What inspired or motivated you to become a makeup artist?
I was fascinated by make-up since I was a child. I have always been passionate about drawing and the fine arts. The aesthetics of the human body have fascinated me since I was very small and the way makeup can work in conjunction with natural beauty to enhance or transform the characteristics of the human body. I guess I took my love for the fine arts and began looking at the human body as a canvas. The difference was that I could paint a different picture on the same canvas every day.
Is it interesting to be a makeup artist? Have you ever faced a funny situation?
Probably working with kids. They love makeup and are fascinated by it but they don’t sit still long enough for you to get your work done. The best is when they fall asleep and you can work on them in peace.
What brands do you prefer working with?
Depends on what I’m trying to achieve. I work with all kinds of brands. Each one specializes in a certain kinds of products but generally I make a rule of working only with top-shelf materials. That being said sometimes I will procure materials from small boutiques and unlikely shops. I always buy new things and test them to ensure that I have a unique signature and all the right tools for various occasions.
What inspires your work and your vision?
All kinds of things really, the scope of inspiration is vast. I am inspired by alternative cultures, their imagery and their fashion. I am a big fan of Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, David Lynch and Michael Hussar. The surrealist tradition and the imagery of the grotesque have influenced a lot of the makeup I have done. On the other hand popular culture inspires my work as well. Inspiration is limitless and I just go with the flow. Some days I may decide to do art makeup, to use my brushes to express inner anguish through nightmarish makeup while other days I may do very classic beauty make-up. Generally I like to stretch the boundaries of conventional beauty in order to achieve more radical results.
What do you think beauty is?
There’s no easy way to answer that question. Obviously we have the conventional view of beauty imposed by advertising, movies and mainstream media but in reality beauty is a transcendental concept. The kind of culture that claims a singular understanding of beauty is exactly the opposite of transcendent, it is localized and shackled up by politics, religion and thus becomes exclusive (not to mention oversimplified) because not everyone can fit into it. I believe beauty is transcendent and every style can be beautiful.
I am an apprentice tattoo artist. I hope to pursue a career as a tattooist in the future.
Are their rush or peak times in your business? How do you work around these?
It’s different all year around which keeps things interesting. Proms are a peak time and I have to be sure to keep a tight schedule that fills up months in advance. Because I’m on my own I have to figure out the logistics and make sure I’m prompt, and have enough time to give my clients the satisfaction of my full attention. Being busy is no excuse for being sloppy. Halloween is a big time for me; I’m booked at clubs, doing makeup for dancers and performers. Throughout the rest of the year the majority of my work is for fashion shows and different festivals. Really the key is having a rock solid work ethic and a reputation for excellence and creative vision. When things are busy you need to consider your values, your realistic ambitions and how much you can handle without sacrificing quantity for quality.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of working for yourself?
I am what you would call a sole trader. The biggest advantage is of course being your own boss. As a freelance makeup artist I can choose to enter into short-term agreements with clubs, stores, music and film companies but never get tied down. The best thing about working for yourself is deciding what your vision is. Then you are free to express your essence and unique characteristics on the market. As to disadvantages? A slow start. You have to be prepared to work for free, you need to network, you need to be on-time, serious, motivated and with a clear sense of who you are and why your services stand out compared to everyone else’s. As a sole trader it’ll take longer for you to start turning a profit.
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
My greatest challenge was getting things started although I’m sure there are far greater challenges yet to come.
What are your greatest achievements?
I don’t know. I’m proud of a lot of things but I don’t think of any of them as ‘great’. I still feel like the best is yet to come and I have a lot more to show. I’ve worked on music videos, in fashion and beauty makeup. I’m happy to say I’ve never had an unhappy customer. I have photographers who prefer working with me and will always call me first which is a great honor for me. That I would say is what I’m most proud of.
See Gallery Catherine Falcon Make-up Artist
Who are your customers?
Everyone. When I started there were people who thought my flare for the unconventional would mean I could never work on more mainstream projects but my customers have been from every walk of life. In fact a lot of them are nervous about trying new looks and experimenting with makeup but when they see me, they’re delighted and somehow they feel more comfortable with letting me suggest a different look for them. Read more