just plain sara: Down to Business: Roxanna Floyd

Monday, June 30, 2008

Down to Business: Roxanna Floyd

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes an army to groom a star and no celebrity worth their weight in gold would make an appearance without first consulting their makeup artist. Celebrity makeup artist, Roxanna Floyd, has beautified the likes of Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Lauren Hill, Ashanti and Halle Berry. She’s also worked for publications such as Essence, InStyle, Redbook, Braids & Beauty and Today’s Black Woman. In the interview below she shares the secrets of her success…

1. You started your career by working at the cosmetic counters of a high-end department store. How did you transform that into the wonderful career you have now?

At the time I did not know that people were paid for being a makeup artist. I never thought about makeup as a career.

At the cosmetic counter I was able to practice and hone my art. As a makeup artist you have the opportunity to work on every types of skin, face and eye shapes. Real women, not pretty models or good looking celebrities, so your skill can really develop under those conditions.

2. You have a BA in Cosmetic Marketing – sounds like a fun degree! Did you also take professional lessons in makeup artistry or are you self-taught?

I do not have a BA in cosmetics marketing. I was registered for classes but got a job with a small family owned business who sold perfume and cosmetics. The family started a small private label cosmetic line and they gave me a hands on, first class education. I learned product development in the lab, cosmetic merchandising and marketing from experience.

I taught myself makeup first and then I when to school. I had a small portfolio and wanted to make sure that I was doing the art correctly. I studied at the now defunct Robert Fiance Beauty Institute in New York.

3. How much of being a makeup artist is about technique verses intuition?

I believe technique is paramount. You can have keen intuition on where to place color, or what colors and shades to use but without solid technique coupled with creativity and a graceful hand, you’re just a person putting on makeup and 'the artist' in makeup artistry does not enter into the equation.

4. Cosmetic companies such as Bobbi Brown insist that all their employees have a firm foundation in makeup artistry. What if you don't have professional experience? What other ways can one break into the industry?

Breaking into the beauty industry is very competitive. There are so many cosmetic companies vying for customers the ability to apply and sell makeup makes a person attractive to a company. Today there seems to no way around having a foundation in makeup artistry not unless you know the one doing the hiring. Sometimes having a background in sales and a strong passion for art or fashion along with great interviewing skills can do the trick.

5. As a creative consultant at CoverGirl what are some of the things you get to do? I understand you were instrumental in the development of the Queen Collection.

As creative consultant for CoverGirl Queen Collection I work on all aspects of the product lineup. I worked with the chemist on formulas and shading as well as the brand manager and creative agencies on marketing ideas. Everything you see with a Queen Collection I had a hand in.

6. Who was your first celebrity client and how did your nerves fare?

I believe my first celebrity client was John Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono. I was working with a music video director and I did her makeup for the video and at the end of the shoot she asked for my telephone number. Yoko was very nice. I was nervous of course; I just wanted to do a good job.

7. When working with a client, especially a famous one, how do you satisfy your creative vision as well as the client? What if what they want just doesn't look good?!

At this point in my career most people know my style and trust me to do a look that will be appropriate.

I stay flexible and open. If I work with a new client I will study their photos to get a feel of their style and I always have a conversation with them to understand expectations.

8. Has being black helped, hindered or been totally irrelevant to your career's success thus far?

Now this is a loaded question! Honestly, being black has worked to my advantage and disadvantage. I had a mentor who would refer to the business in terms of their being two worlds. The white world and the black world. There is racism in both.

We believe black celebrities would hire black creative talent but sometimes they don't. In this age of the celebrity if a black celebrity does not book you for a shoot it's difficult to meet the top photographers. And most of the top photographers already have "my people" (the small select group of makeup artists, hairstylists and fashion stylists that they always work with) it's a catch 22.

9. Now if we can pick your brain for some tricks... How can women correct hyperpigmentation and combat oily skin? The two biggest woes when it comes to finding the perfect makeup!

The best way to correct depends on where it shows up. If you have it on the face there could be two different ways to approach it. First, using skincare products containing alpha hydroxy acid or fruit acid may slowly over time help to fade the dark spot. Second, the quick fix would be to apply a small amount of cover creme a shade lighter than your complexion on the spot. Then apply your foundation to your entire face and finish with powder.

The best way to combat oily skin is to apply oil controlling products to the oily area. Also, blotting tissues and powders all help temporarily. There really isn't any way around oily skin. Besides, oily skin helps you look younger longer - unless there is acne.

10. What one makeup item could you not live without and why?

Believe me after using every makeup product there is, I couldn’t live without all of it!

Visit Roxanna Floyd’s official site at www.roxannafloyd.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment