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The Art of Makeup – Part I | An interview with Selina Mahon, MUA


Makeup application can be a very important stage in not only portrait photography but a woman’s everyday life! Not surprisingly, good makeup application has its own set of rules and protocol to follow and actually starts with a good skin care regiment. Keep reading as I talk with Selina Mahone, a very gifted makeup artist I have worked with on several occasions – enjoy!

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Kortney Hinton Images: How long have you been a makeup artist?
Selina Mahon: I started doing markup fresh out of beauty school back in 2003. After I got my cosmetology license, I got hired on at Dillard’s and basically I was the black girl face of Lancome. They hired me to pull more of the African American clientele in. When I started interacting with the clients and seeing their faces and how good they felt I got into it. Michelle was a coworker who took me under her wing, showed me stuff, and told me what went with what.
KHI: Why is it important to have professional makeup application? What can a professional bring to the table to enhance a person’s experience?
SM: The most important or main part of being a makeup artist (MUA) and making the client feel good and enhance their experience. When I do makeup it’s more of a ministry for me. I get to talk to them one-on-one and it’s more than just “I’m here to do your makeup and I’m gone” – I get to know the person and establish a rapport with the person.
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KHI: I think a good makeup application experience starts with good skin care. Just makes the process easier and much more enjoyable!
SM: Yes! That’s why when you go to these makeup counters, they have an esthetician to do facials and there are skin care products to choose. In order to have smooth makeup application that means your skin needs to be in order. [That means] cleansing and my big thing is exfoliating.
: What are some good skin care methods you can suggest?
SM: Some good skin care methods I can suggest would be cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. I have experienced so many clients that are not aware of how and when to apply the proper skin treatments. What I teach to my clients is the importance of exfoliation to keep those dry patches away. The biggest area of concern is dry patches due to the lack of exfoliation.

I’m more of a frugal makeup artist – so i’m not into going to spend $50-100 on skin care stuff, you can get items from Walmart. Some good products are Clean and Clear, Clearasil, Aveno moisturizer, Dove sensitive skin, and Oil of Olay sensitive skin. You want to cater your regiment to your specific skin type. Ulta has some more high-end products for those that have deep, deep problems, but for your everyday treatment you can go the cheaper route. I know they say alcohol is drying but if you have oily skin, it might actually help you – as long as you go in and moisturize after you use it.

KHI: What is your daily skin care regiment?
SM: My daily skin care regiment it really nonconventional and I do it as often as I shower.  I use a sea salt bar of soap or when I’m out of that I use Old Faithful (which is for sensitive skin), Dove, or sensitive skin Oil of Olay. Then I moisturize with Aveno’s daily moisture formula. [She also alters her routine as she monitors her skin’s behavior] Like certain times of the year (like in the winter when the skin is naturally more dry) I may do less of the sea salt bar and exfoliate a little more or vice versa.

Thanks for you great advice, Selina! To find out more about Selina’s work or to book her services, you can contact her through her Facebook page.

Selina Mahon is an Arkansas native who graduated top of her class from Thelma’s Beauty Academy in 2003. Shortly after graduation, she was hired at Dillard’s as a Beauty Advisor for Lancome Cosmetics. It was there that she discovered her passion for makeup. This passion has taken her from Evansville, IN to Los Angeles, CA where she served as Beauty Consultant for Clinique Cosmetics, Freelance Artist for Lancome Cosmetics, Sephora as a Color Specialist and artist at Eclectic Salon. She worked with many high-profile clients before relocating back to the Arkansas where she is employed at Sephora, The Diamond Salon, and serves as an Education Artist for Stila Cosmetics. Her motto is “The face is my blank canvas in which I can create a masterpiece.”

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