Last weekend a friend of mine and I took a road trip to Orlando, FL to catch up with a few of our beauty buddies, and also to attend The Makeup Show Orlando. While there we purchased tons of makeup, participated in a few classes, and got up close and personal with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Merrell Hollis.
Merrell is an Emmy-nominated makeup artist and grooming expert. He has appeared in several major mags, such as; Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and worked with numerous A-List Celebrities which include, P Diddy, Naomi Campbell and Diane Von Furstenberg. Those facts alone makes his resume impressive. However, he is most known for being the head makeup artist on the Wendy Williams Show and the Creative Director for Black Opal cosmetics.
I was really excited to have the opportunity to not only meet but interview Merrill.
Here's what he had to say!!!!!
1. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
I get my inspiration from the change of the seasons, change in beliefs and all of the extraordinary NYC women walking by. I really put women on a pedestal.
2. WHO ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER?
Some people who’ve inspired me are: Pat McGrath, Sam Fine, Reggie Wells, and Roshar amongst others.
3. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MAKEUP ARTIST AND HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE INDUSTRY?
I began my career as a MUA when I was seventeen. I had a passion for the makeup industry and decided to sneak onto a shoot with 112 - one of my favorite R&B groups at the time. I bought a set of makeup brushes at the local CVS and pretended to be the makeup artist on set – until I got caught! The real key makeup artist, Maurice Beaman, was kind and let me stay anyway. It wasn’t long before I was being nurtured under the apprentice of Maurice Beaman, who mentored and imparted expert advice that I still follow today.
4. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MAKE UP?
There's so much to love about makeup from color to texture to the way that it makes a person feel once on but I'd have to say that what I appreciate the most is that there is always a new technique with makeup. I love education and in this business, there’s always something to learn.
5. IF YOU WEREN’T A MAKEUP ARTIST, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO?
If I was not a Makeup Artist I would be a Veterinarian. I love animals!
6. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK AND WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOUR STYLE THAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER MAKEUP ARTISTS?
People say that I am more of a natural makeup artist. For me, it’s all in the details. This could mean a subtle highlight that makes all of the difference to enhance the face.
7. NAME A FEW CELEBRITIES YOU HAVE WORKED WITH?
I am the key makeup artist for The Wendy Williams Show and Ms. Williams’ personal makeup artist. I was also the grooming consultant and makeup person for all of the artists at Sean Combs's Bad Boy Entertainment and celebrities including Tamia, Naomi Campbell, Usher and Kim Cattrall. I also work with supermodel Jessica White. I just love being creative and am so blessed to be able to do what I love.
8. WHAT ARE SOME COMMON BEAUTY MISTAKES THAT WOMEN MAKE?
A common beauty mistake that many women are still making is choosing the wrong foundation. You can tell that a foundation isn’t working for you if the color either looks pasty or a little too red. The right foundation will look like natural like your skin tone.
9. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BEAUTY ADVICE THAT YOU CAN GIVE TO WOMEN?
The most important beauty advice I can give to women is: It is just makeup – if you don’t like it, take it off. Have fun with it!
10. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MAKE UP FOR EVER PRODUCT?
My favorite Make Up For Ever product is the Artist Shadow Palette, which is a special collection of top colors chosen by 30 artists around the world (myself included) to help celebrate Make Up For Ever’s 30th Anniversary. The colors are amazing and range from neutral to artistic to smokey.
Now a question for you sassy people! What would you ask Merrell Hollis if you had the opportunity????
Have A Happy Healthy, and Remember To Always...