Carrie Esser: Makeup Madhouse

Name: Carrie Esser

Age: 19

Company: Makeup Madhouse

Instagram Followers: 7.9k (She's going to throw a party when she reaches 10,000!)

Major: Entrepreneurship

From: North Royalton, OH

Walking into Carrie Esser’s studio apartment, she offers one of her six makeup portfolios to my sister. Then she excitedly nods yes when I ask if she painted the Skullz Salon worthy painting above her desk. Within my first interactions with C.E., I knew the 19 year old makeup guru was the real deal.

Her Campus: When did you start body painting?

Carrie Esser: My junior year of high school, I used eyeshadow to do a half sugar skull on myself for Halloween. People really liked it so I kept doing it. For a while, I would use eyeshadow, eyeliner and regular makeup until Christmas 2014. That's when I got my first water-based paints.

HC: So you’ve never had any formal makeup instruction?!

CE: Nope, but I am taking Makeup for Stage and Screen this semester. I'm excited because I've never been taught makeup by anyone.

HC: Where did the name Makeup Madhouse come from?

CE: My senior year in high school I took Economics and we had to do a project and start a business. I came up with the name Makeup Madhouse for mine. I got really into the presentation and took it very seriously. After that the name stuck so I changed my Instagram name to that and my website and it lead to being my brand name.

HC: From the Makeup Madhouse Instagram  it looks like you often paint yourself. How?

CE: It gets easier the more I do it! The other day I painted "Joker" on my arm backwards more than once and I was like "What am I doing?!" It just takes practice.   


HC: How long do your body paintings usually take to complete?

CE: Painting can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on detail and the amount of skin.

*Author’s note: The Her Campus Kent State inspired art Carrie painted on me took three hours. Time passed by quickly as we ate fruit salad and watched Mariah’s World.  

HC:  What is your favorite painting you’ve done?

CE: It’s so hard to narrow down...the one that comes to mind is “Life and Death” because it was the first one to get 1,000 likes on Instagram. It’s framed over there. [Points to outer wall of apartment kitchen]

CE: My sugar skull Harley Quinn was also a very popular makeup. It was shared by an Instagram artist who has over 300,000 followers which lead to a lot more views to my own page and new followers! I'm always very appreciative when others share my work.


HC: You recently won 2nd place in a competition. Congratulations! Tell us about it.

CE: Thank you! I entered the #jasmineswhimsicalentry contest hosted by @butterflyjasmine49 on Instagram. My goal was to win 3rd place so when they posted the 3rd place winner and it wasn't me, I thought I wouldn't place. When I found out I got 2nd place, I ran around my apartment screaming. For winning I got over $300 worth of makeup, color contacts and all kinds of cool stuff. I'm excited! 

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