I was originally set out to be a chef, and along the way, I worked as cook for a prestigious Opera Company in NM, where I fell in love with music. After achieving my Culinary degree, I went on to pursue a career in Opera Performance, where I really began my journey as a makeup artist. I would develop makeup designs and create looks on all my fellow performers as well as myself for stage. Once I graduated with my Opera Performance degree, I decided to set that skill aside and focus on makeup artistry full time.
In 2005 I applied to work at the only New Mexico, MAC makeup counter in a, somewhat conservative, department store, where at first, I was passed over a couple times. But my determination and skill got me in the door. I worked with some of the most incredible retail teams for the next couple years in Albuquerque as the only male at the beauty counter, until I decided to uproot and move to Las Vegas, NV.
In Las Vegas, my career took off in the retail world. I was destined to be a retail manager and lead large teams of the most brilliant artists I had ever experienced. I am confident in saying that the artists I worked with, and lead, were some of the best in the industry and many have gone on to do major things. I feel so blessed and honored to work “in the trenches,” with them. It gave me the groundwork and drive for artistry, leading teams, and education. After 5 years of working at some of the biggest locations for MAC, I was offered and incredible opportunity to work with a brand I personally hadn’t heard of yet, but they were well known underground in the artist community, on the launch of their new North America vision.
MAKE UP FOR EVER, was growing fast and needed the support of a team of managers and skilled artists that could help them develop their retail model from the ground up. I was so blessed to be part of the team at the inception of the relaunch of their boutique model in the USA. After a successful stint in Las Vegas, the brand recognized my talents and put me on so many incredible projects, that eventually lead me to New York.
In New York, I was based in the corporate office and was mentored by some of the best in the business from MAKE UP FOR EVER and Sephora. This was my new path, to be in corporate and developing education and tools to train my North America team as well as our partners in Sephora. I must have trained upwards from 7,000 employees and made an impact in their client service and artistry abilities. I developed a close relationship with the brand founder of MAKE UP FOR EVER, and she took me under her wing and coached and developed me as an artist, but most importantly as an educator. Her style for coaching and developing was unlike anything I experienced, it was genuine, honest and although it sometimes bruised the ego, it made me stronger.
Ten years working my way through every department, including, field, sales, education, pro division, academy, and public relations, flew by in the blink of an eye. One day I opened my eyes and was presented with opportunity of a lifetime. Now, this “small-town boy who wielded a makeup brush and loved making people feel beautiful would be able to activate on all his skills, as Global Director of Artistry and Education, for the biggest mentor he ever had, but never met, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty.”
I am getting my feet wet as a newbie to the brand, but I already feel the impact I am making within the brand. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with every department to help craft education and bring life to the vision of the brand, and yes Kevyn. I take my responsibility to heart, trying to imagine what Kevyn would do today, with all the new technology and styles of makeup artistry. He would embrace it all, and I strive to do the same.
So far, my new role has been a dream come true. But, don’t get it twisted, it took a lot of work, sacrifice, sweat, blood and tears to get where I am today, and I know it will take more of the same to help guide a global brand. I am up for the task and will do it all with my full passion and dedication.
All the above said, I have had an extensive career navigating the many realms of retail artistry and education. I won’t let that cloud my love for artistry and creation. When the stars align, I have had the pleasure of assisting and working with major photographers and artists. Most recently I created looks for Kehlani (2017 & 2018 for awards shows, gov ball, and NYFW), one of the most talented singers, really, her voice is unreal. Other artists I have assisted include Rokael Beauty and my good friend Alexx Mayo, also from New Mexico. There is so much more, but I will keep that under wraps for now.
I also must mention, I have been blessed with a family that has always been a great support. My parents and friends have always pushed me to achieve what I set out to achieve. My mom has been my friend, support, sounding board and rock through every step.