Renée Hamilton is a makeup artist and licensed esthetician in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, as well as a proud promoter of skin care and beauty education for the everyday woman and professional. Renée is known as a natural motivational speaker and tries to touch the world with her many gifts for the betterment of humankind.
Taking a minute away from her duties in makeup, beauty and bettering mankind, Ms Hamilton stopped by to take our quick Q&A. Read her beauty wishes, self-less fantasies and advice for fellow MUAs, below;
Hi Renée! What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is existing in an unlimited realm of awareness: it is a state of mind. Beauty is the state of being conscious that nature and life is perfect in its imperfections; it is the acknowledgement of life in its many forms. Rather than something merely tangible, beauty is a never-ending experience.
What is your day-to-day beauty routine?
I wake up and as I look in the mirror, I utter impromptu positive affirmations from the heart starting with appreciation of life and opportunity, then I speak to my skin. As a licensed esthetician, I am aware that excellent skin care requires excellent commitment and that is what I feed my skin daily. I am sure to hydrate and protect my skin from the sun and environment. I open my front door and receive the fresh air from the new day and allow it to linger through my house.
I hydrate my skin throughout the day with a hydrating mist and I’m sure to touch up with a pressed powder, which is much lighter in product coverage versus an actual foundation.
At night, I remove my makeup, cleanse and exfoliate. I prefer a masque in the shower or before bed. Skin care at night is best – this is when your body is healing. I just love to let everything ‘soak on in.’ That can include a hydrating gel, lip conditioner and under eye cream.
Do you have a signature look?
My agenda for the day determines how I will do my hair and makeup, however, I ensure I have a clean beauty look as a start – you can never go wrong with that; it is suitable for all occasions and showcases your work as an artist, because believe it or not, it takes more work to create a natural beauty look.
I love my skin with a natural glow, groomed brows that are gently sculpted, flirty wispy lashes and the colour of lipstick is determined by the colour of my spirit for that day or the agenda of the day. I love my cheekbones and enjoy accentuating them as I love to smile and I want my smile to make others smile, which it does, most often. This exchange of good energy drives me.
What would be your must-have beauty product?
I must have an awesome lip exfoliator and lip conditioner. As women age, we can develop fine lines in this area. I am all about preventative methods through investing in my skin. I also love both types of products because I believe in a smooth application and appearance of the lips, whether I choose to wear lip products or not. I am a staunch believer in keeping oneself presentable and when we communicate, most often it’s with our mouths, so let’s keep those lips smooth and presentable.
If we were to open your makeup bag, what other brands and products would we find?
I use a wide array of products. I like things that work and items I can use to customise, which is creating a new product from two or more products. You will find primarily artistry brands targeted for professional use as I prefer to give anyone I work on the best. I love quality over quantity and don’t necessarily run to what’s new or popular, but what’s effective, purposeful and again, ‘what works.’
You will definitely see skin care products, because I believe in treating and prepping the skin before any makeup application. Skin first!
What are your beauty do’s and don’t’s?
- Treat every client like they matter, because they do. Build an experience for them beyond the service. Yes it is a business, so there is a transaction involved, but the most important transaction is genuine human connection. This lasts longer and means much more.
- Be professional and ethical. Respect people’s time.
- Sanitation! Ensure you keep the client’s health and safety foremost in your mind. Understand these techniques and live by them.
- Continue your education. The beauty industry is forever migrating and changing. Be the subject matter expert of your field. It’s okay not to know, just be willing to find out and comprehend enough to be able to educate others.
- Don’t blame the client for your error. Mistakes may occur and this is why consultations matter. Be a true artist that understands how to connect with clients and deliver what they want and not what you want.
- Don’t think you are the ‘only’ or ‘best.’ You need to be best at what you have to offer. Know the industry standards and exceed them. Know your local market. Don’t try to be so different that you’re not recognisable by industry professionals.
- For consumers, don’t be afraid to try a new look. You can always clean it off. Hire a professional makeup artist to teach you one on one.
- Don’t speak negatively of any client or any professional in the industry. Be mindful of your social media presence. Understand the social responsibility you have. While you may not be responsible for how others react to your messages, you are responsible for how you actively choose to influence others. Let’s be inspirational and motivating.
Whose makeup do you always admire?
Queen Latifah and Michelle Obama’s. Their makeup is always radiant yet very clean and polished. Much credit I give to their makeup artists.
Can you please share an ‘oh no, I didn’t’ moment with us?
I surely can. Well, I always carry a basic makeup kit with me when travelling. On one occasion, I was making a short trip to Vegas. I looked at my kit before I left out the door and said, “Nah. This will be a short trip.” Well, as I sat on the plane before we took off, I received a phone call from another makeup artist asking me if I could get to Vegas the next day and that she had a great opportunity for me. This is when I rendered an, “Oh no, I didn’t” unto myself. I reminded myself that I must stay and be ready. I questioned why did I go against what I believed. I relearned this lesson and remain prepared at all times.
If you had to give just one beauty tip/piece of advice, what would it be?
There are many women who do not like the idea of wearing makeup. I have found that this is heavily due to myths surrounding women who wear makeup and/or their lack of understanding of proper application. I understand women and men wear makeup, but I’m addressing women as I’ve primarily worked with women. I’ve done many women’s faces that never wore makeup a day in their life or wanted to, but didn’t want to admit they didn’t understand.
My advice for these women is that natural is beautiful, but groomed natural beauty is even better. Start with the basics; wear a moisturiser, whether tinted or not, ensure your brows are groomed to prevent a rugged unkempt appearance, throw on a little mascara whether black, brown, or clear, and add a dab of lip gloss or a lip conditioner. You will still be a natural beauty, but those natural features are acknowledged more when they are given just a little bit of attention.
What is your beauty fantasy?
I had to give this question much thought. Any fantasy I’ve had, I’ve brought to reality or know I can, but one of my beauty goals is to empower men and women to take their skin care into their hands, truly invest in quality products and wait for the amazing results. I am currently working with a client on a 6-month plan we’ve developed together to improve her skin. Clear skin is a fantasy of hers and together she and I will make it a reality.
If you could, what would you like to change in the beauty industry?
I would increase the education. By education, I am referring to professional education for all beauty professionals. Not all makeup artists are licensed estheticians, but I would challenge them to learn more about skin care and skin health.
I would emphasise the benefits of genuine mentorship. It is quite different to be a fan of someone’s work with no connection to them versus having a mentor to guide and critique you.
I would also reemphasise to makeup artists that they must ensure they are targeting the right market in the right way. If you want your image on the cover of a magazine, your portfolio should represent images as such. Aim for respect and credibility versus fame and popularity because word of mouth is quite beneficial for the good and bad, and what is due to come for you will come.
I am actively working to do my part as a professional makeup artist and licensed esthetician. If I see the need for change, I initiate it. I’ve been an artist my entire life, but in different aspects, so my respect level for artists and being an artist is supremely high with no room for alteration.
Renée can be reached via Reneehamilton.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Image source: Renée Hamilton