Blog Talk With Celebrity Makeup Artist Renny Vasquez

Makep by Renny Vazquez. Photo Source : Instagram

Renny Vasquez is a New York based Makeup Artist. He's touched the faces of celebrities like Brandy Norwood, Gabrielle Union, Golden Brooks (most famous for her role on "Girlfriends"), Nia Long, Angela Simmons, and the list goes on and on. His makeup style is clean, fresh, and elegant (a la Sam Fine).

And he's one of my makeup idols.

In fact, Renny is the reason that I started doing makeup professionally! It was after attending his 2013 "Beauty and the Beat" makeup class in D.C. as a makeup enthusiast that I decided to make my passion into my profession. After his class, I left so inspired that I ran out, bought a few makeup palettes and supplies, and haven't looked back since!

Renny Vasquez teaching at his "Catch the Beat" hands-on makeup workshop

Last week while perusing Instagram, I came across a post announcing that Renny would be doing a live Blog Talk with Beauty Illusions. I gagged. An opportunity to "chat" with an artist who, in my eyes, is the Beyonce of makeup artistry? I'm there on the double!

All in all, Renny's Blog Talk was an hour and a half of back-to-back Tweetable moments. I mean, seriously. I was slain in the makeup spirit at least five times. He is so sweet and so inspirational. He is chicken soup for the Makeup Artist's soul.

While summarizing the entire chat would be too long for this post, here seven questions from the Q & A sesh:

Q & A

Q: What are good ways to for a Makeup Artist to get practice?

A: You can practice on yourself or you can grab a friend!

(Sidenote, Renny spent 13 years as a Shampoo Assistant at a salon before deciding to pursue his career in makeup full time. To get more practice, he would go around the salon asking the patrons if he could do their makeup for free .)

Take classes from trusted, working Makeup Artists have have the style or career that you aspire to.


Q: If makeup is your passion, is it worth leaving your full time job for makeup?

A: You can't have faith and fear at the same time. (TWEETABLE! My heart fluttered when he said this. Let the church say "Amen").


Q: How do you keep on pushing when you feel like you want to give up?

A: Change your perspective about whatever negative situation you're in. When a door closes, instead of thinking about it as a negative thing, think about it this way: "maybe this is just not where I'm meant to be, or what I'm supposed to be doing right now". When one door closes, keep knocking on new doors. And sometimes you just have to make your own.


Q: What has social media done for your career?

A: I use social media, especially Instagram, to connect with fellow artists and brands. Social media has put me on larger platform to share my calling with other. Aside from makeup, I feel like I was called to inspire. IG helps me reach a broader audience, and have access to brands that otherwise, I may not have.

Renny Vasquez with Gabrielle Union. Photo source: Instagram

Q: What are your top 5 must have products?

A: Black Opal Foundations, Kett Sett, Fashion Fair Cosmetics Highlighter (Golden Lights), 50-pot lipstick case (thanks to Nicky Gerome for putting me onto to that), and Embryolisse moisturizer.

Oh! And beauty blender and breath mints. Makeup artistry is so much more than applying makeup to someone's face. It's about the experience you create. And if your breath ain't right... (Laughing!)


Q: Have you ever had a client who was disappointed with their makeup? How do you deal?

A: I haven't had a client who was disappointed, per se. But I have learned not to take it personally when I receive criticism and and to open myself up to learning new things. When working with celebrities, they've already worked with the best artists and they're expecting the best, so you have to humble yourself! Some of the best tricks I've learned have been from my celebrity clients. 

Being a MUA is an exchange of energy. In terms of dealing with "negative" clients, I choose to work with people who I feel good about, and that the appreciation for my work is mutual. All money ain't good money. And sometimes I do say "no" to working with clients. Here's the thing: don't set yourself up for abuse by going back to clients who were rude and abusive. 

Learn how to separate your personal feelings and ego from the business side of things.

Makeup and photography by Renny Vasquez

Q: How did you get into photography and how do you incorporate it into your artistry.

A: Makeup artistry and photography go hand in hand. MUAs should learn more about lighting. Lights can take off 30% of the makeup you put on, so you should learn how to manipulate your makeup applications so that it reads in photos.

When I started out, I I wanted to learn about lighting. Around that time I got a job with Mizani in which I traveled around teaching marketing for stylists. As I went from city to city, I would set up test shoots to get shots for my book. But I got tired of waiting for the photographers to deliver the edited photos, or not getting them at all, so I decided to play around with photography. I reached out to a NY-based photographer who allowed me to take a few shots and he thought they were good! He ended up giving me recommendations for equipment and resources, and I went out and purchased a used camera and began playing around. The rest is history! To this day, I still don't know what all the buttons on my camera do. I play around with the lighting and buttons until the photo looks "right".

 In Closing

Renny has an infectiously positive spirit and gives of himself without hesitation or wanting anything in return. His personal mantra is "My passion for beauty helps others walk in their purpose". It definitely helped me walk in mine. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.


Talk Back

Who is your makeup inspiration? What inspired you to start doing makeup? Let me know in the comments!

Contact Renny | IG @RennyVasquez

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