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!
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!