I remember my first client. She was hyper, excited, and fidgety as she sat there in my seat. She was so excited, in fact, that I had a hard time keeping her still while I did her makeup. But I loved every bit of it. By the time I was done, she got up, gave herself a sound staring in the mirror and turned around to tell me that I was the single best makeup artist in the world. My sister was no stranger to exaggeration, but I believed her. Even though I was only seven years old and had no supplies of my own (which meant having to hurry up and put everything back in their drawers before mom came in!), I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: a makeup artist! 20 years later, the “growing up” thing hasn’t exactly happened yet… but my passion for makeup artistry has taken me all over the world, and I absolutely LOVE what I do!
I find that oftentimes so many of us spend our entire lives trying to figure out what it is we’re supposed to do. We search, and we search, and we search, without realizing that the answer to that question can be traced back in our memories. Whatever you enjoyed doing as a child, whatever you were good at then, is probably a good indication of what your natural passion is. And mine happened to be makeup artistry.
Starting my career as a makeup artist was probably one of the most nerve racking and exciting experiences of my life. I remember devouring all the books I could get my hands on, going to all the makeup seminars that were happening nearby, and shadowing a friend of mine who was already a successful makeup artist — all to prepare myself for what the life would be like. And the more I experienced, the more I fell in love with the whole idea.
I attended a makeup seminar where I learned about color theory, on set client communication skills, and how to cancel out colors and accentuate clients’ features… things that were essential to know. Since I didn’t have to go to school to get licensed as a makeup artist, I didn’t. But I devoured all the information I could, whenever and wherever I could. I went to networking events. I gave away my makeup services for free to a photographer so that I could have professional photos. I shadowed more makeup artists. I practiced on everyone who said yes (no one turns down a free makeup, hello!). And I attended seminars and training events frequently. Crazy thing about attending hands on training events is that you walk away having learned so much that you can apply right away.
Even though I’ve been in the industry for so many years, there’s always more to know. I’ll never know everything. But what the skills that I have learned and practiced have taken me all over the world, doing makeup for celebrity clients, film, print, and TV productions. No two bookings are alike. My job allows me to be completely spontaneous, and I’m constantly surrounded by amazing people (clients of mine who later become my friends). I could not have picked a better career for myself.
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