Photo courtesy Sally Beauty
Celebrity makeup artist Tiffany Ervin.
Tiffany Ervin is the founder and lead makeup artist for Makeup Royalty
in Atlanta, Georgia, a city enjoying popularity as a film production mecca. Currently, there are as many as 50 productions working in and around the city, and Ervin is providing makeup artistry for as many of them as she can, including media for networks such as BET, Bravo and VH1. Check out her Instagram (@makeuproyalty101) to follow her Essence Festival adventures as she joins us here in New Orleans for the Fourth of July weekend. Gambit
caught up with the makeup maven between gigs to talk (beauty) shop.
Gambit: How did you get your start in the aesthetics industry?
Ervin: I started in this field about six or seven years ago. I was transitioning from corporate work and [a career in] child care, and I went to a makeup counter to see if they were hiring. The salesperson looked at my resume and said that I needed much more experience than I had. But, luckily the makeup process came naturally — color matching, skin care — … and I started freelancing. I’m now attending the Elaine Sterling (Institute), and it’s already added so much value to my client services. I’ve learned so much more than I expected.
G: How would you describe your ideal client?
E: My favorite client is the young lady that doesn’t wear makeup. They’re usually terrified! They want to look like themselves still. I like to call this type of makeup “soft glam” … it still has an artistic side but not a lot of bold colors. The person who doesn’t wear makeup is often so surprised to find that they like the way they look.
G: Which clients are the most challenging?
E: The client that already has their own routine. For every single step, they want to see what I’m doing and know exactly what kind of product I’m using. … You want them to trust in you and [remember that] they’ve come to you because they like your work, but … I’ve learned to just let your client be themselves because your job is to create the experience. Just hand them the mirror.
G: How important is skin care?
E: A good skin care regimen is the No. 1 thing you can do to make sure you have a flawless application. If you have clogged pores or dry or dehydrated skin, you can’t get the full potential of flawless coverage.
G: What’s your favorite part of makeup application?
E: Color matching foundations. It’s like mixology. [No one is ever] the exact color right out of the bottle because your face is at least three separate colors. … (Applying foundation) is like painting a canvas, especially with women of color. I think color matching is a really important service.
G: Summer humidity and oily skin are not good bedfellows. Any tips?
E: Don’t look at your oily skin as a downfall. It will keep you looking young. An important thing to know is that oily skin still needs moisturizer — some professionals say that skin will stop producing natural oils (if you use a moisturizer), but there is no scientific proof. … There are studies that say that oily skin can still get dehydrated. Preparation is key. You need to drink lots of water … and look for water-based products — water-based cleansers and moisturizers. Go to Sally’s [Sally Beauty] and get one of their Get Locked primers [by Femme Couture], and get blot powder and blot papers — these won’t disturb makeup. Wash, tone and moisturize (skin). … Toner is good for settling out the pH balance of the face.
G: What are some summer beauty trends?
E: A pop of color on the lid in yellows, oranges and bright blues is hot right now. If that’s not your bottle of Champagne, try just the (eye) liners in bright colors. Palladio makes a great waterproof liner. White eye liner is trending, too. … Bronzer in matte or baked shades — you can’t go wrong. Also, my favorite thing right now is holographic (facial) highlights. It’s a little extra but … it’s different, it’s eye-catching. … It is show-stopping.
G: Any tricks to humidity-proofing makeup?
E: Use a primer based on your skin type, … a setting spray and oil blotting papers. Don’t use an abrasive napkin or paper towel on your face.
G: Any other nuggets of beauty advice?
E: Many women stay away from trying out different makeup products, but the return policy at Sally Beauty is great — it’s no worries shopping, and their cosmetic line is growing rapidly.
G: Any advice for budding aestheticians?
E: Understand that no matter how saturated a market is, you are the brand of you. Only you can do what you do. ... Study. Make a solid plan. What are your career goals? Do you want to be a celebrity makeup artist? Work with special effect makeup? A beauty bar owner? ... Look a the popularity of the career path as a blessing and don't be intimated by it — trust me.