Mario Dedivanovic's cosmetics brand has been a long time in the making — two decades, to be exact.
The celebrity makeup artist, who's known for his iconic work with Kim Kardashian West, Kate Bosworth, Gabrielle Union and more, got his start in the industry when he landed a job at Sephora as a teenager. And now, as Dedivanovic celebrates his 20-year anniversary as a professional makeup artist, he comes full circle when his namesake brand, Makeup by Mario, launches on Sephora shelves on Oct. 1.
"I decided I wanted to do makeup in my little 17-year-old mind. Sephora is where my dream began. It's where I would manifest and dream that I would do something significant and make my mother proud," Dedivanovic, who began developing Makeup by Mario in March 2017, tells PEOPLE exclusively.
"So just the thought of that when I walk into there and I'm going to see I'm on the gondolas it's just… I just can't believe it," he adds.
For his initial launch, the pro wanted to start with eye products, including everything from palettes, liners, primers, highlighters and brushes, because that's how he always begins makeup application. "It's a personal preference. It's cleaner for me and I like to have the eyes done because then you can step away and realize, 'I don't need a lot of skin stuff,'" Dedivanovic says.
Making the eyeshadows easy-to-use for makeup artists and novices alike, Dedivanovic wanted the most universal combination of shades possible. So he separated each compact palette by texture — Master Matte, Master Metallic and Master Metals — and created colors inspired by the human body.
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"I'm using skin tone [shades] on everyone to shape the eye, so the formulation of the Master Mattes came from degrees of human skin tone," he says. "For Master Metallics, it's kind of nerdy, but if you look microscopically in the human body, there are billions of cells that are these colors. They're literally natural colors from within us."
For people who want an even more high-shine finish, Dedivanovic's Master Metals palette, which can be used wet or dry, delivers a "liquid metal" look. "You can use your finger and do something different and play," he says.
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Besides eye shadow, Dedivanovic will debut other eye essentials he's come to use constantly on his clients over the years. "I didn't want anything gimmicky in this in this brand," he says.
He thinks more women should be incorporating a clear, cream gloss highlighter into their makeup collection for the most natural, dewy glow. "Other highlighters add texture and opacity. You can dab the Master Secret Glow on your eyes, your cheeks and your lips. There's no glow more beautiful than when you can see your skin underneath," Dedivanovic says.
The makeup pro also favors a less-is-more approach to beauty, which is how he went into developing his products.
"Of course you can easily build these up. But I feel that we have this explosion of heavy pigments in the last several years and it's quite difficult," Dedivanovic says. "The formula has a little bit of sheerness and is super easy to use."
Since his namesake brand has been over three years in the making, Dedivanovic says he has secretly tested out some products on his celebrity clients — even though they may not have known it!
"I've used a lot of stuff over the past few years, but no one knows that I did because these little lab samples," he says.
And while he's surely taught his celebrity clients his makeup tricks over the years, Dedivanovic admits that he's picked up some tips from them too as did their glam. "I learn so much from my clients," he says.
"When I think of J.Lo I remember she taught me about this really warm tone bronzer that she puts on after the contour, so I started doing that afterwards. With Kim [Kardashian West], I think of body makeup. She's a perfectionist of body makeup. I feel she does it better than I do," the makeup pro adds. "With Kate Bosworth she's taught me about foundation textures and how she uses them with her fingers."
Now that traditional red carpets aren't happening as frequently because of the coronavirus pandemic, Dedivanovic's usual glam sessions have been on a halt. But he's staying hopeful for the future.
"I'm missing it all. I'm missing the energy. I'm missing my clients. Oddly enough, I'm missing traveling! This is definitely a challenging time, but we will get through it," Dedivanovic says. "We'll come back and I'm focusing on the positive."
Makeup by Mario launches at MakeupbyMario.com and Sephora.com on Oct. 1.
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