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Conversations with the Inspiring Nairie Aintablian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nairie Aintablian.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nairie . So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My journey started before I even considered makeup as a profession. I was definitely the artsy kid in my family. Drawing, painting, music, you name it. When I was in middle school a girl had shown me a picture of a “wound” she had created with glue stick and red food dye. I started doing that myself, getting into bruises and all that. My mother hated seeing me do those things so, I stopped. I was a pretty reserved kid sitting in my 10th grade biology class, one of the students brought in his project for a sculpture class he was taking and it was, at the time, one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I said, “That’s amazing! I wish I could do that” and he said something along the lines of “You can.” and those words literally changed my life. I knew my mom wouldn’t let me do SFX makeup at the time, so I picked up beauty makeup.

Coming from a conservative Armenian family, I knew my limits as to what I could put on my own face and not get in trouble, haha! So, I took to my sketch pad and drew all types of crazy makeup looks I could think of from super glam to minimalistic. My senior year of high school, I started getting irritated from how 2D my art was, I knew I couldn’t do much on myself, so I started using my friends as my models any chance I got. You could find me at Barnes and Noble sitting on the floor reading Kevyn Aucoin’s books like it was my bible. About 2 years later was when the beauty industry really started to blow up on Instagram and YouTube. I watched tutorials nonstop, practiced new techniques every day, did a ton of free work, volunteer work, student projects/films, assisting celebrity artists, photoshoots I put together by myself and some friends, music videos, runway, salons, freelance, anything I could do to keep learning and keep those brushes in my hands. I wanted to be the best. I’m still trying to be the best. I definitely wasn’t back then, I’m still not! We are our biggest critic, I love to push my limits of creativity and see what I can do.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely has NOT been a smooth road. It still isn’t, I’ve been in the game for almost 5 years and I’m STILL trying to get my name out there! It’s a world FILLED with empty promises, working for hours for little to no pay, trying not to take competition personal, especially if you start off freelancing and TONS of rejection. My advice to ANYONE starting out: Don’t be afraid of criticism, it’s there to HELP you not HURT you (even though some could be worded better than others). PUT IN WORK! You can’t just do one or two photoshoots and expect a bunch of doors to open for you, that’s unfortunately not how it works. Most, if not all jobs will require a portfolio or Instagram before they hire you so grab your family/friends/clients and make some magic!

Sometimes, you’ll have a week full of clients, sometimes, you won’t book anyone for a month! Don’t be discouraged by the lack of people booking you. Keep pushing. Last but certainly not least, know your worth. If you’re totally new, don’t expect people to pay you off the bat, free work is inevitable. Through experience, you slowly start to establish a day rate/kit fee, starting off low until you work your way up to what you believe your time and effort is worth. Not everyone will agree with your prices! Don’t be afraid to negotiate or even do something for free! But KNOW YOUR WORTH!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into By Nye story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m a licensed cosmetologist. I’ve been specializing in beauty/SFX makeup for almost 5 years and hair for 3 years. I started focusing more on SFX makeup in the past year and am in love with it. What sets me apart from others is my passion, my willingness to learn as much as I can and never considering my work the “best it can be” always trying to one up myself. I like to call myself an artistic chameleon, adapting to new techniques quickly not afraid to change it up anytime whether it be the creative aspect or a new different environment to work in.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Growing up was full of “you can’t do that” or “you’re not good enough” type people surrounding me all the time. I always worked against that and even now, people tell me, “you’ll never make it” and “you’re wasting your time” but, I just smile and take it as fuel to my flame of motivation to just keep pushing and working even harder to get to where I want to be.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

The Linda Wang Photography, J Gardner

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