Becoming a Makeup Artist
I remember the first time I thought about becoming a makeup artist, I was actually at a photoshoot getting my own makeup done for portfolio shots 8 years ago. By then I had been modeling for a few months – mostly doing fashions shows at this Egyptian inspired place around Layfette street called Moomia (now closed). I was sitting in the chair asking the makeup artist a hundred questions, which now I know probably aggravated the hell out of her haha. I was just so intrigued. I would usually find the room already set up but this artist had ran a little late so I got to see the set up from the beginning. She was so organized, I kept peeking into her kit to see the array of different foundation colors, the variations of primary and secondary colors and all her palettes of eyeshadows. To my surprise it wasn’t just MAC and that’s when I fell in love.
See below a few modeling photos
I slowly started doing research on how to become a makeup artist, fading my attention away from modeling, knowing that wasn’t my calling. I got a job at Starbucks and started saving money to build a beginner kit. Up all day researching about color theory and avoiding youtube like a plague. Researching artists like James Vincent, Kevin James Bennett, Viktorija Bowers, Megan Martinez and Karla Powell. These were the first makeup artists I followed. I reached out to a friend of mine who was taking classes at Empire and asked around for photographers to come to my apartment and shoot my first Hair and Makeup Event.
It is crazy looking back at the first photos of my work. I remember being so stressed because it was really my first experience working on all different types of skin tones at once and really for the first time. I had only really been practicing on my family and close friends. I set aside appointments for all the girls coming in, gave myself a time limit and fit in consultation and application all in their scheduled time frame. I had them then go over to Amanda, one of the photographers at the event, to get their head shot. I received 4 final head shots to use for my portfolio and worked my way from there.
Looking back at it now I did the right thing for me for sure. I jumped right in because that’s the only way to do it. I continued to work on my skills until I felt comfortable enough to be able to go out and book appointments with real time clients. I also paired myself with a working bridal makeup artist, Nella from GetNellaFyd, and I worked as her second. I already had my son at the time. Matthew was about 1 when I really started taking it serious, but it was all the more difficult to find time to work at Starbucks, be a mother and start on the artistry path. I started looking into shows like The Makeup Show and IMATS, worked to get the credentials to get into the shows and went to all the seminars I could make the time for.
I never went to cosmetology school, I realized through friends that schools mostly focused on hair and I was better off finding focus classes either at the shows or with individual makeup artists. The most important thing I learned was to never stop learning. I used the internet, read up on color theory, and practiced techniques on friends. I quickly learned that complexion was the most important thing, the money is in the beauty and basics. At least when you start. It would be hard to branch out and start out trying to get work like Val Garland.
I looked into the portfolios of those who inspired me and collaborated with photographers. I built my way up and invested in my kit and proper education. I was lucky to be noticed by Temptu and have a position built out for me to grow in the company. I am now working my way into Product Development and learning a lot. I find myself having grown from a makeup artist to now working and testing formulas and working closely with the team for the Pro artists out there. I have had incredible experiences working beside Val Garland in NYFW two seasons in a row. I have learned hands on and assisted Dani Fonseca who has a great learning experience and opportunity with a program called the Body of Art. I have done makeup for Bravo Real Housewife of New York Aviva Drescher,assisted Diane Kendal and created a custom panther tattoo transfer and applied it on Nicole Kidman for Interview Magazine. No matter your situation, you just have to keep pushing yourself and never stop learning. Believe in yourself and practice. Get involved in the beauty community and assist others – but most importantly never give up.
See below for my latest portfolio photos. What a huge difference!