What It’s Really Like to Be a Celebrity Makeup Artist

"My kit weighs 35 lbs, and I still feel like I don’t have enough makeup!"

How do you get to be a celeb makeup artist? And is it really as glamorous as it seems? The Lookbook asked makeup pro Ashlee Glazer, Smith & Cult Beauty Ambassador, to share her journey from stalking a MAC manager at the mall for a job at age 20 to dolling up famous faces like Rachel Zoe, Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, and Marie Claire's Zanna Rassi. She also shared her favorite, incredibly easy makeup tip and some career advice that's inspiring no matter your industry.

Yesterday's Glam for @rachelzoe ! Wish she lived here all the time! @thezoereport

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How did you get your first big break in the industry?

I got a job at MAC when I was 20, I used to stalk the manager every day at my local mall in Long Island asking for a job. I made relationships there that changed my life in many ways — [both in my] career and personal — and am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences I had there.

What is your typical day like as a makeup artist?

Every day is different, which is what I love most. When I am working with clients, I am running around, packing and unpacking my kit, on tight schedule of appointments. My off days, I am cleaning my kit, answering emails, and running beauty errands to make sure I have everything I need for that week’s clientele.

How much do you travel?

I go to LA for awards season the beginning of each year, and take little trips throughout the year. Working with Smith & Cult, I have visited four different countries in the past six months, and my bridal business takes me to fabulous destinations all over. I love traveling and getting to see new places, and eat the best food!

Do you have to pack a huge kit with tons of makeup? Do you have to be prepared for anything?

Yes! I am prepared for everything and anything! My kit weighs 35 lbs, and I still feel like I don’t have enough makeup! I have learned to expect the unexpected, and always carry a variety of everything, even if I am with just one client. Besides makeup, I have Band-Aids, tampons, nail polish remover, tide sticks, tissues, wipes, qtips, and the list goes on.

For celebs who are attending premieres/events, do you have days beforehand to figure out their beauty look or is it right on the spot?

Sometimes, I get to see the dress beforehand, but usually they are just like us girls and don’t know what they are wearing. We usually will chat first, about the colors, jewels, shoes and hairstyle, and then figure it out together.

Is there any tip or trick that you use for all your clients?

I love a bit of highlighter on the nose, I probably do that on almost everyone, I think a super powdery nose is aging – but not really. Every client is different and unique in her own features. I like to make sure they all feel comfortable, confident and that we have a good time. Makeup is fun, and getting ready should be the least stressful part of the day.

What's your #1 piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a makeup artist?

Say yes to everything in the beginning, this will help you figure out what you like and dislike in the industry, find your niche and meet tons of different people to network with. Introduce yourself to everyone and treat everyone with respect!

What did you tell the kids on Career Day?

I love Career Day! I have been a guest for the past 3 years at my best friend’s middle school. I talk about my love of the industry and my passion for my career. I told them not to discredit any hobbies they may have and if they love to do something, and they are really good at it, they should follow that path and see where it takes them. I truly love doing makeup and it makes me happy to make others feel beautiful. Sometimes I still can’t believe I get paid to do what I love. I am very lucky.

I talked a lot about core character traits that can transcend into any industry. Having a good attitude, being a good listener, staying focused on your goals, and bringing good energy into every situation is extremely important. I told them to talk to everyone, and tell everybody their dreams. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if I didn’t do that, because you never know who may be listening.

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