For more information, check out the article Voyage Chicago wrote about Elle Artistry.
Michelle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been obsessed with makeup for as long as I can remember. Even as young as elementary school, I remember begging my mom for my very first eyeshadow one day when we were out running errands. She agreed, and I happily picked out a light purple shade; so 90s. I was the kid who was always wanting to give my friends “makeovers” and the one buying new lip glosses on vacation instead of souvenirs. Makeup has always been my form of art, my hobby, my passion. I grew up practicing on every face I could get my hands on and testing out the latest palettes. Then, one day in high school it suddenly occurred to me that I could do this for a living! I knew with time, I would make this a reality.
I went to college and graduated with my degree in Elementary Education and shortly after completed my Master’s degree. Teaching has allowed me to grow both professionally and as a person. Teaching has taught me countless skills and developed personal attributes that transfer over into the makeup world. It has taught me the discipline required to be a businesswoman and entrepreneur. As a makeup artist, being reliable and professional is everything. Clients depend on you to have great communication skills and to be able to deliver flawless looks under pressure. When I knew I was ready to make my longtime dream a reality, I enrolled in Makeup First School. This school is INCREDIBLE, to say the least. They helped me transform from a self-taught beauty guru to truly an artist. I learned the ins and outs of makeup for theatrical, bridal, media, fashion, etc. I’ve never been more excited to attend class!
Since graduating from Makeup First, I have had experiences I never dreamed of. Whether it be working backstage at fashion shows, applying makeup in the dressing room for former SNL stars or getting to be a part of a bride’s best day of her life. Makeup has brought me so much joy and I can’t wait to see where my journey will take me next!
Has it been a smooth road?
I haven’t had the typical journey as a makeup artist. I knew I would eventually chase this dream, but knew I had some other lives I wanted to impact in terms of teaching. However, with that being said I’ve hit the ground running when it comes to building my business. With makeup artistry, you have to be willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked before, put yourself out there, and be a lifelong learner. There are always new techniques to learn and experiences to be had. Makeup artistry is glamorous in terms of making people feel incredible. Yet, countless 4 am call times along with the endless cleaning of products/brushes makes it only a job for truly dedicated.
My advice to women just beginning their journey is be a girl who decided to go for it! Surround yourself with mentors and be fearless. Building your own business isn’t easy, but it is so very possible. Have the confidence to put yourself out there, to ask questions, and to continually learn from others. Never forget to thank people who helped you out along the way. Oh and for all the aspiring makeup artists out there… remember sanitation is key!
We’d love to hear more about Elle Artistry.
I am a Chicago based certified makeup artist. I was professionally trained by Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry. I work as a freelance artist in all aspects of the industry (theatrical, media HD, runway, fashion, editorial, and clinical). I specialize in bridal and beauty makeup.
The fact is, I will move mountains to make sure you look and feel your best. I know the pressure that people feel when they are getting their makeup done. Usually, if you have hired an MUA, you are gearing up for a big day, performance, or photo shoot. Hiring me will guarantee that your makeup stands up to the elements. I am specially trained to adapt your makeup to meet the needs of the event. Whether that be 110-degree weather for a tropical destination wedding or the bright, magnifying lights of a TV set. I have the experience and professionalism to deliver a flawless finish every time all while helping you to feel at ease.
Elle Artistry offers airbrush makeup, as well as, traditional. You can count on your look being tailored to your face shape, skin, and style. I have spent countless hours in classes practicing and studying the best techniques to bring out the natural beauty of varying face and eye shapes. I only use high-quality professional products, so you will receive a celebrity grade look. As I said earlier, sanitation is key! The products/brushes used on your face are guaranteed to be properly sanitized.
If you want to get to know me better, check out some of my tutorials. Yeah, I know…surprise, surprise, I also like to teach about makeup. These can be found on my IGTV channel on Instagram at mua.chelle. They are also posted on the Elle Artistry Facebook page.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
In terms of makeup artistry, I find the best resources to be my fellow artists. I collaborate with other artists, photographers, and stylists in the area to continue to develop my craft. Looking to mentors for advice has helped me move along in my career along tremendously. To stay current on looks and trends I refer to On Makeup Magazine. This magazine is phenomenal for learning about the latest projects and keeping up with the newest editorial looks. Lastly, Instagram never fails to help with inspiration.