People always ask me, "What made you want to get into makeup?" The bigger question for me is, what didn't? My passion for makeup goes all the way back to my childhood, when I would steal my mother's eye shadow, lipstick, and blush and apply it without her ever even teaching me. I had my Barbie bags filled with both, Bonne Bell and Maybelline. The love for it followed me to the teen years, and it only escalated from there, By that, I mean I spent nearly an hour every morning doing it just to go to school; this was obviously very inconvenient when I had gym first period for an entire semester, and I was far from being a morning person. But, I never missed a day of putting makeup on, regardless of how many times those 7 alarms had been snoozed. One morning, in photography, I realized that I could use my projects are opportunities to practice makeup on my best friend, and use it to start building my portfolio. Unknowingly, later on, I was able to continue this in college.
In 2010, I found one of the greatest inspirations in the beauty industry: Kandee Johnson. I saw that she was holding one of her final "Glaminar" classes in Chicago, and begged my parents to buy me on of the tickets. I told them it was a chance of a lifetime, and, let me tell you, it truly was. I learned so much in that one day alone; about makeup as an art, makeup as a business, and how to use makeup to express yourself for the rest of your life. Kandee chose me as the full face model for the final demonstration, and it was one the greatest hands on experiences I've had to this day. I left the class feeling hopeful, knowing that she was right when she said that you can achieve anything, as long as you give it your all. Because of that, I also left with more confidence--which is how I finally realized why I was obsessing over my makeup growing up as a teenager. I realized that it helped my self-esteem--I could gain some control over my appearance, most importantly, during a period of my life when that appearance was constantly growing and changing.
So, I did what everyone has ever been told to do regardless of their passion or occupation: keep practicing, and learning. After leaving the Glaminar, I knew that I had to take more classes. So, I worked even more on my portfolio with friends, and was able to work on some friends and family for paid work. This allowed me to check one box on my makeup dream bucket list: sign up for MAC Cosmetics Pro. I had the privilege of being taught by some of the greatest senior M.A.C. artists in the country. Each workshop included demos, tips, and the ability to talk one-on-one with the artist(s) about products, techniques, and personalized tips. Just like the Glaminar, I left each and every one of those workshops with the reminder that learning and perfecting your craft is an endless journey, and that you can find lessons in any experience.
When it comes to M.A.C. alone, I have attended many workshops, and I plan on continuing my education through these in the future. So far, I have attended the following workshops:
- Color Theory (August 2013) Senior Artist(s): Vincent Cembellin
- Defining Style (August 2013) Senior Artist(s): Vincent Cembellin
- Highlight and Contour (November 2014) Senior Artist(s): Fatima Thomas
- Halloween/Special FX (October 2016) Senior Artist(s): Caroline Hernandez & Melissa Gibson
Because of the inspiration that each makeup class brought me, in January of 2017, I took the next step of my practice by enrolling at Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry. In March of 2018, I graduated and became a certified freelance makeup artist. The certification program is approved through the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and contains credit hours towards the Illinois Barber Act. I also made sure to become certified in airbrush and bridal makeup prior to my graduation at the school. I'm fortunate enough to have had amazing instructors and artists to learn from and network with, which is why I will continue to attend workshops at Make Up First for my career.
In April of 2018, I accepted an offer to become the primary makeup artist for a production through The Chicago Actors Studio. The production is a talk show series, "Late Night Chicago", that focuses on the entertainment industry here in Chicago. The job requires me to do the makeup for anyone on camera, especially the host, co-host and any guests. With that, I am on set during production for touch-ups, and there is minimal editing done after taping, as it is video and not photography. Therefore, the makeup must be done in a precise and clean manner, quickly, and there isn't much room for error. It's a project that I am very proud to be a part of, and it's an excellent experience with fellow colleagues in the art industry.
Now, as a freelance makeup artist, my purpose is to help you feel like the most beautiful version of yourself. This is so much more than just a job to me; it's a dream come true. Let's work together to make all of the dreams you have about your makeup come true, too.
You deserve it.