Listen on Soundcloud:

 

Carmindy is a real woman’s makeup artist. Although she paints the faces of supermodels including Niki Taylor and Ashley Graham, Carmindy is best known for her work on TLC’s hit TV show “What Not to Wear” and in fact prefers to focus her time and attention on the type of real women seen in each episode.

Carmindy strongly believes that beauty comes from within. In our conversation, she discusses early struggles with bullying and self-esteem and how those experiences influenced her craft and mission. Also, she offers beauty tips (who knew that plain white sugar is the best exfoliant?), discusses trends and shares how you can apply makeup in just 5 minutes!

Carmindy has a beautiful spirit and it was wonderful getting to know her through this interview. I hope that you enjoy learning from Carmindy as much as I did!

 

(Published July 2017)

 

Short Clips (For more, Visit the Media Page):

 

#Takeaways

BEGINNINGS:

-I grew up in a sleepy little town in California called Surf City and had low maintenance, easy going parents. The world of fashion was far away from me. I didn’t grow up with it.
-My mother was a painter. I was fascinated by her beautiful watercolor scenes. I loved the art side of makeup and started playing with it at age 15.
-Growing up, I was the overweight kid. I was teased, made fun of and bullied. I used art as a way of escaping.

-I started painting the faces of my friends and neighbors and that’s how it began.

-I never fit in but found that having a creative outlet made me feel comfortable.
-I never turned women into something else. I helped them enhance their natural beauty, which made me feel more secure.
-People are intimated by fashion but, at the end of the day, we are all misfits: awkward, strange, unusual and most of us didn’t fit in. We come to the creative world and find each other. Even the models. Because maybe they were tall, gawky and made fun of. So what you see is not really what goes on. Yes, A few people drink the cool-aid and believe the hype but a lot of us find ourselves. I found that this was my group of people.
-In high school, I met someone whose father was a TV makeup artist. I asked him about how to enter the business and he said that I should apprentice.
ON “WHAT NOT TO WEAR:”
-A publicist friend hired me to be a spokesperson for a cosmetic company. I would do television shows like Good Morning America and The Today Show, which helped me get media trained.
-Stacy London and I met doing Mademoiselle Magazine. She was the first person hired for “What Not to Wear.” When they were seeking a makeup artist, Stacy said: “Why don’t you look at Carmindy. She’s a pro makeup artist and media trained.” I walked in, got the job and was on for 10 years.
-This job changed everything because it gave me the ability to take all that I had learned over the years as a professional makeup artist and give it to real women who needed it.
-It was my way of paying forward how I felt insecure and not good about myself.
-I worked with women who had just had a baby or survived breast cancer. Some had rosacea or cystic acne. Others had just gotten out of a relationship where they were abused and had no self-esteem. And more. I was able to take all of my knowledge and use it to empower them and made them feel spectacular.
-That meant more to me than doing any runway or any cover of any magazine.
-That’s when I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: to be the real woman’s makeup guru.
-I took women and talked to them. I asked: how do you feel, what goes on, why do you see yourself in this negative way? How do we change that from the inside first? Then makeup is just an accessory on top of that.
-I met women the minute that I walked in the door. We had a conversation right on camera.
-I said: Look in the mirror and tell me about what you love about yourself. The problem was that most women couldn’t tell me anything. They could only tell me what they didn’t like about themselves. This brought me back to how I used to feel as a young person. I was bullied before I thought that there was anything wrong with me.
-I realized that most of these problems stemmed from childhood.
-I realized that women needed to know that makeup is easy, so I wrote books to help them.
-Fashion is overwhelming and people think that they have to be perfect. But that’s not the case!
CARMINDY’S PHILOSOPHY
-I see beauty in a different way than everyone else. Most makeup artists, stylists and hair dressers will look at you and say: here’s what’s wrong with you and here is how you fix it. My eye is trained to see what’s beautiful about you and bring it out.
-My philosophy is: girls and women are like flowers. There are daffodils, orchids, roses and so many more. They are so different and none look the same but they are all beautiful.
-On social media you see people wearing a mask, contouring and painting themselves into clones of one another and not celebrating uniqueness.
-You are uniquely beautiful and makeup should be a watercolor way to polish and not paint your beauty. Don’t change who you are.
I don’t contour, I highlight. I bring out what’s special. It could be five easy products or 10 products. But It’s not erasing your face and painting something back on. If you just enhance who you are, you will feel beautiful.
CARMINDY’S PROCESS:
-I don’t talk about makeup. I talk about the woman sitting in front of me. Who are you? Where are you from? What goes on? Why are you sitting here? What’s hurting you?
-There is a reason why they are there. Yes, of course, to learn how to do their makeup but there’s something else that I want to connect to. I want to know you as a female. What goes on? How are you feeling?
-When someone has gone through something, that leaves a mark that is always going to be on the inside. So we need to talk about and open that door first before we even start with how to play up your eyelashes.

-My insecurity was always brought on by others and I had to conquer it.
-Often times, I find that women’s insecurity is brought on by others: by their mothers, husbands, siblings, kids they went to school with or their own self doubt. I address that first. I start by teaching them to retrain their brains on how to see beauty.
-I’ll say: look in the mirror and tell me what you love. I will not allow a capable amazing woman tear herself up. If she does, I make her start over. Again, I ask: what do you love about yourself?
-I don’t find traditional, classic and perfect beauty to be the be all end all. I find a quirky smile, crooked tooth or strong nose interesting. They are all beautiful and unique.
-So we were start by looking at a woman differently and dealing with what made her insecure in the first place. Then we start to party with makeup.
-The biggest problem that most women face is their own insecurity.  It’s not society. we are society. We dictate what we want to see, hear, listen to and feel. So you can’t blame others. You have to start with yourself. You are responsible only for your own feelings.  If you can’t change it, change your perspective. And if you can change it, you need to get to work. So I have a no BS policy.
-I have seen huge transformations. It opens the door for women to open up their minds and hearts a bit work on themselves.
Lots of people go through lots of stuff and you have two choices in life because you only have one. You can sit there and beat yourself up forever and be insecure or you can change it. But it’s only up to you.-When I was doing research for my book called the “5 Minute Face, I found that a woman is at her most beautiful when she’s at her most fertile. It’s not when she’s a model or has perfect features. It doesn’t matter where she’s from or her ethnicity.
-Being fertile means: having glowing skin, eyes that capture attention, blushing because you’re in love and having rosy lips
-To get this fertile look: use highlighter to bring glow to the skin; liner and mascara to capture attention on the eyes; the perfect blush to create that blushed look and a natural rosy nude lip. That is my 5 minute face technique. It works on all women, all skin tones, whether you have small eyes or big eye or are 80 or 18. It doesn’t matter. This technique restores your radiance.
-My routine is to use: moisturizer or primer, a little foundation, a little concealer and powder and then the 5 minute face (highlight, liner, mascara, cheek, lip). Anything after that (a smoky eye or a red lip, for example), that’s all accessories after that. You have to get your basics down. But none of this matters if you don’t feel good on the inside.Jessica Lipps: If someone wakes up in the morning and is exhausted, how can they perk up:
-Mirror mantras are key. When you look in the mirror, the worst thing you can do is say : “Oh no, look at these dark circles.” That’s negative words so all day long you’ll feel like you look terrible. No matter how bad you feel, you have to look in the mirror and say something positive. I know it sounds cheesy but it works. If you can’t think of anything, write it in lipstick on your mirror: I am beautiful today. I have a great smile. You’ve got this. You have to do something empowering to retrain your brain. If you say it enough, you will start to change yourself.
-If bags under your eyes are so big because of the night before, put on a bright red lipstick. No one will be looking on the bags under your eyes. I call it ‘feature focus.’ Redirect the focus to something else. Who is going to talk about the bags under your eyes when you are wearing the most incredible hot pink lipstick?
-Lipstick is difficult because unless you can try it on and wear it for a day, you don’t know if it will work well on you. Drugstore lip products are a great way to experiment with lip colors without spending a fortune. If you like an expensive brand, have them put it on you at the department store. Wear it all day long. Look outside in the mirror in the daylight and then buy it. Otherwise, go to the drugstore and experiment with shades. Once you find the perfect shade, you can take it to a higher end store and have them match it.
Most of us have four or five colors that are almost exactly the same. You can chop off the tops with a spatula, stick them in a jar, mix them up and then you have the perfect shade. I do tip of the day videos on Instagram and Facebook and this was one of them.
-A day shade is a rosy nude.
-Everyone looks good in red. You don’t have to commit to a full red lipstick. You can do a sheer lip gloss or a sheer red lip tint. You can go to Burt’s Bees, get a sheer tint and rock a bit of the red without fully committing to the color.
-You can do berries in the fall but if you do a dark, heavy berry it will make your lips look small so try a light, clear berry sheer lipstick.
-Never go into a Sephora or a drug store and choose colors in that lighting. It’s artificial. You need to play with color in direct daylight.
So play all that you want but go outside and look in a mirror and THEN decide if that’s the color that’s right for you.That’s where most women make mistakes.
-When I do private consultations, I do them only in daylight in the afternoon.
-Splurge on things you know will work. Go to the drugstore for trends.
-My grandmother taught me a white sugar scrub. Take white sugar from your kitchen. Wash your face with cleanser and water and scrub your face with sugar. It is the best exfoliant in the world. You can do it on your body. I do it about twice/week. It gets rid of all the dead skin cells.
FINAL ADVICE:
-You create your own destiny. We are overwhelmed with so many options. You have to find who you are, your own voice, your uniqueness, your individuality and don’t care what other people think. Do what’s good for you. Find your tribe and hold on to them tight: whether it’s a brand, movement, charity or friends. Grow that. I think it’s really key.
-In terms of my beauty message: polish and don’t paint your beauty and celebrate your uniqueness.
-You’ve got one life to live. Let’s have a good time. Let’s celebrate who we are: this size, this age, this stage in our life because we have one time on this planet. So it’s up to you.
-Enough with the negativity. Retrain yourself into a positive state of mind. It’s OK to have a bad day. One. Then pull yourself  up and get it going!
-Everything ends. There was a time that I was doing fashion and it ended. There was a time that I was doing “What Not to Wear” and it ended. There was a time that I had a brand and it ended. But that doesn’t mean that it’s over. You just reinvent, keep going and blossom into another direction. So you can’t feel down and bad. When things don’t work out, there is always a higher purpose and another reason for it. So you just have to keep going and realize that things change, move and transform and that’s part of life and you have to be adaptable.