INTERVIEW | Simona Avramova: Messi has wonderful energy and never leaves the set without a hug

Photo: Private Archive/Instagram/Cristiano Ronaldo

"Messi has no requirements during the make-up and during the photo session. He always comes on time, is very professional and very easy to work with," says Simona.

The whole world is delighted with the new campaign of the French fashion house "Louis Vuitton", in which Lionel Messi и Christiano Ronaldo they put their football rivalry aside and posed for the photographer's lens Annie Leibovitz.

But the fact that the Macedonian woman is particularly important for us Simona Avramova was in charge of the make-up of the Argentinian football legend Messi, for the purposes of this now iconic photo session.

Macedonian Simona Avramova made up Lionel Messi in the cult photo with Cristiano Ronaldo

This talented 28-year-old girl has been living in Barcelona for seven years, where she has a successful career as a professional makeup artist and hairstylist for many world famous people.

Exclusively for "Free Press", Simona talked about what it's like to be Messi's personal make-up artist, how her love for creative work took her to Spain and how she fills her free time when she doesn't have work commitments.

Hi Simona, introduce yourself to our audience.

- Hello! First of all, thank you for the invitation and I am very glad that this interview is with you - "Sloboden Pechat".

I am Simona, a 28-year-old girl who has been living in Barcelona for seven years. Creative, always honest and determined in what I set as a goal. Free spirit and extrovert. Pisces sign and double Sagittarius sub sign and Moon – for a closer look at who I really am, haha.


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You were in charge of Lionel Messi's make-up, for the needs of the iconic photo session with Cristiano Ronaldo. How did you become part of this story?

– Ahhh, where do I start… Yes, exactly. I have been part of the team behind Leo Messi for a year and a half. I am his makeup artist and hairstylist for all of his commercial appearances and photo shoots.

Somewhere in the middle of June last year, I received a call from the production company with which I had already worked on several projects in Paris, saying that they were sending portfolios because they were looking for a make-up artist for Messi's rider team, so they asked me if I was interested in sending my portfolio as well. along with everyone else. I said, "Yes, of course." Within a few days I had a Zoom interview with the executive producer and immediately followed confirmation that they wanted me to be part of the first Gatorade commercial in Paris. Every time I start a new project, I am very focused because part of the work is also looking for assistants for it, days of preparation, etc. In short, after the first test ad, I immediately became part of the rider team. For those who don't know, a rider team is one that always moves with the celebrity.

I believe that many are interested - what were Messi and Ronaldo "behind the scenes"?

- Leo Messi is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Not just in my career, but in my life. He has wonderful energy, is very professional, always has respect for everyone involved in any project and never comes or leaves the set without a hug.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to be part of the photo shoot with Cristiano Ronaldo because my British visa didn't arrive in time (I still have a Macedonian passport, even though I have permanent EU residency, haha). By the way, yes, part of my work for the campaign was to prepare Cristiano Ronaldo for the camera.


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Posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Are there special protocols that must be followed when dealing with such a world star? Does Messi himself have special requirements during make-up?

- Of course. We always sign a non-disclosure agreement and are not allowed to release photos and videos from the set before the project is released. Normally we are 30 to 80 people on set, of course we can film "behind the scenes" to share on social media after the project goes public, without of course filming the celebrity himself. I think this is very standard protocol and, in my opinion, is very fair and professional because one cannot control the content (being recorded) of each team member if everything is allowed.

Messi himself, on the other hand, does not have any requirements during the make-up and during the photo session. He is always on time, very professional and very easy to work with. We already have a ritual that we always practice. His favorite part of the make-up is the facial massage, before and after.


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How did you decide to engage in this creative profession and how did life take you to Spain? What was your "springboard" and how did you start collaborating with such famous names from the world scene?

– Ever since I can remember, I've been very creative and I had a big problem deciding what I wanted to be and what I wanted to study. I remember that since I was little, I put on everyone's makeup because my parents worked with Revlon and there was always a box of makeup at home. I wanted to know everything, and I'm still very curious and definitely a bit of a geek, haha. I have a pharmaceutical background – which I later realized was the perfect foundation and, in my opinion, should be crucial knowledge for any makeup artist.

Ah, Spain. One summer, my best friend and I decided to go to Barcelona. It was love at first sight, but I wasn't planning to move because I was finishing college at the time. However, things took an amazing turn for me when I went to Sephora in Barcelona to buy makeup. One of the managers approached me and asked if I was a makeup artist. I said, "Yes." He asked me if I was interested in an interview. I said, "Yes, now?". He answered me: "Yes, now." We have an interview with ten makeup artists and we have ten models. "One of the make-up artists did not show up for the interview, so we are looking for a replacement." I went in, put on the model's makeup and forgot about it. When I returned to Skopje, I received a call that I got the job. I started working with "Benefit Cosmetics" on the Skopje-Barcelona route for a few months until I graduated. Right after graduation, I moved to Barcelona.

After six months at Benefit Cosmetics, I learned Spanish and Italian and felt it was time for a change. As if I had manifested, "Kendo Brands" called me for an interview. At the time, Fenty Beauty was about to launch in Spain. I was a brand ambassador for the brand and my mentors were Rihanna herself, Priscilla Ono, Hector Soto and the entire Fenty team. I was also mentored by the official make-up artist of Marc Jacobs at that time – Yvonne McInnis. Hence, with the launch of "Charlotte Tilbury" I was taken as the leading artist for the whole of Spain, so I was mentored by Charlotte and Sofia Tilbury themselves.

After years, I decided it was time to start a freelance solo career, I risked everything and quit the job that many artists were waiting for. And here I am.


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Your portfolio looks world class. Which collaborations would you single out as the most dear?

- Thank you! Definitely Leo Messi, Balenciaga campaign with Acid Arab for Nylon magazine and Raja Martigny with Tarek Mawad.

What is your opinion about the way Macedonian women do their makeup?

- I like the part of the culture where Macedonian women are always, no matter what, tidy and take care of themselves. As for makeup, I would say that sometimes it is too much and unnecessary. To all women – you are beautiful even without makeup! You don't need much, feel confident in your own skin. I hardly ever use liquid face powder, just concealer where needed. I would not use the stone powder that contains talcum powder for daily use, but more for evening makeup. For clean skin, it is very important what is taken in with the diet. Makeup is just an accessory, not a necessity.


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Do you follow trends or prefer a timeless aesthetic?

– I've never followed trends and I never will, whether it's clothes, make-up, etc. Always choose timeless aesthetics and what makes you feel beautiful. Comparing is an easy road to a bad day. I find that following trends brings comparison to those who are trending or what is trending. This is increasingly inevitable on social networks. It brings a need to buy and have, and not always each of us can do that while the trend lasts, which is a short period. It creates frustration and low self-esteem.


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If you had to choose only three makeup essentials, what would your personal kit consist of?

– Concealer, mascara and blush in cream in a delicate shade that can also be used for lips.

Do you prefer a large or small purse? And what is hidden in it?

– Small bag or "tout beg" (bag). When I have a lot of things to carry, then I carry a "tote bag" in which my laptop can be found, a notebook that I can't live without, I always have a pen, the three essential makeup hehe, a phone, a charger, headphones and I never carry a wallet haha.


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What does your everyday life look like when you don't have work engagements? How does Simona, as a young and successful girl, spend her free time?

– I travel a lot. Sometimes I have 20 flights in one month and I visit several countries. It's hard to maintain a routine at that pace. So when I'm home in Barcelona and I have free time, it's very important for me to get back to basics. I cook a lot, exercise, have long walks with my dog ​​and many dinners with friends.

"Winning is a state of mind" is the message of Louis Vuitton's new campaign. What is your philosophy that guides you through life?

- It works on itself. Physically, mentally and spiritually. Curiosity. Volya. Comfort zone is the biggest enemy. Take a risk. Trust your intuition. And don't forget to have fun along the way!


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