Makeup By Lauren Nicole is owned by Lauren Cirillo. Lauren Cirillo is a professional freelance, destination, and internationally published makeup artist providing on-site services for women and men for any occasion. Lauren specialises in high profile events, weddings, television/film, and corporate production.
Hey Lauren, can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Lauren Cirillo, owner, and operator of Make up by Lauren Nicole. I am based out of Charlotte, North Carolina where I live with my Fiancé and our two fur babies. Outside of my passion for beauty and artistry, I am a huge advocate for animal rights, primarily focused on educating my clients and social media audience on the truths behind animal testing and encouraging everyone to make more compassionate choices when purchasing their products. Beauty and Glamour should not involve cruelty to any living soul and I love educating everyone about alternative choices and doing whatever I can to help bring animal testing to an end.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
When I was little I would watch my mom do her makeup, in awe of the whole process. Watching her do her eyeliner was my favorite part, she always had the perfect cat eye. So I started practicing on anyone who would let me touch their face -my mom’s friends, my friends, my sister’s friends ( who were like 7 at the time haha! ), our babysitters, I mean anyone who came over to our house was getting a makeover!
When I was 19 years old, I worked my first wedding, then I went on to work for Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, and CHANEL, I even got a gig to work a fashion show for New York fashion week ( by sheer luck, someone got sick and they needed another artist ASAP ). It was shortly after that experience that I truly knew this wasn’t just something fun for me, it wasn’t just a hobby. This was what fed my soul. It’s what I was meant to do. Unfortunately, it didn’t always pay the bills so I had to work other jobs outside of the beauty industry to support myself until I had really gained the clientele and exposure to be able to do this alone. I also needed to take a leap of faith and trust in myself, which took some time.
I never stopped doing makeup though, no matter what my other jobs were, or how many jobs I had at once ( I think 4 was my max ), I was still booking work as an artist. At the end of 2016 I put in my notice at my corporate job I had been working at for 3 years and February 1st, 2017 I officially became my own boss. Makeup By Lauren Nicole was ready to stand on her own and while it hasn’t been easy, I’m very proud of how my business has grown, how I’ve grown, and I’m really excited to see how I continue to evolve as an entrepreneur and an artist.
How did you get a head start in the industry?
I worked hard. I studied artistry, beauty tips, best products to use, and I shared my knowledge with anyone who would listen to me. I became that friend everyone came to with beauty questions.
I did a lot of faces, for free just so I could have the photos to show my work! I knew what companies I wanted to work for and I borderline stalked them until they gave me a job. Early on I took advantage of social media before I even knew how powerful it could be. Posting photos of how I had done my own makeup and what products I had used, posting photos of any face I touched, even if it was just putting eye shadow on at the makeup counter that day.
I even received negative feedback from people. “why do you always post makeup selfies, why do you do the same look on people”, “no one cares about that stuff.” I didn’t let that discourage me, because while I share with everyone else, I was finding myself, finding my own unique style, and perfecting every skill I had and figuring out what skills I needed to be noticed even more. I did a really good job of making myself known, even when people didn’t care.
What is it that you love about make-up, and at what point did you know you could make it into a career?
Makeup is powerful. It’s unique. It’s empowering. It’s individualised. I love that even if two clients request the same colours and “look”, it looks totally different on each person. Something so simple as just applying red lipstick can make a woman feel more confident and fierce. Makeup gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, men and women. As an artist, I get to work with so many different eye shapes, face shapes, skin tones, skin textures and because of that, I have a very different appreciation for beauty. The world of makeup has opened my eyes to different meanings of “beauty” and it can’t be defined by just one thing. It’s very interesting to me.
As far as the career aspect, moving back to New York in 2012 to do makeup was a bold risk for me. That move alone showed me that I had drive and hunger in me and I was a risk taker. You can do anything, it is literally just about putting into action what you want. When I left New York again to come back to Charlotte, I had a brand new attitude and although it took a few more years to go on my own, I knew I was a makeup artist and this what I was meant to do.
Having worked in the industry for 13 years, what has been the most defining part of your career so far?
Two years ago, around this time actually, I almost turned down a gig because it was unpaid. I got asked to do makeup for a styled photo shoot that was about a 2-3 hour drive away and I just thought no way I’m doing this for free when I can get paid work. I let myself sit with that bad attitude for about an hour and then reality clocked in, thankfully, and I realised I was not this person I was behaving like and I should be thankful for any opportunity. I took the gig.
The day itself was magical. The location, the people I got to meet and work with. After that, our work started trending, nationwide, and then internationally. We got worldwide exposure within days of publishing the shoot. While I was on a high from the publicity and seeing something I helped create get so much love, there was a big lesson there for me.
No matter how many paid gigs I can get, or how much money I can make, or how much exposure I achieve, always be humble and appreciative of every opportunity. That was a defining moment for my career and as a human being.
Can you give us 3 tips for all aspiring MUA’s looking to pursue a career in this field?
- Be the most persistent human being on this planet.
- Do as many faces as you possibly can ( at no cost ) to perfect your skills
- Work at makeup counters. This will allow you to get free training under their company, you have access daily to different people (ask them to sit in your chair, even if they don’t buy anything), and you improve your customer service skills. All of which will help you as an artist and entrepreneur.
- Post photos of your work on social media and use hashtags to gain the right audience. Even if your photos don’t get a lot of likes or followers, keep posting. The right people will eventually see.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years?
Hopefully incorporating products of my own into my business. As I mentioned earlier, I am also trying to educate my clients and audience on cruelty-free beauty products. In addition to that, products that are healthy and nontoxic to us. I would love nothing more than to be able to combine my passion for artistry and makeup with my passion for ethical and clean beauty and have my name on that!
What is your signature look?
Healthy glowing skin, regardless of how subtle or glam the look may be, the skin must be radiant.
Which other leading MUA’s do you also admire and why?
- Kevyn Aucoin, he was the celebrity makeup artist of the ’90s. The man was truly talented and lived for his artistry. He was a huge way before social media existed and even after his death, people still remember his work.
- Pati Dubroff, her clients all look natural and radiant. She has never followed these crazy Instagram makeup trends, she is a true artist who has stayed true to her style.
- Scott Barnes, he is the man behind the “JLO Glow”. His work is the definition of glam to me.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘Girl Boss Radio.’
- ‘Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations.’
- ‘Almost 30 Podcast.’
How do you define your own success?
I think my version of my own success changes from time to time. Currently, success to me is being a brand that empowers others, inspires others to follow their own path. If I can help people feel good about themselves and lead a healthier more compassionate life, I’m on the right path myself.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To be an inspiration, not only to other women but to myself. It’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines and not take the time to recognise how far we’ve come, and what a good job we are doing. I think it’s important we celebrate ourselves, our successes along the way, even the tiny ones, and really give ourselves more credit. Be your own inspiration and your own biggest fan, that’s so important.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
Continuing to get Makeup By Lauren Nicole more exposure, sharpening my artistry skills and more so, my business management skills. In 2019 I’m going into my 3rd year of business on my own and it can be really difficult at times to find the balance between creative artist and serious businesswoman. I’ve been an artist most of my life, to me, that’s the easy part, it comes naturally. The business side I’m still learning, but I know I’ve got to become a master in both areas, that’s what is going to take me to the next level.