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woman staring at the camera with gold makeup and her mouth slightly open
woman staring at the camera with gold makeup and her mouth slightly open
Photo by Krish Parmar
Style > Beauty

How I Accidentally Became a Makeup Artist

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

I am by no means a professional or professionally trained makeup artist or “MUA,” whatever you wanna call it. I also wasn’t the makeup-wearing type for most of my life; it was rare you’d see me with a full face of makeup on until my senior year of high school. I didn’t even have the proper tools to do makeup until my sophomore year of college. I lived almost entirely off my mom’s hand-me-downs and the tester packs she would get me for Christmas. 

However, around my freshman and sophomore year of college, I started getting really into this idea of creating art on my face rather than just slapping some poorly blended nudes on my eyelids and calling it a day. My mom caught onto this and bought me my first proper makeup palette to help me get my footing in the makeup world. 

I tried the craziest looks I could possibly think of on my face, from bright green and gold glitter for Green Machine gigs, to purple, cut crease drag looks at midnight. I became obsessed with expressing myself through this new medium. 

For those who don’t know me very well though, I’m extremely introverted and frankly a huge nerd. Those two categories aren’t exactly the most well known for their wild and wacky makeup looks (unless you count cosplay). Makeup very quickly became my new way of expressing who I was and wanted to be, someone light and colorful. Someone who wore way too much blue eyeshadow for her first Her Campus photoshoot… 

My sophomore year is when things started to pick up, however. I was living in a forced triple with a girl I’d never met before, which was vaguely terrifying. Within a week of knowing her, I learned that she was a wild and fun person with a free heart. I remember her complimenting how nice my skin was, which was something I wasn’t used to.

Her name is Elizabeth Mordica, a runway model and senior at George Mason. 

I vaguely remember the first time Elizabeth saw me do my makeup. She loved watching me experiment with new looks and products. Eventually, she asked if I could do her makeup for a party she was going to with some friends. I ended up doing her makeup and one of her friend’s as well. From then on, I ended up doing Elizabeth’s makeup every time she had an important or formal event to go to. She’d always come home with a repertoire of people who complimented the look I’d done for her that night. 

Related Link: #ITriedIt: I Made My Own Palette With Colourpop

Fast forward two years, I get a call from Elizabeth asking if I’d like to come over to her place and help do a confidence-boosting photoshoot for her and her roommates. By this point, I hadn’t gotten many chances to see Elizabeth since our sophomore year due to our busy schedules, but I knew she’d been in multiple glamorous runway shows since then. 

On my end, due to a pandemic and maskne, I’d used makeup roughly four times over the course of five months. 

I. Was. Terrified. 

I said yes though, under the promise of pizza and getting to catch up with a friend. 

With a bag full of eyeshadow palettes I’d acquired over the past two years and plenty of new techniques I’d been learning, I got to work the next day. Elizabeth had some photos she’d ripped out of a magazine as inspiration for me to use. Between her and her two roommates who were getting pictures done, I created eight unique makeup looks over the course of four hours. 

side profile of a woman with her hands up together
Photo by Krish Parmar
Photo courtesy of Krish Parmar 

I hadn’t had a chance to express myself creatively like this in months, and I just felt a spark bubble up inside me. I realized that, even when I’d been doing my own makeup, I hadn’t had many chances to do anything crazy or drastic. I had to keep things tame for classes and events. 

I did two smokey eye looks on Elizabeth and her roommate and then I felt my creativity explode.

woman wearing a purple shirt and makeup eating a lollipop
Photo by Krish Parmar
Photo courtesy of Krish Parmar 

I felt like a sophomore again, begging Elizabeth to let me do something other than nudes and the occasional rosey look. I remembered buying her a bright turquoise lipstick for Christmas that year that I thought would compliment her skin tone and let her get more creative when doing her own makeup (the lipstick may or may not have also been named after one of her favorite movies, which was a plus). 

Despite the fact that my feet were aching and my hand was starting to cramp up from holding brushes for four hours, I loved every second of creating new looks, each one crazier than the last.

woman staring at the camera with gold makeup
Photo by Krish Parmar
Photo courtesy of Krish Parmar 

The final look Elizabeth wanted to do was a wet, Euphoria inspired golden moment. I busted out all the makeup that I’d typically reserve for Green Machine and went to work. That’s probably the look I’m most proud of from that whole day. I get giddy looking at all the pictures. 

I’d never been able to do anything like this, especially on such a large scale! Sure it’s not like a commercial or TV set, but I think it’s better than that. It’s one of my best friends of two years having enough faith in me to specifically ask me to come into her home and put her face in my hands for hours. The reactions Elizabeth and her roommates gave me when they finally got to see the finished products were so gratifying and exhilarating. It kept pushing me to try harder and harder with each look. 

I couldn’t be more grateful to be Elizabeth’s makeup artist.

Jane Grosskopf

George Mason University '21

Jane Grosskopf is a senior at George Mason University majoring in creative writing with a double minor in Middle East studies and journalism. Outside of writing, Jane plays clarinet in the Green Machine Pep Band, and serves as Vice President of Membership for the Mu Omicron chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, an honorary music service fraternity.
George Mason Contributor (GMU)

George Mason University '50

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