Exclusive Q&A: Danessa Myricks
We were able to sit down with the amazing Dannesa Myricks, who will be exhibiting and teaching at The Makeup Show Europe, for an indepth interview.
How and when did you get started in the beauty industry?
I got started in the industry shortly after being laid off from a corporate job I held for many years. The thought of raising two children on unemployment was a nightmare that I was determined to quickly awake from. I needed to find a secondary income quickly. I considered everything from selling Tupperware to temping. My previous employer hired makeup artists all the time for photo shoots for advertisements and editorial. I was intrigued by their carefree, freelance lifestyles as well as the fact that they were paid the same day! It also seemed like a great way for me to address my repressed creativity. Without the time or the resources to get a formal makeup education, I decided that I would teach myself. Since I didn’t have any real makeup or tools, I spent nights researching great artists like Same Fine and Kevin Aucion. I burned the midnight oil staring at the images in each of their books. I also watched lots of Fashion TV! My first real job was a wedding my friend referred me for. I purchased makeup from Walgreens two days prior to the wedding using half of my unemployment check. The clients were happy and it gave me the confidence to continue. The rest is history.
Who has inspired you throughout your career? What inspires you?
There have been many sources of inspiration throughout my career. Sam Fine was the first. The beauty and detail of his work using mostly neutral shades drove me to work harder to perfect the palette in a natural way while sculpting, lifting and shaping the face. With his work as an example, I challenged myself to get a face as close to perfection as possible without relying on the help of retouching. I am very intrigued by color and texture. The work of Kevin Aucion became my next obsession. His artful approach to texture and color inspired me to push the envelope in color combinations and texture collaborations. His work inspired me to create shape and dimension to the face in unique ways that still, although non-traditional, looked beautiful. Pat McGraph was and still is my ultimate inspiration. Beyond her enormous, undeniable presence in the industry and unique creative viewpoint on makeup and beauty as a whole, she is a tremendous business woman and has conquered the beauty industry in ways no other artist has. Pat is a force to be reckoned with! I have great admiration for how she functions so successfully in all facets of the industry, including the areas of product formulation and production innovation and development. She really provides great prospective on the expansive range of possibility that exists within this vast industry. Despite all of these great artists’ accomplishments, I am most inspired by the success of my team of artists and their ascension in this industry. They have each systematically made great strides and amazing contributions to the industry. I have high expectations that they are the next “industry greats.” I am also moved by the thousands of students that I have trained over the past ten years. They inspire me to continue to learn, grow and create.
What drove you to create I Make You Beautiful? What is your vision for the future of the line?
The vision behind I Make You beautiful (IMYB) was to make doing great makeup simple. In my education, I teach core concepts that once mastered can make doing makeup, whether it be clean and natural or bold and artistic, very simple. The IMYB brand focuses on education first. Like me, artists today are entering the world of makeup in nontraditional ways. One thing I had wished was more accessible in the industry was visual training. I knew if I could just watch an unfamiliar process a few times done by an artist I respected, I could grasp it, retain it and use those skills to perfect my artistry. This desire spawned the IMYB educational DVD series. It’s my way of sharing information with other artists who may be looking for that missing link they need to conquer the industry. Currently, we have over 16 titles that are sold all over the world! I am very proud that many of the titles are being integrated into the lesson plans for many formal beauty and esthetics programs. Makeup is the other element of the IMYB Brand. There are so many amazing products available to artists today that sometimes it is difficult to navigate through the options. I used the information I had on color chemistry, texture and pigmentation to create a series of color collections designed to be multicultural and multifunctional. The idea is that by creating a variety of color and texture, the user can create any and everything! The majority of the products can be used all over the face and body…1+1=10!
What are the must have products in your kit?
This is always the hardest question for me to answer because I love so many different things. It’s definitely important to have great products to prep the skin. I love the cover Skinprep FX and Embryolisse cream. They both help base products lay beautifully on the skin. I would feel naked at a shoot without great lashes. My favorite are the I Envy Lashes. They have a huge variety of styles and they are very luxurious, lightweight and natural. I use them on everything especially when I do beauty advertisements.
What advice do you have for aspiring makeup artists?
I think it’s important that aspiring artists remember that everyone has their own path to success. While there are some artists who have quickly made a name for themselves by being talented and available at the right time and place, for the majority of artists it will be a journey of reaching small milestones over time. Reach for the stars but remain realistic in your expectations.