It’s what we notice, consciously or subconsciously, when we look at people on the cover of a magazine. Makeup. Not actual tubes of lipstick or eyebrow pencils. We notice the after-effect of a makeup artist’s work. Although inherently behind-the-scenes in editorial departments at print publications and production departments at television studios, this artist is crucial to the visual aspect.
Good makeup artists, especially Black ones, often are hard to find, unless you’re “in the know,” as they say in fashion. But they’re out there. In my four years as an editor at The Network Journal, on more than one occasion I have had to “call around” and ask for referrals when one of our regular artists is unavailable. Each time the search involved more than one phone call. Lucky for me, in searching for an artist for this article, I knew exactly who to call: fashion guru Audrey Smaltz, founder of The Ground Crew and a Network Journal 25 Influential Black Women in Business honoree. I knew she would point me in the right direction and, indeed, she did.
These sought-after women and men are like gems in their industry, as Andrea Fairweather, makeup artist and founder of Fairweather Faces, knows well. One evening in 1998, Fairweather received a phone call from a producer at ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He had heard about her work and requested her presence at 5:00 a.m. the next morning for the show’s Central Park Summer Series. To this day, she has no idea how “Good Morning America” came to contact her, but it was the start of a professional relationship that has lasted more than 15 years. Since then, Fairweather has launched a mobile makeup company and just recently added the title “inventor” to her many accomplishments in the beauty market. She recently sat down with The Network Journal to discuss her career’s “unconventional” ascent, the “spirituality” of it, and the evolution of the cosmetics industry via social media and since the great recession of 2008.