Shortly after moving to North Carolina, I had the opportunity to shoot with the beautiful and talented Ms. Meeza Gee of War Paint Artistry. Not only does she model, but Meeza is also an awesome MUAH. Below is an interview with Meeza about her work as an MUAH. The images in this blog are of her friend, Allie Wycoff. who so graciously modeled for us.
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you became an MUAH?
I've always been really interested in fashion and conceptual art since I was in high school and I started doing makeup for theater productions. When I moved to Richmond VA for college (VCU, Go Rams!), I was in an artsy city and surrounded by other artists. I got my start with modeling, I did a few fashion shows first then eventually started doing photoshoots. Lots of photoshoots! I met so many talented makeup artists over several years and really paid attention to their craft and how they handled their businesses. I practiced applying makeup on myself before I even considered going into makeup artistry, and before long I had lots of friends, family, and coworkers commenting on my skills and asking me to do their makeup for special occasions or just because. After I moved to North Carolina, I decided I wanted to do makeup because I was more interested in creating a look or a concept behind the scenes rather than having that decided for me.
2. How would you describe your style or aesthetic?
The style question is always a hard one for me. Unless the client or photographer wants a specific look, I tend to just go with however I feel makeup would complement the look in front of me or how I feel. I'm still trying to figure out for myself what my personal style is.
3. What inspires you to create your looks?
I get inspiration from color palettes, fashion, nature, and other makeup artists. I love putting together color schemes that pop on a client's skin tone that also pulls their whole look together. I love when I do makeup for someone and they are completely blown away that they are pulling off a look they never thought they would, or that their natural features are accentuated in a way that makes them feel more beautiful. I try to translate a lot of natural color schemes through makeup as well, whether it’s a pretty pinkish purple from a sunset or earthy tones. Fashion gives me inspiration in the sense that it is ever changing, and makeup looks also evolve along with fashion. I get inspired from a lot of edgy looks you see on the runways and try to learn new techniques to recreate an unconventional look.
4. Are you working on any special projects right now or in the future?
I am hoping to get more involved with conceptual art, highly stylized shoots that tell a story. I like being involved in projects that go beyond a pretty image; I want my art to command attention and get people thinking.
5. What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an MUAH?
Take your craft seriously, don't take yourself too seriously. You want to learn about different techniques, sanitation, color theory, etc. but I've learned that if you constantly compare yourself to others or stress over the number of followers you have on social media, you lose motivation for your craft. Don't be afraid to fail, but always put in your best effort. Not every shoot is going to be exactly how you envisioned, but you learn more about yourself as an artist if you open yourself up to the possibility of failure.
6. What's your favorite brand of make-up and why?
My current favorite brand is Tarte Cosmetics. I recently bought three of their eyeshadow palettes and their loose powder foundation. Their eyeshadows are velvety smooth and so highly pigmented. They make their powders with Amazonian clay and it has helped my skin from breaking out or becoming too irritated. Kat Von D's tattoo felt liquid liner is also a staple for me and is amazing for doing sharp cat eyes. Skincare wise, Ziaja's Goat Milk Day Cream is my go-to because it deeply moisturizes skin without making your face too greasy.
7. Where can readers see your work online (website, social media pages, etc)?
You can check out my website at www.warpaintartistry.net, and stay updated on my Facebook page, War Paint Artistry, or see more of the day to day looks I put together on my Instagram at @warpaintartistry.
Meeza also has the most adorable puppy! Definitely check out her site, and of course, if you're in need of an MUAH, drop her a line!