Friends Friday: Carola Gonzalez
I am super excited this week because I have an amazing video coming out tomorrow (new videos every Saturday people! Are you subscribed to my YouTube channel? Uhhhhh what are you waiting for???). I’m sitting down with celebrity makeup artist Carola Gonzalez so she can tell us about her favorite hacks and products. She truly blew my mind with some of the things she brought, and I cannot wait for you to see them too.
But the nature of YouTube and our dwindling attention spans do not allow for videos much longer than five or ten minutes. We’re all busy working ladies and we don’t have time for long videos!! Still, when I sat down with Carola, she told me the interesting story of how she became a makeup artist and I wanted to make sure you could hear it too, even if all of it didn’t make the vid.
The full interview is below, and if you’re interested in Carola or possibly aspiring to get into makeup professionally, this is definitely for you.
A little more about Carola: She is a kind, talented, beautiful and badass makeup artist whose clients include Kerry Washington, Olivia Munn, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jaime King, Eva Longoria, Paz Vega, and Rosario Dawson. She’s paved a way in the makeup world for women of color, and she continues to bring out the beauty in every person she comes across. Check her out on INSTAGRAM and come back for our video tomorrow!
JAMIE: Tell us about how you got started as a makeup artist.
CAROLA: So I’m Puerto Rican and I moved to LA from Miami. I used to model, and when I first started modeling in Miami, they would do my makeup and I would think, “How can I look worse than I do without makeup?” I just didn’t understand. I also knew the importance of feeling good in front of the camera. If you feel ugly, how are you going to radiate that you feel good? So I never felt like I looked amazing, like a million bucks, and that’s what makeup should do. When you stand in front of the mirror you want to look amazing and feel amazing. I think that’s one of the things I love about my work - you can transform people and make them feel so good about themselves. I think that’s the most rewarding thing for me.
Anyway, I started to learn how to do my own makeup, and other makeup artists told me I should do it. I didn’t think I could because I didn’t go to school for it, but that was just in my head. So I bought Kevyn Aucoin’s book Making Faces - I learned that way because we didn’t have YouTube or anything like that. And then I decided to quit the modeling and focus on the makeup.
JAMIE: You started in Miami, but what made you move to Los Angeles?
CAROLA: I moved to California because I wanted to be a celebrity makeup artist. I didn’t know one soul here.
JAMIE: Where did you start when you moved here?
CAROLA: I had some connections from Miami so I tried to work those. I actually worked for another makeup artist, and the way she operated was that she would pass on jobs to me that she couldn’t take.
JAMIE: So you didn’t work at any counters or anything?
CAROLA: No because I kept going back to Miami. My clients were there, so in order for me to make money, I would go to Miami, make money, and come back.
JAMIE: That’s a cross-country hustle.
CAROLA: Yeah, it was a hustle. And I also always made it a thing to go out and meet people. I started to build my connections here, but then I would go back to Miami and everything I was building in LA would weaken. I’d go to Miami for a month, they would call me, and I wasn’t available. So it went up and down, up and down. After three years of this, I decided, you know what? I’m just going to stay in LA. I’m going to get a job. And I’ll see what happens. But I have to stay here because I felt like I was in limbo. I didn’t feel stable. So I decided to give it my all, to fight it, to make it, and…I did!
JAMIE: So many of us artists struggle in a major way like that. You’ve really worked for this and you deserve everything you’ve earned!
CAROLA: Thank you! You too!