Monday, January 30, 2012

My Work Featured in Vogue Italia's: PhotoVogue online

Vogue Italia allows photographers to showcase their talent and recent images on their PhotoVogue section. Vogue editorial staff evaluates photos, assesses their quality, if they meet the criteria and are considered suitable for publication, then the images are published on

I was very thrilled to discover that two images of my work have been featured on Vogue Italia online. Although my work wasn't selected to be in the print magazine, it is a very joyous occasion for me. I am so glad to be able to do what I love and work with the fabulous teams that made such images possible.

The first image is: NAVY YARD

Photographer: Al Rodriguez
Model: Victoria @ Red Model Management
Stylist: Queena Yan
Hair: Jachelle Whiting
Designs by: LNB Eye N Wear & Devaue Body Jewelry
Makeup: Maria Ortega Makeup


The second image is: MODERN WITH  A DEBT TO THE PAST
Photography: Paul Tirado
Model: Ivy Timlin @ Major Model Management
Clothing Designer: r e d d o l l  by Tatyana Merenyuk
Makeup/Hair: Maria Ortega Makeup


The coolest thing about all of this was calling my mom and texting her photos, along with the links to them on Vogue Italia's PhotoVogue section. Nothing is more gratifying to me, than to hear my mom tell me she is proud of me. I thank her for teaching me what I know about makeup and being my inspiration. I know this is just a baby step, but it's a step forward to reaching my future goals.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Celebrity Makeup Artists-who can hold such title?

The term "makeup artist" or its abbreviated form: "MUA," are used far too loosely and everyone categorizes themselves as such, when in reality many are simply makeup enthusiasts or aficionados. The same applies to the term: "Celebrity Makeup Artist." It seems to be given to just about any freelance makeup artist. Artists feel that doing makeup for a single celebrity such as an actor, recording artist, reality TV star, or an adult film star magically transforms them into a celebrity makeup artist. That is not the case.

A celebrity makeup artist is one who primarily or only works with celebrities on a continuous basis. Their clientel consists of famous and notable celebrities. A makeup artist whom is represented by one of the top agencies in the U.S. and I were communicating via an online social media about this topic. I found it very humbling on her behalf to not consider herself a celebrity makeup artist despite working with celebrities on a regular basis. She explained to me that at celebrity makeup artist usually only works with celebrities and does not do bridal work on the side or sweet 16 makeup, etc. Also, such artists have been in the celebrity makeup business for approximately four years.

When I think of celebrity makeup artists, the late Kevyn Aucoin, Troy Jensen, Carol Shaw, Scott Barnes, Sam Fine, Joanna Schlip, Billy B, & Pati Dubroff are a few of the names that come to mind. These artists are the most sought after celebrity makeup artists that are booked months and years in advance for advertising campaigns, red carpet events, galas etc but the famous. If your work is up to par with theirs and you book most of the same clientel they do on continuous basis, then by all means, you are definitely a celeb MUA.

Now, before classifying yourself as as such, does your work reflect that of a celebrity makeup artist? Take a look at your book and note how many photos of celebrities are in it, is most if not all of your clientel celebrities? Let your work speak for itself and if you constantly work with celebs, you will be known as being a celebrity MUA without having to give yourself such title.

*Image copyright of Mirrors

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make Up For Ever seminar with Lottie in NYC

Make Up Forever cosmetic line offers Sunday Seminars with various established makeup artists. Some of these classes focus more on training while others are more discussion seminars in which we can verbally learn invaluable information regarding the particular seminar focal point. I have never really taken a makeup class and was more than excited to attend this seminar along with a friend and fellow makeup artist Cari R. Duprey-whom I really respect and look up to.

I signed up to learn from Lottie, a makeup artist from California who is currently one of the most sought after artists for fashion editorials and runway shows. The class was geared towards fashion print editorial. Starting as a graphic designer in California, Lottie took an interest in career about ten years ago and would do makeup on just about anyone in her office that let her do their makeup. Lottie is a self taught makeup artist with no formal training in makeup artistry.

She admitted that she was especially fond of creative makeup and her initial portfolio consisted of primarily, if not all, creative beauty. In fact, she mentioned that the first agency that she visited in hopes of being signed with in NYC told her that over the top, creative makeup scares clients. The booker at such agency encouraged her to look at things from a business point of view and told her that her book was a representation of her. Letting Lottie know that a portfolio in essence, sells each person as an artist.

This is interesting because I, along with the vast majority of aspiring MUAs start out like that, with the idea that super creative is what will get you noticed and set your makeup artistry skills apart from everyone else. It felt good that she also began that way. Lottie stated: Super creative, over the top makeup looks don't get you work, they hinder you from getting work." Another thing she stated in regards to this is that "the more high end your book, the less creative, the less makeup on models." Fashion makeup is about the garments first.

It was very refreshing to hear her speak and be so real about her struggles, her beginnings as an artist, the brutal, honest truth about makeup artistry and the fashion industry's relations with makeup. Sometimes, as MUAs, we want the established artists to sugar coat everything and make us feel that the road to success is easy and hastle free. Lottie stressed that makeup begins with fashion, thus encouraging all in attendance to study as many runway shows and familiarize ourselves with every look from brand, hair styles etc. It is of extreme importance to stay current with trends and study magazines in our market. We live in the U.S. so the type of fashion makeup and work that will get us booked is that found in the magazines of the country in which you reside in.

A great tip she gave was to make sure we research the model we are going to work with on shoots, if information is provided. Know what the model looks like with plenty of makeup, no makeup, runway, different angles, fashion, beauty etc.

Lottie spoke a lot about set etiquette while assisting other artists and how assisting work should never go on your website, online portals or your portfolio. My favorite quote about such topic that she said during the seminar was: "when you assist, you are not 'working' with the photographer." It is a big no no to take pcitures when you are assisting and you are not there to network or hand out your own business cards but much rather learn.

We had the opportunity to watch her do makeup and prior to starting the makeup application she stressed the importance of proper skin care. Independant of makeup facet, this step should not be skipped. I was pretty happy and proud of myself because I am huge on skin care and never bypass great skin prep, even when pressed for time. I liked that Lottie mentioned that if a model brings her own makeup due to sensitivities to set, that we should just use it.

It was very encouraging when Lottie told us to be confident on set and learn to speak up for ourselves when on set. I also appreciated the fact that she invited anyone taking the class to ask any questions we had for her. Being the chicken that I am, I didn't ask anything.

After the class was done, we got to meet her and take an up close look at her kit. This class was very informative, and it was a great learning experience. I was so happy to get to meet an artist that is so inspiring, creative and innovative. It was an honor to take this class and after getting to know more about her, I respect her as a person and her craft even more.

*All photos copyright of  Lottie along with the photographers who took them. Photos were obtained from her Facebook fan page. (Photo of Lottie and me along with the model at seminar were taken with my cell phone camera.)