Making Faces with Arlene Villarule Felix
Trinidadian born Makeup Artist, Arlene Villarule Felix tells us about her exciting career and how it feels to be the first makeup artist in Trinidad & Tobago to have her own cosmetics line.
OB: Why did you become a makeup artist?
AV: At first I thought I wanted to be a hairdresser while helping out at my Aunt’s hairdressing/makeup salon one summer. I immediately fell in love with makeup after seeing how confident women would suddenly become after having their makeup done. I knew then that becoming a makeup artist would give me the opportunity to make women feel better about themselves.
OB: How long have you been a makeup artist?
AV: I have been a makeup artist for over 14 interesting years.
OB: What is your area of expertise? (i.e. Bridal, Special FX, Theatrical Makeup, Editorial, Carnival).
AV: It is a bit hard for me to choose just one area since I’m known most for my bold carnival eye shadow techniques, theatrical makeup and bridal. However, if I had to choose one of these that I’m an expert in, I’d have to choose bridal makeup.
OB: What do you enjoy most and least about being a makeup artist?
AV: I love that I am always in demand no matter what the state of the economy! [Kidding] I love that I can teach a skill that can earn an individual additional money whether done as a part time job or taken on as a career. I also love that I have the skills to give women that added confidence each time I touch their face.
OB: What are your go-to makeup products?
AV: EVERYTHING AV [Lol]! My go to makeup products would have to be my Pro Eye Shadow Base because this white base is what gives my eye shadows the pop and lasting power. I love a good black waterproof gel liner or pencil, long-wearing foundations like Estee Lauder, Lancome, Flori Roberts and Makeup Forever. I absolutely love lip pencils in most instances as opposed to lipsticks, and I must have my contour palette.
OB: Does makeup artistry in your country differ much from other countries in terms of trends or style, or does it go head-to-head with international trends?
AV: We makeup artists in Trinidad & Tobago try our best to keep up with the international trends but in the Caribbean, women generally love the blend of multiple bold colors on the eyes whether it’s carnival or not.
OB: Do you anticipate much change in the makeup trends for the upcoming Autumn/ Fall season?
AV: Trinidad makeup artists really don’t follow international seasonal makeup styles since our only two seasons are rainy and dry season! I do, however, see makeup for the upcoming season becoming softer and fresher.
OB: How would you say makeup artistry has changed over the last decade?
AV: Makeup artistry has changed a lot, especially due to social media where shaping the face and brows are concerned. When I look back at some jobs I did in the past, I sometimes laugh at the way I sculpted the brows and also my lack of proper contouring. Even if women can’t achieve it on their own, they are now fully aware of what perfectly sculpted brows and professional contouring looks like. Gone are the days where makeup artists could throw anything together and call it makeup, everyone is on Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest etc., downloading images to their phones and bringing those looks for the makeup artist to replicate.
OB: Do you have any words of advice for aspiring makeup artists?
AV: I am always asked by young women what words of advice I can give to them and it is always “never stop learning!!” No matter who you were trained by, it’s always a good practice to look at various makeup artists’ techniques and try new ways of doing things. I’ve heard many makeup artists suggesting that because they were taught by this school, or that person, they don’t need to learn anything further. Being a closed-minded makeup artist will keep you from evolving and reinventing yourself, which in my opinion, is very important.
Images courtesy of Arlene Villarule Felix