After graduating from The Comprehensive Makeup Artist Program at C | MU, Meaghan Bell Gregory has manifested into a multi-talented makeup artist who embraces the challenges of an ever-changing industry. From fashion photo shoots and weddings to music videos and charity events, Meaghan is constantly keeping her finger on the pulse of the trends. How does she do it? We sat down with Meaghan to catch up with her busy life as a new mom and well-accomplished makeup artist. Here is what she had to say:
You have accomplished so much since graduating C | MU and your work has received consistent recognition. How does it feel to have achieved this success while doing what you love?
“It feels good to be recognized but I’m always looking to achieve something at a higher level. There are ups and downs, but you are in control of steering your career in the direction you want it to take. It takes years of experience and time to perfect makeup and hair skills, it does not happen overnight. I’m always doing the best I can to keep meeting new people, making contacts, collaborating on photo shoots, enhancing my portfolio and practicing new techniques to keep myself up to date and on trend.”
You’ve done a lot of work in the fashion industry. Can you tell me about some of these opportunities?
“I’ve had the privilege of working with makeup artist Robert Weir – both while he was a Beauty Editor at Plaid Magazine and thereafter – he has been a wonderful inspiration and mentor. By assisting him, I’ve met a lot of people and learned so much about fashion makeup and the industry itself. This experience has led me to some amazing job opportunities. I began freelancing with artist agency Judy Inc., both as an Assistant Makeup Artist on larger jobs and a Key Makeup Artist on smaller jobs. Prior to this, I also worked as an on-call artist with MAC Cosmetics for several years.
I’ve done look books for fashion designers such as Alya Couture, Miik, and Species Designs to showcase their collections. My work has been published in Plaid magazine, U.K.’s Drafted magazine, Berlin’s online Superior Magazine, and an award winning photo shoot in Salon Magazine.”
It’s impressive that not long after graduating you are running your own custom makeup business. Can you tell me more about Eye Candy Designs?
“Eye Candy Designs is a mobile makeup service. Bridal makeup defines my biggest client base. We also cater to special events, personal makeup tutorials, corporate videos, and pretty much any kind of on set requirements for makeup and hair. My team and I will go to the client’s location and do their hair and makeup. I also manage the consulting, contracting and scheduling aspects of the business.”
What’s it like balancing being a new mom and a successful makeup artist?
“I find it uplifting. I had dreams of becoming a makeup artist, so if I hadn’t pursued them I would be disappointed in not taking the chance. In order to be good parents to our kids, we need to instill in them to always chase their dreams. I have the best of both worlds because I have that balance. I also have flexibility and support from family.”
What are some major photographers/celebrities you have worked with?
“One highlight has definitely been working with celebrity photographer Paul Alexander and actor Jason Priestley. Jason was a spokesperson for the 2013 Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a Canadian event hosting some of the country’s finest vintage automobiles and distinguished guests. I remember I had only brought my regular kit, so when Paul Alexander said to me – “I want Jason to look like he’s just taken these race car goggles off and to be covered in dirt and sweat”– I had to improvise and go from Makeup Artist to MacGyver. This is where essentials like highlight and contour and powders versus crèmes taught in the Fashion Makeup course at C | MU come into play. I learned that thinking on your feet and being adaptable to clients’ changing expectations is a very important skill for a makeup artist.”
What inspires you as a makeup artist?
“I became really inspired to do makeup through my passion and overall interest in the entertainment industry. I love being a part of the excitement of making all of it happen. I feel that what I do as a makeup artist is very important to the end result of the project and that my role on set is crucial. Our celebrity clients, musicians and actors, wouldn’t be as confident to go on camera without us. Makeup is a crucial component of an actor’s character development. Transforming a model, or even a regular person, from a bare face to a full glamour look never ceases to amaze me. The change can be incredibly dramatic. You can truly draw out the full beauty that each face possesses. Knowing I have helped someone feel beautiful fills me with so much happiness!”
Has there been any particularly notable jobs that have stood out for you in your career to date?
“I loved working with the band Hedley. I assisted one of Judy Inc.’s top artists, Taylor Savage, on the sets of their music videos for ‘Anything’ and ‘Crazy For You.’ Being on set with them was nothing short of inspiring! The hours were long and it was hard work, but a fun experience.
I also worked on Nelly Furtado’s music video, “Waiting for the Night” alongside makeup artists Robert Weir and Claudia Mahabir. My mentor Robert Weir is Nelly’s makeup artist. I’m a huge fan of hers so this was certainly another highlight for me.”
What are your future career goals?
“My dream job would be to go on tour with P!NK as her personal makeup artist. P!NK or Katy Perry. To be traveling and doing what I love would be incredible!
My goal for this year is to become fully signed with Judy Inc. and to be focusing on even more commercial and fashion work. I am looking forward to working more with Jackie Gideon (award-winning makeup artist and contributing creative producer of WedLuxe magazine) on her bridal team and potentially collaborating with her on some fabulous editorials. Jackie is an artist who I very much admire and whose career I highly respect. Another one of my aspirations would be to work Fashion Week, potentially alongside Grace Lee (a Global Senior artist with MAC Cosmetics and Plutino Group).”
Is there any advice you would give to aspiring fashion makeup artists?
“The industry is about making good impressions and making connections. Work as much as you can and take as many opportunities as you can. Don’t say no because you never know who you’re going to meet. If I didn’t take certain jobs in the beginning of my career I would have missed out on so many experiences and opportunities for work. Push yourself in the direction you want to go, and you will connect to the people you want to meet.
I would recommend new artists coming out of school to seek out a mentor. It is an invaluable experience and offers great insight into the fashion industry. It’s how I got my foot in the door and I’m still actively seeking out people I respect and admire, like Grace Lee or Jackie Gideon, to see what I can learn from them. The saying – “ Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” – makes perfect sense to me.”
Meaghan’s accomplishments to date are only the beginning of her future as a thriving makeup artist. As another successful C | MU graduate, she has yet again proven that passion, determination and talent establish a rewarding career full of endless creativity.