So of course, definitely in the land of Carnival and Usain Bolt is here having a time, I had to interview the hottest and one of the most controversial careers locally to date.
Down right Remy Ma petty! I am so here for it…….
Make Up Artistry has grown more than Kamla Persad Bissessar’s bank account ( it is alleged) in the last five years I would say.
Some say its their life, some say its a LIFE.
Some say they are self taught
Others are Kim Kardashian MUA trained
Some charge you $7000
Others 7 cents
Karlene is professional and has pure raw talent, she is surely mastering the art of glam that a rare few locally have acquired….
:Let’s see what she has to say!
No tea spilled…. yet 🙂
TM: How is the Carnival shaping up?
KG: It has been slow but it’s now picking up. I am fully booked for Carnival Monday and Tuesday however for the weekend events it’s slow. I do have faith that next year Carnival I will be booked from January.
TM: How do you manage on Carnival Monday and Tuesday with all those clients back to back and standing for the entire morning?
KG: This year I am actually having an assistant or two so that will help, besides that, energy drinks and just hope not to drop asleep doing someone’s face lol…..which never happened by the way. The rush though is really, really fun
TM: What time do you start?
KG: On Monday we start at 4am and on Tuesday at 12am and go till about 12 noon.
TM: Where would you be based, at home or another location?
KG: I would be based in Port of Spain
TM: How do you deal with all the competition in the make-up industry now?
KG: It bothered me before because most people do it now as they look at it as a way to make fast money and I don’t see it that way. Make-up is something that I love to do so I used to feel threatened and scared and just wanted to give up but now I am actually learning to deal with it. To each his own. Everybody has their own way of doing stuff so I just go with the flow and concentrate on what I know how to do.
TM: You say you were self-taught, when you say self-taught, what do you mean? I would think that there are things you would learn via some medium.
KG: YouTube. If something comes out or of if there is something I really need to know I would just Google it and then practice it on myself.
TM: How do you know what types of products to use? Do you ask clients about their skin type?
KG: No matter the skin type they want their makeup to last so I will use something like Nevia which is a men’s shave after cream and that is actually a primer. I would not use milk of magnesia because in the long run it would dry out your skin and cause break outs. It is just bad for your skin but it is one of the best makeup primers that can be used. I would use something called Himalaya as well, it’s a moisturizer, so I would use that first and then I would set it, double set it, before and after.
TM: Make-Up Artists are like Chinese groceries now, what do you think sets you apart from the rest in the industry?
KG: My techniques. My work is just different and I am known for glam chic in a different much softer way. My personality as well sets me apart.
TM: How do you deal with crazy clients?
KG: I have never had to deal with crazy clients. I never really had a bad experience. I would have persons who would say they coming for sure and never show up so now I try to let people make a deposit but thank God I never really had to deal with a crazy client. Most if not all of my clients actually like me so that’s a plus. ( Lucky her, I …. wellllllllll……)
TM: I see you had a Soca Star as a client recently, how was that experience?
KG: Who, Patrice Roberts? The one I posted recently was actually the second time I did her makeup. The first time I was super nervous because I was trying to make sure everything was perfect. I think I tried to be a little too perfect, it looked really well but to me I could have done better. Thank God they called me back a second time and it was amazing. She is a really down to earth, sweet person so it made the experience even better.
TM: Do you want to get into that part of the industry, doing make-up for Soca artistes, and local celebrities?
KG: I don’t have a problem with it. I was actually asked again to do her makeup this morning. I love doing make-up so I can see myself doing it for the local celebs.
TM: Being self taught,can you take me through the process?
KG: I would do make up on myself and family; I never really did it on anybody else. The first year I entered a competition with Ambrosia Cosmetics and won. When I went to collect my prize she saw my face (which was made-up of course) and actually thought my work was good and she invited me back for a meeting. I went to the meeting and she was telling us that she wanted to create a team of make-up artistes because she had a few events coming up one of which was Niki Minaj’s video recording, that was the year she came down to do the “Sound The Alarm” video. I was one of the make-up artistes doing the masquerades make up and that was my first big scary experience.
TM: How was that?
KG: It was a rush. We just got thrown into it but after doing it I felt that it was something I could do again. Right after that event, we did make up for Fantasy’s Band Launch and that went pretty well also and I just continued from there.
TM: How did you teach yourself?
KG: I followed the trends. There would always be a new trend so what I do if I see pictures I would just Google it once and right after that just look at the video an do it on myself.
(Somehow this NEVER HAPPENS with me, I look like Amaziah did my makeup, I need LOTS OF PRACTICE).
TM: And you are able to get the look?
KG: Yes. With the right tools and patience, because you have to sit there very long to make sure you get it. But every time I try a new look I get it, I’m still not perfect though.
TM: Have you seen growth in yourself as a make-up artist?
KG: Honestly, I only saw my growth at the end of last year to this year. There is always something new to learn and improve on so I would see growth every month. I would look at work I did last month and be like…. I could have done better.
TM: So you are always on top of your game and looking at your work and ways to improve.
KG: Yes, always.
UP!!!! UP!!! UP!!!!!! YESSSSSSS
TM: Who are some of the make-up artists that you admire globally? Who inspires you?
KG: Tatiana Ward, Sam Fine, Patrick Simondac also known as Patrick Starrr
TM: Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?
KG: Miki and Viva Glam. But I don’t have time to watch YouTube, everything now is on Instagram.
TM: And locally?
KG: Kai Ford / Simplii Beautiful
TM: How is it like working backstage in a band-launch with all those different faces?
KG: Sometimes the nerves kick in but then you have to remember this is what you are here to do and just get it done.
TM: What is the fastest you ever did a face?
KG: Time wise: 30 minutes. A whole glam look, eyelashes included. Yep, 30 minutes, once I am not speaking to the client because that tends to keep me back.
TM: Where do you see yourself in five years with respect to make-up?
KG: Having my own studio and actually having students working under me. Expanding and giving classes, selling products, having my own product line. ( whooop whooop, love it!)
TM: What would you tell a young make-up artist aged 16/17 who is in school and loves make-up?
KG: Stay in school…lol. First thing I would tell them is to find themselves in make up and see how far they can go. I would encourage them to go for it. Practice a lot and make sure they can see themselves doing it in the long run. When you practice and do a look then you will be able to tell what you need to work. Continue practicing and learning different things. Don’t let competition get to you.
TM: When you were just starting out how often would you practice?
KG: Everyday. Even now I still practice every-day when I am not working.
TM: Are you a full time make-up artiste or do you work otherwise?
KG: I work otherwise but I will be a full time make-up artist at the end of the month. I am taking that leap of faith. ( Go KARLENE! Cannot wait to see her growth into full time make up artistry)
Karlene’s Instagram page is here :
And her contact number is 376-0029 for bookings!
Well that’s it on to two days of pure BLISS!
To all my masqueraders please be safe on the road, keep hydrated and STRETCH!
Have a great time palancing on the road
With love and hustle
If you want to see more of me, follow me on IG : here