I often get asked how to survive and thrive as a makeup artist, and the truth is there’s no straight answer. Everyone’s journey is different and it depends a lot on external factors like where you are located in the world, your experience, and how well you market yourself.
However there are a few tips I can share with you, and that’s what this whole podcast episode is about. I invited Eugenia Weston to share her story and insights on the Be Your Own Makeup Artist podcast. Eugenia is a successful celebrity makeup artist and Emmy-nominated makeup educator, mentor, founder, and creative director of SENNA Makeup & Brow Studios.
In this episode, we talked about how to pave your way and stay relevant in the beauty industry.
Listen to the episode below:
I was thrilled to have Eugenia as a guest on the Be Your Own Makeup Podcast. I discovered Senna Cosmetics when I was searching for the perfect cream blush that would look amazing for commercial campaigns and special event clients.
Then, at some point, I discovered the Senna Brow Fix Setting gels, which blew my mind. Two amazing products that outperformed my expectations and experience, I wanted to learn more about the brand –– and discovered Eugenia Weston!
Eugenia’s story is an amazing evolution of a makeup artist, from drug store cosmetics counter girl to the very first licensed makeup pro artist in California, to Emmy-nominated celebrity artist, SENNA brand builder, teacher and mentor to professional artists, and internationally noted product innovator.
Eugenia Weston is a pioneer in the beauty industry. She perfected her art training with legendary Hollywood makeup artists. Film work gave her an intuitive sense of the interplay of lighting and color. She was inspired to design cosmetics with intense pigments and flawless textures that perform exceptionally in the most demanding conditions.
I was eleven years old and I was simply fascinated with beauty, fashion, faces. It was mesmerizing. I was so focused on it. Makeup was all I did. I used to spend 2 hours getting ready for school and then would be sent back home for wearing a lot of makeup.
I was enamored with makeup, transformation, and how I could express myself through it.
At that time, I didn’t know there were makeup artists, so I didn’t think about being one. I just liked the art of makeup. I loved how you could change and transform a face, create a new image for yourself, a new way to present yourself to the world.
Makeup was life-changing, especially during my teens, and it was my way of being accepted. I was really good at it and very precise.
When there were proms and parties I would do makeup on the other girls for free, and then I started seeing that people wanted the work that I did.
I was always busy. I had a reputation for doing very good makeup and being reliable, and that helped me get job after job.
When I started, everything was happening in New York, and there were very few makeup artists in Los Angeles at the time, so it was easy to get jobs.
I was working in a salon at that time, and I was always busy with clients. This is when I created my own makeup line. The salon was always busy with actors, directors, and producers. They liked my work and I got jobs, so I don’t really know if this is relevant for today.
But I’d say you need to be really good with what you do. Test a lot so you can be more comfortable with all the mediums you’re going to work with; this way you can be ready for every situation. Develop your eye with a photographer, understand lighting, angles. Learn by doing it and learn from your mistakes.
I remember back then, I wasn’t great all the time. But after a mistake, the next time I would always do better.
Now with the pandemic, it’s really hard for everyone. All we can do is wait and make things happen virtually, put our work out there. By the way, there are lots of makeup artists who were discovered through Instagram. Rihanna’s makeup artist was found on Instagram.
If you’re doing good work, have networking skills and have etiquette, act professional, show up on time, don’t have your phone in your hands, and want to be famous yourself, you can succeed.
I didn’t decide [to start my own line], someone decided for me. I was working in a high-end salon; it was my first job in makeup. After I worked at the beauty counter in a drugstore I was hired to work in this salon.
There was this hairdresser, she was really something. She decided to leave and open her own salon. She called me and said, “I would love for you to create your own makeup line and be with us at our new salon.” My husband said we had to do this. So we did it. We flew to New York, looked for labs in the Yellow Pages, and then created the products and SENNA cosmetics!
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P.S. If you asked me a beauty question, if I don't immediately know the answer, I must thoroughly research every question I receive, and sometimes do not have an immediate answer or I need clarity on unlisted ingredients in certain beauty products, sometimes getting a clear answer takes up to 3 weeks... have patience, it'll be worth it!
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.