Prairie Wife of the Week June 6, 2014 (Professional Makeup Artist) #Giveaway
Posted June 6, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 37 comments
It’s no secret how much I love fashion and beauty! I’ve written many posts about my love of reading fashion magazines like Marie Claire, Allure, and InStyle (just to name a few). In the past few years I have really begun to take an interest in makeup. It amazes me how taking a few minutes to add eyeliner, mascara and a quick dash of color on my cheeks and lips makes me walk a little taller, and feel a little better. Perhaps it’s the fact that I am now well and truly in my 30’s, or maybe it’s the necessity of under eye concealer because of a lack of sleep. Either way I am a self proclaimed Pinterest beauty tips addict. I first stumbled across Kendra Richards on Twitter and I soon became an avid follower of her blog. I loved how she talked about becoming a better version of yourself, rather than trying to look like a famous model or actress. I embraced her attitude of accentuating what you love (my lips and eyes) and minimizing what you don’t (under eye bags).
After a few months of reading her blog and pinning her amazing videos (check out all of them on Pinterst) and makeup tips onto my Pinterest Beauty Board, I went ahead and purchased her Heir Atelier Ultimate Makeup Prep (I was impressed with the very reasonable price). A while ago I wrote a post about my love of a good makeup primer and I liked the idea of a product that covered more than just one step. I received my Ultimate Makeup Prep only days after I ordered it, and tried it immediately. I first noticed the super cool container (perfect for traveling) and the fresh smell of the Prep and then, I noticed the just right glow on my skin. My makeup applied over it flawlessly and I still looked and felt fresh. After a few weeks of using it I went to Twitter and said how amazing the product was. Kendra and I began to tweet back and forth and I decided to go for it and ask her to be our Prairie Wife of the Week. I was dying to pick her brain and I had no expectations that a makeup artist to the stars would agree to an interview…imagine my surprise when she accepted! I was a nervous wreck to send her my questions and do the phone interview, but I shouldn’t have worried. Kendra is one of the most real and gracious women I have had the pleasure to interview. She was candid about her experiences and generous with her answers and advice. She is a woman who has worked hard and forged ahead to become one of the top professionals in the increasingly competitive field of makeup artists. Her passion for life and her words of wisdom about beauty are inspirational, I am so proud that she is this week’s Prairie Wife of the Week!
PW: First tell us a little bit about your family.
K: I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to LA with my family when I was 5. I grew up there and currently live in the Hollywood Hills with my rescue dog Ella, a Border Collie mix. She is our unofficial Heir Atelier mascot!
PW: How did you first become interested in becoming a professional makeup artist?
K: My mom was a fashion designer in New York before she got married and she used to make all my clothes which I of course never appreciated at the time! Now I look at the few I have saved and I marvel at them, the craftsmanship is stunning. I credit her for my artistic tendencies. The truth is, growing up I always thought I wasn’t smart because I didn’t excel at the typical school curriculum. After high school I had no idea what career path to take. I followed in my Mom’s footsteps and I went into a creative field. I graduated from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in LA with a degree in Visual Merchandising. While still at FIDM I started to style and do costume design in films. After 5 years, I realized that what I really wanted to do was not wardrobe, but makeup. So I attended a small local makeup school on the Sunset Gowers studio lot. It was a brief three week course. Luckily, because of my work before, I had some connections and knew what to do to try and get jobs. I began creating a portfolio and…I may have somewhat exaggerated my experience in the beginning to get jobs. I always say, if you want to do something find a way!
Six months after makeup school I had a friend that helped me get a meeting at one of the second biggest Hair, Makeup and Wardrobe Styling agencies in LA . When the owner of the agency looked at my portfolio she threw all but two photos out! She removed every image that wasn’t strong. She taught me that it’s better to have fewer stronger images than a whole book of images that were average. This is a concept that I use to this day that trickles down from not only my work but even down to my wardrobe, I prefer to have a smaller closet of clothes that I wear and look great than a ton of clothes that I never wear. Quality over quantity is always better.
Despite only liking two of the photos in my portfolio, I began working for this agency. They helped me build my career and build my book; they truly helped to form me as a professional makeup artist. This would never happen anymore, the field is so much more competitive now. At the time I didn’t realize how amazingly lucky I was.
PW: Can you walk us through a typical day for you as a makeup artist?
K: There is no such thing as a typical day! There are “do and go’s” where you go meet a client at their home or hotel, do their makeup and leave. For instance red carpet jobs are do and go’s. Then you have album covers and press junkets where you stay there all day. Some jobs begin at 2 in the morning if you need to get someone ready for a live feed that is on camera on the east coast. The variety that every day offers is what I love, it keeps it interesting! Most clients book artists through an agency rather than a freelance stylist. I’ve always been represented by an agency. Clients can book makeup artist and hair stylist etc with one phone call.
My agency gives me a call time (when I need to be there) and location for the shoot, and any additional information they may get from the client. I have my products (makeup kit) , and when you get to the job the creative team and artists discuss what we will be doing that day and how many looks , etc. It’s a collaborative creative process and it’s important to allow that process to happen organically. Sometimes you think you are going to create a specific look but once you see the clothing and hair a different direction emerges and it’s better than what you originally thought you were going to do
My makeup kit is a suitcase on wheels, and everything is in bags and categorized and organized. What is in my kit at any given time is different. If it’s a shoot for Shape magazine or an exercise video, I might not need lashes because it will be a natural look. If it’s a regular client that I have worked with before I can pare down what I have, based on what I know works best for them. Cindy Crawford is a client who really encouraged me to take a smaller kit with me to work with her because I was lugging this huge suitcase around with me and she knew I didn’t need all of that makeup for her. I have learned to keep it simple when I know that I can. At this point packing up my kit for a job is second nature to me. As a makeup artist you should be able to have a smaller range of products and colors and then mix those to make what you need. You don’t need every shade of lipstick for example. I am an artist, and I can figure out how to get the exact color I want by mixing what I have. Cleaning my makeup brushes and reorganizing my kit after a job is a constant process too. My job is not just about showing up and doing makeup, it’s also about keeping my kit clean, stocked and staying informed about trends and what is new in the business.
PW: You’ve traveled all over the world and worked with some amazing men and women, through all your experiences what have you found makes someone truly beautiful?
K: Passion for what you do and a passion for life is what makes someone beautiful to me. People that are interested and open to others and the world, people with confidence and people that are considerate. What’s on the inside shows on the outside. When you are happy and comfortable and centered it comes across to others. Being beautiful starts with a smile.
The mother of one of my clients personifies beauty to me. When she smiles, she does it with her whole soul…It’s so beautiful, you don’t even notice her lines or what we call imperfections
PW: As you know, a lot of our readers don’t have access to large beauty stores or professional makeup counters. Any advice for finding the right makeup over the internet?
K:If you can’t physically be there it’s so hard to pick the correct colors. Consider shopping at stores with great return policies like Nordtsrom because even after you try the products you can return them if they aren’t right for you. Confirm this when you call them but I have never had a problem making returns to Nordstrom. Call the Nordstrom beauty counter and tell them your skin type (if you can tell them a celebrity that has the same skin tone and general look as you that will help, for example if you want a foundation color and your skintone is similar to Katie Holmes or Jessica Alba, tell them that so that they can help choose a shade that is best for you) and what you have tried that does or doesn’t work. Use their expertise to help you narrow down what you are going to purchase online.
Don’t be afraid to mix foundations to get the right color, and plan on it! I do this for myself and all my clients. You can mix foundations and even mix them with BB creams to get the right coverage for you. And don’t forget your skin changes with the change in the seasons so it’s a good idea to have a darker and lighter foundation anyway.
In the end remember to have fun, its only makeup! There is a learning curve involved, so the more experience you have doing your makeup the better you get. If you don’t like it wash it off and start again. Take time to look at woman on the red carpet and pick what you like about their look, and use it as a guide to look like the best version of yourself. Timeless classic beauties are woman that have played up their best features (think Audrey Hepburn’s eyebrows). You want to create a look that gives you confidence. Even if your friends says it looks great, if you don’t feel that way you’ll never wear that makeup again. Be honest with yourself and start over or return it.
PW: The average woman gets ready in her bathroom with harsh overhead lighting. I know that it isn’t the best for applying makeup but, since it’s our reality, can you offer pointers for working in this kind of light?
K: This even happens to me when I travel to do makeup. I would suggest getting a good hand mirror and walk over to the window to just check your makeup in natural light. It can help you to see any changes like softening your eyeshadow or adding more blush, that will help you look your best.
PW: What makeup products do you believe every woman over 30 should have, and know how to apply?
K: This was a tough question for me because everyone is different and has different makeup needs. Figure out what you feel helps you look your best. Cindy (Crawford) and Cate Blanchett are quintessential examples of this; they are always uniquely themselves but universally beautiful and polished looking. I think a good starting point is to think about your best features that you want to play up and focus on that. Because skin is the canvas for makeup I think everyone should have a good makeup prep like Heir Atelier, it will keep you looking fresh and glowing, not too matte or shiny, even with minimal makeup on. Mascara and if you need it, an eyelash curler will help your eyes look bigger. Well shaped brows will help you look polished. Generally if you stick with natural colors that enhance your features you will look polished and beautiful, though playing with colorful eyeliner is a great way to add a little pop. If you don’t want to wear foundation you can use concealer where needed like under the eyes, to cover redness or discoloration.
Investing in great makeup brushes really help you do better makeup. You want to make sure they are soft and are comfortable for you to use. The ones that actually come with your makeup are generally not good so I just toss them. Great makeup brushes will really help the finished look, it makes the application process much better.
PW: Recently you’ve developed your own skin care product Heir Atelier can you tell us some more about it?
K: It basically came about because skin is the canvas for makeup and in my work that is the first critical step, prep the skin so the makeup will look it’s best. No matter what makeup products and techniques you use, the finished look is only going to be as good as the skin that it’s on. At shoots, I found myself mixing multiple serums to get the ideal prep for my clients skin. It was costly and time consuming so I decided that I could make my own serum. After doing research and sourcing the ingredients I began making my serum at home in my kitchen and taking it to jobs to use on my clients. I had clients, and other makeup artists requesting it and realized that I needed to start a business making this serum. I found a chemist and cosmetic/skincare manufacturer to create the final formula that is now Ultimate Make Up Prep. It’s a new company but Heir Atelier is available in the US and overseas. Ultimate Make Up Prep is now available in the UK (I am thrilled about this) at Blow Ltd in London, which is a company that is dedicated to fast beauty. You can go to www.HeirAtelier.com to learn more about it and purchase some for yourself. I’m developing two more products right now, and I’ll be sure to let your readers know more about that soon!
PW: Are you ready for the rapid fire question portion?
K: I hope so!
PW: What’s your least favorite makeup myth?
K: Everyone says older woman can’t wear shimmery eyeshadow, not true! I rarely use matte, there is more dimension with the shimmery shades.
PW: Name two things every woman should be doing now to keep her skin beautiful?
K: Sunscreen and sleep but if you can’t sleep remember to eat well and drink water. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body and is a reflection of your overall health.
PW: You never leave the house without _______ in your purse.
K: Hah what don’t I have! Probably my 2 phones if I had to pick, a blackberry and an IPhone!
PW: You only have five minutes to apply your makeup, what do you do?
PW: A woman is beautiful when _____________ .
K: When she is a loving person to herself and others.
PW: Any last Prairie Wife words of wisdom for our readers?
K: As a makeup artist I play up the strengths of the women who sit in my chair. I suggest taking some time to do this for yourself. I find that women are too quick to point out what they consider to be their flaws, I say focus on what you love and play that up. Also it’s important to show up for yourself first and do what you need to feel confident, give that gift to yourself. I believe that we are what we think about, be open and happy about life and interested in others. Live your best life!
Kendra has graciously offered to do a a giveaway of her Heir Atelier Ultimate Makeup Prep to one lucky reader! Enter below and keep those fingers crossed! If you have any questions or comments for her, leave them below. Kendra will be checking in with PrairieWifeInHeels.com throughout the week.