848. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Celebrity Makeup Artist?
“I was about seven years old when I saw the movie Cleopatra, and I was just enthralled with the hair and makeup that movie portrayed. That was a long time ago with the original Cleopatra being Elizabeth Taylor. I went home and was so inspired, I got my crayons out and drew a picture for my Aunt Flo, and my Aunt Flo kept that picture that I drew with crayons, and I still have it today. That drawing that I did was the inspiration for hair and makeup and nails.”
Rhonda Barrymore is the founder and President of Help Me Rhonda®, Inc., a worldwide provider of physical appearance products and services. Rhonda has worked locally and globally to make up and style some of the most well-known and prestigious people in the world. Some of her services include beauty and special effects makeup, as well as skincare, hair styling, wardrobe styling, prop styling and her extensive skin care and makeup product line for all branches of the media and personal use, including but not limited to film production, high definition television production, print photography and live performance.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Rhonda was married, with two children at a young age. “Then I got a divorce, so I had to go to work!” She started working as a makeup representative at a large department store and one of her first clients was Diane von Furstenberg, who had recently introduced a cosmetic line of her own. “I got to work with her personally. I still have an autographed book from her from that time period. From then on, I became known as a celebrity makeup artist.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
1. Horses were my first inspiration. My mother told me that I could draw perfect horses in the sand when I was very young. I was in love with horses and I painted them and drew them. My second inspiration was seeing the film, Cleopatra, with Elizabeth Taylor. I was about 10 years old and drew a picture of Cleopatra for my aunt that replicated one of the scenes. My aunt kept it and presented it to me about two years ago. You know, I’m still impressed with my own work from that time!
2. When I was in middle school and throughout high school, I was the “art director” who did everything from the murals on the walls of the school to the magazines and newspapers we published.
3. My first job as a makeup artist in the real world was behind a counter at the J.C. Penney department store in Atlanta. I moved to Macy’s and Diane von Furstenberg had her product line there and chose me to be her makeup artist.
4. Always an avid reader, I followed the top cosmetic brands in the industry and decided that there was a place for more products with natural ingredients vs. the plethora of synthetic ones with unpronounceable names—so I created my own line of products, which is thriving today.
5. Clients book me because I bring a level of comfortableness to the situation. We’re real with each other. I treat everybody the same. I’ve worked with four American presidents and their wives in the White House. President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter still book me all the time and treat me like family. You have to be real in order to communicate effectively with each other, to find out what people want or what the executives want, or the directors want when they book you to work with somebody.
Connecting With Rhonda Barrymore
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