Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I grew up in a low-income family and was raised in a single-family home by my mother (she is my best friend). I didn't want to go to college but my mother never graduated. She would tell me how she regretted not finishing college and she asked of me to learn by her mistakes. So I did it for my mother! I wanted to make her proud, I wanted to give her something she had always wanted for herself, and I knew that graduating would make her happy. I graduated from college with a major in communications with an emphasis in rhetorical studies and public relations.
How did you first become interested in makeup, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
Well, I had always had an interest in makeup as a child. Like many young women, I had the Barbie head -- the oversized Barbie that was just the head and shoulders. I could sit with her for hours playing with her makeup. I would give the Barbie a natural daytime look, and would spice her up for a night on the town with Ken.
Have you worked with any makeup artists that inspired you? What did they teach you?
I worked alongside Laura Mercier, since I worked for Laura Mercier Cosmetics as a traveling makeup artist. She always had such great ideas, which had a huge influence on me with makeup. Laura influenced the way I approached makeup application. "Less is more," she would say. And she was a firm believer that every woman has natural beautiful features, and enhancing their features makes every woman look and feel their most beautiful. That is how I continue to work today.
What are some of the moments that have stood out as highlights in your career?
Being on various TV shows and being able to showcase my makeup work on various people and celebrities all while being filmed ... it is such a treat!
What are the products and brands you simply can't live without in your makeup case?
Honestly, I go through phases with makeup. I feel that every woman should switch her makeup at least twice a year (have favorites for six months and find more favorites). I call this weather transitions ... a "look" for fall/winter and a "look" for spring/summer.
1) One thing I use all year round is bronzer and I have two favorites right now. I love the Glow Fusion Bronzers, powder that comes in three different shades -- I use a color called Sunshine. I love a color called Luminous, this color I call the bronzer for "pale people." It has just enough color but won't make light-skinned people look orange and over-bronzed, because being over-bronzed is so "last summer," haha!
2) Another bronzer I recently started using that I love is by a company called IKOS Egyptian Tanning Clay. It is a baked product which is cool, and the bronzer itself looks great on the skin.
3) Another product that I canNOT live without is Laura Mercier cake eyeliner that I use in a color called Blue Marine. I also use Black Ebony.
4) Lastly, my gold Shu Uemura eyelash curler. I love it and we can never be apart!
What are your top 3 makeup tips? (Editor's note: Stevi actually had four fabulous tips to share with you!)
1) First off, before pulling for your makeup bag, make sure that you have great skincare (moisturizer, cleanser, exfoliate, etc.), because without prepping the skin properly the makeup will never be as flawless as you deserve it to be.
2) The Laura Mercier cake eyeliner (mentioned above) is used on the top eyes under the lashline, which makes the eyelashes appear fuller. It defines the eye shape without giving an overdone eyeliner look. This tip is subtle yet "never leave home without it."
3) Blush application: No more cheek color from cheek to hairline! That's what our grandmothers did for "color on their skin," yet now we have bronzers! Simply place blush on the apples of your cheeks -- smile, that is the cheek area you place the blush, referred to as the apples of your cheeks.
4) Another one of my favorite tips is the importance of eyebrow shaping. Never over-tweeze! Even if you feel you are cleaning them up, well ... do visit an experienced eyebrow person for monthly visits.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Making people (men or women) feel good about themselves by giving them a level of confidence, energy and a person they can trust, me obviously -- it may sound cheesy but it's so true. My job is so intimate that you get to know so many people on different levels because of the stories they share -- like a time in their lives, experiences, knowledge, etc., not to mention my openness to listen as a true friend would. Some of these stories change the way I view certain things and life.
Playing with makeup must be fun -- but what do you do for fun outside of being a makeup artist?
I love fashion, style, etc. ... outside of being a makeup artist, I have a "second" fun job for a wardrobe stylist for bands, music videos, photo shoots, etc. I just love it! I also collect vintage pieces, whether it is vintage jewelry, dresses, jackets ... you name it, I love vintage. I also love vintage furniture, yet I have no room to spare so I have not started my vintage furniture collections ... in due time. Ha! I love food, whether it is something I cooked or if it means trying a new restaurant ... let's eat, bon appetit!
Thank you so much to Stevi Christine for this fabulous interview. Be sure to look for this gal on the rise -- she is definitely one to watch!