After honing her craft in makeup artistry in Los Angeles, Kristine Kay, owner of Shampagne Hair Studio + Beauty Lounge in Kansas City, Missouri, realized that you not only can go home again, but you can also become a huge success while you are there.
Kay grew up in Kansas City and studied photography at the Kansas City Art Institute. After graduating in 1986, she moved to Los Angeles and decided photography was not what she wanted to focus on; instead, she trained her artistic eye on the world of makeup. “In LA, it’s all about who you know. I knew nobody, so I took some makeup classes from Make-Up Designory (MUD) in Burbank, California, and learned how to do special effects makeup, injury simulation and beauty makeup,” says Kay. “The first year, I worked for free in film, television, print advertising, commercials and at weddings.” It was during this year that Kay joined the crew of Australian photographer Christian Lemech.
This association led to the most important connection in Kay’s makeup career. The photographer was friends with Joanne Gair, a makeup artist and body painter whose work has been featured in a variety of major publications, including body painting in many of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. “We hit it off, and I was her makeup assistant for a year and a half. I worked with her agency and did exciting things,” explains Kay.