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Meet Colleen Konowitz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Konowitz.

Colleen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My career as a makeup artist was planted as a small seed twelve years ago, but at that time I had no tools or trust to grow it into what it is today. In 2006 I had just moved to LA with my now-husband, Alex Konowitz. He was taking classes at the Los Angeles Film School while I studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. I have always had a love for fashion and thought styling was my path. During school, I was focused on fashion but kept meeting friends in the film industry, specifically, in makeup. When I started interning at FIDM for fashion, I managed to also intern with a family friend for makeup. This was the first of many signs that makeup was my true passion.

As my husband’s career got off the ground, he saw a need for a makeup artists on a short they were filming. Knowing I’m a painter of fine art with natural ability applying makeup, he asked if I’d like to step in and work the short. Amazing, exciting… scary! At this point, I had no makeup kit, I had only practiced on a few friends and family and I simply didn’t have any trust in myself or the universe to see me succeed. And yet, something deep down told me to say “Yes!” I now know this to be my inner guidance, my soul whispering from within, to take this chance and find my passion.

It’s often said that no one gets where they are without someone helping them along the way and for me, this person is Grace Lee. She was just starting out as a makeup artist and when I asked what I should do about the gig, she graciously lent me her kit without hesitation! To this day, I think about her kindness and am truly grateful because it allowed me to see what being a makeup artist was really like. I loved it. Every single minute of it. After the two day gig, I took on a few more through Alex. I started getting calls about makeup gigs from people I had never met and opportunity was building, but my fear was overwhelming and I turned them all down. My momentum had stopped and the voice from within had grown quiet.

Over the next ten years, I searched for who I was and what I was meant to be. I worked in the motorcycle industry, tried acting, modeling, and worked in offices. I stayed in contact with Grace and would sporadically help her with small jobs when she needed an assistant. I was still struggling to accept my natural talent, my love for makeup and have the faith that I would succeed. In 2017, it all came to a boiling point both personally and professionally. For the first time in my life, I had a clear perspective on just how unhappy I had become in my current career. I was successful in the corporate world, but I was not fulfilled. It was at this painful breaking point that I heard my inner voice again, guiding me to see that makeup is an art… and that I am, and have always been, an artist.

A week later, I attended an open house at Make-up Designory in Burbank California. The entire time my heart was singing, confirming I was finally on the right path. I completed the five-month intensive program for multimedia and am forever grateful to the exceptional staff and teachers at this school for challenging us all to be our best. I made excellent new connections and let my good friend, Grace, know of my career change. Within a month, she got me on as a makeup assistant on a promo for Glow! Where I got to meet her core team and strengthen my network. I met such wonderful and genuine people who eventually introduced me to my future key makeup artist, Heather Roach. I am still in awe of the passionate people in this industry who welcomed me and encouraged me to succeed.

The last two years have been nothing short of an incredible and accelerated journey. I have been training under one of the most caring and selfless makeup artists I know. Heather has taught me so much about products, technique and most of all, love and confidence in myself. Through her, I have had the privilege of assisting and connecting with Erika Lee who has also transformed my life and career in countless ways. I have the honor of assisting them with print, editorial, private events and makeup for the Royal Court for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. I would not be where I am today without these women and many others who helped me polish my talents and take hold of my future.

My most recent dream come true is becoming a freelance artist for Pat McGrath Labs! My idol, Pat McGrath, is an artist I’ve always looked up to before I even truly knew who she was in the industry. Her art inspired me to take risks in my art and makeup, to explore colors and textures, to create what only I could see. Her vision, passion, power, and drive is unparalleled. And now I can proudly say that I am a part of her wildly successful, quickly growing company. Somebody pinch me!

The journey to success has no time limit, no rules, no easy ways in. Being honest with yourself and others, working very hard, balancing humility and bravery, showing gratitude genuinely and frequently.. these are the things that create success. Oh yes, and listening and trusting your inner guidance! I look forward to one day paying it forward for a young artist starting their career and sending gratitude into the future by helping them succeed.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not a smooth road. Financial struggles, leaning on my husband to support us both while I started a new career in my early 30’s, a big leap of faith and trust and love.

What else should our readers know?
I specialize in effortless, romantic beauty makeup to striking evening looks. I’m known for my blending and shading techniques and my warm personality. I work in print, editorial, bridal and private events.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success by the smile on my face, the singing of my heart and the money in my pocket. All kidding aside, I’m enjoying the process and define success every step of the way, every mountain I climb, every obstacle I overcome is a part of success… it’s a journey.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.colleenkonowitz.com
  • Phone: 818.699.4489
  • Email: colleenkonowitz@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @colleenkonowitz

Image Credit:
Hash Triki, Jairo Melara

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