NAME: Carrie Esser
SCHOOL: Kent State University
Q: Why do you love makeup?
A: Sometimes when I’m painting, I feel like a completely different character. It’s like creating art, but being able to live it. When I do regular makeup, I feel put together and ready for my day. I love making others feel beautiful as well.
Q: When did you begin your journey as an MUA?
A: I started doing eyeshadow and brows when I was in high school. It didn’t start out too well, but I learned from my mistakes and have grown as a self-taught MUA since. The first body paint type creation I did was done with only eyeshadows and eyeliner. I wore a half sugar skull design to school for Halloween my junior year, and continued to grow and try new things ever since.
Q: How did you get accustomed to body paint?
A: It was a trial and error process. There are quite a few tutorials on different body paint looks, but there aren’t any videos on how to use the actual product. Maybe I’ll make one of my own one day!
Q: Where do you pull inspiration from when trying different makeup looks?
A: I draw inspiration from everything around me. Whether it’s the season, current music, traveling, or movies that are out. Really, anything inspires me. When I get an idea, I write it down on my list in my phone. Otherwise, I would definitely forget it!
Q: In what ways do you currently advocate for your love of makeup?
A: I love to express my love for makeup through instagram. That has become a great outlet to show my art. Along with that, I advocate my passion for makeup through the organization that I’m in on campus called MUA Kent State.
Q: Did anyone teach you the makeup techniques that you use?
A: When I say I am self-taught, I truly believe that I am. I have watched a youtube video here and there, but not very often. I’ve been artistic my whole life, so I think the skills that I’ve learned in the past have applied quite easily to what I do now.
Q: What are some of your favorite products to use?
A: I love BHCosmetics eyeshadows. They provide an enormous range of colors for a very inexpensive price. I’m obsessed with NYX lingerie lipsticks and their suede lipstick line as well. For body painting, I’ve been using Mehron Paradise Paints since I started.
Q: How long does it usually take to successfully execute a full body paint project?
A: I’ve done three head to toe/front and back full body paints on one of my best friends, Lexi. They all took 5-7 hours each.
Q: What are some of the favorite looks you’ve done?
A: This is always a difficult question. One of the looks I’m most proud of is my Life and Death duo. I created the Death piece first and then, months later, I finally did the Life piece. When I put them together, I fell in love! It was also my first photo to reach over 1,000 likes on Instagram which was pretty cool!
Q: Has makeup brought you any new opportunities?
B: Most definitely! I’ve been asked to be sponsored by a couple of companies and promote their products. This was always a goal of mine, so I’m glad it’s finally starting to happen for me. I’ve also created a piece for a company that promotes Cystic Fibrosis awareness. This meant a lot to me, because it was a meaningful piece I was able to do for a great cause.
Q: Do you have any other MUA (make up artist) that you look up to?
A: In general, I’m impressed by any MUA that creates tutorials and videos. My goal for this year is to begin doing that. It’s a lot of work! Also, Nelly Recchia was one of my first inspirations with body painting. Her work is nearly flawless. Alexys Fleming is another artist that made me want to begin painting.
Q: What are some future goals for your career as an MUA and otherwise?
A: I will start out my career as a freelance artist, and eventually, I would like to start up my own makeup company. My dream would be to move to California and have a shop there. I’ve always been set on making my dream job into a reality.
Q: Why do you feel like makeup is important?
A: Makeup is important, because it is something that changes the way a person can feel. I believe that everyone is naturally beautiful, but this art can really put a smile on someone’s face and bring them a confidence they didn’t know they had.
Q: Do you have any new projects coming up?
A: Of course I do! I’m currently working on doing 31 Days of Halloween. I’m going to post a new Halloween themed makeup every day in October. I’m extremely excited to post them all!
Q: If you could go back in time and tell young Carrie an important message, what would you say?
A: I’d honestly say, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” I’m grateful for who I’ve grown up to be, and I’ve always been able to express myself and my creativity. I’m also very grateful to my parents for allowing me to be myself and follow my dreams.
Interview by: Khrystian McCalister
PHOTOGRAPHY: Carrie Esser