Makeup Power: Makeup Artisty & Beauty by Matthew
Posted on October 26 2019
Interestingly, I discovered makeup by chance. I learned the craft with the intention of doing it only part time because when started doing makeup I had a full time career in banking. However life had other plans and when I learned the true power of makeup I wanted more.
The most common setting where I work my makeup craft is not on Hollywood sets but in retail beauty working one on one with women in search of flawless skin and natural beauty. My stars are the every day ladies that want to feel beautiful. I emphasize the feel and not the look because feeling beautiful is more powerful than looking beautiful.
My professional makeup artist journey first began in 2009 working as a freelance makeup artist for CoverFX. The brand featured complexion cosmetics for super sensitive skin with superior flawless coverage in a global shade range. My job was to consult women and men in retail stores and help them find optimal coverage solutions for
minor to moderate skin concerns. I would also visit dermatologist offices to consult with patients with skin pigmentation disorders including vitiligo or malar rashes. Offering my clients the ability to conceal their concerns and educate them on how to do it was an empowering way to begin my career in beauty. I acquired the ability to help women feel amazing on the inside and to completely heal, even if it was only temporary. After over a decade of makeovers I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of women.
As I mentioned, before the makeup there was banking. I was working a full time job in finance in New York City since 2005. My original goal was to be a full time finance pro. Well if you remember that time it wasn’t a good one for banks and I was let go from a position I had prepared all my life for. The universe had other plans and I was one of the many who were effected by cut backs in banking personnel. With a healthy severance I took the time afforded to hone my craft and focus more on makeup artistry while continuing to freelance for CoverFX. Soon after everything changed. The creators of CoverFX were so satisfied with my performance that I was promoted to a role building the business regionally in the Northeast and Caribbean and eventually Manhattan, the highest producing market in the United States. My roles were to sell while educating clients and employees of high-end beauty retailers like Sephora in multiple states up and down the east coast. I didn’t know it at the time but this new development in my life would lead to an exciting journey that evolved into a writing career and eventually fashion design. I did quite well boosting the business for a rookie with no cosmetics industry experience but business is business. You will be successful if you love what you sell, that is the secret.
Around 2012 once I’ve had some time to develop my talents I found fashion. Fashion met makeup and it became a love of mine. It offered a wealth of creativity and I developed a signature make up style I referred to as “Hollywood Starlet”. I loved to emulate a natural and clean but glamorous look you would see in black and white movies or on the cover of magazines like Bazaar. Side story, I’ve met with Harper’s Bazaar Publisher Carol Smith to discuss her personal makeup regimen. I introduced her to one of my many favorite makeup lines Eve Pearl and created a face chart to show her where to use the colors I delivered. It was an excellent experience and one I will never forget.
Around this time my role with CoverFX came to a close as they often due in the typically disloyal world of cosmetics where turnover is higher than normal and professionals brand jump. I’ve worked with several lines including Nars, Studio Gear, Trish McAvoy, Nudestix, Beauty Society and a few more I cannot recall since they were shorter since due to my inability to put up with inexperienced leaders on power trips. This was the nature of the beast and it still is! It’s become an increasingly competitive market to find employment in brand fight for the attention of distracted shoppers turning more and more to online solutions.
It was around this time an opportunity to expand my reach materialized in the form of education and writing. I wanted to help more women find their inner beauty and be confident with their cosmetics skills. So I joined a very small not well known magazine published on Long Island and started writing makeup DIY’s. Ever hear of Gem Magazine? Probably not but it was great training ground for honing my writing craft. I wrote for free! They used me and I took the time to learn from it. I still enjoy a busy career in writing and I’ve enjoyed several features and experiences as a result. I’ve written dozens of articles on beauty, fashion, wellness and more and sometimes paid! Here is one of the first articles I ever wrote.
I 2014 I was contacted by a representative of a new and innovative online beauty retailer brand that attended one of my educational seminars at an international trade show. It wasn’t your typical brick and mortar. It was an online subscription box service that sent you cosmetics and personal care items based on a personal profile you create. Ever heard of Wantable? They were one of the first subscription websites for beauty products out there. Ahead of their time and now in a sea of subscription websites!
Beauty retailers and cosmetic lines weren’t the only ones seeking me out. In 2015 and on I was busy with brides doing trials and performing their sacred beauty rituals on the big day. Women looking for that naturally flawless look were my common clients but I did get ladies who wanted a little more. Majority of the time I took my foot off the makeup pedal for bridal makeup because it really should be timeless and natural but you can absolutely turn up the sexy without dating the look. Bridal makeup was my main gig for much of my career and it continues to be a service I still offer as a working makeup artist.
Working for CoverFX and becoming a master of concealing also gave me the future ability to cover tattoos for personal clients. Matching the right colors, using a special brush technique and certain high grade setting powder made me one of the best in the tattoo covering business. No airbrushing, just me the makeup and a brush or finger. I got so good I was teaching the techniques at international industry trade shows in New York and California.
It has been an amazing decade as a makeup artist as it continues. I currently have a full time professional career so makeup has become a nice side gig. Now you will mostly see me using my experience to give back. I work with several charities and organizations using my makeup skills to make others feel happy and also educate.
I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I still don’t. It was always a difficult question for me and I know it is for the generations after me but I know I always loved being artistic. So I head back to school and work with young teens who are interested in makeup artistry and mentor them. The students at middle and high schools usually put on junior versions of broadway shows so I take the opportunity to simulate the real exoerience. They create looks, make them come alive and I get to have some fun with my new friends, including Rafiki here. The talents are amazing you must see a Broadway Jr. production. They put so much work into it!
I could type and type and tell you more but we could be here for weeks. I will share more in upcoming posts! I look forward to what the future brings and I will always practice makeup in some form. Whether its to make a living or give back. So don’t ever hesitate to ask. I am always here to show you how to put on your shadow! Coming soon I will be posting about how to find the perfect foundation makeup. In my experience that is the most sought after beauty item and the most challenging to find. So let me help you!