Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring blog entries from celebrity makeup artist Deida Massey on her experience as a Christian makeup artist in the entertainment industry. Learn more about Deida’s journey as she answers our first question below and check back each Monday for Deida’s latest blog entry.
How did you begin your career as a makeup artist?
I started my career as a professional makeup artist in 1998. While obtaining a Master of Jurisprudence from the Loyola University School of Law and working full-time as a paralegal, I worked nights and weekends at makeup counters in downtown Chicago.
While building my confidence working at various makeup counters, I started assisting some local makeup artists. Through assisting, I was afforded the opportunity to get representation with Ford Models Management Team in Chicago. My agent booked me on advertising and editorial shoots for magazines, commercials and hair ads.
Christmas 1999, a family friend bought me two self-help makeup books by Reggie Wells and Sam Fine who are both pioneers in the makeup industry. I thought after reading both books, perhaps my friend was sending me a subliminal message to jump-start my career in makeup. Well to my surprise, and everyone else, it worked!
Working at the counters, for Ford Models and reading those two books gave me the courage, confidence and clarity I needed to choose a career as a professional makeup artist. Before I knew I could make a living doing makeup, I thoroughly researched the industry. More importantly, I asked those who were in the business how lucrative it was.
Transitioning from a 9 to 5 to self-employment, I must admit I was a bit apprehensive. Later, after taking the leap of faith, it became one of the most rewarding decisions of my life.
I remember taking a class in the Chicago area by a woman who had saturated the industry in Los Angeles. I figured if I wanted to move there, I needed to start obtaining information that would help me put a plan in place.While in the seminar, the words “relocation” resonated within me as she explained some very important steps one needed to take in order to be successful. I quit my 9 to 5 in 2002, transported my car, rented my condo and took a courageous step towards a life of uncertainty.
After putting a plan in place and landing in Los Angeles, my roommate and I networked with people within our industry. Through networking, I landed jobs on music videos with DMX and Keyshia Cole at the time. Later, a close friend worked with Def Jam West and started booking me on photo shoots and videos with Ludacris and other artists that would later help build my resume.
I initially moved to LA to work in film and television. However, I knew by encountering new territory, I had to work my plan first and then execute through perseverance. While living in LA, I still worked at makeup counters to help build my confidence. I was focused and worked the vision GOD had given me.
When I moved to LA in 2002, I never knew or even sought to become a celebrity makeup artist. Even hearing the phrase today seems so cliché. However, GOD’s dreams are bigger than any dreams we have for our lives. My dreams are still unfolding and every step of the way I have learned to trust GOD.