Got a real treat for you guys today! For all the die-hard beauty lovers out there: don’t you dream of getting a peek inside the life (and the makeup bag of course!) of a working makeup artist? Hear their opinions on products & trends? Well, I certainly do and that’s why I was so excited to chat with hairstylist & MUA Laura Costa.
Her resume is quite extensive across various media including publications, fashion photography, music videos & commercials. Her work has graced the covers of Billboard Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter, and she counts Adidas, Cartier, Hasbro, & The New York City Ballet as just some of her clients.
I hope you guys enjoy our chat and find it interesting or helpful! Make sure to follow Laura on Instagram @lauracosta.nyc. (She is repped by ENNIS Inc.)
I’m going to start by being really basic, but how did you start out in the beauty industry as a hair & makeup artist?
I’ve worked in salons my whole life. I started assisting a top-notch hairstylist years ago in Boston on Newbury St. One day a movie was being filmed at my salon (Bride Wars), and after seeing that production I said to myself, that’s what I wanna do! I wanna work in show business. So I moved to NYC to pursue it. I then met a woman who owned a production company in 2009 and she introduced me to her lead make-up artist. That’s where I learned how to do makeup for television and photography. And a whole new world opened to me.
What’s your favorite kind of job to get booked for & why?
I love working on huge productions! I love how they can make an amazing set. Also love award shows! The craziness of the red carpet is so fun. Plus it’s cool to watch the performances 🙂
In a nutshell, how would you describe your hair & makeup style? Do you have a signature look you like to create on clients?
I’m more of a tomboy myself so I believe that reflects in my work. I like to give more of an edgy, sexy cool-girl look rather than something glam or super girly. I’d say my style is more Rihanna than Beyoncé!
What are your kit must-haves? Could be certain products or brands.
I’m huge on prep, so I love my Embryolisse Radiant Eye Serum and the Lait-Crème Concentre. I also love iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum! Wonderful for people with sensitive skin or rosacea. Definitely have to have my Weleda Skin Food as well.
I love the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Palette, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo! Definitely looove the Flyliner Liquid Eyeliner by Fenty Beauty, that’s my new jam! From Glossier, the Boy Brow and the Clear Lip Gloss are favorites! Also the Ultra UD Pressed Powder by Make Up For Ever.
Elnett from L’Oréal! Best hairspray hands down! Always have it. And I’m loving IGK hair products right now. The Beach Club Texture Spray is sooo good and the 30,000 Feet Volume Powder Spray is amazing. I need Architexture by L’Oréal always!! Combine that with a blow dryer and a Mason Pearson brush, and I can do wonders 🙂
What do you think of perfected ‘Instagram makeup’? Do you think it’s a trend or is it here to stay?
Trends are consistently changing especially with make up and fashion. The idea of “flawless“ skin is already changing. One day I’ll go onset and people don’t want their freckles covered; they want bushier, “un-groomed ” eyebrows and dewy skin. The next day I could on a set and it’s no shine at all; matte everything with super-groomed features. I say it’s probably best not to do anything permanent to your face just because you think it’s trendy. Plus, we don’t know what the blading will look like ten years down the road. Things fade.
Read this: A Meditation on “Instagram Makeup”
Speaking of social media, how do you think it’s changed being a hair & makeup artist? Is it easier to book jobs because your reach is greater?
For me, I don’t ever book jobs through Instagram. Honestly it’s just like any other responsibility to keep up. On most of my jobs, we have to sign NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) so it’s frowned upon to be posting things on set.
What’s the beauty question you get asked the most by your clients?
How to cover under-eye bags! Men, women, models…everyone needs help with their under-eyes and wants to look less tired than they are!
Any advice for budding MUA’s starting out now?
Learn to adapt to your surroundings. Be organized and learn to be able to work with little sleep! I have a strong coffee matcha habit!
If you have any beauty questions for Laura that you’d like answered, pop them in the comments below and I’ll send them over to her!
(The Hollywood Reporter image courtesy @tawnibannister)