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A-listers like Elyse Knowles, Kate Waterhouse and Rebecca Judd all have one thing in common on Cup Day, and that’s being glowed up by the best in the beauty business. Makeup Artist Chantelle Baker’s brushes have graced faces from Shanina Shaik to Gigi Hadid, so naturally FATR had to delve deeper into this industry icon’s creative process. Celebrity Makeup Artist Chantelle Baker took FATR behind the sheen to unlock her secrets to infallible racing glamour.

Chantelle’s career has spanned 20 years and her passion for beauty was ignited during her childhood. “My love for makeup started very early, watching my Mum do her makeup and loving everything about it,” Chantelle said. “I then started at MAC; I was able to direct fashion shows, travelled overseas and it was an amazing experience,” she said. “I guess I never stopped loving makeup and it’s taken me to where I am now, my passion driving me to be here.”

The artist’s signature glam style has remained client-focused, transforming everyone in her chair into their most smoking selves - and when it comes to Melbourne Cup, Chantelle’s schedule reads like a VIP list. “There’s a little pre-planning, but most of the magic happens on the day,” Chantelle said. “It’s crazy, I am back to back with appointments all day,” she said. “The Spring Racing Carnival is one of the busiest times of year for me.”

While it is a challenge to create unique looks for multiple clients on a major race day, Chantelle’s skillset ensures she can efficiently execute eye-catching looks, even when many of her clients are heading to the same marquee. “Sometimes the best work is done in no time,” Chantelle said. “But you need to know what you’re doing,” she said. “Good prep beforehand is key when I am back-to-back on any event.”

The process begins by analysing her client’s outfit. “There also may be an opportunity to chat with the stylist or designer to get an idea on what they envisioned for the look,” Chantelle said. “From there, we work together to confirm the final look we’d like to go with, which usually is a focus on one feature, be it a bold lip or an eye.”

However, the method always begins with a thorough understanding of skin type. “The key is to not go overboard with makeup; keep skin looking fresh but ensure you prime and powder (if needed),” she said. “I always prep the skin, so the makeup lasts all day.”

“It’s so important to know what type of skin your client has (oily or dry) and go from there,” Chantelle said. “Most of all, have fun with the look while remembering that it’s day glam,” she said. “You don’t want it to look caked on!”

While Chantelle’s expert hand can create perfect skin, she insists staying hydrated from within is the key to prepare for and recover from a trip to the track. “Eye masks, face masks, lip masks… They’re essential and I am obsessed with them,” she said. “I’m also a huge fan of face serums lately.”

“Makeup shouldn’t wear you - you should own every look,” Chantelle said. “I always keep this in mind when creating looks with my clients,” she said. “It is so important to keep up with fashion trends and what is happening with makeup as it moves fast, and everyone wants to be ahead of the game.”

Chantelle’s clientele needs to look as good in street style shots as they do taking behind the scenes snaps in their selfie lens. Priming oily skin with shine-control is key, otherwise the artist will create a dewier finish.

“To combat light and shine reflections from the photography, make sure to lightly set skin with a setting powder in the areas the camera will flash, i.e. middle of forehead, around the nose and chin,” Chantelle said. “Add some shine on the highlights of the face - cheekbones are my go-to.”

The beauty buff’s favourite t-zone control products are by Fenty Beauty and Ray Morris, favouring Urban Decay’s setting spray to finish. “I love the Fenty universal powder to set, it’s almost an invisible powder that doesn’t have that ‘caked on’ finish,” Chantelle said. “I’ve also fallen in love with Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier powder – it’s amazing!”

The blotting technology allows for multiple touch-ups throughout your race day, making it the perfect purse companion to take trackside. “You can use it with your fingers after makeup on any oily areas that come through,” Chantelle said. “It’s literally next level makeup designed for all skin types.”

You will be sure to find Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Nars in Chantelle’s kit too. “I am a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury products,” Chantelle said. “I remember Charlotte when I first started out as a makeup artist,” she said. “She directed all the shows overseas and game-changed the industry with her makeup and skincare line.”

Naming her artist icons as Hung Vanngo and Charlotte Tilbury, Chantelle praises social media for its ability to promote a global community of makeup artists. “I can literally message my icons and tell them how much I love their work,” Chantelle said. “I love the way makeup has exploded and how much access we have to everything now.”

Chantelle believes this influencer culture has altered consumer appetites for beauty, where trends now rise and fall at a fashion industry pace. “There are so many more makeup brands out there now – it’s a forever changing industry,” she said. “Something could be hot for a minute and everyone wants that product, then the next minute it’s something else.”

But for now, Chantelle wants you to consider adding some metallic elements and sheen to the skin, eyes, cheeks and lips this racing season. “Experiment with colour and glitter,” Chantelle said. “It’s the 90s-00s revival with a bit more refinement,” she said. “Brows are more natural and not so heavy.”

This year, you can expect to see Chantelle working across all the major events from Spring Racing to the Logies, and plenty of fashion events and photoshoots in between. “You never really know what’s around the corner...that’s why I love my job so much,” Chantelle said. “Always expect the unexpected!”

With just three race days left to make your impact on the FATR stage this winter, find your racing beauty inspiration on Chantelle’s Instagram @ChantelleBaker. The qualifying events will be held at the Port Augusta Cup on July 7, Roxby Downs Cup on August 3 and the Quorn Cup on August 24. Click here for prizes and entry details. 

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