For Jesserie Caprio, a make up artist from the GTA, this time of year is always fun. At 24 years old, Caprio is married with two children. She started as a seasonal gift wrapper at Sephora with no experience in the make-up industry and worked her way up to becoming a beauty specialist.
Skedline caught up with her to talk about her favourite Halloween looks, advice for up and coming freelance make-up artists, and her future aspirations.
AS: How do you manage your time efficiently with two kids and married life?
JC: I have a lot of support from my husband and family. My husband works five days a week and I am at home with the kids. Fortunately enough I do not pay for daycare. Basically most of my jobs are on the weekend. Michael (my husband) does not work on the weekends. We kind of balance each other out.
AS: How much does each gig pay?
JC: For weddings, I could walk out with $500 to $1000. I have really low prices.I only charge $50-$80 a person. Depending on the needs and how far away the client is, my prices will vary. From my house, I give my clients a fifty-kilometer radius for free. For example, I once had a wedding in Stoutsville, Ontario and I had to charge the client $1 after the 50 kilometer radius.
AS: What are some Halloween make-up tips?
JC: If you are going to use face paint, make sure that it is meant for your face. Party City sells make-up for the face but when I use the cream on my face it irritated my eyes. I always do a demo on myself before I apply it on my clients. Stay away from creams and grease-make-up. Grease-make-up smears, smudges and irritates. The best face paint to look out for is theatrical make-up. It comes in a palette and looks like paint. All you do is add water and start applying to the face.
AS: What are your top ten Halloween looks?
JC: Ah … (laughs) skeleton, Two Face (character from Batman), vampires, cats or any kind of feline, The Black Dahlia, any burned victim, zombie, Avatar, Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring (Breaking Bad) and any wound or scar.
AS: How has Halloween make-up evolved from previous years?
JC: Back then Halloween make-up was basic and flat. Even looking at old pictures, you can tell that the detail was not there because we did not have the tools. Now you can use stuff at home and create an appealing effect.
The media has impacted Halloween because it is now all about gore and vampires. Back then it was not a big hype. Now everyone wants to be something creepy and unrecognizable.
AS: What assurances do you give to parents or clients regarding the purity of the products being used?
JC: I always do a patch test behind the ear. Let them walk around and see if there is any irritation. If a parent is starting to buy make-up for a child, Sephora is the place to go. Their refund policy is amazing. You can still return any makeup as long as the product is not completely used. They (Sephora) want their clients to come back.
AS: What are some past projects you have worked on?
JC: Majority of my projects are weddings and proms. I currently work for Stila. My Stila bosses work runway shows with the cofounder of Stila, Lynn Tilton. Charlie Riddle, my boss who works for Stila is the assistant for Sarah Lecero, who is the global creative director of Stila. Her clients range from Victoria Beckham. Charlie has worked with Victoria Beckham and Kylie Jenner.
AS: What are some feature projects you are working on?
JC: I am working with a photographer. His company is called Stark photography. He is building a team of make-up artists. He has one special effects artist and I’m his beauty make-up artist. What we do is shoot for anything that runs within the media. Also, I do plan to have my own lipstick line. Right now I am trying to get the ingredients. You have to get it mailed to you.
AS: What inspired you to develop your own makeup line?
JC: Bite Beauty was created in Mississauga. It is a lipstick line dedicated to lip care. It is now sold in every Sephora worldwide. I am a lipstick hoarder and sometimes I can’t seem to find my own shade. Being a make-up artist, I can mix the colours and get the right textures. I wanted to create my own lipstick that is hydrating and lasts long.
“In the industry your ego can be your worst enemy.”
AS: What are the challenges of being a freelance make-up artist?
JC: Saying NO! I can’t do it. I always want to be there for them (clients). This past weekend, it was hard to say no. I was overbooked and I had no time to eat and I had to keep going and going. Another challenge is playing down my prices, especially with brides. I have already encountered a bride where she kept asking for more. She wanted certain things added. I did the calculation and I told her that I am not the artist for you. The bride was offended. I told her she could go to a school where you can get your makeup done. Twenty dollars for make-up may look like a steal but it is being done by a student.
AS: What advice do you have for other freelance make-up artists?
JC: Always take the job even though it does not pay. I have come across a lot of up and coming make-up artists and they do not want to do jobs because they do not offer pay. In this industry your ego can be your worst enemy. Just like a model has to do free photo shoots to build her portfolio, a make-up artist does that too. For make-up artists you need a standard of ten photos. My bosses tell me to build bridges instead of burning them. You always want to make friends instead of thinking every artist is your competition. It is hard, but at the same time you want to make sure you are making friends. Potentially that person can give you a job.
For more information on Jesserie Caprio check out her website at www.jesseriecarpio.com
YouTube Channel: JESSTHEARTIST