Beauty | Career

Makeup Artists Dish On Common Mistakes, Must-Have Products And More!

A common myth of being a professional makeup artist means spending quality time with A-list celebs, working flexible hours and getting paid to create something unique and beautiful. While these may be some perks of a career in the makeup world, this industry is no joke. Pursuing a career in the beauty universe takes determination, a higher education with the city’s best makeup schools and a ton of willpower.


We got the chance to interview three professional makeup artists, all found within the bustling city of Toronto. Meet Jessica Salvatore, the bubbly local who was handpicked to get our very own Jessica Harwood’s makeup done for the JUNO Awards, Stephanie Daga, the powerful founder of “BlushPretty”, a booming beauty business, and Esteban Ortiz, the compelling graduate of College of Makeup Art and Design, who often has celeb clientele! All three artists are driven, passionate and eager to get their feet dipped in bronzer. Ever wondered what the biggest makeup secret is? Or the one product we all gotta have? How about the makeup regime that works on just about anyone? We’ve got you covered. Read on for three very real, very remarkable Q&A’s with three of Toronto’s budding makeup artists.

What is the biggest makeup secret you can share with us?

Jessica: I’m not sure it’s much of a secret but if you make a fishy face and suck your cheeks in, you are guaranteed to create the best contour along your cheekbones. Looks hilarious but it really does work!

Stephanie: A little bit of makeup goes a long way. Often times you will find someone who says, “I can’t do makeup, it takes up too much time”, but the truth is, it’s just about one product: a feel good lipstick, a lengthening mascara, a brow pencil. Just one product can make a difference—I swear!

Esteban: The more you practice, the more you get better at it. Always practice, practice, practice!

What are some of the most common makeup mistakes someone can make?

Jessica: I find that a lot of common mistakes are made while highlighting and contouring. Most people assume highlighting and contouring is the same for every face but there are different techniques for different face shapes.

Stephanie: To continuously follow the trends. It’s great to pick up a lipstick or a nail polish in the latest shade—but you should never constantly change your look to stay on top of the trends. Not all trends work for everyone. Everyone should have a go-to face that makeup application that takes them just five or seven minutes, but leaves them pulled together and polished.

Esteban: A lot of people choose the wrong shades and textures of foundations. If you can see the foundation on your face, you’ve got the wrong product!

What tips would you offer to someone who’s beginning to experiment with makeup?

Jessica: My biggest tip for a beginner is to make as many mistakes as you possibly can. The only way you’ll ever learn to create the best winged eyeliner is if you mess it up the first ten times. My second tip is to take your time. Learn as much as you can by watching videos, listening to pros and taking in as much information from people who know a little bit more than you do. Lastly, never be afraid to fail. Failing doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It means that you just have to continue to give it your all and learn from your mistakes.

Stephanie: Take your time and do your research. The great thing about today’s internet is beauty blogs and reviews. Before you purchase, read what others have to say. Do not sink tons of money on stuff until you read about them. Remember to invest your budget wisely putting most of your budget to staples like concealer, foundation and skincare, while saving a bit on your “of the moment” pieces like a seasonal coloured blush or eye shadow.

Esteban: Remember that makeup can really do wonders! It can completely change your face and turn you into a different person. It can also temporary fix imperfections and refine your features.

What is one makeup product that everyone should have?

Jessica: Mascara all the way. I feel like the first thing people notice about you is your eyes. Mascara just gives you that natural but chic look. Just a little bit makes the biggest difference; it opens up your eyes. For people who are not so keen on eye makeup, I say lipstick. I feel like it allows you to express yourself through the colours you choose and you just look bold. Bold is always great!

Stephanie: A moisturizing product for the skin. This is key. Whether it’s a cream, a lotion, or face oil—keeping the skin clean, smooth and soft is the best “makeup” ever!

Esteban: Clear lip-gloss.

What is a makeup regime that works on just about everyone?

Jessica: I use the same makeup regime on practically everyone. I start with the eye shadow then move to foundation, highlighting and contouring. After blending and adding some blush, I use a setting powder to keep it all in place. Then I move to the eyeliner if they want it, then the brows and then I finish the look with a nice lip! I find it the easiest to work in these steps.

Stephanie: That’s easy—concealer where needed, mascara, and a swipe of tinted lip balm or gloss. This will get you through school, through a trip to a mall, or a workout at the gym!

Esteban: I love using a full coverage foundation, a great mascara and black gel eyeliner.

Here are some stellar some work examples of these three powerhouses. Jessica’s up first (here she is working on our very own Jessica Harwood for the JUNO awards—we like to keep our makeup team close to the family!):


Next, we have Stephanie:



And finally, Esteban:



For anyone interested in a career in the makeup industry, our advice is to remember that practice always makes perfect! Grab your friends and your family and practice your talents on them. It’s a great way to experiment with the tools you have and use these resources to experiment with different looks and themes. Keep in mind that research also takes you far. If you’re yearning to get your foot in the beauty industry, study and know your facts. Reach out to other local makeup artists and ask them for any advice they can give you. Never be afraid to ask for help. And finally, have fun with it. The beauty (pun intended) of being in such a creative industry is that you get to show off your crafty side. Jessica, Stephanie and Esteban never hold back with their imagination and the wonders of makeup. If they can make it big, so can you!

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