Thursday, April 7, 2016

Professional Makeup Artist Interview - Arel Quintese

I am happy to present LaToya Quintese Santos of Arel Quintese as the first artist in my Pro-Interview series. LaToya is an on-location makeup artist based in Connecticut and travels throughout New England for jobs. She is also a representative for Anastasia Beverly Hills which naturally makes her an eyebrow master! 
I met LaToya when I first started working at Sephora years ago, she was the first person to reach out to me and make me feel welcome. At that point I was still a bit of a newbie, so I would go to her with makeup questions (like how to do a smokey eye on my client who was in her 50's) and she would always have great advice (start by smudging a smokey pencil into the roots of the lashes and blend up). Her passion for her work is so evident, and she was instrumental in helping me to believe enough in myself to pursue makeup artistry as my own career. So without further ado, please enjoy the interview.
Q: How long have you been a working professional and how did you get started in your career?
A: I have been working professionally as a Certified Makeup Artist since 2010. 

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist?
A: Being creative has always come easy to me. Whether it was sculpting, arts and crafts or sketching I HAD to take an art class every year in grade school. As I got older, I discovered that I was interested more in watching the fashion shows on TV or when it was time for people to get a makeover on certain shows, I just loved to watch the expression on their faces when they would reveal their new look. It became clear to me that makeup is an art, whether it is natural or avant garde, it is still art. 

Q: What do you love most about makeup and about your job?
A: I get so lost in doing makeup. It's very therapeutic for me. I love the process from start to finish and discovering how certain products blend and their specific finish. My career is so special to me, whether I'm helping new clients discover how to properly fill in their eyebrows working as a representative for the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand, or sculpting their face with her coveted highlight/contour kits. I love being able to make 'applying and understanding' makeup for people that much easier. I love being able to spend those special moments with my personal clients, their trust in me before their 'big event days' mean so much to me, I wouldn't trade it for the world. My TOP favorite thing about my career would have to be creating looks for shoots, I would wake up and do photo shoots every single day if I could. 

Q: What is your signature makeup style and what trends/looks have you been loving?
A: To be honest I don't know what my signature style is. I would love to one day discover it. I've had people notice my work and mention to me, but I still don't seem to see it (haha). Trends and looks? Trends are forever changing, but I will forever love a nice sculpted smokey bronzed eye. Color trends have been more eye catching to me as of recently; metallics, reflecting sparkles, sea green/blue shades. Color always attracts me! 

Q: What are some of your go to, must have, all time favorite kit products?
A: Okay get ready for my list, these are some of my 'Pro Kit' go to's: 
1. M.A.C MatchMaster Foundation (Great on every skin type, photographs beautifully! NO FLASH BACK!)
2. BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Primer (This primer is everything! It will keep your makeup on all day.)
3. BEN NYE Banana Powder (I used to hate this product, but I have learned to love it! It isn't as smooth as other loose translucent setting/baking powders, but if you learn to work with it and apply the proper amount in a tapping motion you will learn to love it! It's mainly the color that I'm obsessed with.) 
4. NYX Brow Gel ( I use this on EVERYONE! It's like a dupe for the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow (Retails $22), but this is cheaper (Retails $7).  
5. ANY brand of liquid lipstick (I have started to only use liquid lipsticks on my clients, I have a few favorite brands: Coloured Raine (my top favorite formula), Anastasia Beverly Hills, Stila, NYX, Milani, BH Cosmetics. Liquid lipsticks stay on the longest so it's less touch up time for my clients, and if they want a creamier glossy lip, all I do is add on a gloss on top and wah la! Long lasting, and customizable to everyone's wants!

Q: What products have you recently discovered and can’t live without?
A: I would say Colourpop Cosmetics, as a whole line. I started buying from them last year and I cannot imagine myself not buying from them in the future. They have innovated a whole new formula of products I have never felt before. They are becoming the HIT brand with very inexpensive products they truly understand pigments like no other 'drugstore brand'. 

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: I draw my inspiration from everywhere, paintings, movies, TV, other artists, scenery and my own imagination.

Q: Who are some people that have inspired or influenced you throughout your career?
A: So many artists inspire me on a daily basis, but two so far in particular; Megan Martinez (IG: @chaosmakeupartist I have been following her for a few years now and she blows me away every time. Her artistry is so inspiring! She has really inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone. The second artist is Camille Thompson (IG: killahcamz Talk about jaw dropping work! I discovered her late last year, and I am so happy I have, she is Art. I've been so moved by her work, I personally sent her a private message to let her know how much of an inspiration she is. I thrive off of artists who think outside the box and understand makeup as an art and who aren't afraid of being 'too creative'.

Q: What is your most important piece of beauty advice and/or makeup tip for women?
A: My best beauty advice for women is to love the skin you're in. Makeup is art and if you're using it as your creativity there is nothing wrong with that. People judge what they cannot understand. Wear what you love!  

Q: What is your most important piece of advice for aspiring professionals?
A: My best beauty advice for aspiring professionals is to stand firm in your gift! Have new goals every time you accomplish the old ones you've made. Stay focused on what YOU want out of life and don't be distracted by everyone else around you. It's never an easy thing to build your business up from scratch, but there is no easy way to be successful except through faith, hard work, dedication, consistency and patience. If your work as an artist isn't built on a solid foundation, when you reach the top it will crumble. Think of the saying, 'the turtle wins the race'.

Q: What is one thing you wish you had known starting out?
A: I honestly wish that someone would have told me through the hard times to stay in love with your passion. There has been quite a few times along this journey that I turned against my gift during hard times when I should have learned to use it as an aid. Be your own encourager, starting this career was never easy, but thankfully I have strong supporters around me lifting me up on a daily basis. Recognize your strong supporters and keep them close, as for everyone else, learn to use them as stepping stones towards your successful future. 

Q: If you weren’t a makeup artist, what would you be doing instead?
A: I get asked this question a lot and I honestly would have loved to be involved in helping the youth somehow. I have such a strong connection with teenagers, specifically the young girls who are growing up with no hope for the future or any confidence for what they want to be in life. There's nothing that lifts me up more than the joy in their eyes when they speak about what they love to do. No one should ever feel like they're nothing in this life. Sometimes growing up in unhealthy situations causes failure in life, and it doesn't have to be that way. I still will find a way to give back to the young girls, to instill confidence in their hearts, so they never have to feel like they're not worth it. 

IG, PINTREST, FB, TWITTER:  @arelquintese 

If you are a professional makeup artist and would like to be a part of this Pro-Interview series, send me an email at nicolemariemakeupartistry(@)gmail(.)com


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  2. Thanks for sharing this interview. I really learn a lot.