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Life and Work with Ashley Chao

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Chao.

Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As a young girl, I had always been drawn to things that allowed me to be creative. Whether it was art class, painting my nails or watching my mom apply makeup to herself.

I spent hours at home putting on makeup, and countless hours inside Sephora and bath and body works (they actually carried cosmetics back then geared towards pre-teens) swatching testers.

It was only right that once I got into high school, I wanted to work at MAC. Not so much as a dream job, but more so just to get some “real” experience with makeup.

After graduating high school, I actually interviewed with MAC on two different occasions and both times I didn’t get the job.

Fast forward 6 years later, my girlfriend mentioned to me that MAC was holding a Job fair. I attended and was hired shortly after.

I was very fortunate to have been placed in a store as opposed to a counter or starting off as a freelance artist, as the newest artist is rarely put in a store.

It was during that time when I worked in a store that I noticed myself growing and improving my artistry.
I didn’t stay long before I stepped down to a freelance artist with the company. It was after I left my position as a permanent artist with MAC, I began to book jobs on my own.

I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I am working toward getting to where I’d love to be as an artist every day.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Freelancing as a makeup artist on your own is definitely a hustle.

My best advice is to start at a counter where you will meet people from all walks of life. That experience alone will not only help perfect your craft as an artist but also prepare you to work with a variety of skin types, eye shapes, face structures, lips, personalities and etc.

When I first began to freelance on my own, I made the mistake of never taking photos of my work. It’s so important! The advances of the internet and social media, allows artist a platform to present their work to any potential clients.

Take advantage! It’s literally free advertising.

It’s also a good idea to collab with a photographer and model you like to build up your portfolio.

Please tell us about your business.
I have experience in e comm, beauty, bridal, film, tv, editorial, print, and men’s grooming.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Fortunately, I am apart of the beauty community. An industry that has expanded exponentially in the last several years.

It’s gained many well-known influencers and is so accepting of all consumers.

The beauty community does not discriminate!

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @beauty_andthebrush

Image Credit:

@iamjtgallery, @adamrindy, @recourtphoto

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jamie

    October 19, 2018 at 03:38

    Beautiful work Ashley!

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