The holidays will soon be upon us and with all the socializing on the horizon, we’ve got makeup on the mind. Luckily, internationally published makeup artist Kornelija Slunjski – better known as @kokobeaute –  is here to chat with us about all things cosmetics – and, of course, skincare too! 

Have you always been interested in makeup?

Yes, ever since I can remember. As many little girls (or boys) I was always by my mom doing her makeup and was secretly using all of her products. I remember how intimidating a lash curler looked. I was also always flicking through magazines, seeing all the beautiful models and celebrities thinking, “I want to make them look this good.”

What inspires you to try new makeup looks?

I am always interested in trying on new looks because you never know what you might love. It’s a way to express yourself, it can make you feel more confident and playful. It’s all about experimentation and practice. And the best part is: it’s just makeup, you can take it off. 

What do you love about being a makeup artist?

There’s so many things I love about this industry. I just love beauty and helping people achieve their desired looks, bringing out the best in them. I love being on set, working with a crew and seeing how everything comes together. When I am working, it never feels like work. I feel like I’m just hanging out with different people and playing with makeup.

Do you have any beauty tips for holiday-specific makeup?

I feel like red is such a staple when it comes to the holidays. It makes a statement and you won’t go unnoticed. I suggest using a matte formula if you are looking for a long-lasting effect. 

What are your favorite classic makeup looks for the holidays? 

I love a diffused smokey eye combined with a nude lip. Smokey eye can be worn in so many different ways and you can get creative when it comes to color. I love a blown-out matte look with shimmer in the middle of your lid – and always fresh-looking dewy skin.

What does your “desert island” makeup bag look like?

Mascara, CC Cream with SPF, concealer, bronzer, and lip balm! 

Do you have a makeup hack or “secret” you’re willing to share?

Oh, I have so many! The best way to ensure your makeup stays on is to layer. Start with a cream or liquid and follow it with a powder formula. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers – the temperature and natural body oils blend products into your skin seamlessly. Also, I always apply blush in the eye crease, as that gives your look continuity and cohesiveness, and a dab on the top of your forehead. 

Who is your #1 beauty icon?

Kim Kardashian. She is someone who brought glam back to our lives and I truly admire her on so many levels. She wears everything with such style and grace and always looks impeccable. 

How do you take time for yourself?

I really enjoy skincare routines. I feel like that is “me” time and a way for me to take a break and just enjoy all the products that make my skin feel pampered. I also looove massages, if I could have a massage every day I would. 

How did your relationship with self-care begin and how has it changed over time?

I never really understood the importance of self-care when I was younger. I feel like it wasn’t really talked about and people didn’t give it that much importance. Today, I know that I need to take a break and do things that I want to do. It’s so important to know how to say “NO” to people or plans. Also spending time with people that bring you up. 

Tell us about your perfect day. It could be a memory of a real one or a fantasy for a future one!

Fantasy: I am not a morning person so it would probably start with a 10am wakeup. Somewhere in a tropical place, with my room view being the ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows and the breeze coming through my door. Breakfast is my favorite meal, so a handful of choices here too, followed by a quick swim and relaxing in the sun. Then an afternoon spa with a full body massage, mani-pedi, the whole nine yards, ending with a fabulous dinner overlooking the ocean and seeing the sunset. And of course, all of that with my partner.

Walk us through your typical weekday skincare routine.

My routine always starts with a cleanser. Next would be a hydrating toner to make sure my face is 100% clean and to add a layer of hydration right from the start. Depending on how my skin feels, I’d choose a serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. And SPF. Always wear SPF. 

What’s your go-to Erno Laszlo product and why?

I love the Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion Serum. It feels so good on my skin and gives a perfect base for makeup. Seriously, my favorite serum. 

What is your number one skincare goal?

Smooth texture and glowy, healthy skin. My skin is sensitive, so I have to be careful with my diet and lifestyle – it shows on my skin right away. 

Do you have a skincare hack or “secret” you’re willing to share?

I love keeping some of my products in the fridge, it gives such a nice cooling touch to your skincare routines. Also if a product is not working for me in my skincare face routine, I use it all over my body. I don’t like wasting products so that way I feel like I didn’t completely abandon it and it’s still being used somehow.

Rapid Fire

Red lip or nude lip?

Nude.

Smokey eye or soft glam?

Soft glam.

Colorful eyeshadows or neutrals?

Neutrals

Matte or dewy skin?

DEWY always.

Exfoliating: physical or chemical?

Chemical.

Yoga or the gym?

Gym.

Current favorite song and/or podcast?

Overnight Success by Maria Hatzistefanis.

One book everyone should read?

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

What is your zodiac sign?

Aries.

Sentence Finishers

My guilty Instagram follow…

@mytherapistsays.

My favorite beauty trend is…

dewy skin.

My favorite health trend is…

oat milk and CBD products.

A woman I admire is…

my mom.

I always travel with my...

skincare routine. 

My fridge is always filled with…

cheese. I know. Dairy is not the best for your skin.

Last Thing You Did

Last new makeup trend you tried?

No eye makeup, bold lip.

Last place you traveled to?

Croatia.

Last thing you ate?

Pizza.

Last show you binge-watched?

The Affair (with the above-mentioned pizza).

Last self-care trend you tried?

Detox water at home. 

Last thing you took a picture of that you didn’t put on Instagram?

Yellow autumn leaves.