She's Definitely Worth It! - Celeb Makeup Artist Brandy Gomez-Duplessis
This week’s Image Maker is an awesome example of persevering through storms, how hard work and dedication pays off and why it’s important to understand why you must crawl before you walk… and why the backstabbing needs to stop, and why landing that big celeb is not always only about talent. Get to know Brandy Gomez-Duplessis…
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: I have been in the industry for 12 plus years…wow that’s a long time, right?
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Yes, you've definitely put in some time. Brandy, when did you know you wanted to become a makeup artist?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: I have always been in love with beauty, fashion, and hair. So, I knew I was going to always work in this field. Growing up as a kid I didn’t have any makeup artist that inspired me I was mostly inspired by old Hollywood actresses and drag queens (laughing).
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Did you receive any formal education prior to launching your career?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: Actually, I am a self taught makeup artist. As a kid I always loved sketching & painting. Being the only child I would sit in my room and draw, make clothing and paint my walls all the time. My allowance would go to fabric, sketch pads, and paint.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Wow, dedicated from the start, love it! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and makeup artists specifically?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: The biggest misconceptions that I hear all the time are that makeup artists live a GLAM life 24/7. A lot of upcoming makeup artists or people assume we wake up late, drink CRISTAL all day, ride around in limos, work for a few hours and then we party with celebrities in sleep around the rest of the evening. SO SO FALSE! Stop believing reality TV people (laughing).
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I completely agree I think the images of the hair stylists and makeup artists and how they are portrayed on those shows are very misleading. So Ms. Brandy, tell us when was your first "big" break and what was it?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: Some people think I made it because I have worked with clients like the Kardashians, OPRAH/O Magazine, and because I tour in work a lot with L’OREAL cosmetics. I haven’t made it yet (laughing). I am so not PAT MCGARTH-SHE’S A MAKEUP ICON…I am aiming for that title. I did recently work at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami, which was big for me that I actually cried the first night after working with ED HARDY designers.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Yes, the L’Oreal team... What do you do for them? How do you get selected for such a prestigious gig?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: I was blessed to work one small assignment with them as a replacement (Makeup Consultant) 5 years ago and after the assignment was over I received a call that everyone loved my work and my fast knowledge of the products was exceptional.
The next year, I went through one of the worst things I have ever experienced, HURRICANE KATRINA. One of the ladies at L’OREAL reached out to me. She knew I needed to work after losing my home and my makeup studio. She asked me if I was mentally ready to get back to work. In two days she sent me a current book with everything I needed to know about L’OREAL and the rest is history.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Wow! That's incredible, that "chance" happening and your performance opened the window to such an awesome opportunity when you needed it most, what a blessing! Congrats to you for overcoming such a horrific circumstance, we know that some people are still struggling to regain some sense of normality even now.
So, with all that you have going on what’s a typical working day like for you, if there is such thing as typical!?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: TYPICAL…What’s that (laughing)? Every day is so different. Some days I awake at 3am or 4am and work about 13-15 hours shifts. Some days I can start in the afternoon and work all evening on set. Some days it’s glam when a car picks me up to bring me to my client's hotel or home and for 3-5 hours it’s stressful but fab at the same time. Everybody from the client, hair, wardrobe, assistants, managers, and just extras are all in the room pulling at the client putting their two-cents in and we are all trying to do our part. Then later the evening is relaxed and I am backstage watching my work on the monitor. But every day is a blessing and I am doing what I love. Would not change my crazy schedule for nothing.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Brandy, it seems that every up and coming makeup and hairstylists wants to work with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: I am so glad you asked me this questions (laughing). I wish someone would have shared this with me. Because I have never had a mentor everything I have done has all been learned through trial-in error. Everybody wants the fast and easy way to fame and some have stepped on and back stabbed each other to get there. But I am here to tell you to STOP! The secret to working with a celebrity is not all 100% based on TALENT. It’s about who you know, getting along with the crew, how you look, and how much butt you can kiss. It’s not about you; it’s what the talent wants.
You have to click or gel with that celebrity. It’s not about you making them look good because they can find artists/stylists to make them look good. You have to gel with them, with their crew and if not then you won’t get called back. Two examples; I received a call from a top female rapper's manager. The first thing she asked me if I look like I do on my website. She loved my work but the artist will have a problem with how I look and would I be willing to tone down and look more butch. So, I lost that assignment actually full time job.
The last example; I was told during an assignment if I could make one talent look less attractive than the other because the A-list talent was not as attractive. And if I could also take some of my makeup off and pull my hair back because the A-List talent's husband would be on set and I was his type.
Guess what I never worked with that client again as well, we had gotten along and exchanged phone numbers. Plus, I never looked in her husband direction after the production company told me that. So again, it’s not always about your talent. All this time I too thought it was about talent
Your best bet if you are serious about working in the industry is to look at other areas in the industry. But if that’s your "thang", then you will do well.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you hire assistants, do any mentoring for young artists or provide any workshops or training?
Brandy Gomez-Duplessis: I did when I had my studio helping other makeup artists, hair stylists, and stylists. But it’s so hard babysitting when newcomers don’t understand the old term “You have to crawl before you walk”.
Now, I have an out of town crew that I can call and I know if I need them to work an assignment they will produce. Not everybody is cut out for early call times, and long hours. I miss a lot of parties, concerts, movies, even my own wedding anniversary, my birthday, my kids first day of school, and etc. Because this is what I asked GOD for I just can’t not just show up because I'd rather be partying. It doesn’t matter how much MAC makeup you have in your kit if you’re not going to work hard, and learn the correct industry etiquette it does not matter. You have to EAT, SLEEP, BREATHE YOUR CRAFT. Pay your dues and when it’s your time I promise, GOD will allow others to see you.
Enough said! (laughing) Thank you Brandy for such a candidly informative and inspiring interview, we can't wait to see what you're up to next your future shines incredibly bright! For more information on MS. Gomez-Duplessis visit her website, also be certain to follow her blog and twitter for some behind the scene pictures of her beauty exploration.
Ciao for now...Class is Dismissed!