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Influence Peddler: Laura Mercier Taps Mario Dedivanovic

Kim Kardashian's makeup artist will join the brand's Makeup Artist Collective.

Makeup artist Laura Mercier is handing over the reins.

For the first time, the founder of the 20-year-old company has allowed another makeup artist to create the looks for an upcoming brand campaign — and he goes by the name @Makeupbymario on Instagram (real name: Mario Dedivanovic), where he has 3.4 million followers and is best known as Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist. He’s also the newest member of the Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Collective.

Laura Mercier Cosmetics launched the Collective with makeup artists Pati Dubroff and Jenn Streicher last year, and in April added U.K.-based Mary Greenwell to the group. But Dedivanovic is arguably the most well-known of the group, where — thanks to his famous clients with large social followings — he has gained influencer status of his own.

The first project he’s completed with the brand is the fall 2017 campaign, which features Suki Waterhouse, the first Mercier Muse, according to Alexandra Papazian, general manager of Laura Mercier. She declined to say how long the partnership would last but said the makeup artist will work on the spring 2018 campaign, develop content for social media and appear at events on behalf of the brand.

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She said the “halo effect” on sales is the expectation, but the bigger opportunity lies in increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers via Dedivanovic’s social media presence.

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Kim Kardashian West on Mario Dedivanovic’s Instagram post.
Kim Kardashian on Mario Dedivanovic’s Instagram post.


“It’s this idea of bringing the brand through the lens of different artists but really speaking to the overall Laura Mercier philosophy and her vision of makeup artistry,” said Papazian, noting that Mercier, the person, hand-picked each makeup artist in the group. “He’s [Dedivanovic] bringing a lot of excitement to the world of makeup artistry, and that’s not just through social media. It’s a very powerful tool…his social media following is impressive and an interesting platform for the brand but what I found interesting is the whole concept of his passion for education.”

WWD caught up with Dedivanovic last week prior to the announcement of the partnership. Here, the makeup artist talks about his must-have products, Instagram and his favorite beauty trend of the moment.

WWD: What are three Laura Mercier products everyone needs?
Mario Dedivanovic: Translucent Setting Powder is a staple in every makeup artist’s kit. It’s universal, it works on all skin tones; Secret Camouflage. I love to mix two to three shades of concealer so that little concealer palette is perfect. I use peachy side to correct. The new Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Foundation.…[because] it gives full coverage and is long-lasting but doesn’t feel heavy.

WWD: What is your favorite look or makeup trend going on right now?
M.D.: Cleaner skin and dewy makeup. I’m consciously trying to put that out there. We’re ready for a new look. We’ve seen so much of the heavily contoured and powdered looks….I’m most excited to see the cleaner and fresher looks. We’re all ready for that. That’s another reason I was excited for this. Laura Mercier’s aesthetic…it’s so in tune with my aesthetic now.

WWD: What’s a makeup trend that should go away?
M.D.: I can appreciate all of them to be honest…[but] I mean like something the glitter cut crease — that sharply cut crease with the glitter line. It’s stuff like that that I just can’t bear anymore.

WWD: What sort of posts resonate the most with your followers?
M.D.: I study that quite a bit. More of the behind-the-scenes photos that I take myself of my clients. Those kinds of photos are more relatable to the viewer. They do much better than a magazine cover or a red carpet shot. I did one the other day of Jenna Dewan [Tatum]…that did really, really well. It probably had upward of 50,000 likes. That’s just an example [of behind-the-scenes] versus a red carpet image, which has a lot less likes and comments.

WWD: What is the most popular request you get from followers on social media?
M.D.: People really want to know about skin…what products I’m using and especially what foundations I’m using. Lip color is always a big one…and a lot of times they want to know what kind of glow [highlighter] I’m using.

WWD: You have achieved influencer status. How has this affected your business? At what point did you really see it change?
M.D.: I want to say probably when I hit one million followers. That’s when I transitioned from not just being a celebrity makeup artist but to an influencer as well. The more followers you get, the more opportunities come [along]. For me it’s a great thing….It allows me to travel the world and do amazing jobs outside of just being a celebrity makeup artist. I look at social media as a job. I try to time my posts out. I’m cautious about what images I post. All those things factor into it. It’s definitely a job.

WWD: Will you only be using Laura Mercier?
M.D.: I use many brands a professional artist. There are various skin types that require different products from [different] brands. I partner with several brands that I authentically love, and I also teach master classes.