Friday, October 29, 2010


It's been said time and time (and time) again by makeup artists everywhere that they love what they do because:
"they make people feel beautiful"
"enhance beauty"
"boost self esteem"


Well, I stick my tongue out and offer a rasberry to that response. Don't get me wrong, working retail I definitely liked being able to "help" people. But that's not what I've ever loved about nor been drawn to regarding makeup. In fact, that's what I hate about makeup. It can and often does create a dependency for some. The number of people I've met who simply cannot and will not leave the house without makeup on is ridiculous. I'm embarrassed to admit I was a member of that club 7 years ago. I even did my makeup while I was doped up on morphine in the hospital. Talk about the BS we're taught to subscribe to. But that's a different topic for a different time...

Now, I don't really know jack about fashion. I can't tell you which shoes have red bottoms, though at least I know ones with red soles are special! And while I can strut in 6's with the best of them, I choose chucks 99% of the time. However, I've always been drawn to more shall I say "abstract" creative makeup. And it just so happened that generally that kind of makeup coincides with fashion and beauty.

I still feel very much like a toddler finding their legs, navigating through this new world where "success" seems to be based not only what you know, but talent, hard work, tears(heets) and who you know. (Realize that "what you know =/= talent" They are no where near the same thing.) And although I'm still new at all of this I can tell you that the way I view the fashion industry, is everything that I love about makeup.

Every single shoot I work on leaves me utterly exhausted and satisfied. It's almost better than sex. It's a merging mesh of creation coming from every angle you could imagine. And thus far, everyone's egos have been left at the door, allowing for unadulterated entanglement of everyone's creative energies. Which, in turn leaves a very sweet aftertaste on my tongue. Needless to say, I'm addicted.

See, regarding makeup in fashion, it's not about making anyone pretty or beautiful. It's building off and transforming the beauty that's already there. Notice I said nothing about enhancing, for transformation is what's key. Most fashion models seem to be interesting looking and have chameleon like capabilities.

The entire thing is a creative collaboration between photographer, model, makeup artist, stylist, hair stylist etc - all coming together to create an image that is nearly always "weird" in some way, but makes you feel something. At least that's how I see it. So to be a part of that, in any which way, is like a drug to me.

There's definitely something to be said for creation. Which is why artists of any kind thrive in a way that those who don't utilize their creative energy do not.

This blog entry has been sitting here for well over a week, waiting for me to hit "Publish post". I wanted to add so much more, but I'll leave it as is for now...


  1. I, for one, am glad that you did hit "publish post". I have only done one fashion shoot but I have to agree with you on the lack of ego and the collective creativity.

  2. I get what you are saying and agree. As artist we should be more creative and think outside the box. Great post Risa!!!

  3. This is a great and inspiring post. Your passion is what makes you a great makeup artist. I used to be in theater, and it was the same way. Me just being an actress was one thing but watching the whole play come together was almost magical. Its the same now with makeup for me.

    Its not about putting on makeup every day, but when a girl wants to feel special it is always nice to break out the the makeup box and feel glamorous and amazing. The makeup can be a crutch for some, but for others its a special occasional little kick.

  4. Hi Risa,
    great post. I am addicted too and with every shoot I learn what else to try for the next.