Makeup has become a vital part of today’s society. Whether it’s artistic makeup or just every day makeup, it makes us feel good about our selves! It’s such a versatile career. There are freelancers who work in the TV, film, and music industry who make pretty good money.
Phi Gomez is changing the game one face at a time. She strives to show women how to improve their self esteem by giving them tips on makeup applications. She has such an effervescent personality that you can’t help but like her. She is also part of an underground group of MUAs called RAW which is helping these artists make their shine even brighter. Check out what she has to say!
When did you know you wanted to be a makeup artist? Do you have an art background, or was this something that you fell into and are really passionate about?
Phi: I always knew I liked makeup and hair. I thought the passion that I had for it and the art of it was the same level as everyone else around me. It wasn’t until I was about 16 and started working at a hair salon that I understood how much I actually appreciated it more than the normal person. I was asked questions like “how did you do that with your eyeshadow?” or “ How did you style your hair that way?” I always wanted to pursue it but I never had the chance. It wasn’t until I moved out to southern CA that I had more time and opportunity to pursue it full time. Now I am happier (career wise) than I can ever remember being.
People often mistake artists for being aloof, what do you think of that stereotype?
Phi: Well, I think that’s an old stereotype that has evolved a lot in the past 10 years. Maybe it’s the new “tattoo shows” or “motorcycle building” show but I think that reality shows play a big role in how artists are portrayed presently. We are now defined as cool, hip, and sociable people who are usually the center of attraction now. From rap artists, to makeup artists, clothing designers, and dancers it’s cool to be an artist and I feel respected for what I do and from friends and strangers alike.
If you had the chance to work on any makeup campaign, which makeup brand would you most want to collaborate with?
Phi: I would really like to work with E.L.F cosmetics. Not only do they make affordable makeup for women & men of all ages but they are quality products that I use myself and keep in my makeup kit. They are a new company that came into the scene and somewhat are taking over. I love their cosmetics!
Like you said, college isn’t for everyone. So did you go to school for makeup artistry or is this an innate talent you’ve always possessed?
Phi: I take one day workshops here and there, and read books on technique and styles to hone in on my talent (because I do believe that you never stop learning), but I am proud to say that I am self taught. It’s always been a love and passion and it never feels like work.
It’s great that you want to show women how beautiful they really are. Are you a big believer in boosting one’s self esteem through makeup?
Phi: Whether it’s just a touch of gloss or full on lashes and red lips, I think that makeup can definitely change your self esteem. I see it every time I finish a bride, or a model, or a mom for a special night out. It can go from a so so mood to them walking out and feeling like a million bucks! I don’t think that everyone needs makeup to feel incredible but it can definitely help you out if you’re not feeling your absolute best on any given day.
Do you give free makeup lessons to those who aren’t familiar with applying makeup?
Phi: I am definitely willing to do so for anyone who is coming from adverse conditions or isn’t able to pay and really wants to learn. At this point I have only given tips and pointers but nothing full on, yet……
Where do you see yourself in five years? Where would you like for your career to be?
Phi: I would definitley love to get more print and film in my portfolio. Not just for beauty work but some special effects would be great! I don’t want to take over the world, but leaving my “little” makeup foot print would be nice.
As you probably already know Michelle Phan has a huge following and is a YouTube sensation. Have you considered doing makeup tutorials on video for the masses? Perhaps you can be our very own first Cambodian makeup guru?
Phi: Actually, I started a YouTube channel almost a year ago. I haven’t done a video in months because work has picked up but there are some YouTube videos that I have that need editing. I would love to be a Cambodian makeup guru! http://www.youtube.com/user/Phisprettyfaces
We seem to have a lot in common! Is there a community of underground artists such as yourself?
Phi: I have been fortunate enough to be recognized by an organization called RAW natural born artists. http://www.rawartists.org/ They give underground artists a voice. They showcased me in my own runway last year and I was even a nominee (1 of 7) for makeup artist of the year for 2010. It was my first awards ceremony show and I felt so lucky.
So this is a random question. What is your favorite Khmer dish?
Phi: Hands down Bok La Hong! Oh my gosh, I look forward to Cambodian New Year every year just because I know the best of the best in the area will be vending in Stockton (where I used to to till I moved to SoCal). I like it really dark with the salty crab and lits of chili! Gosh, just thinking about it is making my mouth salivate.
Have you been to Cambodia? If not, do you plan on visiting the homeland one day?
Phi: I had the opportunity to visit when I was younger and declined to go. Now that I am older and can appreciate what my parents went through and more curious about my culture and homeland I definitely want to make it out there. There are family members there that I would love to meet. It’s a little out of my grasp to go the moment but it is definitely on my bucket list.
Check more of Phi’s work below or visit the links above.
Originally Posted by Tyan Y.
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