Great makeup artists are hard to find these days, but it’s even tougher to find someone who is great at their craft that also knows the power of educating their clients! My dear friend, LaTasha Benn is like a triple threat: she slays, can beat a face and teaches her students how to do the same!
I had the pleasure to chatting with LaTasha about her start in the industry and the tea on what she has planned this year for her clients. Check out our convo to find out all the juice LaTasha has for you, too!
Ryan Whitney: How long have you been a makeup artist?
LaTasha Y. Benn: Since 1st grade, if painting nail polish on my dolls' face counts LOL. But professionally, I’ve been a makeup artist for the past 11 years.
RW: I am always intrigued with how my fellow artists in the industry got started in their craft. What got you in the beauty biz?
LYB: I’ve always enjoyed painting (on faces specifically) but I never really thought of being a professional makeup artist until I was doing makeup for my cousins' photoshoot for a book cover. The photographer was very pleased with my work and asked me for my business card. I was like, “umm I don’t have one. I’m not really a makeup artist.” She reassured me that I was most definitely a makeup artist and I needed to get some business cards and start networking ASAP. I kept in touch with her and she helped me get connected with other photographers and introduced me to a site called “Model Mayhem” where I was able to meet and work with tons of other photographers. I’ve been moving forward as a makeup artist ever since.
RW: Was that also your 1st makeup gig?
LYB: My first paid gig was actually for a theatre production. I don’t remember the name of the play, but it was pretty cool to get to be back stage piling makeup on all the actors, men and women. I had to work fast and at the same time make sure enough makeup was on each actor so they weren’t washed out by all the lighting. It was so much fun. After that night I just knew I was going to be in the theatre industry, doing makeup for plays and films. And I did for a while, locally, but somehow along the way I transitioned into bridal makeup and more natural looks.
RW: Just from knowing you, I know that you have worked for many cosmetic brands. Out of all the brands that you have represented over the years, what has been your favorite?
LYB: I’ve worked with tons of brands and even worked for several brands. My favorite right now is Motives Cosmetics, which I currently sell and use as my primary makeup line on all of my clients and during my workshops. I like having a brand that I am confident selling and using on myself, which hasn’t always been the case with other lines. And in addition to Motives, I also really like NARS, Laura Mercier, and Tarte. There are always a few products from those lines in my kit, personal and professional.
RW: Since we originally met in Esthetics school, I know how we both feel about good skin care. How important do you feel it is for a great makeup application?
LYB: Skin care always comes first to me. Before I put makeup on anyone’s face I always ask about their skin care routine, skin type, and what products they are using. I like to make sure whatever I’m putting on their face will go well with their skin type. A lot of women use makeup as a cover up or a temporary fix for skin care concerns that can be easily resolved with a consistent skin care routine. This is why I address skin first with all of my clients. Plus, makeup application is so much easier when your skin is healthy.
RW: Many ladies love to watch YouTube videos to gain makeup knowledge. What are some ways you suggest for your clients to learn the best makeup tips and tricks for them?
LYB: It’s funny you bring up YouTube because I just relaunched my YouTube channel. I recently surveyed my subscribers, asking them what are some of the best ways they learn how to apply their makeup. And of course, the #1 answer was YouTube. I use YouTube to engage more with my followers and also to grow my audience, but I always suggest for my clients to either book a 1-on-1 lesson with me or to attend one of my makeup workshops to really learn. I love teaching and whether you do a 1-on-1 lesson or come to the workshop, you will still get hands-on experience and a personalized lesson. To book a 1-on-1 lesson you can contact me directly via my website www.lybartistry.com and for more information on my next makeup workshop you can visit my site as well.
RW: Wow! That is awesome! Now, what are a few things someone interested in your class should know?
LYB: My Enhanced Makeup Workshop is not the typical watch & learn set-up. It’s a hands-on, interactive class where you get to practice the techniques as you learn them. I also like to have fun, so I always tell everyone at the start of the class, whether you learn anything new or not, at least you’ll leave this class feeling like you had a damn good time. And, I don’t just focus on makeup, my motto is “love your beauty” and that phrase embodies way more than just makeup. I always have a guest speaker who touches on other beauty, empowering, and/or health topics. For instance, during my last workshop I had a massage therapist speak about mindful breathing, meditation, and stretching. The ladies loved it. It was a great start to an awesome class. My upcoming workshop on 3/25 will feature a motivational speaker and like coach. But I think this testimonial from my last class pretty much sums it up:
"I have wanted to attend one of these workshops for a while and I'm so glad I did! I know the basics of makeup but I don't use anything but foundation, eye makeup, and blush. I learned not only how to apply makeup, but I learned about the tools themselves, different makeup and skin products and their uses, and so many tips that I realized how much fun I was missing out on. I left the workshop eager to go to the store and since the workshop I've purchased products I never thought I would use (or knew existed) as well as a good makeup mirror (with a light) and I've started putting my new skills to use. I feel like it makes a world of difference!
Another takeaway was to slow down, appreciate your beauty for what it is, and take care of yourself in all aspects. I loved the presenter and the messages about well being that rang throughout. I left the workshop recommitting to taking care of myself in all aspects and I'm so grateful for it. Thank you, LaTasha, for sharing your talents with us too enhance our beauty."
RW: Daaaaaaang! That’s an impressive testimonial! It’s really dope how knowledge really opens someone’s eyes to all the possibilities! How do people sign up?
LYB: To sign up just go to www.LYBEnhancedMakeupWorkshop.EventBrite.com
RW: Any last words that you want to share or even some words you live by?
LYB: With the hopes of not coming off as egotistical, my favorite quote is actually one that I created myself - “Confidence is beauty. Love yourself. Love your beauty.”
There you have it folks! If you have any additional questions about LaTasha Benn, her classes and/or services, go to www.lybartistry.com.