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When Bad Boy Entertainment needs to look flawless, they immediately call on makeup artist, Merrell Hollis of kenbarboza.com to work his magic. With the skilled eye of an artist, he enhances his subject’s natural beauty, complimenting any outfit or occasion.

Clutch: What inspired you to become a makeup artist?
Merrell: When looking through Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, I was intrigued at how beautiful all the women were and how amazing the makeup looked. Makeup can accentuate a women’s natural beauty in numerous ways; I wanted to be a part of that.

Clutch: What steps have you taken to break into the industry?
Merrell: Being confident in yourself and your craft can take you anywhere. Once I stopped doubting myself and allowed myself to appreciate my work, was when I realized I am going to make it. I have been blessed in this industry.

Clutch: What are the obstacles and challenges that you have faced in your field since you began?
Merrell: I would have to say my biggest challenge was moving from Columbus, Georgia to New York City. It was a whole new world to me. I also feel that when you are working with a major celebrity their schedules can become very challenging, from early morning video shoots, to movie premieres, award shows, and other commercial enterprises; you never know where you might be the next day.
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Clutch: When you are booked for a job, do you usually have full creative freedom or is it a collaborative effort with the photographer/and or designer?
Merrell: The creative freedom usually depends on the project. If it is a beauty story, I usually have creative control. If it is a fashion editorial, the photographer usually creates the mood.

Clutch: What are some general trends we are seeing in make up for this fall/winter?
Merrell: For the fall/winter, I feel the direction is going to be very dewy skin with a strong lip. Keep an eye out for cranberries, raspberries, mauves, and browns.

Clutch: What are some of your best beauty tips to offer women of color?
Merrell: For women of color, my personal beauty tip is to make sure you skin looks great!! A good moisturizer is always essential, it helps bring out your skins natural glow and also keeps make up application smooth and even. The correct foundation is always important, make sure it matches your skin tone and is not ashy!!

Clutch: For women on a budget, what is the easiest thing they can do with make up that will have the biggest impact?
Merrell: Contrary to popular beliefs, drugstores do carry some excellent make up. The best thing is to find a good foundation and powder, my personal favorite is Black Opal foundation sticks.
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Clutch: What products should women always have in their clutch?
Merrell: Spot treatment, great mascara, blotting powder to control shine, clear lip gloss, and of course lip, cheek, and eye color that compliment your skin tone.

Clutch: Lastly, what advice can you offer to aspiring makeup artists?
Merrell: My advice to an aspiring makeup artist is to do it only if it’s in your heart. Do it for the right reasons, not for the fame, the free products, or just to have something to do. Educate yourself, learn about skin care, color theory, and product knowledge. People are trusting you with their skin, their red carpet looks, and their magazine editorials. Your clients need to be confident in you!!

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  • Candance

    Wow! Will you do my makeup?..lol Loved the interview.