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Life & Work with Melanie Cristescu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Cristescu.

Hi Melanie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I became obsessed with makeup as a little girl. I used to watch my mother get ready every day as if it was a red carpet event. Even though I knew it was off-limits, I would sneak out of bed and play with her makeup as young as five years old. I was just so mesmerized by the transformation and how glamorous it made her look.

As a self-educated makeup artist, I started renting videos, borrowing books from the library, and devouring fashion magazines to learn everything I could about beauty. A habit even to this day. In high school, I practiced on my friends for school dances and prom. My first makeup obsession was the video by Donna Mills called The Eyes Have It released in 1984.

In 2011 I started my eight-year career with Sephora. I soaked up all the education I possibly could and followed the education/artistry path. My first position was the pilot Sephora Collection Ambassador program. After that, I was Beauty Studio Coordinator, Class Facilitator, and finally Mentoring Facilitator all while building my personal clientele.

I left Sephora in 2018 to freelance full-time. I begin working on music videos with such artists as Migos, Backstreet Boys, Toni Braxton, Meghan Trainor, and others. From there, I worked on editorial-style photoshoots, videos with content creators, independent films, TV, and now feature films. An independent film I worked on will be in theaters for a limited release in April 2022. And I just finished my first full-length feature in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2019 I learned airbrush makeup. This skill has opened so many new avenues for me. I do make-up for underwater photographers and body art. My first body art project was airbrushing a man to look like a marble statue that’s come to life for a production company’s theatrical logo.

Continuing education is something I am passionate about. During the lockdown, I used this time to hone in on my style and work creatively with a tight group of artists to publish editorial spreads during Covid.

Working as a make-up artist is something that brings me the deepest personal satisfaction. Whether it’s making someone feel beautiful for their corporate headshots, nailing continuity onset, or creatively collaborating with a team on a project, I love the varied career that I have. It is my goal to continue to build it that way.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I feel very fortunate to have worked as much as I have in the short time that I have been freelancing full-time.

The one challenge I’ve had is my age. I waited until my children were fully cooked to embark on the career I had always wanted. There have been times when people have assumed that I don’t stay current on trends or that my style might be dated. It is so satisfying when I can show that to be untrue. Because I continually educate myself, I feel confident when I enter a location that I’ll be able to demonstrate my style and talent to exceed expectations.

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 am a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who specializes in clean skin and editorial-style shoots. Whether traditional makeup or airbrush, natural-looking, glowy skin is my style.

It’s hard for me to say what I’m most proud of. I think I am most proud of the airbrush skills I have achieved in the last couple of years. Whether doing men’s makeup on a feature film, doing waterproof makeup for Underwater Photography, or making a man look like a marble statue, it’s something that most makeup artists don’t do outside of special effects. The versatility and creativity it’s brought to my beauty career are next level.

What sets me apart from others is my deep, true passion and absolute joy for everything makeup. I don’t just want to do makeup. I love the entire process, beginning with skin prep. I always apply personalized skincare to ensure everything on top is flawless and stays put. I care about my client and what they’re doing, what makeup is needed, and how to make it last as long as possible. My goal is to make every person who sits in my chair feel like they have 100% of my attention and I’m 100% invested in our final result.

What matters most to you? Why?
I truly care about all my clients and how they feel in the make up I apply. Whether it’s character-based or not, my talent/client’s happiness, comfort and vision is my ultimate goal. I don’t just apply and treat all skin the same. I ask questions. Feel the skin. So I know what it needs to be at its best for shoots. And on long shooting schedules, I ask daily how their skin is. It can vary from day to day. Because some days skin requires more love than others. I do this to make sure that skin stays healthy and hydrated.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Roo Castro Tara Rochelle SK Designs Mo Daniels Jeffrey B Photography Faces by Fefeb Tara Rochelle Underwater Brienne

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