Atlas did a Q-and-A with New York makeup artist Faye Lauren on her career in makeup artistry and the fashion industry. Photography by Monica Baddar.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I was always an artist. I got into makeup because I really enjoyed wearing it. I started at a counter and started doing test shoots with minimal experience. I just had a passion for it.
What got you into makeup artistry?
I thoroughly enjoyed making people feel amazing. I felt immense satisfaction from getting an amazing image of my work after a long shoot. Doing makeup always felt like putting on a comfortable shoe in your exact size.
How would you define your style?
I’m pretty light handed. I would describe my style as minimalistic. I like to bring out the natural beauty of whoever I’m working on. I prefer to take jobs that involve a more clean beauty approach.
What is the best part of working on set?
The best part of being on set is making new friends with other creatives. I like to be silly and enjoy when I can make my clients laugh and enjoy themselves.
What are your favorite types of jobs to be on?
I prefer to work on video projects. I find them to be the most interesting. I really enjoy fashion videos because they’re so moody and thought provoking. I do love beauty jobs so I can show how clean my work can be.
As a woman running your own business, what kind of challenges do you face?
I’ve had to knock down doors and shout my name from the rooftops to get noticed. If there is no makeup you aren’t getting the desired look to complete a job. People don’t just wake up perfect. The idea of perfection is ridiculous anyway. But it’s what I’m hired to project.
Are there any misconceptions about makeup artistry you would like to address?
As a woman and makeup artist sometimes people don’t take what I do seriously. Sometimes people think I’m selling lipsticks. Which is totally okay too. I’ve been on that side of things as well. I would say when talking rates I’ve had people say well it’s only a half day and really simple makeup. Which does not matter. Simple or not. You’re paying for my expertise and knowledge of skill.
What would you like to see more of and/or less of in fashion?
I would love for fashion to feel more inclusive. I would love to see more realistic societal standards of beauty and shape.
What are the essentials of your kit?
I love Kett clear powder. I use that on everyone. Jack Black oil free moisturizer and lip balm, Anything from Viseart, Bobbi Brown foundation/concealer palette, and Mustella baby wipes.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming makeup artists?
Just because you do makeup doesn’t mean guaranteed success. This business is ruthless. You’ll have to be tough and want it. But want it more than everyone. Find a group of other makeup artists you vibe with. Pass each other work and opportunity back and forth. Introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. Be available for everything you feel will benefit you as a creative. Say NO to jobs you feel you can’t do to the best of your ability. Reputation is the most important.
Thanks, Faye, for the chat! You can follow Faye’s latest work at @fayelaurenmakeup.