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Makeup Pros Allie Smith And Yuui Advise On Breaking Into The Industry

Beauty
Photographed by Charlotte Rutherford.

These New York-based artists will teach you everything you need to know

The following feature appears in the April 2017 issue of NYLON.

Meet Yuui and Allie Smith, two of NYLON's favorite New York City-based makeup artists. Here, they share their secrets to successfully breaking into the beauty industry. 


Photographed by Charlotte Rutherford.

YUUI @yuuivision

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Yuui, but people call me Yuui Vision. I’m from the land where the sun rises, a.k.a. Tokyo—but I'm
currently based in NYC, a place I’m happy to call my bittersweet home.

How did you get started as a makeup artist?
I came to NYC not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. One day I was with my friend at a café and she asked what my plan was for the future. I said, “I really like makeup and fashion, but I’m scared that fashion people will be bitchy.” She said, “Yuui, you are bitchy enough to deal with that!” [Laughs] I was like, “She’s right.” So I jumped right in!

What were some of the biggest lessons you learned when you first started as a makeup artist?
As an artist, what you hold inside comes out in your artistry.

What have been some of your biggest career highlights?
Working with Milk Makeup and Hairstory—and being featured in this article!

What other makeup artists do you look up to?
I have so many idols I hate to pick only a few to name here, so I’m sorry if I left anyone out—but you know I love you, because you see my stalking footprints of likes on your Insta page! My main victims are: Kabuki, Peter Philips, Isamaya Ffrench, Sammy Mourabit, Hiromi Ueda, and Tiffany Patton.

What are some of your favorite beauty trends at the moment?
I get bored very easily, but I’m always in love with fresh skin.

Best makeup advice?
If you’ve never tried red lipstick, you really need to try. Why? Because it’s fun! It’s magical to meet a new part of you. The beauty of makeup is that it comes off easily.

What’s your personal beauty philosophy?
Being good at makeup is one thing. Being beautiful is another.

Photographed by Charlotte Rutherford.

ALLIE SMITH @alliesmithmakeup

Tell us about yourself.
I’m Allie! I’m from Albany, but have lived in NYC for the last nine years on the Lower East Side.

How did you get started as a makeup artist?
It was literally an epiphany I had at the mall. When I was 16, I went back-to-school shopping and stopped by the M.A.C counter—among all the other counters, M.A.C stood out as a cool and creative brand. An artist did my makeup and I was sold. She was kind enough to answer every question I had and suggest some books for me to check out—notably, Makeup Your Mind by Francois Nars and Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin. From that day on, I knew I needed to work with makeup.

What were some of the biggest lessons you learned when you first started as a makeup artist?
So many! The ones that stuck with me the most are: Say yes to everything that comes your way, put yourself out there as much as possible, reach out to artists you admire, and never stop learning.

How would you describe your makeup aesthetic as an artist?
That’s a toughie. I would say currently my style is between super clean and beauty theatrics—but when I “go for it,” there’s always strong color and texture.

What have been some of your biggest career highlights?
Too many to count! I’d say my favorites would have to be working on the Glossier campaigns, shooting with some of my idols like Nan Goldin and Kathleen Hanna, and, of course, doing epic and colorful beauty stories for NYLON.

What are some of your favorite beauty brands to use, both on yourself and professionally?
For myself I only use Glossier and Bioderma for skincare. But professionally, I always have a ton of Nars, M.A.C, Laura Mercier, and YSL on hand.

What advice would you give someone just starting out as a makeup artist?
Assist and look at makeup work and artists you admire.

What other makeup artists inspire you?
Honestly, all of them. There is so much talent in the industry and on social media, it’s so exciting to see. I’m a huge fan of Isamaya Ffrench, Peter Philips, Lucia Pieroni, and Kanako Takase.

What are some of your favorite makeup trends at the moment?
I love seeing the ‘80s glam and more over-the-top makeup looks coming back. I'm also loving the powdery matte skin moment happening right now.

She considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth"

Dani Okon, NYLON's associate creative director of video, sat down with her great-aunt, May Okon, to talk about their shared experiences—despite vastly different time frames—living as queer women in New York City. Prior to retirement, May was a journalist for the New York Daily News, having first entered the male-dominated workforce when "the boys were all at war." And, of course, she absolutely killed it. Her only regret? "Retiring at 55," she tells Dani, joking, "Who the hell knew I was gonna live to 100?"

Upon retiring, she moved out to the Hamptons with her partner and bought a home. If she had to do it all over, May says "there are a lot of things I wouldn't do," but she still considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth." Get to know May in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Camera: Gretta Wilson + Katie Sadler
Edited by: Madeline Stedman

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Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

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