Maria Pecoraro: Makeup Artist

They say it’s all in the name and for many years, I was “Makeup Naturally.” A business name that spoke volumes about who I was as an artist. It defined my natural ability and style. A style that quintessentially suited a specific market and anyone wanting to look naturally beautiful. I ran with it, for a while, until I no longer enjoyed executing this one particular style. The hamster grew tired of running on the wheel, if you will, so I decided to take a break. I could do this because I had another career, full-time. Makeup was only something I did for fun. During this break, I thought long and hard about what I wanted for myself and for my future. Did I want to spend the rest of my life behind a desk, or did I want to fully explore my God-given talent? I chose my talent. But that decision didn’t come without setbacks. I would essentially be starting over; starting from square one. Because there are so many career choices in makeup artistry, I had to pick a lane and stay in it. But which lane would I choose? What would it take to get me there? I mean every artist is basically starving, for years, before they become successful. I didn’t have all the answers, but I knew one thing. I knew I possessed the traits necessary to become successful in any career. Traits that were earned and learned through my years of experience, which had nothing to do with makeup.

My parents new I loved makeup because I spent much of my free time reading how-to books and teaching myself. I spoke often of making a career out of it but this never sat well with them. An artist’s struggle is real and they wanted more for me. They suggested I pursue a career that would lead to a predictable income and develop me professionally. I took their advice. First, I went to college then to a trade school and lastly, back to college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do because nothing really interested me like painting a face. Somehow, I landed in the corporate world of a Fortune 500 company. I have to say my parents were right. I was surrounded by success and my salary was guaranteed. Was I inspired? No, but I was learning lessons that were far more valuable than any skill set I could bring to the table. Lessons that would contribute largely to building great character and transcend any career. Lessons I believe I would never have learned had I started out solely as an artist.

In 2011 I took my professional self to London and completed several courses at a prestigous makeup school. I began attending workshops given by artists whose work and success inspired me. I began to freelance again. What’s the difference? I pursued only those jobs that would challenge me professionally and allow me to exercise all of my technical skills. This is what feeds my soul, my passion, and my ambition. I thrive on seeing my craft evolve every day.

For an artist, our resume is our work displayed in publications, on social media and however else we can get it out there. We must always do your best because there is no room for less than. My motto:  show them what you’ve done today because today is your best. And tomorrow, do it better!

Today, I am grateful for a full time job doing makeup for a team I love. However, in my spare time I am working harder than ever on building a stellar portfolio in beauty and fashion; inching my way closer towards achieving one of my many goals. I am rarely satisfied and am always seeking the standard of excellence inherent in my craft. The bottom line, I am no longer tied to one particular style. I am free to be the artist I’ve always wanted to be.

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