I wanted to give a little introduction to my favorite hair and makeup artist, Steffanie. I originally met her when I needed my make-up done for an event. And let me tell you…I am NOT an easy make up client.
I’ve had my makeup professionally done three times in my life. The first time was for my maternity session; I hated it in person but the pictures turned out amazing. So that makeup artist did know what she was doing…I just hated how thick it felt.
The second time was for a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in…I hated that look as well (and it felt so so so heavy for someone who never wears foundation). But based on my last experience I trusted that the pictures would turn out good at least. They did not. As heavy as the makeup felt; that’s how heavy it looked in the pictures.
The THIRD time I had my makeup done…was by Steffanie. And it was AMAZING. All of it. Did it feel a little heavier than what I normally wear? Yes…because I don’t wear foundation. But the fact that I loved how it looked in person said everything. And of course it photographed amazing as well.
But Steffanie listened to what I wanted and what I didn’t. Plus she introduced me to products that I still use to this day (and that was at least 2 years ago).
So when I started searching for a makeup artist to include in all of my high school senior sessions I knew exactly who I wanted to team up with. I’ve always been so confident in Steffanie’s work because I experienced it myself.
And every one of this year’s high school seniors and their mom have absolutely loved her and her work which just confirms that she is the best of the best!
So to welcome her and fully introduce her I interviewed the lovely Steffanie from Artistry by Steffanie…and it went like this:
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into makeup, and what made you want to be a makeup artist?
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, but I do know that in 6th grade I was obsessed with stealing my mom’s mascara (and constantly getting in trouble for that). From there, I distinctly remember having my makeup done for my 10th grade homecoming at a MAC counter. I wore a pink and black checkered dress and had a matching pink glossy lip- a gloss that I held onto for a long time! In addition to that experience, I was really into watching makeover shows and just thought it was amazing what a hairdresser and makeup artist could do. I knew I wanted to be in the beauty industry, and even considered cosmetology.
Ultimately, I decided that hair wasn’t for me, and I chose to follow a career in makeup. I just love how much it can change a person’s day by creating a look they love!
What famous artists or celebrities have influenced you, and how?
Well, I love Sandy Linter! She has so many amazing stories from NYC in the 70s! So many covers of Vogue and such beautiful timeless work. I also enjoy Kevyn Aucoin. His transformations on celebrities is fascinating! As for celebrities, there’s so many! Awhile back I shared on Instagram some iconic music video looks which included: Christina Aguilera in Come On Over & Moulin Rouge, Aaliyah in Try Again, Gwen Stefani (in everything). In addition, I of course love the classics: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, etc.
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
My signature look is, well- not everyone’s favorite, but I love a soft eye with a red lip! However, my most common I do, is a soft eye (matte or shimmer) in muted rose tones, and a rose pink lip. I think what sets me apart is that I do ask for feedback during the look, and I like to check in with those who may feel nervous- ultimately you have to be comfortable!
How should seniors prepare themselves for their make-up session?
Make sure you’re well rested and hydrated! That’s key! I typically do skin prep- but have a clean face, no product! Also, have a few ideas of what you’d like, and outfits picked out.
What is your favorite makeup look for high school seniors?
That’s a tough question! Every senior is so unique, however, I love making the eyes pop with lashes and a neutral lip that pops!
In your opinion, how does professional hair and make-up enhance a portrait session?
Well, for one- it’s one less thing for the client to stress or be frustrated about! It also means you’ll get the best pay off for your photos. No better felling than getting your photos and having everything look perfect!
What happens if a senior is not happy with their final look?
I definitely do my best to avoid this! I consistently ask for feedback, and that’s why it’s also best to stick with makeup options you know you would feel comfortable in! My best advice to avoid this is that if I ask how you’re feeling, if we should add more or take away- you give me your honest opinion! Also, so much easier in the time to change things. We can always add more, but it’s much harder to take away.
What measures do you take to ensure that you are being sanitary with your makeup applications?
This is so important! All brushes are clean, powders wiped, and new reusable sponges (that clients can keep) for each one. Also, I always use disposables for lipsticks. If I use a liquid eyeliner, it gets wiped with alcohol first. I also wipe down my work space with disinfecting wipes, and lay a towel or paper towels down to keep everything protected.
If you would like to check out more of Steffanie’s work you can follow her on Instagram @steffanie.mua or you can visit her website here.
Christine Lee Photography is a high school senior and family photographer; specializing in senior portraits, maternity, and family photography in Plant City, Lakeland, Riverview, Apollo Beach, and Tampa, Florida.