’s never about a reveal. This is not magic, rather trust and reassurance — that’s how clients come back,” Alphie says.

The next 12 months, then, are nothing short of hectic for Alphie, taking in Fashion Week in Sydney, travelling the country, and, hopefully, a return to NYFW. This, alongside a desire to meet more people within the industry; those he reads about and sees in magazines, and students, who he hopes take under his wing and mentor.

“When people say to me, ‘You’re a different makeup artist to others I meet’, I personally think I’m just real. I will do the dirty work as well as be fabulous. My parents told me, don’t change for anybody, no matter what you are doing in life, just be yourself. That’s what feeds me and makes me feel fulfilled.”

Reality. It’s beautiful.

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