Chopping It Up

Chopping It Up With Celeb Makeup Artist Melissa Hibbert

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Melissa and her signature red lips.

Melissa and her signature red lips.

If you ever wondered who was behind the flawless faces of entertainment’s most gorgeous women, then you may want to get to know Melissa Hibbert. Not only is Hibbert a celebrity makeup artist to stars, like Angela Simmons, Lynn Whitfield, and Teyonna Parris, but she’s an entrepreneur too.

When she’s not creating the ultimate beat, she’s running both of her businesses – The GLAM Agency, a premier management firm representing the beauty world’s best artists and SHEEQ Cosmetics, a luxury makeup and skincare brand for the everyday woman.

The Cut Life got the chance to chat with Melissa Hibbert recently about all things beauty and being your own boss. From the latest makeup trends to following your dreams, Melissa definitely dropped plenty of gems.

Melissa and her gorgeous client, Teyonnah Parris!

Melissa and her gorgeous client, Teyonna Parris!

So Melissa first things first, what are your makeup must-haves?

I would say pigmented coal eyeliner, a nice gloss, and a powder puff for when your skin gets a little oily.

What are some upcoming beauty trends we should be following?

Show more skin. Meaning you’ll want to create a look with less coverage and develop a healthy skin routine. Remember, a little goes a long way. You want to set your foundation with a loose powder, like with Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. There’s no need to “bake” or over do it with contouring because the goal is to still look like you.

Mascara is always a must. You’ll want to use a pigmented mascara with a small bristle wand. The key is to use the tip of the wand and horizontally apply to your lashes, and then turning the wand vertically to separate your lashes, you will be creating intense volume. Try using L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara or SHEEQ Cosmetics Volumizing and Curling Mascara.

For brows, you don’t want to over do it; instead, you want to focus on shaping. Keep in mind; you never want to shade in your eyebrows using a black color, instead opt for a dark brown or light color, depending on skin tone. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil and Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow are great eyebrow options. To enhance the shape, outline your eyes with a concealer that matches your skin tone and highlight with one shade lighter. I would try MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette to achieve this look.

Melissa showing off her technique on our very own, Tahira Joy.

Melissa showing off her technique on our very own, Tahira Joy.

You mentioned, showing more skin. What is some skincare advice to keep a healthy glow?

Since it’s winter, you’ll want to make sure to use a heavy cream every evening before bed to keep your skin moisturized. For daytime wear, heavier creams should only be used where you need it. Basically, only treat specific areas with cream and concealer, not all over your face.

What is one do and one don’t when it comes to makeup?

Do exfoliate your lips, especially when wearing a matte lipstick. Don’t base your makeup application on someone else’s face.

Melissa created Angela Simmons' flawless look for "The Real."

Melissa created Angela Simmons’ flawless look for “The Real.”

You work with a lot of people who are constantly in the spotlight. What is your inspiration when creating a look for your clients?

I always want to create a cohesive look and I try to make intelligent choices for my clients. I ask them questions, like, where are they going, what are they wearing, and what their hairstyle will be? It’s a collaborative effort honestly, but my clients truly trust my judgment.

You weren’t always a celebrity makeup artist. Before beauty, you had a successful, 14-year career in corporate marketing. What made you start your own beauty businesses and go into entrepreneurship?

I had to dig deep. When I was in high school, I began taking cosmetology courses, but because I didn’t see many successful makeup artists at the time, I decided to pursue a higher level of education. I obtained a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Public Administration and later earned a Masters degree in Media Management. But, even throughout undergrad, I was still doing hair and makeup. While attending Fisk University, I stumbled on an abandoned beauty parlor, which, my friends and I restored and worked out of.

After working in Corporate Marketing for over a decade, I decided to take a sabbatical. During that time, I had an eye-opening moment after doing my mother’s makeup for an event. I had posted her picture to social media and received a lot of positive comments on her makeup, and that was a gratifying moment for me.

I knew that I needed to honor my dreams by chasing them. I had to make sacrifices and downsize my life. I had to completely put my trust in God, because I knew my steps were ordered. And even though I started my second career later, my corporate experience was not in vain, because that knowledge helped me to build my businesses.

Melissa's glam team.

Melissa’s glam squad.

That’s amazing! Do you have any advice on not settling for less and going after your dreams?

First, you need to trust yourself and your voice. Ignore the noise and listen to yourself.

Secondly, be willing to take a leap and start somewhere. I started by shifting everything and starting where I was. Spending too much time between your conviction and action will attract noise that will distract you.

Third, create a strategy: set an action plan and set a budget. I knew I would need a professional makeup kit, a portfolio, and the finances to create a website. Once I had those, I networked and began investing in my own business.

You shared so much insight. Are there any final thoughts you’d like share?

My mantra is to empower women through beauty. So when trying to find the right makeup artist, look for someone whose look is consistent and inspirational to you. For aspiring makeup artists: always study your craft. Never stop learning. Enroll in workshops and classes. Do not be complacent and embrace what makes you different and valuable to your client. When you create a unique position for yourself, people will recognize that.

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