Allie Lapidus is a makeup artist based in Los Angeles. After growing up in Orange County and graduating from UCLA, she attended the prestigious Make-up Designory in Burbank where she completed the fashion program. Her style of work is clean and pretty while remaining current and fashion forward. Her specialties include commercial and editorial print work in addition to red carpet and press for the entertainment industry.
How did you get started in make-up?
Makeup is something I was always interested in. Growing up, instead of spending my time playing outside or acting like a normal kid, I’d sit in front of the mirror with magazines trying to recreate the makeup & hair looks. I studied Kevyn Aucoin’s books like I was going to be tested on them and I asked for makeup for every holiday, but I was focused on a more traditional career path and it never occurred to me that I could make it an actual job. I went to UCLA and immediately got hired by an online ad firm upon graduation. After a few months it became clear to me that I am *not* cut out for life in a cubicle but I really didn’t know what to do next. My mom suggested I look into makeup since I was always good at it and it was like a light bulb went off. I enrolled at Makeup Designory in Burbank the day I put my two weeks’ notice in at the firm and the rest is history!
*Have you always been interested in make-up or is it a passion you grew into?
I’ve always been interested in makeup, but I don’t think I ever saw it as an art until after I went through makeup school and started working on photo shoots. My passion for makeup has actually grown in the years that I have been working and as I have become more confident in my abilities to be creative with makeup.
*The industry can be hard to break into. How did you get your first client? For other novice artists starting out, take us back to that first day on the job. Any mishaps or tips you learned from that day?
One thing that I think separated me from some of my peers at makeup school was having an understanding of my market. I knew, due to my advertising background, that there was a lot of commercial/advertising work to be had in LA and so I started perfecting clean makeup techniques rather than exploring with tons of color and rhinestones and feathers right off the bat. Immediately upon completing my program at MUD I started emailing commercial/lifestyle photographers and asking them to test. I was lucky that a photographer who has been in the industry for as long as I’ve been alive just happened to been setting up a test and he liked the clean work I had to show. Our test went well and he hired me to work on a major national ad campaign a month later. In retrospect, taking on such a high profile job so early in my career could have gone really well or really, really badly. I cringe to think about all of the things that could have gone wrong and ruined my career before it even got started! Fortunately I am quick on my feet and everyone was happy, and I still work with that team! I don’t think that my first real job would have gone as smoothly had I not been *so* comfortable with the makeup/hair that I knew was required of that kind of job. Confidence and practice go a long way!
*How long has it taken you to build your portfolio?
I don’t think anyone is ever done building a portfolio! I would say that I felt really confident about having a strong book for the first time about a year into my career, but I grow tired easily and am always wanting to shoot more and keep my book as fresh as possible! My skills continue to evolve and so I feel like I still have a lot to shoot and show off!
* Erika Christensen looks amazing in your pictures. Any tips on getting a similar look?
Thank you! Erika was so great and such an easy canvas to work with! She was down for anything, so I decided to keep her soft & a little romantic to reflect the tone of the wardrobe and location. I wanted to keep her skin very fresh but added a pink cream blush on the apples of her cheeks to give her a flushed, romantic look. On her eye I did a wash of a light shimmery pink shadow and then enhanced her crease with Haux from MAC. I applied a sheer lip color with my finger instead of a brush to keep the lines softer.
*What are your 2 fav products right now that you MUST have at every shoot?
Right now I’m in love with Josie Maran’s Organic Argan Oil. It is a wonder product- amazing under makeup as a moisturizer, in the hair for shine & frizz control, to repair dry cuticles, you name it. Actually, Josie Maran’s entire line of Argan Oil infused products is amazing and I’m trying to collect them all! Another stand out for me is Smashbox’s Illuminating Serum. A tiny drop highlights all the right places on the face, and it looks amazing by itself or under foundation. I’m all about beautiful skin and these two products help me achieve it every time!
*Of all the looks you do, which one is your favorite (smoky eye, nude lips; etc.)? Any tips for achieving that look?
Although I tend to be known for my clean work and I love that, I think people would be surprised to learn that I really love to do a good, strong contoured eye. I like to play around with highlight shades for the lid- sometimes I like a classic matte and other times I feel like making a statement with a metallic or iridescent. Using a good, fluffy brush is essential for proper shadow placement and blending, especially in the crease. I like to finish it off with lashes- ardell natural’s flares if it’s a more subtle look, or a fun pair of strip lashes from MAC or Make Up For Ever if we’re going for something more dramatic.
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