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Life and Work with Nikki Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Martinez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Ever since I was a child, I always took interest in art and beauty. I loved drawing, painting and creating, but I also LOVED playing dress up and having my mom doll me up with lip tints, cream blushes and heated curlers. As I grew, so did my passions in art and beauty. When I was about 14, I started to get bullied heavily about my looks. I wanted to start wearing makeup in hopes that maybe people would stop being so mean. I had the rite of passage that every makeup lover has: My mom took me to the MAC store.

Although, wearing makeup to “look better” was my original drive, it opened the door to another creative medium I never knew existed. I could use makeup to create whatever look I desired.

As the years went by, my love for artistry in makeup grew and I started experimenting with different products and more colors. Eventually, I realized I had found my niche in life and decided to pursue makeup as a professional career.

Has it been a smooth road?
My journey has not been the smoothest road and even now there’s bumps and potholes along the way. I had a difficult time finding gigs and trying to balance it out with a full time job. I was working out of a small duffle bag and using my own personal makeup on clients. When my schedule did allow for it, I said yes to any gig I could find. Most gigs were TFP (Trade For Print). No pay, but it got my portfolio started and I gained a ton of experience working with photographers. Eventually though, it started to cost more to go to these unpaid gigs in gas money and kit supplies, so that’s when I started digging deeper to find paid jobs.

Starting a business Instagram, ordering business cards and creating a website was the next step to gaining more exposure to potential clients. It really helped my career get kickstarted.

I must admit, working at Sephora for 3 years was of great help. I had constant knowledge in makeup and skincare, numerous amounts of clients to work on all day and of course, the gratis to help build my kit. I had access to so much knowledge and seasoned MUAs, so I soaked up all I could.

The biggest thing and I’ll admit, I occasionally still struggle with, is don’t let others or social media bring you down to the point where you feel like you just want to give up. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your dream career.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nikki Martinez MUA – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in beauty and editorial makeup. I typically work on set for film/photoshoots as well as with private clients. I also offer hands-on makeup lessons for women, teens and men.

I would say, I’m known best for my ability to be versatile with different styles of beauty on all skin tones, skin types and genders. I’m not another social media MUA that focuses on my face exclusively. Being a makeup artist is very cathartic for me. I want to bring my clients’ visions & ideas to life. I want to help others discover what’s beautiful about them. “Beauty is for everyone.”

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
My mother was definitely my largest beauty influence. When I was little, I loved watching her get ready for work with her pretty lipsticks and blushes. It was a treat when she would let me play makeup with her.

I also have had the blessing of having a wonderful family friend who worked at a department store makeup counter. She would always spoil me by bringing me lots of samples and testers from whatever brands she was working with.

I’m sure without those two strong woman figures in my life, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am at now.

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