Today we’d like to introduce you to Des McAdam.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up always wanting to be in the entertainment industry. At first, it was a dream to become the next Avril or Britney, but as I got older, I found a passion for makeup and hair. That’s where the spark came! I started doing makeup and hair for friends in high school, whether it was their glam for prom or their special effects makeup for Halloween! I fell in love with transforming someone and making them feel a little more beautiful and a little more confident within themselves. I decided to attend cosmetology school, where I became a licensed cosmetologist, moved to LA part-time at the time and that’s where I found my passion in freelance and editorial work! Today I can proudly say I’m living my dream of doing hair and makeup, anywhere from behind the chair to editorial, fashion, and commercial work. It took a lot of time to build up my courage to feel like I was good enough to do it, but I just had to get my name out there and start building the empire five years old me always dreamed of.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not a smooth road, I feel like anyone who’s pursuing a creative job has their ups and downs. For me, when I was starting out, building a client base in the LA area where so many talented people flock to, it was hard to not compare myself and to put myself out there. It was terrifying comparing myself to all the talented individuals I’d see in social media or on sets. I didn’t let that keep me away though, because I knew I had what it took, and there’s a place for everyone in this industry and in this beautiful city, you just have to find the right people who can see you for the artist that you are. While it wasn’t the smoothest road, and I can attest firsthand that the “starving artist” does exist, I can honestly say that I don’t regret the path I took and the risks I took to get where I am today, and I still think I have a long way to go still in my career, but I’m not scared of the obstacles.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I like to think of my work as a dreamy combination of high fashion vintage editorial. If I were to title my style of hair and makeup and photography, it’d be as if Lana Del Rey songs turned into visuals. I special in glam and special effects as far as makeup goes, and as for hair, I do a lot of modern takes on vintage hair. Right now, I’m focusing a lot on the 90s and y2k hair looks, but bringing them into a more high fashion era, think Courtney love meets modern-day Balenciaga Fashion week. I think I bring something new to the table and something people haven’t seen, I want my work to make you feel something, feel as though you’re in a dreamscape and the colors are all meeting together, and there’s little sparkles coming to life on your skin. I want you to see my art and hear your favorite song, feel what that song makes you feel but while you’re in complete silence. I may be a “hairstylist and makeup artist” but I’m just an artist first and if we were to work together, I’d want you to feel like I’ve brought all your ideas to life.
What does success mean to you?
To me, success is not how many followers I have on my socials because I could wake up one day and those followers could all be gone. I measure success in how many goals I’ve set and how many of them I have reached and brought to fruition. To me, success is waking up with a roof over my head, not matter how small in square footage it may be, having food in my fridge to keep myself and my babies nourished. Success is having enough to keep my household running, and everyone in it healthy and happy, and still getting to wake up to do the job that brings me the most joy, my dream job. Success is happiness and being content in the now, to me.
- Editorial hair and makeup for shoots starts at $25/h
- Hair styling/ extensions/ wigs start at $100
- Makeup and hair for special events start at $20/h
- Music video shoots makeup and hair $15/h
- Makeup application $15/h
- Instagram: Instagram.com/mcadamartistry
Brimariephoto, clarabell, Freddy R