Here, we caught up with the effervescent makeup artist and mother of three to talk about how she got her start in the industry, her reputation as the sculpting savant, what it's like working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, her secret trick for getting lusher lashes, and how she keeps that positive attitude amidst all the craziness.
How did you get your start in the industry?
"Originally, I was pre-med in college — I wanted to be a dermatologist because I always loved skin, but I couldn't deny my passion for makeup. I never had a problem with working hard, no matter what, so basically I did every job possible. I worked for free, I never said no, never turned down a job. I had some great friends that gave me some chances to work, and it just started building from there!"
When did your love of makeup first begin?
"My love affair with all things glam started at a young age. I started experimenting with makeup on my mother, an incredible beauty who was, and continues to be, my biggest inspiration."
Who are some of your favorite stars to work with?
"I love working with all of them — from Beyoncé to Jennifer Lopez, to Celine Dion to Le Ann Womack. Each one of them is special and brings forth their inner beauty first, which makes everything else easy for me."
How did your makeup line, Mally Beauty, come about?
"I started Mally Beauty in 2005. I was working as a celebrity makeup artist, and as the spokesperson for Sephora, so I literally had every beauty line at my disposal, but there wasn't anything out there I really loved or that really lived up to its claims. I would spend hours creating these concoctions and developing special methods of applications so that my clients could go out there, shake their booties, and not have their eyeliner running down their cheeks!"
"It was a long process, but, in the end, that knowledge has helped me create some really amazing and revolutionary products for my own line. I wanted to give women not only the high-performance products, but also the education on how to use them, so they could bring out the beauty within."
Photo: Courtesy of Mally Beauty
You've got quite the reputation as a master as contouring — how did you learn the art of sculpting?
"To be perfectly honest, I was being a little bit selfish when I learned the art of contouring! I wanted to master it so I could do it to myself! I contour every single one of my clients; not one of them leaves the makeup chair without it."
"My number one secret is to start contouring before you even apply your foundation. I like to use a concealer that is one-to-two shades darker and one-to-two shades lighter to contour and highlight the face. The darkness will make everything recede, so apply to the hollows of the cheeks, down either side of the nose, at the temples, and along the top of the forehead. The lightness will bring everything forward, so apply to the cheekbones, down the center of the nose, in the center of the forehead, on the brow bone, on either sides of the mouth, and in the center of the chin. Gently soften any harsh lines with your fingers, but don't blend it out completely. Finish by applying your foundation as you normally would."
What's your makeup pet peeve?
"That women are still using makeup from 100 years ago! What I mean by that is they’re still using 'translucent powder,' which is not translucent! It gives you an aged, cakey, ghost-white looking. This is why I created the Evercolor Poreless Face Defender. I never leave the house without applying a finishing touch of this, which protects your makeup and your skin to leave your complexion looking younger, fresher, and flawless. It’s the world’s first-ever clear powder, and it diminishes the appearance of pores and fine lines without leaving behind that dry, ashy look of traditional powders."
What's one makeup product you think every woman should own?
"A good black mascara can open up and define your eyes in an instant. Instead of pulling the wand outward when you apply it, use the wand to direct the lashes in toward the bridge of the nose. This helps create what I like to call a 'starburst' or blossom effect, which helps make the eye appear wider and more awake looking. Also, don't forget to apply mascara to the bottom lashes — an absolute must to create a beautiful frame for your eyes."
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring makeup artists?
"In the world of makeup artistry, I have met more makeup artists that want to be 'stars' than I can count. What I have found in my experience is that it's the ones who are able to adapt to different needs and willing to work hard and learn new techniques that are the most successful. There are so many times where you'll go on a shoot or be working with a client and what they want is not exactly your style, but you have to make it work and give them what they want."
How do you manage to say so positive and bubbly all of the time?
"I have lived with a positive mindset ever since I was a child. When I was 2 years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors only gave her a few months, but we ended up living together for 15 amazing years. Each day was a blessing for us and my father, and we truly cherished each moment. Now that I am a mother, I can't help but do the same with my children. Between them, my incredible husband, Phil, and my supportive, talented team, I just feel so fortunate. Surrounding yourself with the right people is so important to having a positive attitude! Nothing is worse than being on a set or at a job and there is that one person that just does not want to be there — that kind of negative energy is so toxic and just not nice to be around. I'm also a big fan of yoga and meditation. My father taught me the fine art of meditation at a young age, and it has saved me over the years."
Photo: Via QVC