Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Professional Makeup Artist Interview - Erin Infantino

Erin Infantino is the amazing lead makeup artist and bridal beauty specialist who runs Simply Gorgeous by Erin, a salon/studio in Southington, Connecticut. Erin runs one of the most prolific wedding teams in CT, and she and her artist offer on-location and in-salon services to suit any beauty need. I met Erin early on in my career when I was still working in retail artistry. I'd followed her work via social media and was happy to see that she was as warm and friendly in person as she had appeared online. Read on to learn about some of her favorite products and get advice on all things beauty, whether you're an aspiring professional or a makeup aficionado.



Q: How long have you been a working professional and how did you get started in your career? 
A: I have had 9 lives like a cat in this business. It started as a spark when I used to model. Most gigs we did our own makeup as many newbie models do. I didn't care for modeling but I loved the makeup and fashion. I helped other models do their makeup. I began working on various makeup counters, managing makeup brands (Chanel being my favorite to manage) and freelanced (from Bobbi Brown to MAC to Laura Mercier and many others). 

I received my degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing but fell into the beauty departments. After doing years of retail and then starting my own freelance business I decided to move to go back to school for law. While working in corporate legal I still did makeup on the weekends. After realizing my heart was not in legal I began to make calculated moves to get out of corporate and into makeup full time again but in more of the freelance arena. I worked 49 hours a week in legal, subcontracted for a traveling hair and makeup team specializing in bridal and went to school at night for aesthetics. I went many months without a single day off and often ones working doubles. I don't recommend this if you want to stay sane. But I had a goal and when I focus on something - good luck trying to stop me! 

I finally left corporate legal and worked 20 hours a week at a Medspa as their aesthetician while I worked every single weekend doing bridal makeup. I partnered up with a hair stylist and after a year ahead of me with full bookings I found out I was pregnant - surprise! So I hired an artist for my first season in 2011 to train, assist and take any weddings I had near my due date to ensure my brides were well taken care of. Since that first season I now have a team of 9 artists and hair stylists and am actually looking to hire 2 more. We do roughly 100+ weddings a year, numerous Boudoirs, glamours, commercial work, makeup lessons, bridal artist and stylist mentoring and more. I also just added Microblading to my list of services and will be offering much more with my team be the end of this year. Makeup will always be my first love.

Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist? A: Since I saw Wonder Woman, played with my first Barbie and watched my mom swipe that frosty green eyeshadow across her lids before going out to dinner. I was probably the only 5th grader buying Elle and Harper's Bazzaar magazine.

Q: What do you love most about makeup and about your job? A: The versatility. The creativity runs far and wide; its endless. I love the various personalities I work with daily. I love the challenge of having to constantly evolve. I love helping other aspiring artists and giving advice to them to help them and hope it makes things easier for them than it was for me. I love making a woman feel empowered. I am through and through a girl's girl.


Q: What is your signature makeup style and what trends/looks have you been loving? 
A: My signature style is to emphasize the eyes without them being too over done. I think lashes and brows are your best accessory so I focus on those a lot.
I am really feeling the natural SoCal vibe of makeup right now. Nothing is sexier than what I call "relaxed glamour" which is how I describe my over all style. Skin looks like skin, eyes aren't heavily lined, lips aren't too heavy. It's refreshing to create these looks after the smoky eye having ruled the look for so long. 



Q: What are some of your go to, must have, all time favorite kit products? 
A: This is tough. I have favs for bridal and favs for non-bridal. For bridal I think Temptu Pro SB foundation is awesome. I need to have Eyemimo lashes for all of my work. I adore Bobbi Brown's gel liners for any kind of work. Concealers are RCMA or I adore Cle de Peau. Armani Luminous Silk foundation is stunning on the skin. It doesn't get any better than Kevyn Aucoin's sculpting powder in medium. For brows I love Kevyn Aucoin or Anastasia pencils (brow wiz). Blush - NARS has it down. I have recently started playing with Charlotte Tillbury's products and they do not disappoint. Brushes I am obsessed with Cozzette. They're so soft, stand up to lots of work and apply like a dream. I could go on. 






Q: What products have you recently discovered and can’t live without? 
A: Honestly? Grandelash Mascara; its awesome. It conditions and it makes my lashes look like they did when I was 16. 


Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from? 
A: Most times I am inspired by the client herself. I look at a client and as I am applying makeup something is drawn out of her that makes me really get into it.



Q: Who are some people that have inspired or influenced you throughout your career? 
A: Well I have favorite beauty icons like the original super models of the 90's. Linda Evangelista is my all time favorite. Naomi Campbell, Helena Christiansen, Cindy Crawford and Niki Taylor. As for makeup artists Pat McGrath and Kevyn Aucoin were always idols I gravitated towards. We have a lot of great artists booming right now too. 


Q: What is your most important piece of beauty advice and/or makeup tip for women? 
A: Take amazing care of your skin! Makeup looks a thousand times better on good skin. Take the time to find your perfect foundation formula and shade. Embrace concealer (we all start to need it after the age of 30). Less truly is more. If you're unsure how to apply it, you can practice or take a lesson with a professional. I tell all of my makeup lesson clients that makeup is not a tattoo so go ahead and make mistakes. 




Q: What is your most important piece of advice for aspiring professionals? 
A: Realize you have to start at the bottom of the chain like the rest of us. Find a mentor and ask them questions. Learn all you can about technique and more importantly learn all you can about the etiquette and proper way to network. Your professional relationships are crucial, including with your competition.

Q: What is one thing you wish you had known starting out? 
A: You don't have to choose between working cosmetics in retail or moving to the city to actually have a career. There's so much right in our backyard. It's what we create.

Q: If you weren’t a makeup artist what would you be doing instead? 

A: Beauty Editor, Writer or Cake Designer. 


Pinterest: Erin Infantino
Periscope: Erin Infantino

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