Saturday, February 09, 2008

Why I Love This Industry

Around a year ago I wrote the following post. Soon after that, we announced that we would be launching both On Makeup Magazine and The Makeup Show Miami in Winter 2008. Needless to say, we were a little busy for the next year. Our blog - for the love of makeup - was left lonely and neglected while we moved forward on these other projects. Well, now On Makeup Magazine has launched and The Makeup Show Miami is fast approaching on February 24 and 25, and its time to refocus and get back into our groove. I thought we'd start our relaunch of the blog off again with this post since for me it sums up so much about why this blog, and The Powder Group, exist - we truly do love this industry and the artists and businesses that are a part of it. Yes, we are a business and someday we would even like to be a profitable one - lol. But for now, we do it all for the passion, all for the artists, all for the artistry, and all - for the love of makeup.

Why I Love This Industry:
A little more than 14 years ago I was living in Hartford, having a great time producing events, working in fashion styling and retail and wondering which direction my recently earned Marketing and Business Administration degree was going to take me. Little did I know that a few months later I would fall in love with a business called makeup artistry. I was no stranger to makeup or beauty, my best friend and current The Powder Group presenter
Johnny Lavoy had already owned his own salon for a couple years. I had played with makeup on shows I had styled, and of course the club scene we were a part of was filled with fabulous masters of maquillage. I was a novice but intrigued. Long story short – around this time I began what became a 10 year career with a small company out of Toronto, owned by a couple of gay guys and just starting to take off in New York. You’ve probably heard of them by now, the company was called Makeup Art Cosmetics – MAC for short.

What I learned and loved over the next ten years drove me to the passion for the makeup and beauty industry that I have to this day. Maybe a part of it was that this kid who was always picked last in gym class – had a place where he might get picked first. Maybe part of it was that I was able to help to nurture and develop the ones who felt “different”– who weren’t really sure where they fit but they knew they were unique. Maybe a part of it was that, through MAC, I learned about generosity and social responsibility – and how to make your work count toward more than the financial bottom line. Maybe it was because every day I was surrounded by fabulous, creative, clever people coming together to explore art as expressed through makeup. Maybe it was because that awkward, twitchy kid from Trumbull was able to see something important coming in the future – for himself and for the people around him.

Fast forward to 2006 – three years into the life of The Powder Group – a company I founded to become a resource, support system and central core for the makeup artist community. A community that is far reaching and welcoming. A community that encourages individuality and creative expression. A community that embraces artistry in all its forms and artists in all their capacities. Artists who range from Emmy award winners to makeup students from the Philippines. Artists who range from a full-time Mom who works weddings every weekend to celebrity artists who work red carpets. Artists who range from the owner of a makeup school in Dublin to a young artist from Utah who hasn’t the money to move to a place where he can make it in the freelance world – but works at the local department store making faces beautiful everyday to fulfill his passion.

This industry is incredible. The people are dynamic. The work is inspiring. It’s an industry build on a passion for the art of makeup, fueled by drive. I feel so fortunate that in The Powder Group’s short three year history, hundreds of artists have come to us, from as close as Brooklyn, Philly and Boston and as far away as Japan, Guatemala, and Australia, to be inspired, to open their minds to thinking about makeup in new ways and to share. That sharing, the sense of community, the permission to express yourself creatively, and the opportunity to be proud of who you are and who you are becoming, are why I love this industry.

Michael DeVellis
Director, The Powder Group

photo: The Powder Group Creative

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