Today we’d like to introduce you to the talented but humble Robin Malone.
Robin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was always a small town girl with big city dreams, as cliche as that may be. I knew I wanted something more, something different; makeup was that “something”. I grew up a very artist person, predominately with dancing my entire life. Makeup was always a passion of mine and that passion grew stronger with age. In high school, I would apply false lashes, glitter, and rhinestones for our team dance competitions. The first time I realized makeup could be a career, I was in college. I was in my senior year at a university, studying psychology and prepping for law school. I took the LSAT, began filling out law school applications—grad school was the plan. At the time I was working at a salon and had a photographer friend who liked my makeup. I started helping him with his photoshoots, senior portraits, local boutique fashion shows, weddings, and it was a snowball effect. I started researching makeup schools instead of graduate schools and found this amazing program at EI School of Professional Makeup in Los Angeles. I applied and was accepted, spoke with a counselor and looked into my grant options.
I’ll never forget the day I presented my parents with my new life plan, becoming a professional makeup artist. I thought they would think I was crazy but it was this beautiful moment where they both accepted and were excited for my passion-turned-career path. Their support was the catalyst for me to launch into my makeup career. 8 weeks later I packed up my car and left south Mississippi for Los Angeles. I didn’t know a single person in the city but never once doubted my decision. I loved every second of school and I highly recommend EI to anyone looking for a career path into the makeup world. They helped nurture my talent and gave me the confidence I needed to continue. I studied their 1 year artistry program which included beauty, theater, fashion, television, film, and prosthetics. I love and respect all makeup genres so it is hard to pick one favorite. I have a very natural aesthetic with beauty and love painting for special effects. During school, I worked for an Armani counter and soon after graduation was hired for a different luxury brand flagship store. During this time, I met my boss-turned-mentor and never gave up because of his belief in me and his guidance. The brand I currently work for is new within the beauty world so I have had some really incredible opportunities with traveling and training on our product. They actually took me on my very first trip to New York last year, which was definitely a personal highlight for me. There have been many firsts for me over my last few years in Los Angeles and I feel even greater things are to come. I remember the days I dreamt about the jobs I am working now. I think for me it’s appreciating how I’ve grown, where I am now, and staying excited about what is to come. I am in a career that I love, am passionate about, and have endless opportunities for my future. How lucky am I?
Has it been a smooth road?
Living in Los Angeles itself is a challenge, especially in the beginning. The cost of living and not having a support system nearby were my biggest challenges but I kept my eye on the prize. My family and friends helped me tremendously my first 6 months because they all took turns coming to visit me. Every single month I had a visitor to help me adapt and explore my new city. I also had my dog who came with me from Mississippi and she was a huge source of comfort. Working for free or “trade” was a bit challenging because we all have to pay the bills but 9 times out of 10 the experience was worth it.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t have any specific plans for my future career endeavors. I love all aspects of makeup and lately have enjoyed the business side. I really love training on products too. I am not tied down to any city and am curious about all the places I have never lived… So I can easily see myself moving to another big city or staying in Los Angeles forever. I am open to anything life throws my way, as long as it involves makeup!
Let’s explore some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way. What was the most difficult part of your career so far?
I think the most challenging time in my career was adapting to big city life in Los Angeles. It is difficult to look at it as “hard” because I was SO excited and secure in my future with makeup, but it was most definitely challenging. I was born and raised in a small southern town with less than 50,000 people. I love and appreciate my roots, now more than ever, but I always knew I wanted something different. I had never even visited Los Angeles before I moved here but I knew in my gut it was the right move to make. I was never chasing fame or the big city life, I simply wanted to work in a city where my craft was widely accepted, understood, appreciated, and used. I wanted to learn all of the genres of makeup artistry and have options when deciding on my professional career path, which was something only Los Angeles could offer me at the time. I’m not sure many people from home understood that makeup could be more than a hobby because even I didn’t know just how broad the professional makeup world is until I started pursuing my career. Within 8 weeks I packed up everything I owned that would fit into my car and moved to a city that I had never visited, didn’t have a job, and didn’t have any family or friends. Looking back now it sounds a bit extreme and maybe even a little bit crazy, but like I said, instinct and faith lead my way. I had my dog, my passion, and my family’s support; that’s all I needed. I moved here the week before school started, explored my walking route to class, and was lost everyday for the first month.. maybe even the first year. Street parking was my personal hell and seemed like a foreign language to me; I racked up a solid 4 parking tickets in my first week alone. I hibernated in my single apartment, I think because in reality, I was scared. I typically only explored the city when I had family and friends in town. I strangely never felt alone, though. I slept comfortably knowing I was doing the right thing and I was excited about it. Los Angeles was cool until my money ran out, then I had that “oh shit, now what?” moment when I realized my first job wasn’t going to pay the bills. Truly, the only major anxiety I ever had about living here was how expensive rent was, especially compared to my $300 rent back home. There were many months of trial and error in learning how to budget the little money I was making at the time. Now I look back on the beginning years with much appreciation because all of these experiences taught me how to hustle and work hard for a career that only I could earn for myself.
What about “Wow-moments” – any moments that stick out? Any moments when you felt like you had made it?
I don’t think by any means that I have “made it”. I think I am making my career happen every single day by working hard and enjoying all of the experiences as I go. My career goals are ever-changing based on what I have recently accomplished and want to achieve next. For me, growth is a constant need and I don’t know where that will take me next year or in ten years. I do know I want to be successful and the best at everything I do. I have had many small “wow” moments that may lead to the big “wow” one day. For now, though, I simply appreciate being in an industry that I am passionate about, constantly challenges me, and allows me to evolve.
- Phone: 6014471772
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @robinmalone