Amanda is a self taught 24 year old makeup artist from the Bronx, NY. After following her on social media, I immediately fell in love with her daily beauty posts, down-to-earth personality, as well as her love for animals and the people around her. After deciding to leave her job at MAC Cosmetics behind, Amanda has become her own boss, continues to build her clientele, and enjoys spending time with her best friend Charlotte and her four dogs. Get to know her in our interview below.
When did you first get into makeup? Can you remember the first makeup purchase you’ve made?
I first got into makeup when I was 16 in high school and the first thing I bought, back in the day, I don’t know if they still have this but they used to have these Wet n Wild trios and it used to have a highlight and a lip color. It was a smokey palette and it was literally white, black, and grey. My mom used to do her smokey eye look almost every morning so I bought it because I wanted to be just like my mom.
How long does it typically take you to do your makeup each day?
If I’m going to do my natural look, it takes me about an hour and fifteen. But if I’m going out I’m taking my time, it can take me up to two hours. I take my time with my makeup, I don’t play.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to turn your hobby into a career? Did you ever consider pursuing a career in a completely different field?
I realized I wanted to continue to grow with makeup when I started to build a social media following. I started to realize how many inquiries I was getting and how many people were hitting me up to get their makeup done. I was like, “I’m really going to do this. This is something I’m going to continue to grow.” I’m super blessed that I was able to just keep doing what I love and make this my full-time job. If I wasn’t doing makeup, I would definitely be doing something with animals, for sure. I love animals.
Ultimately, are you glad that you decided to quit your job at MAC and become a freelance makeup artist?
It was the most scary but one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m so happy that I’m in such a good place. I’ve been doing so much better and I’ve had so many opportunities so it was the best decision. I was so afraid to make it and I feel like it happened at the perfect time in my life. It’s been going amazing.
What advice would you give to any woman that is struggling trying to pursue her career but is also committed to her daily obligations?
I think that you have to be realistic with any decision that you make. You always want to make sure you have a plan. I had a plan. I made sure that I had everything I needed to be on my own. It wasn’t a decision that I just made the next day, it was planned years in advance. I made sure that my kit was ready, I had money saved away and I already had clientele. You want to make sure that you always have a back-up and make sure you plan ahead. Make sure you are ready for anything. That’s really big.
How many clients do you usually have?
I’m going to say throughout the weekdays I can have about two or three clients Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because people don’t usually go out during the week. However, on the weekend I can have about eight to ten clients. I’m open every single day of the week. I don’t ever say no. I only say no if I’m booked for that time but I’m ALWAYS open.
Is there anything that you feel the beauty industry is currently lacking?
I wish that companies would look deeper into different artists. I feel like beauty companies still reach out to the same people that already have a big following but I wish they would look at other people because there’s so many girls that I follow that are artists that do this every single day. Some other people get all these packages sent to them and they don’t necessarily do makeup. These are girls that do makeup every single weekend and do it on their own that really could use the 20 different foundations, the 20 different lipsticks, concealers, and powders. So one influencer that’s only going to use one shade, one color, and the rest of it is going to stay in the drawer. Some influencers definitely do contests and they send them out, I follow some people that do that, but I wish that companies would look out more.
Social media following has to do with a lot. People want to see that you have an engagement. That’s what people care about. They’re always going to go for the girl that has the most followers and I get it, they want their products to reach out to someone who is reaching millions of people but there’s so many girls that don’t have 20,000 followers that have so much engagement because their work speaks for itself.
How many dogs do you have and how much of an impact do they have on your life?
Oh my God, my babies! I have four dogs, three girls and one boy. They are just the loves of my life. They are the sweetest, they make me so happy, they make me super emotional and I’m so in touch with my emotions because of my dogs. I just love them. Eventually when I get older and touched out of makeup, I’m definitely going to pack up my stuff, travel the world, and save as many animals as I can because I love them. They’re definitely amazing, everyone should have a pet.
I have one Chihuahua, her name is Belle and she’s nine years old. I have another one, his name is Blanket, my boy, he’s six and I have Mimi whose another girl Chihuahua, she’s three. My recent one, her name is Luna and she’s a year and six months. They all get along but the girls usually pick on the boy (laughs.) They always gang on him but he doesn’t mind, he’s the best and he takes it like a champ. He’s definitely a mama’s boy, though.
You’re very passionate about animal cruelty and as an dog owner and lover, what are your thoughts about this?
It’s so tricky. I’m trying to stop eating meat. If I’m eating any protein or any meat it’s always fish. I try not eat meat, it’s so difficult though because I love cheese but it’s hard. I wish people would get with the times and really wake up and realize what these people put these animals through. It’s so disgusting and I try not to watch it because it makes me really sad. I wish that things would change and I feel like they are changing. So many people are more aware and woke to a lot of things that are going on with animals and they’re taking a stand. I hope that within the next few years that animal cruelty is coming to its end and we find ways to make and eat different things because it really needs to stop.
How did you and your best friend Charlotte meet? What makes your sisterhood so special?
Oh my God! Alright let me tell you! So Charlotte and I have a mutual friend and he hit me up in a direct message and he was like, “hey, one of my friends loves you and she wants to do a Youtube video with you.” I was like, “yea of course, I’m super down for that.” I sent her a dm and I was like, “hey girl, Chris told me what’s up. I’m so down to be in a Youtube video, let’s do it!” She said, “oh my God, yes! I would love that.” Her and I planned something but I couldn’t do it and a while went by, about a month, and I was like, “oh sh-t I forgot to hit up Charlotte.” So I hit her up and said, “girl I’m going to be around your house let’s do the video tonight.”
As soon as her and I met—we met at an Old Navy to walk to her house—we hit it off completely. I hugged her, we were talking, we were talking about bitmojis, we were CHILLIN’. The first Youtube video that her and I did was the first time we met, had a conversation, everything. We were just super inclined with each other. That’s my girl. Her and I were texting a little bit after and I was like, “you should come into MAC.” She was telling me, “I would love to work at MAC.” I told one of the managers, “one of the girls is going to come in, she’s going to give in her resumé” and he said, “absolutely.” She came in, did her interview, and got the job. It’s crazy because when Charlotte was working we were super close but when I left MAC, we got even closer which is so backwards. We got so close... like we would literally see each other every single day. I still see her every single day but leaving work brought us even closer. She’s a Virgo and I’m a Taurus; I’m super into zodiac signs and Charlotte is literally my most compatible sign so that is my girl!
Where do you see your career going from here? Are you going to continue to work from home or do you eventually hope to open your own studio?
I definitely want to have my own studio, that’s definitely a goal of mine within the next few years. I want to have my own studio but I don’t want to have a really big space. I just want it to be for myself and maybe somebody else, like one other artist. I’ve been putting it out there, talking about it and I want to do that. That’s the goal for this year or next year. But I want to just continue to do makeup the way that I do it. I love my regular clients, I love my brides. I definitely don’t want to go the celebrity route. I think that I’m really happy with where I’m at right now and I just want to continue to grow my clientele, get out of my house, and have my own salon. I definitely just want to continue to grow as an artist.
Follow Amanda on Instagram: @amandizzllee and email her with any makeup inquiries.