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Meet Simone Closson of Simone Closson Makeup Artist in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Simone Closson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Simone. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in art. Growing up, I did everything from paint watercolor landscapes to make clay bowls and figures. But since I was all artist and zero business person, I could never figure out how to make a practical living doing what I love. So, after graduating from high school I did what many others did and entered the corporate world.

I stayed in that world for many long years until one fateful day in 2004 when a friend, who was in charge of hiring makeup artists for an upcoming retail event, offered to try me out. I knew she was just trying to fill spots and she knew I had absolutely no makeup experience, but if she was willing, I was willing. I decided to go for it and approach it as just another art project. I literally spent the next few weeks scouring how-to makeup books and, when the day came, I nervously faked my way through the event. The clients were happy. My friend was happy. Her company asked me to stay on and I was happy!

I continued working in retail until 2009 when I finally felt ready to venture out and start my own freelance business.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As I mentioned, I am not a business woman by nature so, while I’m confident in my skill as an artist, I sometimes struggle with the actual “business” part. Marketing myself is definitely a skill I had to learn – and am still learning. I have been very fortunate to get support and great advice in this regard from other creative people. In particular, photographer Laura Burke, with whom I frequently collaborate, kept pushing me to create my own website and introduce myself to other industry professionals. It took me a while to heed her advice but once my site was up and running and I had begun to network, I saw a definite increase in my business. Marketing, of course, is a never-ending process so I often have to step out of my comfortable artist mentality and think up new and fresh ways to keep myself relevant.

Simone Closson Makeup Artist – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I offer makeup and hair services for headshots, vintage/period shoots, media production, weddings, special events and personalized beauty lessons. My specialty is vintage & period beauty. I am a big-time history nerd and I love capturing the essence of a past era with period makeup and hair. I am particularly drawn to the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

The thing I am most proud of in regard to my company is that I went for it! I am, for the most part, self-taught and I didn’t start in this industry until I was 30, so the fact that I am successful in a town with so many talented artists is quite amazing to me.

It can be difficult to stand out in a city with so many skilled makeup artists but I’d like to think that my work speaks for itself. The fact that I approach it from an artistic standpoint and not just a beauty standpoint appeals to many of my clients. Being experienced in working with a variety of skin tones and hair textures is also an asset. But just as important as the work is the person behind it so I try always to be professional, personable, flexible and reliable.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I feel successful when my client is happy. I genuine enjoy doing things for others and when I see in my client’s eyes that they feel beautiful, I feel like I’ve accomplished something important.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Brant Brogan, Laura Burke Photography

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