Gina Brooke, Madonna's longtime make up artist, has collaborated with MAKE UP FOR EVER to create the official lip color for the Material Girl's highly anticipated MDNA tour – new Aqua Rouge #8 in an iconic shade of red.  Brooke, a beauty expert in her own right whose work has appeared in every major fashion magazine, approached MAKE UP FOR EVER after falling in love with their Aqua Rouge collection for fall 2012. Together, MAKE FOR EVER and Brooke created the ideal shade of red lip color for the tour.

"I loved working with MAKE UP FOR EVER to create a custom shade of Aqua Rouge specifically for Madonna. My biggest challenge was to find a lip product that was reliable and long-lasting, and knew choosing something from MAKE UP FOR EVER's Aqua range was going to be ideal especially with a minute and a half for touch ups between songs. There's no room for mistakes," said Brooke. "I wanted to come up with a perfect, pure red lip color that would exude confidence and beauty. To me, the shade looks iconic, which is the perfect word to define Madonna and her career."

Aqua Rouge #8 is a true, classic red that brightens the entire face and is universally flattering on all skin tones.  As part of MAKE UP FOR EVER's new Aqua Rouge lip color collection launching in September 2012, the high-impact liquid lip color delivers the intensity and long-lasting coverage of a lip stain, with the eye-catching shine of a gloss. It is highly pigmented, and most important, smudge-proof, sweat-proof and dance-proof.

In addition to Aqua Rouge, Gina's go-to for enhancing Madonna's eyes is MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow #0E in black.  The jumbo eye shadow pencil can be applied in seconds and requires minimal to no touch ups, even after rigorous dancing and hot stage lights.

Gina Brooke has now collaborated on three of Madonna's world concert tours and numerous music videos, including « Hung Up, » for which she was awarded the coveted MVPA Award for Best Makeup. Her talent with the living canvas has graced the pages of Vogue, Vogue Italia, W, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Allure, In Style, Rolling Stone, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, Interview, Numero and GQ.


Working with the most renowned and influential photographers of our time, such as Steven Klein, Mert and Marcus, Miles Aldridge, Jean Baptiste Mondino, David LaChapelle, Deborah Tuberville, Tom Munro, Greg Kadel, Annie Liebovitz and Sølve Sundsbø, Francesco Corrozzini, Brooke has produced stunning campaigns for D&G, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, Giorgio Armani, Akris, H&M, Furla and L'Oreal while her list of celebrity reinventions reads like a who's who of Hollywood and supermodel A-listers, from Ann Hathaway, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford, Fiona Apple and Britney Spears, Katy Perry to David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Bob Dylan, Goldfrapp, Gwen Stefani and of course, Madonna.

She has appeared as a beauty expert and makeup artist on the Today Show, Fox News, Good Day LA, Extra, E, Daily 10, San Francisco's « View from the Bay » and many local TV stations across the US, as well as beauty blogs such as Bella Sugar which receives over 12 Million viewers monthly.

It was Brooke's innate sense of adventure that propelled the once inspiring fashion designer into her first photo shoot while attending FIT in New York City casually standing in as a makeup artist for a fellow student/model's portfolio, her artful stroke was uncanny and soon thereafter she found herself careering down a new path working for fashion magazines, music videos, television commercials, films and creating products for various cosmetic companies.


Madonna wearing Aqua Rouge

Lovin' the bold, red lip for her MDNA Tour

Madonna's new MDNA Tour is packed with numbers that will keep anyone guessing what's next. But our focus is on her makeup: Check out what she's wearing on stage and get tips from her makeup artist.

Sometimes a good lip color takes months or even years to formulate. Just in time for Madonna's new MDNA Tour comes a lip color that you can't take your eyes off: It's that mesmerizing.

Aqua Rougue

Gina Brooke, who has been a longtime makeup artist to Madonna, is the perfect person to identify and create an iconic new lip color that will make heads turn. She spilled the beans about the partnership with Make Up For Ever, where she created an iconic red lip for arguably the most iconic pop figure of our time. Aqua Rouge ($24) is now in stores and you'll be seeing Madonna on stage wearing the glossy, come hither #8 shade, which was created specifically by Brooke for the performer.

The best part about this lip color is not just the fact that it's glossy and red. "This shade looks gorgeous on everyone," says Brooke. "The pigments are so strong that all you see is color, with no undertones." With a lot of lipsticks, you can see some undertone of color, and this is because the pigments are not that strong. Aqua Rouge is breathtaking in its vigor. The #8 color is a leap-off-the-page red. It's so easy NOT to miss. All you see is the lip color, and in this aspect, it's not unlike a pair of Louboutin red soled heels.

It's interesting to note that Brooke has focused more on Madonna's eyes than her lips the past few tours. The reason for this is because Madonna absolutely loves makeup for her eyes, from the eyeliner (to get a perfect cat eye) to the mascara. But this time, Brooke wanted the spotlight to be on the star's great pout. "No matter what, Madonna has the final say," says Brooke when we asked her how the red shade came to be, but she knew the iconic red lip was a must for MDNA.

Aqua Rouge is a double-ended wand, which gives you a thick red lip on one side and clear gloss on the other. Brooke advises you to apply the red lipstick carefully and then top it off with one layer of gloss so that your lipstick is completely budge proof. How do you take it off? Simply use a waterproof makeup remover to take it off (yes, it's that kind of makeup).

The new Aqua Rouge line comes in 12 shades that range from the prettiest purple to the beigest brown. In addition to the #8 lip shade, Brooke used the following products on Madonna for her MDNA Tour:

Most of Madonna's makeup changes during her performances need to be done in 1.5 minutes, sometimes two minutes, so Brooke has to be lightning quick. She often uses her fingers to blend. You can use the Aqua Rouge on your lips to make you look "more strong, more elegant" says Brooke. It simply won't budge. If you don't want a glossy, too patent-leather-shiny effect, apply the lip color only without the clear gloss.

Of course the "gloss looks better on the stage," says Brooke, but both "matte and gloss" look great. Madonna definitely prefers the glossy look. The finish of the lipstick is great and it is very moisturizing, too. Use a liner first and then the lip color, to get a "pouty lip," says Brooke.

Make Up For Ever worked on the formula for three years and focused on the iconic red lip shade for six to eight months until they got it just right.

Brooke doesn't like a "perfect face" because she says it's very easy to create. "I prefer a face that's imperfect." Love your features, especially the nose that stands out a little or a big forehead because these are the traits that make you who you are, she advises. Even with models who have acne or psoriasis, etc., Brooke uses the power of makeup to conceal and make them beautiful, while letting them embrace their imperfections. "I want women to focus on what they love about themselves."

Regarding the red lip shade that she created for the MDNA Tour, Brooke admits, "I didn't want it to be a white skin, orange skin kind of lipstick," says Brooke. "I wanted it to be universal."

Our verdict

The Aqua Rouge is a killer lipstick line that really is solid and budge proof. Most other lipsticks we've tried that promise such longevity are very drying on the lips, but not this one! The texture is creamy and even, and it goes on beautifully. Choose to go matte or layer it with the gloss sealant -- this is one versatile wand that's as iconic as MDNA.

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