Student Feature: Kyla Lardie - QC Makeup Academy

Kyla Lardie

Name: Kyla Lardie

Location: Los Angeles, California

Program: Master Makeup Artistry

Email: [email protected]

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m 20 years old (21 in June, yay!) and I’m originally from Virginia, just an hour south of D.C. I moved to Los Angeles about a year and a half ago to pursue dance and continue my training on the west coast while auditioning/working and such. I also travel and teach/choreograph at various dance studios in the US.

I have an obsession with pigs, puppies, Batman, and the color yellow… oh, and matte lipstick. Who doesn’t love matte lipstick? In my free time I like to read, and I also volunteer at a few different animal shelters/rescues—#adoptdontshop! My goal in life is to inspire people, in whatever ways I can. I just want to know that I made a difference, even if only in one person’s life!

We notice you’re also professional choreographer and dancer. What made you decide to start a career in makeup artistry as well?

I’ve always loved makeup, and I’m constantly applying it for various shows/performances/auditions and whatnot. I learned how to do my own stage makeup by the time I was 11 or 12, and it just grew into this artistic outlet. I would allow extra time just to have those few minutes to enjoy being a perfectionist and get those eyeliner wings just right… hahaha. (I’m sure many people can relate to that struggle.) Then it dawned on me—why don’t I get some sort of certification in this, since I enjoy it so much? I pursued dance because I love doing it; why not this too? However, since I’m dancing and choreographing as well, I travel often and it would be hard to physically go to school. Then it just so happened that, about that time, I saw a post on Facebook about QC Makeup Academy and how it was all online… so this was the perfect solution!

Is it tough to balance two careers? What are the perks?

It can be difficult when trying to avoid conflicts, and especially once I start working with even more makeup clients, I’ll have to find a good balance. It’ll get pretty busy. But dance and makeup can go hand in hand as well, so that makes it a lot easier. I’ve had a few dance gigs already where they’ve asked me to do everyone’s makeup instead of hiring a separate MUA because it’s easier since I’m already there; it’s one less person to worry about. So that’s great because it brings the two careers together, AND it’s a start to building my clientele base! The best perk though is that I get to have two careers that I actually love and enjoy.

Your Evil Snow Queen was a runner up for our Naughty or Nice Winter Makeup Contest—and we have to say, she looks pretty fierce! Where did you get the inspiration for the look?

When I read about the contest, and thought to myself “Evil Snow Queen,” this image just popped into my head… think Elsa meets Maleficent. (Yes, I’m a Disney fiend to the hundredth degree.) I just wanted the intensity of something like Maleficent’s look—the sharp bone structure, the dark shadows—but with the powerful iciness of someone like Elsa. Then, with that in mind, I just let my hands go and create what they felt, adding my own creative touch to the concept and building the back-story with it.

Kyla Lardie's Snow Queen makeup

Tell us about your favourite job or client so far.

My favorite job so far were some looks I was asked to do for some girls for Halloween this past October. I was asked to do hair AND makeup, so that was a nice challenge. The first girl wanted to look like the artist Pink, and it was cool making her look like the well-known singer; it reminded me almost of my days in art class learning to recreate faces. It was also fun to do her hair in a funky updo to make it look short, and I got to spray-dye it pink! So fun!

Then the other two girls were awesome fun as well—one wanted to be a lion, and the other a cheetah—my brain just went wild, and the looks turned out so great! I definitely surprised myself, and doing these looks made me realize that I think I might want to learn more about special effects makeup and makeup in movies. I really loved just letting my mind freely create those characters!

What’s up next for you? Where do you see yourself (and your business!) in the next 1, 5, and 10 years?

I’ll definitely be focusing on dance more these next few years, simply because my body will only be young for so long. Being a choreographer and MUA are things I can do for a long time to come. Dancing however, will only last as long as my body can handle it. So makeup is something I consistently do on the side for now. I like makeup jobs, as long as they don’t conflict with a dance job. However, in 5-10 years who knows?

With that said though, I don’t want to stop learning all that I can about makeup in the meantime. I would love to intern with someone like Nathan Johnson, so I can learn from one the best, hands on, smack in the middle of the business. Opportunities could then grow from something like that. But who knows what will happen, right? I just like to follow the paths life gives me…hopefully that means being a successful artist (in both dance and makeup) in the future!

What’s your best advice for a makeup artist just starting their training or career?

Learn all that you can learn, and create all that you can’t. Anything that you’ve been taught, anything you read or watch… take notes! Learn every single thing you can learn. But even then, there will be times where knowledge isn’t enough… that’s where your creativity comes in. Cultivate that creative instinct by constantly working on new looks, even just for fun! Come up with a story and create character makeup. Doodle looks in a sketchbook. Do a dramatic costume look. Anything to get that side of your brain working. That way you never get complacent… no matter what, don’t stop learning and growing!

Kyla Lardie fantasy makeup

But above all else, don’t ever take yourself too seriously. If you work super hard all the time, but don’t allow time for fun, you’ll overwork your mind and get stuck in this weird mental zone where nothing really excites you anymore. You’ll get bored and stuck. So yes, while it is good to be professional and take your work seriously, allow time to play around with your makeup (or whatever else it is you’re working on) and let your mind get crazy with creativity! 🙂

And the question everyone wants to know—what makeup product is an absolute essential for you?

Oh there are so many I love! Hmmm… this is tough. I guess my absolute essentials would be my NARS concealer and my Too Faced “Born This Way” foundation. Even if I’m in a hurry and I need to run out of the house, I just put on that lightweight foundation and concealer where need be, throw on a little mascara and I’m good to go. It has great coverage, but it’s not heavy/thick like a lot of liquid foundations—and it lasts all day!

A look at some of Kyla’s work…

Kyla Lardie with pink lipstick and smoky eye

Kyla Lardie winter fantasy makeup

Kyla Lardie with pink lipstick

Inspired by Kyla’s awesome story? Check out our Student Features section for more amazing work by QC students!

Author Alicia Haniford

More posts by Alicia Haniford

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