Graduate Feature: Gabrielle Rivera - QC Makeup Academy
gabrielle rivera practicing makeup artistry on client

Name: Gabrielle Rivera

Location: New Jersey, USA

QC Makeup Courses taken:



YouTube: Geulaa

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am currently a full-time teacher, teaching general education students and students with special needs. Although I have been teaching for almost five years now, my passion truly lies in creating art.

My ultimate goal for my future career is to be able to become a makeup artist full-time. Eventually, I want to open my own makeup studio where I can have a dedicated space to create looks and cater to my clientele.

Why did you decide to become a makeup artist?

I started doing makeup at 15 years-old after having my makeup done by a professional and feeling utterly discouraged and uncomfortable in my own skin. The makeup made me feel like someone else I didn’t recognize instead of leaving me to feel beautiful in my own skin.

It was at that moment that I decided to step into the world of makeup myself. I wanted to learn to apply my own makeup properly so I’d never have to feel that way about myself again. Looking back, that was the best decision I’ve ever made as it sparked a passion in me that I didn’t know existed.

bridal makeup artistry by gabrielle rivera or geulaa makeup

You offer a variety of makeup artistry services—would you say special effects makeup is your favorite?

After diving into the special FX part of makeup artistry, I almost instantly felt right at home. There’s just something about becoming another person or character through this art form. Special FX has this incredible way of allowing all your creativity to come forth to express emotions without having to speak a word.

What made you choose QC over all the other makeup schools out there?

While looking at various makeup schools, what truly sold me on QC was knowing that I’d have a personal coach available. I was able to receive feedback and support in whatever form I needed to help me complete my course work with my busy schedule as a full-time teacher. It was comforting to know that I didn’t have to compromise on my makeup course work by rushing to meet deadlines. Instead, I could take the time I needed to truly perfect my craft.

The coursework provided by in the online makeup course as well as the course books continue to provide me with the information I need to continue to grow as a makeup artist. From creating bridal looks to preparing concepts for the Halloween season.

special fx makeup artistry - venom - by Gabrielle Rivera a QC Makeup Academy graduate

What’s something you still struggle with in regards to makeup artistry?

One of biggest struggles in regards to my artistry has been how to balance learning new techniques and keeping up with trends without just seeming like a “copy-cat”. With how popular social media trends can be, at times it feels difficult to be my own artist and stay original.

Luckily, celebrity makeup artist Nathan Johnson put it very simply. He reminds us that although social media can be a great thing, it can also hinder our creativity. So staying off of social media to let our own ideas flow naturally has definitely helped me in times that I’ve felt stuck. Instead, I’ve began to turn to music, movies, TV shows, and even books to help spark my creativity.

What do you have in store for 2019?

In 2019, I plan to enroll in several other makeup courses with QC. The Special FX Makeup course, Portfolio Development, and the Airbrush Makeup Workshop to continue to grow in my profession. I know that by continuing to educate myself in this field, it will only help my career to expand to new and exciting heights.

Finally, if you only had 5 minutes to do your makeup—which products would you skip?

One thing I learned about applying makeup that is irrefutable is that when you’re in a rush NEVER apply eyeliner. EVER.

Aside from the dangers of rushing to create the perfect cat eye, I’d have to skip on foundation. Blending is key, and we’ve all had that moment when you step outside, and your face simply doesn’t match your neck!

Author Celina Feng

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