My earliest memory of makeup was when I was four years old in Los Angeles. My stay-at-home mom had a routine that I was well aware of. At one, she folded laundry while watching One Life To Live. At two, she vacuumed during General Hospital. At three, she started dinner during Oprah. I had approximately three hours to get into her makeup with the best chances of her not noticing. I used to run upstairs to her room and wander over to her 1980s-era vanity mirror. The beige dresser drawers had gold handles and were filled with tubes of colorful lipstick and eyelash-curling contraptions. I set up shop. Blue eyeshadow smudged on my brow bones. Chanel lipstick in red smeared onto my four-year-old lips. Rouge blush on my tiny cheeks, using the brush that came with the compact. Hey, at least I knew where everything went.
My parents were pretty strict growing up so wearing makeup and nail polish was an absolute no-no. I played piano for many years, and I hated that I had to cut my nails short and leave them unpainted. I felt so boring and plain! I loved looking at my mom’s magazines filled with glamorous women who wore full faces of makeup and brightly colored manicures.
Finally, at the golden age of 12, my mother took me to the Clinique counter in Las Vegas (where we now lived) for what I like to call “starter makeup.” I was now the proud owner of a marbled green compact of pressed powder! I felt so grown up. I would display my compact on my dresser, front and center. That Clinique compact was my “gateway drug” to other cosmetics. From there I frequented the makeup aisles at grocery stores and Walgreens. By the time 8th grade started, I was known as the girl with white eyeliner and blue mascara. Everyone loved my makeup. I like to think I was responsible for the Bonne Belle Dr. Pepper lip balm craze of 1998. I started doing glue-on nails for my friends at my home for special events.
High school was more of the same, except I finally dropped the white eyeliner look. Now, I was rocking baby blue shimmer on my eyelids with perfectly executed black liquid liner. I didn’t leave the house without makeup, and if I had to be late to first period to make time for carefully applied red lipstick, then so be it. I was booked for homecoming, not because I was going, but because I was doing other people’s makeup for the dance.
After graduation, my love for makeup continued. I started as a cashier at MAC Cosmetics at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops while I attended UNLV. I absolutely loved that job. We were open until midnight and that, coupled with the location on the Strip, gave us lots of interesting characters to work on. After a year of studying products and methods and lots of practice, I was promoted to Makeup Artist. Wow! To know that a big company like MAC thought I was talented enough to be an artist: it really put a perspective on things. I learned a ton at MAC and was inspired by my fellow artists. I dabbled in body painting, fashion show and costume makeup. I worked on a variety of people from all over the world. I honed my craft for five solid years.
In 2007, I graduated from UNLV with my Communications degree and got the heck outta Dodge. My plan was always to do public relations in the entertainment business, and I missed Los Angeles since moving to Vegas with my family. I quickly realized after moving back to L.A. on my own that 1) I missed makeup and 2) this town was expensive to live in. I started freelancing as an artist on the weekends in addition to my full time job in P.R. at CBS.
While I enjoyed my P.R. job, there was quite a bit of down time, and it was during that time I began blogging about makeup. I was obsessed with makeup videos on Youtube (and still am). I continued to freelance and started offering maternity body paintings. I was soon promoted at my job to two television shows and did that until the shows were cancelled and I was laid off. Being laid off was scary, but it allowed me to spend more time doing the things I love: makeup and blogging.
Nowadays, I wear many hats, one of which is Makeup Artist. I have worked on several television spots, celebrity clients and began to freelance with MAC Cosmetics. I run this beauty blog and my Youtube channel. I have lots of brides and clients. I’m making it work, but let me tell you that it’s HARD work. You have to work twice as hard when you are your own boss. You have to take every job possible, because you don’t know when the next one will come around. But in the end, I like to think that its worth it because I’m enjoying what I do.