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What Does It Take to be a Winning Makeup Artist?

Contact Author Brooke Schleehauf
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Makeup artist competing in the Skin Games Makeup Challenge at Skin Inc.

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Pack your brushes—The Skin Games Makeup Challenge qualification returns to Skin Inc’s Face & Body Southeast spa expo and conference, after kicking off at Face & Body Northern California over the summer.

Skin Inc. touched base with some of the Makeup Challenge’s judges before the event to get a pulse on what contestants are up against and how the judges’ expertise will play a hand in the competition.

Kimberly Crocker

Kimberly+Crocker

Master cosmetologist, president of Makeup Artists of Atlanta

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Skin Inc. (SI): What types of looks do you hope to see at the Makeup Challenge? 

Kimberly Crocker (KC): I am excited to see what the artists have to bring to the table... I want to see creativity, and I want the artist to represent their personal style, and not copy what they have seen before! 

For bridal I'd like to see soft beautiful skin, not overly contoured please! I am a stickler for blending and texture—and cleanliness and sanitation

SI: As President of Makeup Artists of Atlanta (MUAA), are there any familiar faces among the contestants or judges? 

KC: I am happy to be serving on the panel with my MUAA leadership member and new owner of Atlanta Makeup Academy, Candace Collier. 

Also, a few of our members are competing but I have never seen their work in person, so this is exciting! I happy that they are stepping outside of their comfort zones

SI: What aspects do you personally bring to the Makeup Challenge as a judge? 

KC: I have been in the beauty and media makeup industry for 20 years [and] am bringing that knowledge to the table. I like finding the hidden gem, who has spirit and work ethic! I am sweet on the outside but pretty tough when judging! 

Candace Collier 

Candace+Collier

Makeup artist, lead instructor at Atlanta Makeup Academy

SI: As an Atlanta-based makeup artist, will you see any familiar faces at the Makeup Challenge?

Candace Collier (CC): I definitely expect to see some familiar faces there… I’m very active in the Makeup Artists of Atlanta networking group, which creates the opportunity for many local artists to get to know one another in a supportive and non-competitive environment.

SI: What will you be looking for in contestants?

CC: Some of the things I’ll be looking for are efficiency, a calm demeanor and spot-on technique that is tailored to their specific model.

SI: How will your experience help you in judging?

CC: Much of my work happens in a fast-paced environment where you have to quickly prioritize what products and technique will make the most impact. This will definitely help when I’m assessing the choices the artists have made, and in discerning if their efforts have maximized the natural beauty of their models.

Gwynnis Mosby

Gwynnis+Mosby

Makeup artist, Gwynnis Mosby Makeup Academy

SI: What looks are you hoping to see at the Makeup Challenge?
Gwynnis Mosby (GM): I am hoping to see great looks in beauty and fantasy makeup.

SI: What will you be looking for in contestants?
GM: I am hoping that the contestants come ready to compete, eager to win and willing to give it all they've got.

SI: How will you use your decades of experience as a makeup artist in your judging?
GM: I will use my experience and expertise as a makeup artist to judge the competitor on symmetry, creativity, precision and how well the artist is able to project the vision of their theme.

Nicole Cocuzza

Nicole+Cocuzza

Master esthetician, founder of Skin Religion

SI: What types of looks do you hope to see at the Makeup Challenge?

Nicole Cocuzza (NC): I am hoping to see many makeup looks that reflect personal vision and creativity relevant to each makeup artists unique archetype.

SI: How will your experience as a Game-Changing finalist in the 2017 International Skin Games play into your judging?

NC: Being a recognized Game Changing finalist at the 2017 International Skin Games competition was one of the most amazing experiences of my career.

This gave me the opportunity to organize, platform and share my plan of action in achieving the best results by designing unique personalized treatment options and protocols while simultaneously showcasing the visible efficacy of my professional skin care line.

This experience will play into my judging by observing each contestant’s personal organization, confidence, skill and overall professionalism.

SI: What will it take to for contestants to move forward in the Makeup Challenge?

NC: For the contestants to move forward, I believe it will take a good amount of personal storytelling. Makeup is artful expression. As a judge, I want to be taken on a creative journey through inspiration, intention, application and execution.