Allison Tolle of Tampa, FL – Make-up Artist Interview
Q: Tell a little about yourself personally and if you attended school or you are a self taught makeup artist?
A: I fell in love with the art of Makeup while I was in school for Theatre at Auburn University.
I had to take several Stage makeup classes there and I really loved them and felt like I excelled in them, so after I graduated from Auburn (with a B.A. in Theatre) I moved to Orlando, FL where I continued my schooling at Joe Blasco Makeup Center East where I studied all aspects of Professional Makeup Artistry.
Q: Do you think going to school for make-up artistry is important to excel in the business later on?
A: I don’t think that it is absolutely ‘necessary’, but I do feel like I learned a LOT from the experience and it gave me a lot of experience and contacts. I think I probably gained the confidence to just go out there and do it, more than anything else from my school.
Q: Did you always wanted to be an artist, or did you stumble upon your talent by chance? Who or what inspired you to become a makeup artist?
A: I always knew that I wanted to be involved in this industry, (Television, Film, Modeling, etc.) but it wasn’t until college that I realized that I wanted to work behind the scenes in Makeup Artistry. My costuming teacher at Auburn, Tracy Oleinik really inspired me to go further with Makeup.
Q: What is your favorite or most exciting aspect about your job?
A: I LOVE seeing the finished prints of my work, it’s so exciting the first time you get to see your work in a magazine or on a website… It’s like waiting for the best present in the world at Christmas. It is kind of nerve wracking, but you are still so happy and excited.
Q: What surprises you most about working as a makeup artist?
A: I think I have been more surprised with the people in the industry than anything else. I think so many people have this image in their heads of all divas, and people who think they are better than you.
In reality, everyone is just trying to make their own art just like you, so over the years I have met the most amazing people through work, and usually they are all so willing to help you learn and make you better.
Q: Describe your “Classic Approach to Beauty.” how do you define beauty?
A: I know it is cliched, but beauty to me, really is on the inside. Now that being said, amazing bone structure never hurt anyone!!! For me, classic beauty is not a lot of makeup though, it’s more about a clean, beautiful looking person. Makeup-wise, maybe a little liner and a soft natural looking cheek and lip color. Nothing too crazy.
Q: What individual products and brands you’re “addicted” to at the moment and you use on a daily basis?
A: Well I just started working more with airbrushing, so I LOVE MAC’s HD line of colors for the airbrush. Other than that, I also never leave home without my ‘fluidlines’ (also from MAC). I also love’ a product by Benefit called “High-Beam”. I use it to add some shimmer to the cheek bones, it really looks especially beautiful on brides.
Q: What are some of the most basic but effective skin care tips in general that you have, that are really important?
A: MOISTURIZE!!!!! It makes a WORLD of a difference, also toothpaste is a great quick zit-remover… just dab a little on the trouble spot before bed and you will be amazed by the results in the morning.
Q: Have you had an extreme, crazy or bad experience with a skin care product or during a makeup session? If so, what happened?
A: I’m sure I have had something crazy go wrong on many occasions, but nothing really comes to mind right now.
Q: What do you find to be the most common mistakes women make with makeup? What’s the worst thing a woman can do to her skin?
A: The most common mistake I see is the constant need to surround your eye with BLACK BLACK liner… It looks ridiculous when teenagers do it, but it’s even worse on a more mature-looking woman… It really ages you unless it is done perfectly… And the worst thing by far is TANNING… Forget the fact that it can cause cancer, and just be vain for 2 seconds, b/c I guarantee you the more you tan, the more you will WRINKLE!!!!
Q: What do you think are best/worst trends in the makeup / skin care industry right now?
A: I LOVE all of the natural coral shades that are in right now. As for the worst trends, probably anything that the cast of Jersey Shore would wear… ;-)
Q: Do teenage girls needs to splurge on high-priced makeup products, or are drugstore items are just as satisfactory?
A: Drug store items are ABSOLUTELY just as satisfactory… especially for young girls. Honestly most days I don’t use my expensive products that I use for photoshoots and such on myself, I reach for my cover-girl and maybelline supply. And Wet n’ Wild has some of the best lip-glosses around.
Q: What feature(s) do you love to accentuate and why?
A: Eyes… all day long, the eyes really are the first thing you notice about a person, so I LOVE making them truly ‘PoP’ I am a huge eye-brow fanatic, too many people don’t realize what a difference they make in framing a persons face, so I spend a lot of time on brows as well.
Q: What are your steps for the perfect, flawless, natural look?
A: That is a really hard question, and truthfully this look is the hardest look to perfect. To make someone look clean and beautiful as if they are not wearing any makeup at all is a true art form. Lots of shading and highlighting and having a very steady hand…
Q: What is a really quick way to change a day look to a special occasion or nighttime face?
A: Just add some drama to the eyes, and maybe a touch more color to the cheeks, and usually just some gloss on the lips will do the trick quite nicely.
Q: What are the differences between applying makeup on models and on real women?
A: Well, usually when you are working with models, you have a younger girl with no lines or real bags under their eyes, and you are working to fulfill your vision or the photographers vision so you know exactly what look you are going for and it is quick and easy to achieve.
I find that I am more nervous when working with ‘real women’ because I really want to make them happy and make them feel beautiful. You have to be willing to really listen to what they want, instead of what you think they should want.
Q: In terms of eyeliner, if you had to choose between a pencil, liquid, or creme/gel based, which one would you choose? Why?
A: Creme/gel always… It is easier to blend and it usually stays on longer. But I always keep a pencil with me too in case I am lining the shelf of the eye.
Q: Lip gloss or Lipstick. Which product is best? Why?
A: Both, and I will never choose between them!!! :-)
Q: What should a client consider before deciding to try permanent makeup? What is the difference between permanent and semi-permanent makeup?
A: I don’t work much with permanent makeup, but the times I have seen it, it usually makes the person look rather harsh. I am not a huge fan.
Q: What brand/type of concealer is your favorite for covering up the after effects of a late night out i.e. under-eye circles, blemishes?
A: Dermaceal concealers from Joe Blasco.
Q: How about airbrush spray makeup trend? Are these products better or easier to use than standard sponge or finger application? If yes when would you recommend using them?
A: I LOVE them for brides and for photoshoots, but I would never put airbrush on myself just to run to the store… For everyday for me, just a light liquid foundation or even a tinted moisturizer and some powder.
Q: What do your clients think of you? What are some individual testimonials?
A: I think most of my clients that I have worked with on a repeat basis would just consider me their friend. I really like to get to know the person I am working with. You can find many testimonials on my website and facebook pages.
Q: Would you share some of your future goals, your life motto, any words of wisdom that get you by in life and professional career?
A: I try to live by James Dean’s motto: “Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today” I think that says loads about my motto.
You just have to live everyday to it’s fullest. If you stress over the little things you will make yourself crazy and miss out on so many other cool things. When I was in college I thought I would never get married before I was at least 35 with a successful career in the movie industry.
Now, (I am 25 and happily married living and working in Tampa, FL) You just can’t have a set path that you are determined to follow. You have to be willing to bend the rules a little and just go with the flow. Now I have a husband and a dog that I love dearly, I love everything about the state of Florida and I love working more with print.
I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything by not being out in Hollywood going to the parties and premiers. And besides, I still have plenty of time, so if I end up doing that later then great, if not, I am still doing something that I love every single day.
Q: What tips and advice do you have for aspiring makeup artists just starting out?
A: You have to get over your nerves…. Just paint, draw, sculpt… anything you can get your hands on, and everyone you know should have modeled for you at least once. You also have to realize that breaking into the industry isn’t easy and you are goin to have to do your fare share of TFP (time for prints) shoots as well while you are building your portfolio up. Model Mayhem is a great platform for this.