I like to refer to my journey into makeup artistry as a happy accident.
I have a Bachelors in Entertainment Business Management and a Masters in Communications (with distinction *wink*) and just for funsies, I completed the Napoleon Perdis Certificate in Fashion, Glamour & Bridal Makeup Artistry somewhere in between the two. I honestly did it because I wanted to learn how to do my own makeup, because at that point I was certain my career path was going to lead me to a robust career as a publicist in the music industry where I would then meet my husband – you may have heard of him, Aubrey Graham? Stage name: Drake?
Anyway, I ended up working for Napoleon Perdis while I did my Masters, and just as my degree wrapped up, I was approached by the then MAC counter manger to apply for a position with MAC. A year and a half later, I met Alysia and then BOOM – One:Eleven Makeup was born.
So it was either a well-executed plan, or a happy accident. Whatever it was, I can assure you that we are both here for the same reason, and that’s you. We want to get to know you, share our skills and knowledge with you, and make you feel amazing. Why? Because we can. And because you deserve it.
Here is a little more about me, with 10 of our most frequently asked questions straight from our industry friends and clients:
What do you love about being a makeup artist and the beauty industry?
Makeup for me has always been about the transformational aspect; the confidence it gives, how you can change your entire mood or look with particular styles or application and how obnoxious you can be with colour and texture. I also really love how it can be an empowering tool for women. Nothing makes me happier than when a client see’s their makeup and love themselves sick! Self-love is such an incredible gift to give someone.
As for the industry, I often have a love/hate relationship with it. You really have to work hard at surrounding yourself with like-minded creatives in this space because at times it can be completely superficial and competitive, and other times it can be nurturing and supportive.
Tell us your kit must-haves and what products you are loving and loathing right now.
Skincare is a kit must-have for sure! A good base pulls together any look you are trying to achieve, so you have to make sure that your canvas is prepped properly to hold it all together.
Products I am loving? I love highlighters at the moment, and I really can’t get past MAC Soft and Gentle. I always save highlight until last and I get so much satisfaction from adding those little bits of light into a finished look. Also, literally every client I have is like ‘bulk glitter please,’ so I am simply giving the people what they want.
Products I am loathing? Well. Bronzers and brow pencils right now. I just can’t seem to find my ‘one,’ ya’ know? It’s a whole thing, smh.
Describe your go-to makeup look.
I have two go-to looks if and when I put on makeup. My first is a classic winged eyeliner and bold lip combo because I can do this in like 20min and it makes me feel gangsta.
My other is what we like to refer to as a Stephanie Special, which is a brown smokey eye with smudgy brown liner and a lot of MAC Tan pigment. This is also my most requested look.
What is your favourite makeup request?
Seven magic words: Do whatever you like, I trust you.
I really love when people either know exactly what they want or are happy to trust me to do whatever – I guess I love the guidance or the freedom, because ultimately a makeup appointment isn’t ever about me, it’s about how the client wants to look.
But FYI, when someone asks for ‘dark’ I will always assume black smokey eye because I live for the drama. And I will more often than not try to convince you to do something obnoxious like pastel blue eyeliner and/or fluoro orange lipstick.
Do you have any makeup horror stories?
Nothing horrendous has ever really happened to me, however, I did make a girl cry one time when I worked at MAC. I feel like she was just really frustrated because she couldn’t explain to me what she wanted, so when I tried to execute what I thought she wanted it wasn’t right. That was more miscommunication on both our part more than anything.
Otherwise, my clients tend to be complete and utter bloody legends.
If you could work with anyone or on any project, who or what would it be and why?
My answer to this question will now and forever be Drake. I don’t know how or why, but I do know I love him and somehow, I will make the inner circle.
Otherwise, I would love to do a runway for Di$count Universe or Chromat - something bold, uninhibited with a little bit of grit to it.
In terms of who, I really admire makeup artist like Pat McGrath, James Molloy, Terry Barber and Olga Tomina – just out of the box creatives who are dripping with talent that I wanna absorb into my being.
Any advice for people who want to pursue a career in the makeup industry?
Just keep swimming! It’s hard, and there are so many makeup artists out there, but if you love it then make it happen – don’t give up!
What do you love about working with Alysia?
I honestly just love everything about her. It’s so hard to find people that you are just happy to be around 24/7, but somehow how quirkly little dynamic works.
I love how she is the complete opposite to me in almost every way, and yet our core values are completely aligned. She is fearless and has taught me so much about this industry and myself.
Best tip for cleaning up fallout?
Panic and pray really hard.
JOKES, but for real… fallout is such a tricky little bastard because sometimes it just flicks off nicely and other times it’s like smearing mud on your windshield and your fresh outta wiper juice. I think you just gotta succumb and remember that it’s makeup, and makeup isn’t designed to be permeant. If you have to disrupt your base or eyeshadow, do so and re-apply. But do it confidently! And with gusto! Let that makeup know who’s boss!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of makeup?
My people and my music. I am extremely blessed to be surrounded by incredible women in my life who hustle hard and keep me inspired every day, and I honestly just enjoy spending time with them. From going to walks, to watching bad Netflix movies, brunching, cheeky wines or dancing to 3am, I just love being with my people.
And music is just the love of my life – I have a love for hip-hop culture and get so hyped off live music. I wake up with music in my head every day and just need to be surrounded by it constantly. Also, Drake.