Contest Winner: Deborah Concepcion

By noon on Day 2 of The Makeup Show Orlando, the results for The Sunshine State Photo Competition were in. After each of our judges made their marks on interpretation of theme, originality, lighting & composition, makeup, hair, and styling, it was clear who had won, Deborah Concepcion for “Florida Goddess.”

At this deciding moment, Deborah was working away in Johnny Lavoy’s hands-on workshop. So to not impede the lesson plan, we waited eagerly for the close of their class to share the exciting news. An hour later, Deborah glided onto the main floor. Show producer, Merlo Faundez, caught her attention and quickly escorted her to the row of images. Standing amongst the line of 12 finalists was her ethereal work now labeled “1st Place Winner.” She threw her hands up, tears glided down her glowing cheeks and she let out a squeal. A moment to exhale and celebrate. We were thrilled to have experienced this endearing and open reaction with her.



Congratulations Deborah! Your work impressed us all. We would also like to thank all those who submitted. Each image we received was strong and innovative.


After announcing her title I was able to sit down with Deborah and learn about where she’s comes from and from where her inspiration stems.

  1. How did you get started in the industry? How did makeup evolve to be your passion?

I started in this amazing industry at the age of 19. I was in the preliminaries for the Miss America Pageant representing The City of Miami. It was there where I quickly discovered the importance of proper makeup application and hair.  On some girls you could see their blush from outside the venue! It was an eye opener for me.  However, a wonderful challenge. I also suffer from dark circles underneath the eyes which led to kids teasing me at school. I got tired of it and through trial an error I have to say I mastered the art of complete coverage. I then kept practicing and exploring with color and friends.  Soon after the pageant I worked seven full years for John Casablanca, who is the founder of Elite Modeling agency.

That’s where I was able to get much  practice with beautiful aspiring models.   Soon I found myself helping out (Pro- bono) all the girls who could not afford a photo shoot to build their own portfolios. I would shoot them myself and of course do their hair and makeup. This is when I knew I was given an amazing talent of doing Hair and Makeup with such ease and perfection. From learning to apply full makeup with my fingers, the proper use of brushes to mastering the art of blending leaving the client looking picture perfect. I can truly say out loud that Makeup & Hair has been a passion of mine from childhood and all of which was self taught. My degree in Clinical psychology has also allowed me to work and understand a diverse group of clients.

I worked for LVMH for 4 years as an account executive before I was laid off as  the company sold their American brand fragrances, which included Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole and Marc Jacob’s.

I then found myself looking for work. As word got out I was called by an old friend of mine who knew of my passion for hair & makeup. He was a producer for production studio and I was able to work on album covers and music videos for Universal Records, Warner brothers, Sony Industries and many more; particularly in the latin music industry. Artists from Pitt Bull to Wisen Y Yandel,  and Jose Feliciano  to name a few.

My work has appeared in Magazines Such as Ocean Drive, Ocean Drive Espanol and the Knot.

Television Shows NBC’s “The Today Show”…They book me for live stream interviews with celebrities here in South Florida…

Music Productions; Warner Brothers, Universal Records, Sony industries, Ole Music and Machete Records. I have over 23 years of experience.

After giving birth to my son, I had to stop working the 18-24 hours to shoot one music video.  I then found myself in need of income for my family & started working again with private clients hair & makeup  This where I stand today submitting a picture of my work among many professional Artist whom they too have a passion for Makeup Artistry.

2. What drove you to enter The Makeup Show Orlando photo competition? Where did you find inspiration for this piece? What is the story line behind this look and complete image?

Makeup takes me away to a world full of colors and beautiful things.

It has helped me through these very difficult  and challenging financial Struggles. As Michael DeVellis said  in Keynote, ”SOME OF US HAVE HAD OUR SHARE OF RAMEN NOODLES!”

 It’s not the knock down but getting back up that defines you. I started using my talents locally and booking job after job. I constantly have producers and photographers pushing me to see me succeed even further.  So, I decided consult with my wonderful friend an amazing photographer, Manolo Doreste . It was a no-brainer to submit our “Florida Goddess!” This was an inspired look from a Marchesa wedding gown with a dash of Vintage and High fashion Influences.  I wanted people to feel the soft Romance and Beauty.

I am ready towards the next step of my wonderful journey in the Makeup Artistry world! 



3 Comments on “Contest Winner: Deborah Concepcion

  1. Deborah did my hair and makeup for my wedding, she also did my mom’s. I have no words to describe how satisfied I was with her job. Her confidence, they way she understood what I wanted. She is an amazing makeup artist. She deserved to win this contest.
    Congratulations to you my friend!!!!

  2. Wow Deborah.
    what amazing work. All your hard work has paid off. Keep up the good work my friend. I want to see more and see more accomplishments to come.

    Best of Luck my love,

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