I’ve gotten so many new followers, to the point where it’s almost overwhelming, since it was released that I worked on set as a hair and make-up artist for the newest (and most awesome) collaboration on a book between New Years Day singer Ash Costello and photographer Jeremy Saffer. I’ve gotten so many compliments on my work, I’ve been asked for personal and professional advice, so many questions about how I got into the make-up industry and the question I frequently have been attempting to shortly (even though it’s much more than a couple sentences worth of a story) explain how I came into working with these bigger names in today’s world in this industry I have chosen.
I started to just write an instagram post explaining this, but then I felt like it was more blog style appropriate, especially considering I have never written out an explanation of this, or had to repetitively answer the question so many times in one day.
Long stories short and far too many years of history too long to explain, I had first desired to be a hairdresser at a very young age. Shortly after that at the same time, I began to get into bands such as Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Used….you get the genre. When Taste of Chaos 2007 came around, obviously I was in attendance. I was a big Aiden fan back then, and it was one of the bigger bands at the time that I had ever gotten to meet. Wil was such a sweetheart to me, and I instantly had this feeling that I wanted to work with bands because I had this idea that they all must be super nice and awesome and good looking. At the same time I also had some weird addiction to bringing a camera to every show I went to, and I never skipped a single one. That’s the night when I thought “one day I will work with these bands, and I will become a music photographer”. In this same night I met 30 Seconds To Mars. Back then I was a Hot Topic kid with straight up thick lined black and red eye shadow. It was intense and I don’t know who let me out of the house but I was on the right track in some weird way. When I met Jared Leto, he saw me and immediately said “wow, I love your make-up”. It was understood, considering their entire set was red and black, and it was at this moment that I decided I also wanted to be a make-up artist. I was thinking, so I’ll do bands’ make-up, and then I’ll take their photos. Best life ever!
Around that same year, I became a MAC addict. I have never used a brand of make-up outside of MAC (besides Hot Topic bright colors and occasionally a nice Urban Decay palette). I walked in to the mall one day near where I live to find a FaFi event (at the time I was in love with FaFi because all of the scene queens that brought attention to that style) and an artist took me in and did my make-up. This experience literally changed me. The company ended up not only selling me amazing product, but I was also sold a confidence and a fierce but polite attitude that I desperately needed.
A few years after that, I went to high school, cosmetology school (vocational) and college for photography classes at the same time. I graduated with my license in cosmetology and the day I turned 18 the manager of my MAC location hired me immediately (incase this sounds confusing - you do NOT need any licensing to be a make-up artist, just a lot of practice, confidence in your work and the ability and willingness to constantly learn!). At this same time, about four years ago from this year ( I think?) I had my senior photos taken by Jeremy Saffer because I loved his work and I desired his job. It was also a plus that my senior photos weren’t going to be shot against a door or a brick wall and weren’t going to look like everyone else’s (I threw blood on myself and pretended to cut off my mannequin’s heads - my school was stoked). During our session he told me about his music photography seminar coming up, and I was in attendance. It was so much to learn and I loved it, so I asked him if I could assist him. He immediately took me under his wing and we got along well until we realized we worked nicely as older brother, younger sister and now we just abuse each other (in a good way). Years later I don’t know how we’ve ended up working together so well, but I have assisted on a good 70% (at least) of his band shoots through these past years. About 2 years ago now, I believe, he realized “oh hey you do make-up and hair lets have you play on people if they want/need it”. So outside of my learning experiences at MAC, I’ve spent a lot of time and practice trying new styles and becoming comfortable working on any project I am handed. In this past year (and I have a VERY good feeling about this upcoming one) I’ve worked on more and more shoots as a hair and make-up artist, and it is truly a blessing in my life to have met the right person to help me climb up the ladder to where I dreamed to be. Between Jared Leto complimenting me, one of my managers becoming like a second mom and believing in me, to Jeremy telling me “hey, you’re doing this on this day because it’s going to be awesome”, I have had amazing opportunities and this is a very small photo collection of some of my favorites I’ve been a part of (all shot by Jeremy Saffer, obviously). To say I’ve been on a photo set with Madonna’s guitarist? Seriously? That’s crazy. And Alissa White-Gluz is so beyond gorgeous it amazes me, that girl doesn’t even need make-up. The “Joker” make-up on Chris Motionless honestly had me nervous to touch because he’s such an image and I was terrified I wouldn’t get it right and he would hate it - but the shots Jeremy took of Chris came out so awesome and the look was perfect. Seeing the shot on print gave me the confidence to practice and perfect and know that I could take on any style. Using black eye shadow used to terrify me because I would remember how ratchet I would make myself look with it, but after working with Ash Costello and literally absolutely killing it, I have got this goth look down! I even had the pleasure to work on William Control’s make-up and I was literally praying the whole time to get it right because he was like a god of make-up when I was growing up. I am so excited to see what I come up with and work with in 2013 in itself. Each time I am involved in a project like this, new limits are reached and certain things I haven’t felt confident about are showing me that I CAN work with anything because I’ve had so much awesome support behind me to help me along the way and I have put in so much time and effort for my art. I guess that is my long story made kind-of short. If anyone reading this has any questions I haven’t touched on, feel free to find me anywhere under the name luxiskillah! Seriously, I use it everywhere except for facebook. Sorry for the long post to my followers but it was fun actually writing out a blog since I never do and getting my story out there since I’ve been doing this for years and never said much about it. Keep your eyes open for some awesome images very soon ;)! xo
Tune into stickam.com/ashcostello at 9pm est to hear all about this project we’ve all spent hard work on creating! Ash was such a doll, this is going to look awesome! Catch her band New Years Day on warped tour this year!!