• MTL Blog got the chance to speak with two Montreal makeup artists who are among the most recognized in the city: Claudia Vitorino and Jessica Abouwaked.
  • We discussed many aspects of the beauty industry and they gave advice for any aspiring makeup artists.
  • Read the interviews and see glimpses of their work below!

Some artists paint, some draw, some write, and some do makeup. As a lover of all things beauty, I went searching for some of Montreal's best makeup artists and stumbled upon two women who I ended up getting blessed with the chance to interview. These two makeup artists are Claudia Vitorino and Jessica Abouwaked, who are otherwise known around the city by their Instagram handles: @claudiav.mua and @aj.makeup.

These two women are both freelance artists who have managed to make a career out of their passion for makeup. Claudia and Jessica are inspirations to any aspiring makeup artists and any freelancer actively working to grow their business — no matter what the field.

These artists equally demonstrate the great things that can come out of working hard for something you want, as well as the beauty of working in a field you love.

During the interviews, I got to ask Claudia and Jessica questions about what it's like to work it in the beauty industry, if Montreal is a good place to try and build a makeup career in, what advice they would give to any aspiring makeup artists, and more.

These two artists both use social media, mainly Instagram, to promote their work. Doing such has been a success for them considering these two artists have both had their work recognized internationally — not just in Montreal.

How did you get involved in the beauty industry?

Claudia: "I actually discovered my passion for makeup around four years ago. Right when YouTube makeup tutorials were super popular. I was amazed at how you could enhance your features using makeup. And from that moment, I realized that makeup was my thing."

"I started doing makeup for my friends and my family and quickly realized I had a talent for makeup application. Six months into my career, I started getting noticed by international beauty brands. And I've been doing it every day since then."

Jessica: "I got involved in the beauty industry when I decided to follow my passion for makeup. When I started, I worked very hard. I was happy doing what other people didn’t wanna do."

"My main goal was to be part of many different projects, practice on different people, and build my personal clientele. In my first year, I worked on fashion shows, hair shows, TV shows, photoshoots and magazines. I was very hungry for success and one project led to another."

How did you start gaining such a large following? Did it happen gradually or in a short period of time?

Claudia: "Since I began my adventure as a makeup artist, I've been lucky to have a platform like Instagram to promote my services. I think the combo of showing off my work and my personal life on the same page works best for gaining followers because it's very authentic. It's always about beauty, but I make it personal."

"Another way that I've gained a huge wave of followers is through content creation. I really like experimenting with makeup, sharing the final looks with my followers, and tagging the makeup brands along the way. Working with local and international influencers has also helped me gain such a following."

Jessica: "I’ve had my page for the past five years now and slowly people started knowing me as Montreal makeup artist for brides, glam makeup, and fashion campaigns. And, their love for makeup got people interested in supporting my work."

"I also think that having a clean and specific style helped me gain some visibility."

What's your favourite part about what you do?

Claudia: "That's a hard question. I'd have to say making women look and feel their best — it's a magical feeling. Once you finish a makeup session and you see them look in the mirror, it always melts my heart and really reminds me why I love what I do so much."

"I also get the chance to meet amazing people — I end up becoming friends with a lot of my clients. And, every day is different. I don't always deliver the same look, I don't always work with the same faces. So, it never gets boring. I've also been so lucky to get the opportunity to travel for work."

Jessica: "My favourite part will always be the satisfaction of giving good faces. Because being a makeup artist is not only applying shadows and light to the face. We create memories — it’s an experience."

"They won’t remember what you did but they will definitely remember the confidence they had and how beautiful they felt. That is by far the best feeling ever." 

What advice or tips would you give to any inspiring makeup artists?

Claudia: "I would say to always stay true to yourself, to your style, to your personality. Every artist is different, that's the beauty of the industry. Also, keep practicing. Never stop going, never stop learning and never be too hard on yourself."

"It's easy with this generation to compare yourself all the time, but we're all different. Stay ambitious, push yourself to have more goals. Staying true to yourself will make your work stand out."

Jessica: "It’s going to sound very cliché, but in being a makeup artist, you have to sacrifice a lot to be successful. Get ready to work hard and be dedicated to your goals."

"You can never stay in your comfort zone, you have to be open to constructive criticism because art is subjective and very important never give up because giving up won't allow you to get better. The world of makeup can take you very far if you trust the process."

Is Montreal a good place to get involved with the industry?

Claudia: "I love Montreal — it's a beautiful city. I truly believe that if you're passionate about something, you can make it anywhere. I'm definitely aware that Montreal isn't the biggest city for makeup, especially if we're talking price point."

"For example, in Toronto, you could make double what you make in Montreal. So, it really depends on the outlook of your work and what your goal is behind it."

Jessica: "I think Montreal is getting there — with social media and the beauty industry booming. These past couple of years, it's been easier to show your work and connect with brands and build an audience than it was before."

"People and companies are giving a lot more importance to the looking good feeling good aspect of life, work and pleasure. So, in my opinion, everyone has a chance!"

Do you have future plans for your business?

Claudia: "I have a very exciting upcoming project. It's going to be a kind of booking platform that's going to make it easy for anyone in the city to book a makeup artist in the city. It will also help empower other makeup artists since I will have a group of them working together as a team."

"It's going to expand what I've been doing already. So, stay tuned Montrealers!"

Jessica: "Yes, absolutely. I’m at a point in my life where I want to share my knowledge with other upcoming makeup artists!"

"This year, 2020, I am opening a school for future makeup artists. Stay tuned!" 

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