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
April 28, 2012. Winning participants will be notified
via email by May 5, 2012.
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,