Friday, September 25, 2009

Artist Series with MATIN

How have you kept your career growing in a challenging economy? I try not to worry about the economy. I trust my agents an I'm lucky to have loyal clients and a contract.

What three traits does a great makeup artist need to have?

1. Being humble
2. Look at criticism as opportunity to grow 3. Keep getting inspired

What makes a good assistant?
To be able to read the mind of who you are assisting. Staying on top of keeping the kit and brushes always clean and in order. Making sure the makeup station is clean and in order.

Is there a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of? I used to assist Laura Mercier and to this day she is my idol. She trusts me to do her ad campaigns.

What are you working on today?
I am meeting editors.

How did you get started in makeup?
I insisted to assist Laura and didn't take no for an answer.

How long have you been in the industry?
I used to sell make up 24 years ago but moved to NY 11 years ago and started to assist then.

How did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist?
I didn't at first but make up kept falling in my lap when I needed a job all throughout my adult life. Finally I took it as a sign and submitted to what life offered.

What does “community” mean to you?
A group of like minded people that support each other even if they are competing for the same.

Can you tell us about a change you have made in your career? I decided to leave corporate/training job and do freelance.

Matin will be appearing as the Keynote speaker at The Artist Summit Miami on Oct 4th, and The Artist Summit Chicago on Oct 11th.
In this first time ever event you will experience the artistry that separates Matin from others in the industry and learn the secrets that have kept him working with magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Nylon, Allure and Elle and the industry’s top photographers and stylists. Listen as he discusses his career, offer tips on how to take yourself to the next level, and demonstrate the techniques that have made him such a sought after celebrity artist with clients including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Connelly, Liv Tyler, and Rachel Weisz.
To purchase tickets visit

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Artist Series with Kathy Aragon

What three traits does a great makeup artist need to have? I feel like the three traits every makeup artist needs to have other than skill in the field is business sense, business ethics, and a pleasant personality. I have known so many artists to start suddenly and stop suddenly in this demanding field due to lack of understanding the business know-how that goes behind organizing and marketing yourself. The work will not just come without the proper marketing and making the proper connections. When one really knows how to make their business thrive that is when you usually start to tell if there is any business ethics involved in the artists’ game plan. Do not step on toes, do not talk bad of others, and do not burn bridges to get ahead. This path will sometimes take longer but the foundation of your career will be a lot more stable. All this intertwines with having a good personality. Other than doing a good job for a client , having a positive personality will help the client to remember you above others.

What makes a good assistant? When I look for an assistant I look for someone who I can tell is serious about wanting to help without being pushy. This usually tends to be the person who understands that assisting may not mean they will be working on talent right away. In fact, so many times assisting a Sr. Artist can be an unglorified task of cleaning brushes, setting up stations, helping with equipment and can even spill into helping with other tasks on set before ever picking up a brush to do a single face on their own. What you will get in exchange is seeing how a professional environment functions and start to learn the techniques of the artist you are assisting. A good assistant should also be reliable and not show up late or have to leave early without notice. An added bonus of a great assistant? Being flexible! I would much prefer working with one regular artist who already knows my flow and be available at the last minute as opposed to having many assistants I only use seldomly, who don't quite have time to learn my tendencies.

How did you get started in makeup?
I was the accidental makeup artist. Just one year before doing makeup I had already tried to study culinary arts, business management, computers, etc. I could not keep focused and never finished anything I started in any of the fields I tried. At this time my mom had been a cosmetologist for 20+ years and my parents were opening a spa and salon. They had asked me to manage the business. Before opening, I enrolled into esthetics school so I could learn the spa part of the business. I ended up getting my license in esthetics and became the manager as well as the esthetician. Esthetics school taught me about makeup but mainly about the sanitary precautions I needed to learn to pass the State Board exam. It was the hands on experience of being thrown into doing makeup at the salon that made me teach myself how to go about applying and mixing in different ways. I started to notice a change in my attitude towards makeup about two years later when we got busier with weddings at the salon. The positive feedback gave me something to look forward to when I had a makeup appointment on the books. I started taking supplementary workshops in NY, my first being Tobi Brittons Makeup Bootcamp, followed by many others. Around that time I started a makeup line to brand for our salon called “Mia” Makeup Is Art. I set up my lines first photoshoot, and after getting a taste of the creative process and instant gratification from the photos, I couldn’t stop wanting to work in print. Makeup has been the one and only thing I have stuck too and have been just as passionate about since day one.

Is it important to do both hair and makeup in the industry? It really depends on where you are located. In fact, most areas outside of NY, LA, and Miami expect you to do both hair and makeup for clients. I was lucky as I had learned both skills before I even realized there was a whole world of freelance makeup beyond the salon walls. Knowing both when entering the makeup industry really helped open more doors for me and helped me get into local agencies that required both skill sets when starting out. I think all makeup artists should at least learn light hair for that “just in case” moment, whether you choose to pursue it further or not. I personally love having the control of a complete look and find just as much joy in creating hairstyles as I do in doing makeup.

Kathy Aragon in a celebrity makeup artist based in Washington D.C. She will be leading the Camera Ready Workshop at The Artist Summit Miami Oct 3-5th, and The Artist Summit Chicago Oct 10-12th. For more information and to purchase tickets for The Artist Summit please visit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Artist Series with Felicia Walker Benson

How have you kept your career growing in a challenging economy? I’ve managed to stay busy by leveraging my networks and optimizing opportunities. I also focus on being useful to others. If you are useful, others will see your value and seek your services. I am always asking, “How can I be useful”, “How can this person/brand use me”. If others have a reason to “use” you...your career will flourish. Focus on what you can offer others…as opposed to what others can offer you!

Is there a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of? I recently had the opportunity to work as Creative Director of Makeup/Lead Artist for a Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week show (the Vessel by Lois Samuels). This was a great honor and a dream come true. As Creative Director of Makeup, it was my responsibility to design the runway makeup look, partner with the makeup sponsor to select colors, and lead a talented team of artists. Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics was the makeup sponsor…they’re truly an amazing partner!

What are you working on today? I just recently covered NYFW and was Creative Director of Makeup for a show. I’m looking forward to speaking at the upcoming Artist Summit in Miami and Chicago. I’m excited to talk about one of my great passions - beauty blogging!

How did you get started in makeup? My beauty obsession dates back to my childhood. Most kids bought candy with their weekly allowance. Not little Felicia! I bought Jean Nate, V05 hot oil treatments, Lee Press On Nails, mud packs, etc. If the local beauty supply store sold it, I bought it! As a young adult, my friends, family and coworkers always came to me as the go to fashion/beauty girI…so a career in makeup, fashion and beauty feels as natural as breathing.

What does “community” mean to you? I love the concept of “community”. My very existence as a writer/ artist is living proof of the power of “community”. It truly takes a village and I am the product a very close knit and supportive village/community. Constant nourishment of the community is key. Find ways to include others. Share resources/information. Help one another. Share your blessings and be a blessing to others!

Can you tell us about a change you have made in your career? Prior to fully committing myself to fashion and beauty, I spent over 10 years in Human Resources. While still in corporate HR, I worked freelance as a makeup artist and started a beauty blog. ThisThatBeauty was born in April of 2008. Within six months of writing ThisThatBeauty, I got my first press mention as a “top rated” beauty blog. From there ThisThatBeauty continued to flourish and open doors for my makeup artistry. In April of 2009 I launched a line of makeup brushes under the ThisThatBeauty brand. My resume continues to grow at a pace that even I can’t believe! Makeup Artist… Fashion/Beauty Writer….Product line….Celebrity Makeup Artist…Wardrobe Stylist…Bus Dev Consultant…NYFW Lead Artist! The sky’s the limit!

Felicia is the founder and editor of She will be speaking at The Artist Summit Miami Oct 3-5th, and The Artist Summit Chicago Oct 10-12th. For more information and to purchase tickets for The Artist Summit please visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Johnny Lavoy Artistry Spotlight

As Artistic Director and owner of Moda-Rey Salon & Spa, the Connecticut business he started nearly 18 years ago, Johnny Lavoy has been one of the most sought after talents on the market. His bridal and event hair & makeup has thrilled hundreds of clients over his career.

Over the last few seasons his work has also become a fixture during NY fashion week, doing hair for designers, Kenneth Cole, Ghost, Mille, Cynthia Steffe, and Swarovski. His work has been seen on the cover of New England Bride and in the pages of Vanity Fair, Ocean Drive, Stuff, Glamour, Elle, Seventeen, Modern Salon, People Espanola, American Salon, Zink and many others.

His work has also appeared on many red carpets, from the Emmys to the Oscars.Johnny's resume boasts a client list including JLo, Adrienne Vittadini, and Bill Blass, along with celebrities Rosie Perez, Junes, Angie Everhart, Ethan Hawke, Laura Peron, Oksana Baiul, Jill Clayburgh, Nancy Kerrigan, and Kate Mulgrew. He has also been featured on A&E Biography, The Learning Channel’s The Makeover Story, Discovery Channel’s Home Matters, Ambush Make Over, and HBO. His teaching credits span the globe from New York to Korea. Johnny Lavoy is represented by the prestigious FORD agency in NYC.

Come meet Johnny, and experience his artistry. Johnny will be leading hands on workshops in Miami and Chicago for The Artist Summit. Visit the website to register for classes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Online Video Tutorials by Sarah Lucero, Daven Mayeda, and James Vincent!





Monday, September 14, 2009

Artist Spotlight with Alison Raffaele

What is coming next for your line?
October 2nd marks the beginning of our 10th Anniversary Year, so to
celebrate we have 4 new eco-friendly products in development...A Pressed
Mineral Powder, a Luminizer, a Mascara and a new, improved version of our
Inner Glow. I'm hoping to launch them by 4th quarter '09/1st quarter '10.

Why do makeup artists love your line?
I think the reason why Alison Raffaele products are so popular with pro
artists is three-fold...1)they do the job quickly and easily, 2)they last
throughout the day with minimal touch-ups and 3)they are vegan/eco-friendly,
which is what a lot of talent is requesting these days.

What does "community" mean to you?
A heck of a lot! Makeup is a tough business all around, so it really
helps to have friends to turn to that understand what you are going through,
whether it is for support or good advice. No doubt there is a special place
in Makeup Artist Heaven for Michael and James for creating the Powder Group
Community for us :-)

Alison Raffaele will be speaking at The Artist Summit. For more information and to purchase tickets for The Artist Summit please visit

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Artist Spolight with Jill Glaser Maltezos

What three traits does a great makeup artist needs to have:
Quite simply, the "three "A's"-
1. Ability-It goes without saying that a great makeup artist needs to possess amazing skills, technique, and that great creative eye, together with a thirst for ongoing education and a thirst for knowledge that is never satisfied.
2. Availability- The makeup artist must be flexible to the needs of the project, even if it interferes (which is almost always does) with personal plans. The artist can expect to work long days/ weekends, forgoing other activities in order to make the project come to fruition.
3. Affability-You can be the greatest artist, with the most flexible schedule, but if you are difficult to work with and not supportive of and pleasant with the crew and talent, you will not be welcome in this "small" industry. Everyone wants to work with an artist who brings life and humor to the job, making the creative process even more fun for everyone!

How did I know that I wanted to be a makeup artist-
In short, I never had that lightbulb, "Oprah" moment-As I said on my website video, being a true makeup artist is something that you just feel compelled to do; you don't need to question it, you don't know why-you just have do it. Others may ponder their life decisions-I have no idea why, but I found myself in a situation which I fortunately pursued, with no specific plan, that led me to my journey to become a professional makeup artist. While I knew that I didn't want to continue practicing law, I didn't really have any idea what I wanted to do and was not even thinking of switching careers. In short, I was living and enjoying each day, one day at a time. Several years ago, I was asked whether I wanted to help out with my daughter's school play. The "mommy committee" assigned me to makeup, just because no one else wanted to do it; from that moment forward, my entire life changed. I discovered that I had an untapped, untrained gift. I just assumed that everyone knew how to age a face! I was so surprised; I had to find out what was going on with me! Why did I suddenly become so obsessed with the art of makeup?! My friends and family thought I was just going through some kind of crisis! Why would a successful corporate attorney even entertain the idea of exploring makeup artistry?! While I still did not even think about makeup artistry as a profession, I immediately, and instinctively, enrolled in and attended a makeup artistry program, then offered at Columbia College in Chicago. I even took one of the courses twice, just to get more out of one excellent instructor. Without any further thought, I started freelancing, barely supporting myself; the only law I was practicing then related to setting up my business as a freelance media makeup artist. Although money was tight, I didn't really focus on the present; I had the confidence to know that, whatever happened, I would be fine. I just concentrated on what needed to be done to pursue a successful career in the industry. I focused (and continue to focus) on becoming a better artist, building a portfolio, and advertising. I am so fortunate that now I am able to pursue my passion and work as a freelance media makeup artist. I am so proud to be in this creative industry; I love to be included in our community and am blessed to be able to mentor others so that, they too, can pursue their passion in makeup artistry.

Is there a project that I am especially proud of
I am beyond proud of the state-certified, MAC approved school that I founded three years ago, Make Up First® School of Makeup Artistry! When Columbia College closed its program, approximately five years ago, there was a void in our city that needed to be filled. I started with two students, and have now trained over four hundred students who come, not only from Chicago, but from all over the Midwest. We even train students from countries all over the world who come to Chicago specifically to attend the School. It is a surreal experience for me! The School offers a broad, art-based, hands-on training program with the best instructors, all currently working in their respective fields. We offer a balance of course work in, among other things, Beauty as well as Theatrical Makeup. We are always expanding our workshops, special events, and welcome special guest artists from both NYC and LA, which events and workshops are always open to the public. Check out the Student Portfolio Page and share my pride!

Jill Glaser Maltezos will be speaking at The Artist Summit Chicago Oct 10-12th.
For more information and to purchase tickets for The Artist Summit please visit

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

9 Questions with Daven Mayeda

How have you kept your career growing in a challenging economy? Saying yes to everything, even the small jobs. You never know what opportunities and people you can meet on set. I think once you start declining jobs, especially out of laziness, you prevent yourself from growing and evolving as an artist and a businessman. Being able to have a skill in time of a difficult economy is great, it allows you to have the freedom to barter

What three traits does a great makeup artist need to have? Psychology- Being alert and in tune to the surrounding energies. Logic- The ability to make the right decisions and choices about a look or application. Passion- Without passion in a career, its just a job.

Is there a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of?
Definitely all of the early projects of my career. The student "experiments', early photo shoots, failed fashion tests and botched creations of a passionate amateur. I think these things really make you grow in your career. They push you to your limits. They make you sweat, second guess yourself, and make you work harder the next time.

What are you working on today?
Most advertising, fashion, private clients, educating through the Powder Group, giving workshops at The New York and Los Angeles Makeup Shows and Artist Summits.

How did you get started in makeup?
I was an adventurous goth kid ironically, after the obsession with black eye liner, red eyeshadow, and blaring heavy metal music, I found myself searching for a creative outlet. I went to hair school and picked up a makeup brush with a completely different mindset. It has been a love affair ever since.

What is the biggest mistake a makeup artist can make?
Forgetting all of the people that have helped their careers. That is definitely a travesty in this industry. We are so quick to forget all of the other people that gave us our breaks, our big client referrals, and most of all, the people that truly had faith in our abilities.

How did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist?
When I found myself waking up and going to sleep designing looks I knew it was right.

What does “community” mean to you?
Community is everything to me. Your mentors, assistants, colleges and friends in the industry all keep each other "sane" in this crazy world. Community to me is the pulse of the industry, and the energy that keeps the forward interia of motivation going.

Can you tell us about a change you have made in your career?
Attempting to carry less makeup, ::laughs:: my kit is pretty hefty still, and its a constant battle to try and condense. Businesswise, I am trying to concentrate my focus of where I want to go in my career, as opposed to being so spread out all of the industry.

Daven Mayeda is a celebrity makeup artist. He will be speaking at The Artist Summit Miami Oct 3-5th, and The Artist Summit Chicago Oct 10-12th. For more information and to purchase tickets for The Artist Summit please visit

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Artist Spotlight with Michael DeVellis

How can a makeup artist keep their career growing in a challenging economy? The last year has been a big challenge for everyone in every industry. I think that the only real way to ensure your own career growth - or even sustaining your current level of success in an economy like the one we are faces with is to commit yourself to some basic ideas in how you work: First, introduce new techniques, products, services or types of work that you offer. Next, develop stronger relationships and grow the community of peers and clients that we build around us. Also, make the commitment to work harder than you ever have before. We need to work twice as hard to maintain the level of work that we have been maintaining, and even harder to move forward. Finally, commit to investing financially back into your career. You need to spend some of that hard-to-come-by cash on keeping the momentum going. Develop a strong promotional plan to create a broader visibility for you and your work. Improve your website, work an industry event, create stronger images to represent your work and get them out there for potential clients to see.

What is the biggest mistake a makeup artist can make? To stop learning. There is nothing that puts a hold on a career like standing still, and doing the same thing over and over again, while others around you are moving forward, and strengthening and growing their craft and their career.

Is there a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of?
I think that without question that would be creating On Makeup Magazine. It provides me a personal level of creativity that I have never felt before and allows me to provide an opportunity to so many creatively brilliant artists, writers and photographers. There is very little that is more satisfying than hearing that On Makeup Magazine has inspired someone, given someone a new way of thinking about their work or that they were moved to work harder at their craft - by what we publish.

Michael DeVellis is the Executive Director of The Powder Group, and the Creative Director and Editor of On Makeup Magazine. He will be speaking at The Artist Summit Miami Oct 3-5th, and The Artist Summit Chicago Oct 10-12th. For more information and to purchase tickets for The Artist Summit please visit