“Kweli Calderon has the ability to study a face and bring out everything about it that is beautiful. It is truly her gift from God.” ~ Yvette Nicole Brown
|photo credit: Yvette Nicole Brown's Instagram account|
One day I was perusing actress Yvette Nicole Brown’s Instagram pics and noticed that her makeup was flawless! I wondered who was responsible for creating such wonderful looks for one of my favorite actresses. (I love makeup and the art of it all.) So, I asked her on Twitter she kindly directed to Kweli Calderon, one of the most successful makeup artists in Hollywood.
I got a chance to catch up with Kweli! Read about her career, technique, client wish list and more!
How did you get started as a makeup artist? Who was you first client?
I got started as a makeup artist from doing hair, I started as a hairstylist and I was working on music videos and producers started to ask me if I did makeup as well. And I said yes, because at the time my friend Valerie Hunt (manager at MAC) helped me build my kit and taught me techniques I bought books, tapes and tons of magazines. I practiced on friends (and was) basically self taught.
I honestly can’t remember who my first makeup client was but it was a rap artist E40, Snoop, KC and Jojo, LL Cool J, or something :)
What are the latest trends in makeup? (looks, shades etc.)
Some of the latest trends I feel are radiant skin, always. (More trends include) metallics, blues and green eye shadows and more vibrant colors (as well as) orange, purple or berry lips.
What are some of your favorite products?
Wow! I have so many favorites! I will start the same way I start a face: I love this makeup primer spray from Skindanavia, Hourglass Primer (and) Kevyn Aucoin Skin Enhancers. I love Dior's Universal Brown eyebrow pencil, Nars foundation, MAC Prolongwear, Revlon Colorstay, Too Faced eye shadow primer, Too Faced melted lipsticks, Estée Lauder highlighting powder and Hoola Benefits Bronzer. And I love Loreal Voluminous Mascara to name a few...LOL!
|photo credit: Kweli Calderon's Instagram account|
What tips do you have for black women for a flawless look?
My tips for black women to have a flawless look is to first find the best skin care regiment for their skin type, good skin is crucial, lots of water. Next would be to find the best foundation makeup (color and texture).
Learn what your undertones are and bring them out to play. Spend the money on a great brow person. Brows frame the face. They are super important. Primers help as well because it helps the foundation last and adhere to the skin, as well as lightly fill in pores.
Some fun lashes whether they are individuals or a strip. Find the ones that wok with your eye shape. The foundation is super duper important to the flawless look on any woman of color.
If one knows nothing about makeup application, how should one learn?
Find a great makeup artist and ask them for a tutorial or private lesson.
Some online tutorials are good, but try to stay away from the ones that go too “draggy”. Ask for samples and practice, practice, practice.
Who are some of your clients?
Yvette Nicole Brown, Chris Brown, Rocsi Diaz, Sherri Shepherd, Brooke Anderson, Keltie Knight, Affion Crockett. But I have also had the following clients that I loved working with, including Nick Cannon (he got me in the makeup union), LL Cool J, Eve, Keke Palmer and Ashanti.
I love the looks you do for one of your clients, Yvette Nicole Brown. How do you become inspired to create looks for your different clients?
I appreciate the compliment. There are a few ways I get inspired, I always pray and ask God to work through me, and to enhance their true beauty.
I also study the face for a few days. I look at some of there photos online and see what things didn't work on them, and I always make sure that the first few times I rely on perfecting the skin, foundation application and the lashes
What about women who say they don’t wear makeup. How do you feel about that?
Women who don't wear makeup, well it doesn't bother me. It's a personal choice. But when they don't at least groom the brow and take care of the skin, well that's a little annoying, but again my opinion only.
|photo credit: Kweli Calderon's Instagram account|
If you only have a few minutes to pull yourself together, what are the key areas woman should focus on for a polished look?
Again I would say the skin, the foundation, concealer and powder blended well, Brows, great lashes or three coats of mascara, pop of a great blush on the apples of cheeks and your favorite lip gloss, lipstick or stain.
Do you offer any online makeup tutorials?
As of now I do not have any online tutorials, but they will be coming soon!
What are your future plans with your business? Would you like to develop your own line?
I am working on opening beauty bar-makeup, brows, lashes and hair extensions. As far as a line I would love to formulate my own foundations.
Do you have a wish list of celebs you'd like to have as clients?
There are a few faces I would love to paint:
Robert Downey Jr
And (I'd) continue to mentor up and coming artists!
Thanks so much to Kweli for chatting with me and providing such great tips on how to "give great face" and be flawless!