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Life and Work with Astrid Gonzalez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Astrid Gonzalez.

Astrid, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
At the young age of 9, I had always known that I was interested in makeup artistry. I remember my mother getting an Elizabeth Arden makeup holiday portfolio filled with eyeshadows, lipsticks, eyeliners, blush, you name it, it had it all. While she was at work on the weekends, I’d be at home and lock myself in the restroom and paint my face. I loved applying the sparkly eye shadows and glittery lip glosses. I even sat my younger brother down, who was 5 years old at the time, and I would do a full face of makeup on him.
My mother owned a beauty salon, and every day after school, I would go there and watch her do makeup and hair until she closed shop. I remember loving the transformations and seeing the women leave so happy that I wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps. During that time there was a team of makeup artists and photographers that would visit my mom’s salon to do glamor shots of her clients. This was a big trend back in the early 90s. I would scope out their fully equipped, professional makeup kits and write down what they were using.

Around 16 years old, I remember sitting down with my mom and grandma at home watching spanish novelas, and during commercials, I remember seeing an AD for TV-Azteca of these actors fully body painted into cheetahs, zebras very Cirque du soleil type makeup, and wanting to mimic that on somebody. So, I went to Party City and purchased any type of body/face paint makeup that I could find. I was so excited about using the makeup on myself, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the texture and pigmentation. I knew this was not the professional makeup they used in the AD. I begged and pleaded with my mom to help me find a school that would help me get to the professional level I wanted to be at.

In the meantime, she saw how eager I was to learn the art of makeup application. She gave me lessons on face theory, proper placement of color and matching, and the basic entrepreneurial skills I needed to know. I saved my pennies to build my kit. All I can afford at the time was Revlon and L’oreal; basically drug store cosmetics.

Soon after I graduated high school, I attended the Studio Makeup Academy in Hollywood, CA.
I completed the full master course there. Shortly after that, I started working for MAC Cosmetics.
During my time in retail, I wanted more. I developed the skills and built relationships to further my freelance career in makeup artistry. I starting working with photographers on shoots for magazines and I did bridal work on the weekends. I left MAC after 3 years because I wanted to take control in furthering my own business and booking my own appointments and doing more within the entertainment industry.
To further my education, I went to school to get my state board license to practice skin care.

Throughout the time I was freelancing, I did non-union commercials and T.V. shows, I was fortunate enough to do makeup and men’s grooming on celebrities, and generally, broaden my clientele.

Fast forward to today, I still have the same love and passion for the art. I continue to work on photoshoots, award shows, in TV studios, destination wedding sites, and more. My next step in my career is to get into the Union, so I can be on the set of big motion pictures in the making and popular TV shows.

Great, 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?
Being a freelancer isn’t always easy, especially in the beginning. You have to build your portfolio by showing your work and constantly networking to build solid relationships. 90% of my work is based on referrals. By being a freelancer, that means I might not be constantly working all the time. So, I take advantage of using my downtime in getting together with photographers to collab on a photo shoot so I continue to practice my work, practice my creativity, and promote myself even further.

If there’s any advice I can give to women, especially young women who are just starting out, is to keep practicing and don’t lose sight of what you love doing. There will be times where you’ll mess up practicing on yourself, you might not immediately get booked work day after day, and there will be times where you’ll book once a month, but you can’t let that discourage you.

Please tell us about Astrid Gonzalez – Makeup Artist.
I’m a makeup artist specializing in beauty makeup. I occasionally do men’s grooming as well. I’m simply proud of the instant gratification.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
Favorite book: Girlboss
Apps: Instagram (best way to promote my work)

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Chris Cruz

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