It's the last Friday of September, whatttttt?! How did September go so fast?! Good news is... HALLOWEEN is just around the corner, woohoo! And of course, it is our Artist Feature Friday! Today we are featuring makeup artist Andy Trieu.
I met Andy a few years back when he and I were working retail. Andy was working for Becca Cosmetics and I was working for Stila Cosmetic. I'll never forget his fun, playful energy; there have been several moments of me laughing for 5 minutes straight just from reading his status's on Facebook! His humor has put a smile on my face so many times that I have lost count. Something I really love about Andy is his knowledge in beauty makeup. He knows who's who, all the latest trends, and his talent is truly breath taking.
1. Tell us about yourself (where you're from, how you got into makeup, etc)
I was born and raised in California. I actually got interested in doing hair first around 2011. My niece had an amazing soft full head of hair, so I would spend my free time braiding her hair. I started looking up youtube tutorials and found the Pixiwoo girls. They were my first introduction to makeup and I loved it so much. Throughout high school I would braid and curl my friends’ hair before school started or during lunch. It probably wasn’t until 2014 that I really got into makeup. I started buying magazines and tearing out my favorite editorials and campaigns. I also watched a ton of videos from Pixiwoo and Lisa Eldridge.
2. Did you attend school? What are your thoughts on makeup artists attending school to pursue a career in freelance artistry?
My first year in college I took a theater makeup class. It was so much fun to learn how to do basic special effects like scars, bruises, etc. I also learned how to work with wigs and latex pieces. Attending a makeup school would be a great opportunity for people who want to pursue a career in makeup artist. You can learn so much more than watching youtube videos (although there’s nothing wrong with that). You can find out what type of makeup you love doing most, whether it’s bridal, fashion, tv, film, costume, or special effects.
3. Your work is so incredible, where do you get your inspiration from?
I get most of my inspiration from photographers, makeup artists, models, and hairstylists from all over the world. Instagram has definitely made it easier to discover who’s out there and what people are creating.
4. We absolutely loved your published work in Makeup Artist Magazine! What was your reaction seeing your editorial spread in the magazine?
It was so surreal seeing my name on the cover of a magazine at Barnes & Noble and Frends Beauty. I was so excited I bought 3 copies of the magazine for myself, but also scared to read about myself. When I saw my work in print, I could clearly remember the day we shot that editorial and it definitely brought back good memories.
5. What is your favorite piece of work you are most proud of that you have worked on?
The most favorite shoot would have to be this one from 2016. It was one of my first major beauty shoots and I still love the pictures to this day.
Photographer: Courtney Dailey, Model: Jessica Cook
6. Who are your biggest mentors?
My current mentors are Erica Carr, Beau Nelson, Anabelle LaGuardia, Christi Franklin, Christy Lavallee, Frances Fraser, Olivia Muldoon, and, Latia Curtis. Any time I need help with something, I know I can count on them to guide me in the right direction. I’m so happy to have them as friends and mentors.
7. If you could work on any project or for any artist, what would you choose?
Project wise, I would LOVE to work on Lady Gaga. I love how she always pushes the boundaries of fashion and beauty. I don’t care if I’m only putting lip gloss on her, I would be so happy to do just that.
If I could work for any artist, I would choose Lisa Eldridge. Everything she does is so beautiful, whether if it’s a no makeup makeup look, or a crazy editorial.
8. All of us go through times of struggle as makeup artists, what do you do during these times to keep yourself motivated?
I listen to music a lot. Music helps me concentrate and think of new ideas when I’m trying to make a mood board. I listen to trance and classical most of the time, but it just depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I’ll play the piano again if I’m feeling really unmotivated.
9. What advice would you give to other aspiring makeup artists who want to get into this industry?
If you can, get a job at a makeup store or makeup counter (even though retail sucks). I freelanced for a cosmetic brand for two years and it definitely helped me do makeup faster. It also helped me become familiar with different skin tones, skin types, and face/eye shapes.
10. Describe “what it takes” to be a successful makeup artist today:
I think takes a lot of advertising and self promotion to be successful today. The makeup industry is so saturated that you really have to make an effort to stand out, especially with Instagram taking over. It doesn’t happen over night, and I have to keep reminding myself that.
Photographer: John Schell
Model: Daria Pershina
What an inspiring interview! Andy has grown so much in just the short 2 years I have known him, his work speaks for itself. Make sure to follow him and his journey on social media!
You can find Andy on Instagram at @andyhtrieu
You can see his work and read his blog on www.andyhtrieu.com
Think you have What It Takes? Enter our current makeup challenge to have your work seen by the makeup department head of the American Horror Story ad campaigns: Kerry Herta! Click here for all the info
As always, be sure to check out our extended DVD of What It Takes, also available on digital download!
It's Friday, and you know what that means <3 It's Artist Feature Friday with What It Takes. Our artist this week has such tenacity, courage, and persistence and it never ceases to amaze me. She has participated in many of our Makeup Challenges and continues to challenge herself on every job she takes. It's so impressive!
Shayna Madison is an aspiring makeup artist who not only went to one school, she attended TWO schools! Talk about some serious dedication. Her interview was one of the most honest interviews I have come by, which I appreciate on such a deep level. Her interview will SURELY inspire you to keep pushing forward, and never stop learning!!!
Without further ado: Shayna Madison
1. Tell us about yourself!
My name is Shayna, I am a 21, and I grew up and currently still live in Palmdale, CA. Makeup has always been a passion of mine ever since I was little. I was close to graduating high school and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My mom was watching the show Face Off and she said "you could do that!" and that was when I realized that was what I wanted to do. I graduated high school early then a month later I started at E.I. School of Professional Makeup, after I graduated I went to Makeup Designory after that. I have worked on a variety of different things and love all aspects of makeup, but film makeup is my favorite.
2. It's so impressive that you have gone to not one, but TWO schools! What was your experience like with both?
Thank you! I really wanted to get as much knowledge as I could and I continue to learn every day and have plans go back to school in the future. They were both great schools and I learned so much from both. There are obviously some pros and cons about each school just like with anything. E.I. was my first school right out of high school which really gave me a base to grow off of as an artist and helped me figure out where I want to take my career. Although I learned a lot, I have some problems with their administration, I graduated summer 2015 and am currently still having a hard time getting my diploma. The Makeup Designory's Master Program was amazing! They really helped me grow in my artistry and gave me all the tools so that I can be the best freelance makeup artist I could be. The MUD job board has helped me get jobs and their guest speakers gave me many opportunities to learn and network.
3. You seem to always stay busy, how do you continue working consistently?
I am constantly looking for work and networking. As a freelance artist, there are definite times when it's slow. During those times, I am actively looking for opportunities. I also never turn down a job because you never know where it is going to lead. I also volunteer time at a local theatre.
4. What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
I have to sometimes take a step back and look at all that I have accomplished and see that I am steps closer to being where I want to be in my career. Also, a good spark of inspiration is always a great motivator because something so small can lead to something so amazing.
5. How do you handle the stress of sometimes not getting booked?
Honestly, I don't always handle the stress that well and I think that is ok to admit because as a freelance makeup artist when work is slow it is hard to not be overwhelmed with stress. I am lucky enough to have an amazing family and boyfriend who support and are with me every step of the way. Sometimes I need to just take a step back, breathe, and do something I enjoy like painting, designing a character, or just listening to music. The biggest thing that helps me is not giving up, because even though I am not getting booked now, does not mean I will never have another job again.
6. What has been your favorite gig so far that you've worked on?
My favorite gig so far was at the very end of last year I was the Makeup and Hair Department Head on a feature film titled "One Hour Outcall". This gig will always be close to my heart because it was my first big job and it gave me a taste of where I want to end up. It proved that my dream could be a reality. I designed and applied the looks for all my actors, oversaw other makeup artists. I was in charge of my department and got to work with awesome cast and crew!
7. If you could work for anyone in this industry, who would it be?
Easy question! Ve Neill! She is someone I have looked up to for a very long time. Not only is she a fantastic makeup artist, the few times I got to meet her, she was extremely nice and amazing.
8. You've entered many of our makeup challenges, it's amazing! What do you like most about our challenges?
I love how you challenge me as an artist but are always so supportive about it.
9. We love challenging artists to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, Which you do very well! What advice would you give for artists to push themselves past their comfort zones?
It's hard to push yourself when you are worried about what people think, one of my favorite sayings is "People are always going to stare, so you might as well give them something to stare at". It's true, you push yourself for YOU, not anyone else. You do it to grow, to better yourself and if you never push the limits, how will you know what you are capable of?
10. Describe in your own words "What It Takes" to be a successful makeup artist!
To be a successful makeup artist it takes passion. Passion gives you the strength to be a successful makeup artist. It gives you the strength for an early call time, night shoot, or even just a long day. It gives you the strength to keep pushing along when work is slow. You have to be willing to put in the work and know it is not always easy. You have to continue to love what you do every day. Success is not always measured by money, but by waking up and excited to go to work to do what you love.
What an inspiring interview, right?! You can follow Shayna's work and her journey at @makeupbyshaynamadison
Woohoo It's Friday!!! I am seriously so excited to share with everyone this week's featured artist: Chelsea Giannone. As a fellow MUD grad, She is a makeup artist based in NYC. After going through her interview several times, I am just amazed by this woman. Her talent obviously shows in her work (scroll down to see the AMAZING-NESS! Plus her credits include GQ and Cadillac, I mean c'mon! ), but she is one of the wisest artists I have come by. Chelsea truly understands exactly what it takes to be successful, not only for herself, but for other aspiring artists as well. And the best part? She shares that passion and knowledge to other artists and students. It's pretty freakin awesome. Not to mention, she also was a finalist for one of our very first Makeup Challenges!! Read on to learn more about Chelsea and her journey <3
1. Tell us about yourself (where you're from, how you got into makeup, etc)
I'm chelsea. I am a makeup artist, licensed esthetician, certified lash extension technician, and eyebrow enthusiast. I am from New Jersey and have also lived in New York City. My mother is an artist, so growing up I have always had a love for art. She taught me everything there is to know about the subject, right down to the history. As for makeup, my older sister sparked my interest; she always had a ton of makeup all over her room, I'm talking caboodle cases full. Being the typical little sister, I would sneak into her room when she wasn't home and go to town! The realization that I could merge my two passions together to create living art, is when I really fell in love with makeup.
2. Who do you look up to in the industry as an artist?
For beauty Pat McGrath because she is queen. She has accomplished so much in her career that is so inspiring to me. Also Alex Box because we have similar styles, as far as creating living art. Everything Alex Box does is what I wish I could be doing full time. When it comes to special FX; Ve Neill because she is also queen and it's amazing to see a woman killing it in the FX world that has always been dominated by men. I'm all about the girl power!
3. If you could work on any project or with any particular person, what would you choose?
I would die to be backstage at an Alexander McQueen fashion show working on some amazing Avant-Garde makeup! Other than that one of my goals is to see my work on the cover of Vogue.
4. What are you currently working on?
I am currently keeping busy freelancing a lot of bridal work, with different gigs in between. I just finished wrapping assisting on a feature film, that I am super excited to see!
5. As freelance artists, we always have boughts of time where we are slow, how do you keep yourself motivated during these times?
I see my downtime as opportunities to grow as an artist by learning new skills. That's how I became an eyelash extension technician, and I have plans to get my micro blading certification. This not only keeps me motivated, but has also given me more knowledge of the beauty industry as a whole.
6. Is there a certain time of your life that you struggled significantly and came across doubts or feeling discouraged? What happened and how did you overcome this?
All artists have doubts, we are our own worst critics! When I competed in I.M.A.T.S New York City, it felt like the end of the world when I didn't place, after putting so much time, effort, and emotion into my concept. Even though that moment felt awful and discouraging, I look back and realize what an accomplishment it was to be picked out of thousands of people to compete along side some of the most talented artists. Not to sound cliché, but it's important to get back up and keep pushing forward. Criticism is meant to help you grow as an artist, not take you down.
7. Did you attend a makeup school? Do you suggest aspiring makeup artists attend in order to pursue a professional career nowadays?
Yes! Absolutely, everyone should go to school. I am a firm believer that education is key. I attended Makeup Designory in NYC, and it was the best decision I have ever made, as well as a huge turning point in my career. Not only did school refine my skills, but it taught me so much about the business aspect of the industry, which is something I never gave much thought to before. Plus the connections and relationships that you build have endless possibilities, and having a great name behind you doesn't hurt either!
8. What is your favorite project you are most proud of that you have worked on?
I am proud of every project I get to work on. Just to have a opportunity to work with companies such as GQ and Cadillac still amazes me. I am also so proud of being able to give back as an educator and teach aspiring makeup artists the ins and outs of the industry. The ability to pass on my knowledge and help talented students refine their skills is an absolute privilege.
9. What advice would you give to other aspiring makeup artists who want to get into this industry?
I have always told my previous students not to be afraid to put yourself out there! No one is going to come knocking on your door to offer you a job. The makeup industry is not an easy industry to be in, and you have to be willing to put in the time and effort. You have to work hard to be able to make a name for yourself, that includes social media, as it is an important part of gaining recognition; believe me, I've gotten so many gigs from my Instagram alone. Do not be afraid to tell everyone and anyone what you do!
10. What do you think it takes to be a successful makeup artist?
More than anything, you must be passionate in everything you do, otherwise it will be hard to keep yourself motivated. It's important to be a self starter, and utilize every single opportunity that comes your way. You never know who you are going to meet. You also need to be able to handle criticism because, let's face it, not everyone is going to like what you do, or understand your vision. Most importantly love what you do and have fun doing it!
This was such an amazing interview. I want to repeat what she said because it was SO GOOD:
"Not everyone is going to like what you do or understand your vision"
That statement is seriously SO powerful. Think about that for a moment...heck-maybe for the entire weekend! How's that for some inspiration?!
Make sure you follow Chelsea on Instagram: @areyoutherechelsea
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this week's Artist Feature Friday as much as we did! Have a fun and safe week end. Be sure to check out all the awesome stuff going on with What It Takes! Between our newly available DVDs, upcoming free online workshops AND our Fall Makeup Challenge, you have a lot of options :-)
Until next time!
Amber Talarico and Kenneth Alexander. Amber is the Director of What It takes, and Kenneth is the producer. Our mission is to motivate, inspire and empower freelance makeup and special FX artists around the world to pursue their dreams by sharing knowledge, encouraging artists at all stages, and bring a voice to our industry as professional makeup artists!