Anyone who's done the makeup for Melania Trump is okay in my book -- and that includes makeup artist and Mary Kay professional April Landrum-Johns. Read on to discover her top makeup tip, the lip products she can't live without and so much more.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I currently live in Atlanta. I'm from Bristol, TN -- more commonly known as The Tri-Cities area, coined "The birthplace of Country Music," where on State Street you can have 1 foot in Tennessee and another foot in Virginia.
I went to a community college for a short amount of time because I thought I wanted to be a paralegal. I found the topic to be rather boring and could not see myself being in an office all day, working 9 to 5. The only reason I was in college to begin with is because I thought I "was supposed to be." knew I did not want a corporate type of career, however I did want to earn a great income.
How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to become a makeup artist?
As a child I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandmother who we called "granny Hazie," who was an extremely successful and quite wealthy entrepreneur and had never worked for anyone but herself. Her bread and butter was a trucking company but she was also a hairstylist -- or as she called it a "beautician" -- and she always did hair on her own terms or at her own "beauty shop"/truck-stop/diner.
Her lifestyle really appealed to me. We would stay up all hours of the night dancing and eating popcorn. She always had loads of extra money. We would go to dinner and shop quite frequently. Styling hair did not appeal to me but skincare and makeup did.
From the time I was a toddler I was into makeup and glamour. My mother remembers waking up to me playing with her eyelashes as she slept! I did everyone's makeup for prom in high school. I remember the cheerleading squad lined up waiting for makeup in my mom's bathroom and me scrambling to get my own self ready.
While in community college I got a job as a behind the counter beauty adviser for Lancome. I loved doing makeup and making women feel beautiful so I quickly got promoted as a traveling regional "freelance" makeup artist and started dabbling into weddings and other types of MUA work. I thoroughly enjoyed it but needed to make more money so I started flying for Delta Airlines as an International flight attendant and continued flying and doing freelance makeup for 13 years. I am not a flight attendant anymore but so glad I was, I met my husband, photographer Jody Johns on a 30 minute flight!
What are some of the moments that have stood out as highlights in your career?
Makeup for the Donald-Melania Trump wedding, magazine covers, fashion shows, music videos including one for John Mellencamp, and simply helping teenagers feel beautiful.
What are your beauty essentials?
My top beauty essentials are from Mary Kay's TimeWise Collection and include: The Miracle Set, Microdermabrasion Set, Firming eye cream and Replenishing Serum C. Since I started using The TimeWise product line two and a half years ago, my skin looks like it did when I was 25.
I also love Mary Kay's oil free eye makeup remover that gently yet thoroughly removes all traces of eye makeup, even waterproof!
My favorite foundation is Mark Kay's medium coverage foundation, I personally call it an "airbrush in a tube."
My favorite new color items are liquid lip colors in "malted" and "raspberry ice." This look is in between gloss and lipstick.
What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1)Please use eyeshadow primer!!! You must use primer under shadow to lock in the color and keep the shadow from fading or creasing.
2)Use eye cream or gel under your eyes before applying concealer so that the area is hydrated properly and your concealer doesn't settle into fine lines.
3) Try new looks and new colors! It's just makeup and it washes right off! Don't get stuck in a rut!
Being a makeup artist must be fun -- but what do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to spend time with my family who is spread all throughout the country. I like to play with my Jack Russells and my 4-year-old daughter. I love massages and sushi. I'm looking forward to getting a beach home as I love the ocean and fresh air. I advise everyone to think and dream BIG and be the best at what you do. I thank God for my amazing life each and every day.