Archives for category: Makeup Artist Interview

Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your started as a Makeup Artist? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught makeup artist?

I played around with Make up since I was a child, to the chagrin of my mother, cause I destroyed all her Lipsticks. In the early 90th I completed a training in retail business (Mensfashion). Then I wanted my dream to become true.

In 1996 I did a special training in a famous Make up-School, to become a Make up Artist and Hairstylist. In the same year, I was on a New York Trip and met the boyfriend of the most famous Make up Artist of this time – Kevyn Aucoin
He introduced me to Kevyn and this was like a lottery win to me as a newcomer. This wonderful man gave me the chance to work in his team and showed me everything I needed to know, to work on photoshoots, Fashionshow and vids. He gave me the self-confidence I needed to „exist“ in this hard business.

He taught me, how to deal with business partners.
We went on working together on jobs several time until 2001. Unfortunately he died on May 7 2002 of kidney and liver failure due to acetaminophen toxicity, caused by his addiction to prescription painkillers he took because of a pituitary tumor.

He is still my Idol and with his dead, the world lost an incredible Artist and wonderful sensitive person.

Did you always want to be a makeup artist or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a major cosmetic company? When did your freelance makeup career begin?

I grew up in a little Village and I had no Idea, that there is a job called Make up Artist. I was always very interested in Make up and Styling. As a Teenager I wanted to do a training as a hairdresser, but at this place it was absolutely unusual for a man to work in this job. That´s why I did a training in retail first.
I started working as a freelance Make up Artist in November 1996 after my first 3 month in the team of Kevyn Aucoin.

What are your favorite and most exiting aspects about your work?

In the beginning it was my fascination in how you can change your look and slip in different roles. Later I noticed how Makeup can change your personality and give women self-confidence. I had an experience with a woman who had a cancer treatment behind. She lost one of her breasts and her hair as a result of the chemo. She absolutely lost her feeling of femininity and was in a deep depression. I showed her in a very personal „training“ how to do get back a healthy feminine look. How to paint eyebrows (one of the most important parts of the face), how to ad fake-Lashes without looking unnatural, using blush and eyeshadows. I also showed her, how to dress her wig in a natural way or use scarves on the head. After 4 hours she changed from a „person with depression“, that once was woman, into wonderful self-confident lady with the courage to face life again. She started crying and laughing, both at the same time. It was a wonderful emotional moment. 6 month later I received a letter. It was from her and she wrote me, that she is fine and that I helped her to find her way back to life by giving her back the feeling, that she´s still a woman.

What areas of media do you frequently work in?

My focus is still working on photoshoots for adverts and magazines (Fashion, Beauty). I also was in front of the camera as an make up-expert for different TV-productions.

In 2007 until 2009 I worked as a freelance consultant for Rouge Bunny Rouge, a British Cosmetic brand, to support the creative team in finding and develop new products, and to develop an international training book for their MUA´s.

In 2010 and 2011 I was their official brand-representative in Germany and also presented their products on QVC Germany/Teleshopping.

Fashionshows are a small part of my business.

I also service German and international Celebrities and do their Makeup for special Events.

What are your dream goals, who would you like to work with?

One of my dream goals was to do what I just do. But there are some more things I want to do. Having an own Skincare and Makeup-Line. Writing a book about Makeup. I know there are many… but most of the books are terrible.

There is nobody I really want to work with is photographer David LaChapelle I just like his crazy productions.

What do you think about the trend of airbrush makeup? What are the pro and cons in your opinion?

To be honest, I think the trend of airbrush Makeup is over. It was a trend in the past years, but it takes a lot of time and experience to do it. You can do wonderful paintings on the body, if you know how to do it, but on the other hand it takes to much time if you only use it for the foundation. HD-Make up is a very good alternative to get a flawless result. And you apply it with a brush or sponge. Very easy and faster then airbrush. Today, time is money in this job.

What advice would you give new photographers when it comes to working with a makeup artist?

I would tell him to have a peak on the MUA`s portfolio first. Every MUA has his/her on kind of style. But there is a big problem in times of photoshop. You can barely see, if the MUA has the skills you need for your project. So if you like the portfolio, arrange a test shooting. So you can figure out, how the MUA works, and whether the collaboration fits. It´s important to speak about details. Tell the MUA what kind of picture is in your head, give the MUA the chance to bring in his/her own ideas. It is important to find a way, with witch both are satisfied.

What is the most exciting or challenging opportunity you have had as a freelance artist?

There´ve been many challenges in my career – like my first big photoshoot I did on my own.

Butt he most challenging opportunity was presenting the products of Rouge Bunny Rouge on QVC-Teleshopping.

I was used to be in front of the camera from other TV-productions, but I never sold products on Live-TV. I had special trainings on QVC, because I´ve had to learn to interact with the host (who plays the role of the customer, asking all questions that are important). I had to learn how to show the textures and colors of the products and explain the main-benefits and ingredients in a very short time, while answering the questions of the host,doing Makeup on a model, controlling myself on a small screen. All at the same time. I´ll never forget the first show. It was like going to my own execution. I never felt so nervous in my whole career. 😉;-) But after a few minutes I felt very comfortable and I really enjoyed all my shows.

to see more of Holgers work and learn more about his current project go to: Holger Weins

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Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your start as a Makeup Artist? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught makeup artist?

I had a concoction of formal training that contributes to my work. I’ve completed a 1600 hour cosmetology course which is primarily hairstyling, but also included makeup and manicure training. I’ve had numerous art courses like drawing, graphic arts and watercolor painting. I’ve also attended a number of makeup industry seminars taught by the industry’s leading artists and brands. I began by assisting professional makeup artists on their shoots. After that I reached out to local photographers offering to work with them in trade for images that we could both use in our portfolios. Most of these photographers have become good friends and clients and much of my work comes from them or networking with other team members on these shoots.

Photography Bruce Smith www.brucesmithphotographer.com
Wardrobe Styling Linda Lu aka Linda Varol http://www.lindavarol.com/
Hair Ashley Lynn Hall http://www.ashleylynnhall.com/
Makeup Sharon Hawkey www.sharonhawkey.com
Model Nadege with Michelle Pommier Agency

Did you always want to be a makeup artist or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a major cosmetic company? When did your freelance makeup career begin?I had the adventure of coming of age in the 1980’s, a time when conservative makeup looks were out the door and anything and everything was fair game. Every day was an experiment in line, color, value and proportion. I fell in love with makeup and its ability to transform the features of a face. So I attended cosmetology school in pursuit of a career in makeup. At the time there were no schools just for makeup and if one wanted to work in the field one needed a cosmetology license.

After graduating cosmetology I worked in NY as a hairstylist but found little opportunity to work with makeup. I decided to see if I could find some side work modeling in NYC. I choose to leave hairstyling for an opportunity to be a fulltime showroom model at a fashion house in NYC and wound up being there for the next 3 years. After this experience I’d gained a great deal of information about the fashion industry and was representing fashion lines at the major seasonal markets around the US working as a model and sales team member selling couture designs. These cumulative experiences in the fashion industry have all played a role in my building the business that I have now as a Makeup Artist.


Photography by Cesar Cuevas http://www.cesarcuevas.com/
Bald Cap and makeup on model right Sharon Hawkey www.sharonhawkey.com
Bald Cap and makeup on model left Leigh Benson http://lbbenson.com/
Model left Jill Evyn, Otto Models Los Angeles
Model Right Jessica Cook , Elite Miami

What are your favorite and most exiting aspects about your work?

Every new face is exciting, every transformation created with makeup thrills me. I love to plan a look, execute it and photograph the results. While makeup is temporary the photographs last forever and it’s very pleasing to come away from a long day of creative work knowing  it’s not “art for art’s sake” but instead there’s a photograph that will last forever.

When it comes to lines what would I find in your makeup kit? MAC, Makeup Forever, Cinema Secrets, RCMA, Nars, Laura Mercier, Smashbox, Ben Nye, Graftobian, Lorac and the list goes on and on


What areas of media do you frequently work in?

Primarily, I work in print photography, but I have done video and film as well.
What are your dream goals, who would you like to work with?

Dream goals hmm…it would be nice to have my work become internationally known so that I might be invited to work in some far away and exotic locals. I love world flavor, experiencing different cultures and translating those impressions to my work. As far as artists who have influenced me the late Kevyn Aucoin is someone I study and I also follow Pat McGraths work.

What do you think about the trend of airbrush makeup? What are the pro and cons in your opinion?

I think airbrush makeup does a tremendous job at creating a long lasting, yet light looking coverage for the skin. I personally am not a fan of doing the eyes, lips and cheeks with it though as for me it’s just not as intuitive as traditional makeup. It’s all a matter of the tools you’re used to and most comfortable with. I have seen airbrush artists who do wonderful eye treatments but I personally find it more difficult to work this way. The airbrush is excellent for some looks while others maybe better created with traditional medium. For me it depends on how tight the working space is, and how detailed the desired look is.

Pros- Can give very natural looking and long lasting coverage.

Cons- Can be cumbersome and equipment can fail.

What advice would you give new photographers when it comes to working with a makeup artist? Explain clearly what the shoots objectives are, who the client is and what they expect their finished images to look like. Communicate with visual aids to suggest the style/direction of what you are trying to achieve. Thumbnail sketches of key shots can be helpful for overall planning, and sharing found images that give inspiration to your own ideas is a great way to communicate with a makeup artist.

Photography by Star Foreman http://www.starforeman.com/
Hair Kristin Cicala http://www.kristinandrea.com/
Makeup Sharon Hawkey www.sharonhawkey.com
Model Alexis Merizalde, Elite Los Angeles

What is the most exciting or challenging opportunity you have had as a freelance artist?Challenging was filming a music video in a windstorm, the wind was so fierce that the talent would begin to cry the moment they stepped off the trailer into the windy environment. Their eyes streamed tears the entire time we were filming and it was impossible to keep the makeup unaffected. I never found a solution for the problem, I just did the best I could to dab their eyes and makeup dry between takes. Too bad it wasn’t a sad song, then it might have worked. Solution for filming in a windstorm….check your local weather forecast.
To see more of Sharon’s work or connect with her go to: www.SharonHawkey.com