Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction. – Kevyn Aucoin
As a self-taught makeup artist in my early years of experience I was heavily influenced by Kevyn Aucoin, Bobby Brown and Ben Nye. I read every book I could get my hands on by them and constantly went to the Bobby Brown counters at Holt Renfrew to pick the sales girl’s brains. What I think I learned most of all from this was how to apply makeup to a woman to draw out her inner beauty and make the face look beautiful naturally. This was my trade mark.
Over the years my skills developed as I continued to pay attention to fellow makeup artists and any kind of trend that was published in magazines or the internet. Each event that I worked at presented a new challenge, face painting, fake tattooing, designing looks for a dance performance… And then one day a gentleman walked into my place of business and changed my life by introducing me to the world of bodypainting. He hired me to produce a calendar and series of works for his small business. Never having body painted before I quickly learned by studying the works of many international body painters but most specifically I was obsessed with the work of Joanne Gair. Gair is most noted for her work in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues. This practice led me to produce the calendar and art show Na-ked with my friend and respected photographer Alix Broadway. Producing Na-ked was probably one of my greatest challenges to date. The time it took to learn the trade, and produce so many images. I felt like it was all I had in my life. I felt like a true artist! I grew personally, artistically, and professionally. It was truly a wonderful experience that has led me down many exciting paths.
Being a makeup artist has provided me a career that is fulfilling and rewarding. It is a job where I am constantly learning and being challenged. It opens up my mind and my heart and it has taught me more about beauty than any book or lesson ever could.