CONCEPTUAL MAGAZINE: Rachel Madison, it is very nice to meet you and get to know you through our platform. We are fortunate to have talented artists, like you, in our community. We are looking forward to learning about what made you the artist you are today and even more excited for our followers meet you and fall in love with your makeup art! Welcome to Conceptual Magazine!
As always, let’s start at the very beginning! Give us some context as to your background.
RM: I am from Indianapolis IN, and currently live in Indianapolis as well. I just turned 19 years old in February, and no children! I do have three adorable cats, a younger brother, and two wonderful parents who I currently live with. I’ve always been very close with my small family; they’ve always been there for me both in my personal life and my career, every step of the way... since day 1.
CM: Tell us what you do exactly. What type of artist are you?
RM: I am a makeup artist and body painter.
CM: You are a makeup artist, body painter, face painter, and model. What came first, when, and why?
RM: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in makeup in general. I always loved having my makeup done wherever I went. It wasn’t until about middle school that I started experimenting more with face and body painting on myself, first. I quickly fell in love with body painting after watching just a few YouTube videos about it; I loved the art behind body painting and how creative you could be with it. So, throughout middle school and my freshman/sophomore year of high school, that was my focus. It wasn’t until, I believe, my junior year that I really started getting into modeling, I’ve always had a fascination for modeling but never thought I could actually do it. There was a girl who went to school with me, who followed me on Instagram, and her mom was a photographer. She told her mom about me and then, shortly after, we set up a shoot with her, which was my first shoot as a model and only the beginning!
CM: As a teenager, you taught yourself in the art of makeup artistry, like you mentioned earlier. What attracted you to makeup artistry? Were you attracted to any type of art or hobby? If so, what?
RM: There were definitely many things that attracted me to makeup artistry. The main reason was the art and creativity behind it, makeup really is an art form and that’s what I love about it. There is no limit to what you can do with it. I used to draw, occasionally, and still do every once in a while. I like to sketch out my ideas for a body paint or makeup for myself, or even a sketch for a client.
CM: At this early age, were you conscious that this would help you cope with the bullying that was occurring to you or did you simply pick up a brush, a makeup product, and begin experimenting?
RM: When I was just starting out with makeup, I definitely wasn’t completely conscious that this would help me get through the bullying that was going on at the time. I really just loved what I was doing and focused on that. When I look back now, I’m so thankful that I had a creative outlet, such as makeup, to take my mind off of whatever was going on at the time, it pushed me through.
CM: Why were you bullied and how was this time for you? How did you deal with it, other than makeup?
RM: When the bullying started happening, it was around middle school and lasted throughout high school. I’ve always had a different style from most people, especially in high school. It was darker and I wore a lot of black, still do! I usually kept to myself and didn’t have very many friends. I think that because of the fact that I was “different” and was busy doing things for my career. People decided to hate on that out of pure jealously. They either tried to start rumors about me, make fun of me, or just ignore me completely. I’ve always been more mature for my age and had friends who were older than me, so sometimes, I found it hard to relate to some of the kids in my age group. This, of course, led to them thinking I was better than them or stuck up, which was not the case at all! Other than makeup getting me through the tough times, I’ve always been taught to be the better person in situations like this. Fighting fire with fire will get you nowhere. I never felt the need to fight back against these people, the “bullies”; I knew that there were better things coming, and I would get through it. I do believe that teaching myself makeup and experimenting with it really did help me through school. I would come home and practice something new on myself whenever I could, it took my mind off of the outside world.
CM: What type of makeup looks did you create as a teenager? Also, did you take photos or videos of the looks you created? If so, did you post them online and what was the result and response of this from others? What about from your parents?
RM: When I was younger and just starting out with makeup and body paint, I, of course, did something fun with my everyday makeup for school and also created a lot of character makeups and body paint after school. I started out with my Facebook and Instagram pages where I would post photos of almost every look I did, whether it was on myself or a friend. I was known as “Face Art FX by Rachel” before, then switching it over to what is now “GlamEffects by Rachel”. After I started posting photos and some videos on social media, I got an overwhelmingly positive response from the people who followed me. I didn’t have a huge following, but I was so appreciative of the ones who loved and continued to follow my journey as an artist. My parents play a huge role in my makeup career. Being as young as I was, my mom of course went with me to every job and event I went was invited to, and I’m so thankful for that. They were constantly so supportive of my career and knew that I was passionate about it; they’re my #1 fans!
CM: You graduated high school and went to cosmetology school, graduating in 2017. Can you share with us your experience of going to cosmetology school? What was your favorite part? What was the most important thing you learned?
RM: I enrolled in and went through the Area31 Career Center my junior and senior year, doing half days at my high school and half days doing cosmetology. I knew that in order to be a legally, working makeup artist I had to get either get my cosmetology or aesthetician license. This seemed like the best option to do just that! Although I wasn’t thrilled about having to do manicures and pedicures, it had to be done! To be done with the program around graduation time, it required us to be there every other Saturday at the salon for 8 hours. I was glad to have my Saturdays back to book more jobs after I graduated! My favorite part of the program was learning about all the different types of fields you could go into within the beauty industry, as well as learning a bit about the business side of things as well. The most important thing about going to cosmetology school I believe is sanitation and how to properly disinfect tools. Whether you’re a hairstylist, makeup artist, nail artist, etc., it’s essential that you know how to use the correct cleaning supplies and what tools to use them on that is safe for your clients.
CM: Are you a hairstylist as well? If so, tell us about this!
RM: I did go to cosmetology school, so, of course, I learned how to do hair. I don’t call myself a hairstylist though. One of the things I learned in cosmetology school is that I hate cutting hair! For some people, it comes naturally to them, for me it did not. I do like to style hair for photo shoots that I’m on set doing makeup for, but I don’t cut and color hair.
CM: Talk to us more about your makeup artistry. After graduating from cosmetology school, what opportunities have you had? You work with photographers. Tell us about the experiences you’ve had with photographers, models, and creating looks for others?
RM: Since I went to cosmetology school through high school, graduating from both at the same time definitely opened more doors for me. One being that I had much more flexibility in my schedule to book more jobs, travel, and do more with my career. Throughout cosmetology school and after finishing school, I’ve had the chance to work with several photographers and models. I haven’t had very many negative experiences with the people I’ve worked with, which I’m so thankful for. I used to be so nervous to work on someone other than myself but once I had models to practice on, it was like second nature for me. Each model I practiced on and each photographer I worked with, I learned something new from.
CM: What has it been like creating a makeup portfolio for yourself? Any photographers you favor? Why? Is it their aesthetic, their work ethic, their personality? What about a model? Any favorites?
RM: When I first started out doing makeup, my portfolio really just consisted of looks on myself, but we all start somewhere! My portfolio has improved drastically since I started, and I’ve become more picky on who I work with. I love working with different photographers and models but it does need to be a project or a shoot that I know will add to my portfolio such as a photographer who produces quality work, a model who knows what they’re doing without having to be coached throughout the shoot, and a hairstylist that will create quality, camera-ready work. Some of my favorite photographers I’ve worked with have been Eric Dawson, Duke Greer, Willyum Baulkey, MADE by Glyde, and many others. These are some of my favorite photographers because of their professionalism and the quality of their work is stunning. I definitely have a few favorite go-to models that I love working with who are reliable, professional, and know what they’re doing: Dakota Bruton, Breya Birdsong, Gabija Guzauskaite, and many more!
CM: What are your favorite kind of makeup looks to create? Is there a specific kind of makeup that is your go to? What kinds of colors and textures do you prefer?
RM: My favorite style of makeup to create is definitely more artistic and abstract, avant garde. There are endless possibilities that can be created from an avant garde inspired makeup. I think there is beauty in simplicity, but stepping out of the box to create something new and interesting is fun too! Of course, it’s also good to know how to create any look the client may want, which is why I don’t focus only on fun, crazy makeup. I’ve always made a joke about how since I wear a lot of black clothing, I express and use color through my makeup. I love experimenting with color and texture, whether that’s in a body paint or beauty makeup. Right now, a popular trend is the glossy lid look, which I love! I find that it’s only really good for editorial looks though, not every day wear. The texture of the gloss on top of any colored lid or eye-shadow is stunning when the light hits it.
CM: Talk to us about your face and body painting! What do we need to know? Tell us all of the details!
RM: Just like in everyday makeup, there are so many different styles of body and face paint! I’ve never personally been a huge fan of doing kids face painting, but there are artists I’ve seen who do it SO well. Not every style of body and face paint is for every artist, and that’s okay! I used to do more character body painting and cosplay with body paint, which was so cool and I got a really positive response from it. Over the years though, my style of body painting has continuously changed and improved, and I hope it will continue to do so!
CM: Your makeup Instagram account looks marvelous! Your work is very good. What is your favorite look that you have shared on your IG account and why?
RM: Thank you very much! Choosing just one look is so hard, but one of my favorite recent makeups was the flower pastel look with a chest piece I just did on myself. That look was so much fun to create and I actually went live on my Instagram and Facebook pages while I did it, and got a great response. I bought the fake flowers from Hobby Lobby and glued them onto the painted background on my chest using liquid latex, as well as painting and detailing each flower with body paint. I love that the look incorporated both beauty and body paint into one finished look.
CM: Do you have a style, when it comes to body painting? What are your favorite things to paint? What have you painted the most of?
RM: My style has definitely been all over the place when it comes to body painting, but I also love that because it gives me the chance to practice more than one style. The more I know about all different styles of body painting, the more jobs I could potentially book. I used to paint a ton of characters and cosplay with body paint, but now my style has changed into more both abstract and detailed pieces.
CM: Have you participated in any body paint competitions? If so, tell us everything!
RM: In October of 2017, I competed as an emerging artist in the Living Art America, North American Body Painting Championship in Greensboro, NC. Being the youngest artist, at 18 years old, in the competition, with no assistant for a full body front and back body painting, I was definitely intimidated! I also knew going into this that it was going to be a challenge. However, I was ready to take it on. I was so glad that I spent quite a bit of time sketching out ideas before the competition, so I would be prepared and ready to go. We had 7 hours to complete the body paint and most of the artists there, including myself, used every minute of it. My model, Dakota, was such a trooper throughout the processes and was so much fun to work with. This was the first time I got to work with people who do what I do and seeing everyone’s work and how different they all were was absolutely incredible. It was such an amazing experience that I’m so glad I was a part of it.
CM: What goes through your mind when you are in the process of bodypainting or doing makeup?
RM: When I’m in the process of body painting, I try to keep my mind focused on the job at hand. Once I get going with a paint or makeup, I have so many ideas running through my head, but I’ve learned to write them down or make a note of it and weed out what I want or don’t want for that specific makeup, or more importantly what the client wants.
CM: Tell us about your workflow.
RM: I love working on my craft whenever I can, as well as learning as much as I can. Whenever I’m at a job and on set, I think it’s so important to show up looking put together, prepared, professional, and ready to work hard and even go the extra mile if need be.
CM: What has been your favorite or most powerful experience when doing a collaboration (or even using yourself as a model) and doing makeup or body/face painting?
RM: My favorite part of a collaboration is the end product. I’ve done a ton of collaborations in the past and every time it amazes me how everyone contributes so much to the end result. Everyone has their own thoughts and ideas which combine into something beautiful that I’m proud to be a part of.
CM: What are your favorite brands or products to work with when creating makeup looks and/or bodypainting?
RM: I do have certain brands and products that I love using for both body paint and makeup. As far as body paint, Graftobian Makeup is always a go-to, their Pro Paint body paints are some of my favorites, and I’ve used them on clients more times than not. Since I was about 14 or 15, they have constantly supported me throughout the years. So not only are they a great brand with amazing people, their products are great as well! For beauty makeup, I love using several different brands of makeup and products. Makeup Forever, Morphe, Urban Decay, and Cinema Secrets are just a few of my favorite brands to use.
CM: What are you inspired by? Also, are you inspired by any other artists?
RM: The list could go on and on by what I’m inspired by. I think the world around us is inspiration within itself, such as nature, buildings and architecture, the weather, etc. Pinterest is also a great source for inspiration with any craft you’re in. Over the years, I’ve used Pinterest for a ton of inspiration for my makeup and body paints. There is so much artwork on there like paintings, drawings, other makeup, body paint, and face paint, and so much more. Whenever I recreate someone’s work that I love from any social media, I think it’s so important to give the original artist credit. I’ve even had people recreate or do their version of my makeups or body paint, which is always mind-blowing! A few artists that I’ve been inspired by since I started my makeup career have been Jordan Liberty, Kevin James Bennett, Sir John, Nick Lujan, Madeyewlook by Lex, and many more.
CM: You dream of doing movie and celebrity makeup! Tell us about this!
RM: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of doing movie makeup and celebrity makeup. I love that with films, there is no limit to what you can do with makeup. With so many genres of films, the makeup that can be done could be as simplistic or dramatic as needed to transform a character and bring it to life. I admire artists who work with the big time celebrities; it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and knowledge to get to that point. I plan on working my way up to get to that point as well.
CM: Tell us a bit or a summary of your accomplishments. What are your favorite accomplishments in your makeup career?
RM: Looking back on everything I’ve done in my makeup career and at such a young age really does amaze me; I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I could. Some of my favorite accomplishments have been competing as an emerging artist in the Living Art America North American Body Painting Championship in Greensboro, NC October 14, 2017, interviewing on the local RTV6 news station, interviewing on Fox59 morning news show for a Halloween body/face paint, live body painting, seminar and makeup for Graftobian Make-Up Co. at The Makeup Show in Chicago June 2017, a live interview on local WISHTV8 Indy Style morning news show for makeup, and getting featured as Rising Star for Make-Up Artist Magazine in the Fall of 2017.
CM: You say you have always had a passion for fashion! Tell us about that!
RM: Fashion has always been a big part of my life. I was, definitely, the girl in school who picked out a full outfit the night before almost every day. I always wanted to look my best, it made me feel confident. I also love styling other people’s outfits, whether it’s for a photo shoot or just an everyday outfit. I worked at the clothing store, Akira, this last year as a stylist for a little while to expand my knowledge on fashion and get more experience in that field.
CM: Let's talk about modeling. What is your favorite part about it?
RM: My favorite part of modeling is that every time I do a shoot, I play a different character, a different persona. Modeling is like acting in a way and I love that. Some people think that, in modeling, you just stand there while someone takes your photo, but there is so much more to it. Just like makeup, modeling is also my creative outlet.
CM: What are your favorite accomplishments to date, with modeling? Which has been your favorite shoot?
RM: Some of my favorite accomplishments with modeling have been modeling in a commercial for DV Entertainment Pictures LLC Submerge 51 Unisex Perfume Oil, walking in Midwest Fashion Week for multiple designers, and being published in several magazines such as Embrace Beauty Magazine, Gilded Magazine, Beau Nu Magazine, Obscurae Magazine, and many more! Its so hard to pick just one favorite shoot! In general though, some of my absolute favorite photo shoots have been editorials and high fashion.
CM: Talking about the commercial, tell us about that experience. What was production like?
RM: Starring in the commercial for the Submerge 51 Unisex Perfume Oil was an incredible experience! That was the first time where I was working on set as an actress in a professional setting like that, with a huge team of people. It was awesome to see how everyone’s hard work came together to produce that commercial. Being my first time really acting definitely made me nervous, but I loved it!
CM: You’ve walked the runway! What has been your favorite show?
RM: I absolutely love walking the runway, even though I am 5’8 and most of the time designers require models to be at least 5’9 or 5’10. Whenever I get the chance to walk for a designer, of course I take it! It’s so cool to see how different every designer is and their style is. My favorite runway show has been Midwest Fashion Week; I walked in it in 2016 and again this year. There is always a huge amount of people who attend this show and the designers are so unique!
CM: What are your dreams with modeling? Where do you want to take your modeling career?
RM: Recently, I’ve been looking into different agencies for both makeup and modeling, but eventually I would love to sign with a bigger agency such as BMG, No Ties, IMG, or Wilhelmina, while still having a career in makeup as well.
CM: Talk to us about both of your Instagram accounts! How do you use them? How do they best work for you? Do they attract clients? How much time do you devote to your accounts? Do you manage them yourself?
RM: When I was first starting out in this industry, I just had one main Instagram for makeup, modeling, and personal posts, as well as a business Facebook page. After a while, it got to be way too cluttered, so I split my Instagram into two accounts, one for makeup and body paint and the other account for modeling and personal photos. I’m so glad I have separate accounts because it makes it so much easier to manage, and for clients to find me as well. I’ve gotten a ton of work from my social media, which has been amazing! Social media is huge right now, so the more I post and keep my name out there, the better! I try to post at least once a day or once every other day depending on what I have going on and what content I have to post.
CM: You have a YouTube channel! Tell us about it and about your tutorials?
RM: I actually started my YouTube channel when I was about 14 years old, when I started getting more into makeup. I posted tutorials about face paint, body paint, beauty makeup, and some reviews. I haven’t posted a tutorial in a while because of the fact that it does take a lot of time to film and upload, and my focus has been more about booking jobs and clients. I do, however. plan to get back to filming videos for my YouTube that are more a lot more informative and educational. I want to share my knowledge and what I’ve learned about the industry!
CM: Talk to us about your Facebook page. You seem to be really active on there!
RM: My Facebook page is similar to both of my Instagram accounts. It’s another great platform where I can post my work and keep my name out in the world as well. Unlike Instagram, I only have one Facebook page, GlamEffects by Rachel, for both makeup and modeling because I can keep everything separated and organized into albums, therefore it’s easier for clients and people who follow my page to navigate through it.
CM: What is your ultimate goal? Where do you want to take your career?
RM: My ultimate goal for both makeup and modeling would generally be to eventually travel the world, live in California while I work, have a well-known and reputable name. More specifically though, eventually, I want to open up a makeup school in California that teaches everything from the basics of beauty makeup to extreme theatrics. I would love to have my own makeup line as well and continue to model for as long as I can.
CM: Any important projects that you are working on? Do you have any projects in the books for the future?
RM: I, definitely, have several projects in the works right now. I do have quite a few prom appointments and wedding makeups booked that I have coming up, as well as photo shoots and editorials both locally and out of state. I love that my job is sporadic, there isn’t a set schedule. You never know what could come next!
CM: What else would you like us and our followers to know about you?
RM: One of the biggest things that I want people to know about me is that I really am a humble, down-to-earth person. I have such an incredible, supportive family, which I believe has shaped me to be the person I am today. My fans and supporters I do have, mean the world to me, and I appreciate them so much.
CM: What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you first began?
RM: A huge piece of advice I could give myself when I was just beginning with makeup is to never discredit or doubt yourself. I struggle with that even now sometimes, I’ll get so down thinking that I’m not good enough, but I think every artist struggles with that. We are our own worst critic. The important part is that you pick yourself right back up and keep going.
CM: What advice would you give to those who are beginning their journey on a similar path and yours?
RM: The advice I would give to those who are just beginning in this industry would be to never stop learning and growing. Whether you’re a professional or beginner artist in the beauty industry, it is constantly changing. Keeping up to date with both today’s trends and older trends is SO important, the more you know the better! Never stop learning and growing as both an artist and in your personal life. Don’t ever give up on what you’re truly passionate about.