One of the number one questions I get when talking with people is, "how did you know you wanted to be a Makeup Artist?"
I never really quite know how to answer this question because I feel like there are so many things that have impacted where I am now. I used to paint my little sister's face when we were younger and I would sneak my mom's lipstick to put it on even when I knew I wasn't allowed to wear makeup. I could say that art has always been a part of my life painting and drawing whenever I could, but when I think back on all of those moments, the one thing that really let me know that this is what I wanted to do was...the butterflies.
Allow me to explain. I have never taken any formal makeup lesson or had any formal makeup training. I went to cosmetology school to learn hair (which I later realized was not for me). If I remember correctly, we had all of four hours of "makeup training" and I use that term loosely. And while it may not have sparked a career, it did awaken the butterflies. The day in school where I received my kit, I remember rummaging through the bag: curling iron, blow dryer, sanitation jar, etc. Then, I discovered a small bag containing makeup. In the bag was the worst combo of colors: Purple eye shadow, orange lipstick, brown eyeliner, bright pink blush and mascara (no ironically, this was not the eighties). The moment I laid eyes on that bag and picked it up, the butterflies started. These were the same butterflies that were there when I snuck that lipstick from my mom and painted my sisters face. And while I still felt the butterflies, I still didn’t pay them full attention.
After school, I began working in a salon doing hair. Any free chance I got to paint one of the stylists faces while things were a little slow, I would and the butterflies always came around. I loved the butterflies and eventually I never wanted them to go away and that's when I decided makeup was for me and everything else was just a distraction from what I was really supposed to be doing.
There are so many times in life when we ignore the butterflies. We meet someone, we go somewhere, we hear something and the butterflies start going in our stomach. We feel them, even know they are there but we just never pursue them. Sometimes we try to pursue them and then we allow someone to discourage them or we think we fail at pursuing them, but the butterflies are there for a reason. They are indicators of something sometimes beyond our reasoning and tell tale signs of where our path may lead us.
Finally allowing myself to take head of the butterflies that have been around forever has allowed me to wake up every day loving what I do and confident that I am fulfilling my purpose and gifting. I may have taken some detours along the way, but now, ten plus years later; I still get the butterflies when I am doing makeup.
When your butterflies come around, chase them; chase them with all your might, because great things are ahead. I hope for you all the courage and strength to follow your dreams and succeed!
Don't ignore the butterflies!
Beauty and blessings,
I am often asked how I first started
doing makeup and my usual response generally depicts my love of fine
art, painting and drawing and how it transitioned to “painting”
faces. While this explanation is true, there is another far more
personal tale of my love for makeup that rarely gets told.
Growing up I had a very poor self
esteem and little self confidence. I would often spend my time
comparing myself to others imagining what my life would be like if I
had their life instead of mine. My mirror served as a constant
reminder of all that I thought I lacked and all that I thought I
needed. But then, something happened...a miracle if you will...I was
allowed to wear makeup!
I must have been around fifteen or so
when I was finally given the green light to start wearing makeup.
From then on, it was a rare occasion that I would spend less than two
hours putting on eyeshadow, foundation, lipstick, mascara, you name
it. No one would would ever see that ugly duckling again so long as
that powder compact was in close reach, which of course it always
My two hour routine went on for quite a
few years before I realized there was some inner healing that needed
to take place, which thank God it has. I now have confidence and can
walk out of the house sans makeup and still feel beautiful (although
I still love getting dolled up when time allots). But I have learned
that it is not the makeup that makes the woman, the woman makes the
makeup. Makeup is meant to enhance beauty, not define it. However,
getting a little polished did help usher the way for me to see myself
in a different light allowing me to be more comfortable in my own
skin until I was able to be restored from within.
As a makeup artist, I get to give this
same gift to everyone that sits in my chair. I cannot tell you the
number of times I have had people sit in my chair to get made up and
when they see themselves they start to cry because they feel
beautiful. Our bodies are temples and just like a temple, sometimes a
fresh coat of paint invites us in to further appreciate everything
that lies within. Please understand that I am not saying that
cosmetics are the only way to feel beautiful, but it can be one
avenue. It has been a door that has led to many positive changes and
outlooks for numerous women.
It brings me great joy when I am able
to show someone just how a few simple makeup tricks can transform
them into the beautiful swan that they are, which is why I am so
excited to announce my next project...Everyday Beauty.
I wanted to do a makeover series that
captured the essence of natural beauty. Originally, I was going to
ask for a few volunteers, do makeovers and snap a few pictures
myself, but then the lovely Serena Star of Serena Star Photography
caught wind and jumped on board offering her amazing photography
services. Serena shares the same heart for encouraging women to feel
beautiful in who they are and was so excited to be able to join
forces for this project.
With that said, this is where you come
in to play. We need faces. We are not looking for “models” so to
speak, we are just looking for women of all shapes, sizes and ages
who are looking to experience that everyday beauty. If you think this
is you, read below to tell us why you should be chosen to receive an
Everyday Beauty makeover and photo shoot.
Stay tuned for the pictures from our
Beauty and blessings,
Everyday Beauty Makeover &
Here are the details for the
Everyday Beauty Makeover (read here for the motive behind this
contest) and Shoot with Mariluz West and Serena Star. We are looking
for women of all ages, shapes and sizes who would be interested in
getting a makeover. You do not need to be a model to participate. You
must be willing to take a before picture. However, we are not looking
for those before pictures where everything is done possible to make
you look your worst. Come how you would normally dress and wear your
makeup. You must be willing to have your pictures published and sign
a release form to participate. Pictures will be displayed on the
mariluzwest.com blog and website, Serena Star Website, social
networking sites and other sites/publications for promotional uses.
The location of the shoot will take place at the photographer's
studio in Pittsgrove, NJ. Participants are responsible to cover any
travel expenses to the the studio. The date for the shoot is to be
How to enter:
Interested participants are
asked to submit a brief explanation in writing as to why they feel
they should be chosen for the shoot and why they would like a
makeover. Please include name, email address, contact phone and age
in your message. All entries should be emailed to
[email protected] by
April 28, 2012. Winning participants will be notified
via email by May 5, 2012.
For many, the sight of the red breasted
robin signifies that spring has sprung. Winter has come to a close,
the sun is shining a little brighter, the wind is blowing a little
warmer and buds of life are blooming all around. Yet still, for those
whose ears are tuned, there is another season whose music plays in
the background...can you hear it? Wedding Bells. Spring is when the
height of wedding season begins and a lifetime of memories are
nearing their birth.
Your wedding day is a day when you
should feel your most confident and most beautiful. You spend
countless hours and days searching for the perfect dress. Much
thought is put into how you will look on your big day and rightfully
so as all eyes will be on you, especially those of your love to whom
you are pledging your life. You want to be able to look back on your
wedding be it in memory or in photo and still feel as beautiful as
you did the day of your marriage. And while you have sought out the
perfect wardrobe, accessories and hair, what about your makeup? Is
hiring a makeup artist worth it? Is wedding day makeup really any
different from your everyday makeup routine? What if you don't wear a
lot of makeup? The answers to these questions may surprise you.
Is bridal makeup different from
makeup must be timeless, waterproof and photo appropriate.
You want to look
back years from now at photos from your big day and feel nostalgic
about your wedding. You don't want to look at your photos and see
your makeup and say, “What was I thinking?” Your wedding day is
not the time to try trendy makeup looks. You should look like you
just a more beautiful polished version of you.
Bridal makeup must
be waterproof to prevent it from being ruined from crying, sweating
and possible weather conditions such as raining. Using the right
products will put your mind at ease to be the best you without
worrying about your makeup.
What does photo appropriate makeup
It may surprise a
lot of brides to know that the makeup you see in the mirror is not
the makeup you see on camera. This is especially important when
dealing with flash photography. Have you ever seen someone with
beautiful makeup and then seen a picture of them with that same
makeup and they look pale as a ghost? More than likely, if the
foundation was the right color, there was an ingredient in the makeup
that reflected the flash that made the person look pale. How about
makeup that looked so pretty and glowing in person, but then looked
liked the person just got done a high intensity aerobic workout in
the photo? Shimmery bronzers and highlighters are wonderful, but
knowing how they react to that camera flash is very important. These
are just a couple of things that can go wrong with makeup in pictures
if the right products are not used. A good makeup artist will know
what to use and what not to use so that you look just as beautiful in
the mirror as you do in photos.
I should also
mention that we live in a world of HD (High Definition). Most cameras
see images at least 6x's or more clearer than the naked eye...take
this into consideration when thinking about wedding makeup and your
I don't wear a lot of makeup, do I
still need to have wedding makeup done?
You know all those
images in magazines of beautiful fresh faces that look free of makeup
with a freshly washed face? I am here to tell you they all have
This is where a
good makeup artist really is important. A good makeup artist will
know how to give you beautiful makeup, without looking like you have
too much on. I will say that if you are used to wearing close to no
makeup, even a little bit of makeup may seem like a lot. Here is a
tip, take a picture of the makeup. I can't tell you how many times I
have worked with Brides and at first they felt their makeup was a
little too much, I took their picture and then they were totally at
ease when they saw it in a photo and they still looked beautiful and
natural. When the camera flash hits your face, the colors on your
face are a little downplayed and don't look as intense. However, this
doesn't mean you have to have a ton of makeup on either nor should it
looked “caked” on.
What is a makeup trial and do I need
to have one before my wedding day?
A makeup trial is
a time where you try out different makeup looks until you find the
perfect one for your day. I absolutely recommend having a trial
beforehand because it makes certain that you are going to be 100%
satisfied the day of. Remember, your wedding day is when you should
feel your most confident and most beautiful, the last thing you want
to be doing is figuring out how you want to look right before you get
Also, you may have
an idea of how you would like your makeup to look, but after you see
it, decide it's not what you wanted. A makeup trial will help you
make that decision.
What should I
do to have a successful makeup trial?
pictures of makeup looks that you think are beautiful. This will
really help the artist get an idea of what you are looking for.
a white top even if you aren't wearing white the day of your
wedding. White will help you see your makeup in it's truest form
without having other colors reflecting off your clothing helping you
to make a more sound decision.
a picture of your makeup. Remember, makeup reads different on
camera. Taking a picture will allow you to see a true read of how
the makeup will look. A camera phone is great for this. Taking the
picture outside in the natural light is even better.
to your artist any sensitivities or skin concerns you may have such
as latex allergies, dry or oily skin, do you wear contacts, oily
Is airbrush makeup better than
conventional makeup are different. I wouldn't say that one is better
than the other, but can yield different results.
A lot of brides
like the look of airbrush makeup because they feel it makes them have
a more flawless blended look. This it true when applied correctly,
however, conventional makeup can garner the same result providing the
artist's abilities are of that caliber.
foundations are waterproof which is a plus, but so can conventional
foundations if the appropriate ones are used.
What makes a good bridal makeup
A good bridal
makeup artist is first someone who is going to listen to you and what
you want or don't want your makeup to look like. A good bridal makeup
artist will know what to suggest if you are uncertain about your
look, be patient as you are deciding and be able to cater to you on
your day. Your makeup artist should have full knowledge of which
products to use so that your makeup will be just as beautiful in
person and on camera and be able to provide you a good makeup
application that will last you all day.
A good wedding makeup artist is worth
her weight in Gold and is an investment that will last you years to
come as you look back at images from your day. You deserve to feel
like nothing less than a queen on your day. Your makeup should
enhance you and your beauty making you feel like the best you that
you can possibly be. Wishing you years of love and happiness!
So let's say you are shopping on line for a shirt. You know what color you want, what type of sleeves and how you want it to look...you just don't know where you are going to get it from. You decide to type in red shirt on your computer's search engine under images and up pop endless pictures of shirts. You see a shirt that catches your eye and you click on the link. When the window opens up, you find yourself on the Macy's Website. Getting a closer look at the shirt you decide you like it even more that you see it up close...it's perfect! You know you need not look further because this is the one so you scroll down to check out the price...and that's where it happens...the shirt is a little pricier than you thought it would be. You like the shirt but decide to try and find something cheaper and return to the initial search. After looking awhile, you find a shirt that looks nice...in fact very similar to the one you first found so you click on the image. A window for K-mart pops up and so does the picture of the shirt. It's not as nice as the one from Macy's and definitely looks not as good close up, but you check the price and find it much less and decide to purchase it. Convinced you made a good choice, you await for your shirt to arrive.
Once your shirt is delivered, you eagerly open the package (not that it's packaged so lovely) and find your shirt. Seeing it first hand you notice the quality is not as nice as it looked, but it's still new and you will wear it tonight for your evening out. (There is a point to my story, stay with me!)
Upon getting dressed, you notice there are a lot of stray threads that need to be cut from the shirt. It's new and looks nice, but doesn't quite fit the way you hoped. Nonetheless, you wear it out. Half way through the night a button pops off the shirt and an end has come undone. At this moment, you are thinking you wish you would've gone with the first shirt you saw that day.
How often does the same thing happen when deciding to hire a makeup artist? You search for an artist, even ask for recommendations. You check out their work and decide it is perfect, top quality and exactly what you are looking for so you decide to inquire about rates and that's where it stops...rates are more than you thought they should be. Now, I must say this, by no means am I saying that a good makeup artist can be determined solely by the rates they charge, but there is a reason why a shirt cost $50 at Macy's and $15 at K Mart...you expect a certain quality from each.
A good makeup artist is not something you want to skimp on and are worth their weight in gold. You want to have full confidence that the person working on your face is providing you with a service that is going to make you look amazing the moment they put it on and stay that way the remainder of the time you wear it for your event. A good makeup artist will not only cater to your beauty needs, but also offer you stellar service as a person. You should have total peace when they are working on your face and have even more confidence when you leave their chair than when you first sat in it.
Not to mention, investing in a good makeup artist is investing in yourself. You are entrusting your personal image to this person. There are plenty of things that you can take the "cheaper" route so to speak, but when it comes to you, it should always be top shelf.
When deciding how to choose a makeup artist, ask yourself, " What am I really sacrificing when I choose an artist based just on rate alone?"
Please note that names of stores mentioned were in no way meant to indicate anything negative or malice from either brand.
Urban legends, Internet rumor gone crazy or just simple miscommunication...all things that can cause us to believe the untrue to be true. Makeup myths are no exception and I have decided to shed some light and debunk some theories.
The first myth is one of my biggest pet peeves!
MYTH: The brand of makeup you have in your kit is what makes a good makeup artist or makeup application.
Ohhh how I loathe this! Now, don't get me wrong, certain brands have the reputation they have because they have earned it by the superior quality of their product...BUT, the product itself does not make the makeup artist or the makeup application. We have almost created a type of makeup prejudice if you will. So often, people will look for a makeup artist based solely on the brand of makeup in their kit. I can give you a $20 eyeshadow and a $5 eyeshadow, but if you don't know how to use it, the $20 eyeshadow isn't going to make it better because it costs more or is a better known brand.
Every brand of makeup, whether high end or not, has it's excellent products and not so excellent products, it's simply a matter of knowing what is what and how to use it.
MYTH: A good makeup artist must have formal training.
Absolutely not! I am a self taught artist. I went to school for hair not makeup and there are numerous other amazing makeup artists out there that are self taught. Do I believe in continuing your makeup education and learning as much about makeup and makeup products as possible, most definitely. However, a certificate does not make one artist better than another. May I also say, there is nothing wrong with a makeup artist that acquired their abilities through formal training, after all, I do teach classes. We all have the skills and the talents we have either naturally or learned and one is not better than the other.
Stay tuned for more and feel free to add your own makeup myths.
Beauty and blessings!
Be it China Town NYC or a tagged photo on facebook advertising red bottom shoes at 75% off retail prices, we have all seen them...KNOCKOFFS. As with every genuine product, there are tell tale signs of the real deal and the real fake. The same can be said for makeup artists. Now, before the defenses go up, I am not talking about artists who are just starting out or skill level. We all begin at different levels and our work grows as we do...BUT...there are some key things that if you see your makeup artist doing...beware.
Signs of a a knock off:
- They use the lipgoss applicator right out of the tube onto your lips. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen other artists do this and how it makes me cringe. If the lipgloss is not brand new and you are not keeping it after they apply it to your lips, just ask yourself one question...how many different lips has this same applicator wand touched before it is now touching yours?
- They begin applying your makeup without washing their hands or applying hand sanitizer. Your hands are the biggest carrier of germs. Unwashed/unsanitized hands are a playground of bacteria. A makeup artist's hands touch your eyes and face. If hands are not cleaned, there is nothing stopping the transfer of germs to your skin and face.
- Unclean brushes. Makeup artist brushes should always be clean. There should be no residue on brushes from previous use. Now, sometimes, a brush may be stained with a color even after it has been cleaned, but it should not have product apparent. If you are one of a few people your artist is working on in the same time period, brushes should be either cleaned with a brush cleaner between applications or new brushes should be used all together.
- Unsharpened lip/eye pencils. Lip and eye pencils should be sharpened before being applied, this insures that the tip of the pencil is new and has not touched another persons eyes or lips.
These are just a few signs to look for. Be sure to keep an eye out for the real deal...after all...you ARE worth it! Beauty and blessings, Mariluz
Stay tuned for Part 2 - Myth vs. Fact
I have decided to start a blog. This will be a place for all things Makeup Artistry, life and everything in between.
Come be inspired, be informed and share.
Without further adeu...
Welcome to the world of Mariluz West - Makeup Artist, Mother, Entrepreneur & Wife (to name a few).
Beauty and blessings,