Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Russia and adopted at the age of seven. I grew up in Michigan, studied Communications and Leadership in college for two years, and then joined the Marine Corps. I just got relocated to Massena, New York, where I’m currently building up my makeup business once again.
I’m married to a Marine, and we have a two-and-a-half year old son. I love to learn new things about modern makeup, and hope to inspire others to love themselves from the inside out and help build their confidence one step at a time.
Why did you decide to become a makeup artist? What about it appeals to you?
It’s something I love doing. I love playing with the different colors, textures, and face shapes. It is not only my creative outlet – it’s a way to express how I feel. It also gives me a chance to show people how beautiful they are.
You were previously in the Marine Corps—can you tell us a little about this? Has that experience had any impact on you as an artist or business owner now?
My time in the Marine Corps taught me a lot about myself and installed in me a sense of confidence that I didn’t know was possible. I originally wanted to have a career in the Marines and eventually become an officer, but unfortunately that was cut short when I couldn’t overcome my battle with depression and anxiety. I was lost and very upset, and had to find a new career path once again.
My husband was my biggest supporter during this time. Once we moved into our first apartment, I started to find my passion in makeup again. The military has strict rules on what you can wear when it comes to makeup, so I had to put my creativity aside while I was in the Marines. But once I was out, the creativity came flowing back.
So in a sense, the Marine Corps led me to finding my passion for makeup. As a business owner, it helped me to be very organized and make sure that I’m constantly doing the best I can. If I fail at something, I just have to keep pushing through.
How would you describe your makeup style?
In the beginning, it was geared towards glamour and wedding makeup. I love creating looks for special events, but as time passed on and I found new inspirations from other makeup artists, I realized what I’m super passionate about is fantasy makeup and SFX makeup. It’s a whole different type of creativity because it has no rules and boundaries. I absolutely love that it has no limits – anything and everything can be created!
What’s your favorite part of the makeup application process?
My favorite part is also the hardest and most difficult part: the detailing. I love how the look turns out once you put in every little detail, even if it takes 3 or 4 hours to do. The details are what make the ending result look spectacular. You can tell the experience and professionalism of a makeup artist based on the details they use.
What made you choose QC over all the other makeup schools out there? How do you think QC Makeup Academy has prepared you for working in the field?
QC is known for its professionalism. Because it was flexible with my schedule, I could also continue to be a stay-at-home mom while gaining the experience and knowledge needed to become a makeup artist. The courses were very detailed. They not only taught me the skills to apply makeup properly, but how to also run a business.
This is one of the best parts about QC’s courses. Anyone can learn to apply makeup, but the industrial side is the tough part that a lot of people don’t understand. Having the courses focus so much on this aspect, too, really helps prepare the graduates to build their own businesses.
What’s in store for you in 2020?
2020 is going to be a year of building. With our recent move, I have had to start from scratch by building a new client base. This is a smaller town, so it will be tougher for me. But I have faith and am ready for the challenge!
I also recently gained a huge following on Tik-Tok, and have had the opportunity to work with TTDEYE Contacts. I even had Fenty Beauty by Rihanna reach out to me to participate in a viral online challenge, representing a lip paint they sent me! I hope to keep posting makeup videos on Tik-Tok, and collaborate with a major makeup brand in the future.
Finally, what’s the one makeup product you can’t live without?
My absolute favorite product that I’m constantly using is the NARS concealer. If there is only one product I could use for the rest of time, it would be this. I carry it with me everywhere, just in case. It has fantastic coverage and doesn’t sit heavy on my combination skin.