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Life and Work with Erin Skipley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Skipley.

Erin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up on a horse farm and had my first makeup experience when I was in college. I got hired at a makeup counter in Seattle, WA. I spent that time learning everything I could about what was possible with makeup, and the daily transformations that a person could make with just a few products. I was inspired by the beauty ads in the store that I worked at, and one day, decided that I was going to do the makeup in those ads. So I got myself to Los Angeles where I could be surrounded by top talent and some of the best artists in the beauty industry. I learned to do hair, volunteered countless hours styling makeup and hair for fashion shows, model tests, anything that I could get my hands on. I found my way in the freelance world, working with photographers, celebrity clients, commercial clients, and worked as a national makeup artist for Dior. I was featured in Allure Magazine as a “Makeover Master” and landed on the roster of a top agency of LA Makeup and Hair artists. Fast forward more than a decade, and I’ve had an amazing career that I am truly proud of! My job as a hair and makeup artist has taken me all over the world, and I’ve learned so much from every face.

A few years ago I started to see Cosmetic Tattoo and Microblading images pop up on Instagram, it was like magic! Those who had no brows suddenly had brows again, or at least a gorgeous 3D illusion of brows. I began to learn about permanent makeup, the latest techniques, and what could be possible for my clients. I became obsessed with these amazing micro pigmentation techniques for brows, lips, eyes, and medical applications that looked so real. I researched for endless hours and went through several different training programs, various machines, needles, lines of pigments, until I found the very best.  For the last few years, I’ve been perfecting my own techniques, finding color combinations that create the most realistic and natural enhancements for every skin tone. I love being able to help my clients feel restored and beautiful in a lasting way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It wasn’t easy but I’ve loved the process. Everyone has to put in the time! If you know where you want to go and can visualize yourself in that place, you’ll have an easier time getting there. Goals are so important. Don’t get scared off if it doesn’t seem to happen fast enough. The most important advice I can give is to keep building when there doesn’t seem to be any momentum, ready to put your best foot forward when the phone finally rings. Have your skills perfected and be generous with your time and energy when it comes to building business relationships.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Contour + INK – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I have worked as a professional makeup artist for many years, I’m known for creating natural beauties. I have worked with thousands of faces and what I love most is to make people feel like the best version of themselves. Clients come to me to enhance or restore features like lips, brows, and lash lines. I’ve recently added Dermapigmentation services, including Areola Tattooing, Hairline Pigmentation, Scar Camoflage, Saline Pigment Removal, and I see clients for corrective work as well. If there is one thing that makes my work stand out from the sea of other artists, is that my years of experience as a makeup artist has given me greater attention to detail and the ability to make hyper-realistic enhancements.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Join online Facebook forums, go to trade shows and don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with other artists. Forums are such a great resource and can help guide you when you have questions. It’s very important to invest in your training and share your knowledge with others as well. Find the artists that you are obsessed with and love their work, then do what you can to connect with them. Have your brows or lips or eyeliner done by them! It’s good to connect with artists in other cities, who may be more willing to share knowledge when you are not in direct competition. Having a professional website and active social media are very helpful as well!  For new makeup artists, microbladers, and cosmetic tattoo artists who are breaking into the business, I offer private coaching and training on-site. You can also find me as an instructor at the Nouveau Contour Advanced Training Academy in Santa Monica, CA.  My business is called Contour + INK, and it is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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Image Credit:
Action Photo: Catherine Abegg

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