Interviews / People

What’s In Your Bag: Joanna Simkin

1. Small Wallet 2. Sunglasses Cases 3. Makeup Bag 1 4. hair ties 5. 3 Jumpdrives 6. iphone chargers 7. Makeup bag 2 8. Hand sanitizer & lotion 9. Prada bag 10. Business cards 11. I am Lucky (receipts bag) 12. ipad 13. Rosebud lip gloss

What’s your biggest accomplishment?
I’m most proud of making the decision to leave a comfortable full-time position in 2009 and move to LA (by myself) to pursue my dream of being a freelance makeup artist. It wasn’t always been smooth sailing, but I never went back to working for somebody else again, and I don’t plan to.
When did you know you wanted to be MUA?
I always liked to play with makeup, but when I was 19, I got a makeover at a Bobbi Brown counter, and that was the first time I thought “Wow, people get paid to do makeup?!” At that time, I thought the only “make-up artist” job was working at a counter. I soon learned that you can be a make-up artist many other ways.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since starting your career?
It sounds cliche, but it really is WHO you know in this business. Your relationships are everything. There are SO MANY amazing artists, but there are surprisingly few who know how to maintain relationships, work their rolodex, and believe it or not, just plain not be crazy!
What’s your advice to someone interested in becoming a MUA?
Test, test, test! Test in all sorts of settings: studios, outdoor, water, cloudy, sunny. Makeup looks different in each of those settings. Photographers, producers, directors and talent not only want to make sure you can do a certain look, but that you can work in the conditions they have set up to shoot. Prove it by doing test shoots whenever you can!
Where do you receive inspiration?

I mainly receive inspiration from the streets. I live in New York, and am in LA several times a year. Where else but on real women in the hottest cities in the world can you find inspiration for beauty?

Joanna Whats In Your Bag Celine

Crocodile Celine Luggage Tote

If you could have one famous entrepreneur as your mentor who would it be?
Bobbi Brown is so inspiring! Not only is her style of makeup what I love (enhancing natural beauty rather than creating an entirely new face), but she has turned herself into a global brand. Her makeup is sold worldwide and used by consumers and professionals alike. Plus, she’s written multiple best-selling books on the subject of beauty. She’s awesome.
Do you feel your life is balanced between work life + personal life?
I don’t know that there’s such a thing as perfect balance. My life is perfectly imbalanced. I turn all recreation into work, and all work into recreation. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.
Do you offer classes for people who want to learn more about make up?
People have asked me about classes for awhile now. I’ve got a little something coming up!
What is your most indispensable gadget:
I couldn’t live without my iPhone. It’s literally like having a mini computer in my purse at all times. From getting directions to my jobs, to invoicing on the spot, to accepting payment, to checking Twitter and Instagram when there’s downtime on set… whoo! What an invention! Respect, Steve Jobs!
What’s your favorite app?
Besides the obvious, Twitter and Instagram, (I’m a social media nerd), I’m a total Yelp-a-holic! I love to write a review and 9 times out of 10 I choose a restaurant based on other Yelpers opinions.
What’s your favorite account to follow on Twitter?
Oh, man. I Love Twitter, and my timeline is really entertaining and well-rounded. Can I do Top 5? I love @crissles, @patmcgrathreal, @earth_pics, @huffingtonpost and @luvvie. And of course, @tashaicb 🙂
What’s your favorite item in your closet:
My Helmut Lang leather leggings. Dress ’em up, dress ’em down, they are HAUTE! I have two pairs and I’m itching for more!
I am a huge fan of Joanna as a person and I love her work. She is super sweet and amazing. I have tweeted her random beauty questions and she politely answers them. To learn more about my favorite celeb MUA, follow her on twitter, instagram and check out her site.
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