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Life and Work with Andrea Joe Cicalese

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Joe Cicalese.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Andrea Joe. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started doing makeup for the plays in my high school in 2010. After graduation, I took makeup courses at Joe Blasco in Orlando, Florida where I receive my certification as a professional in 2012.. The course teaches makeup artists all the makeup skills they need to know to in order to become qualified for the union, which is my main goal. We learned makeup from straight beauty to bald caps and beards, and then to mold making. Throughout these seven years since makeup school, I constantly focus on bettering my artistry, keep up with new trends and old trends, learn different methods, and consistently freelance to alway remain working. Although it’s not an easy journey, it’s the coolest job in the world. I’ve worked with the military, cirque du soliel performers, acrobats and gymnists, fire breathers, amusement parks, different cultures of people, and some of the best artists in the industry. Also, getting to travel to other countries for my career is another bonus. Every makeup job is something new, and it’s a stepping stone. Every job I have ever worked on has led to another. It took hard work, dedication, fake blood, and sometimes real tears to build myself. I’m finally qualified to join the union, so to witness my dreams coming into existence is truly a blessing.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Lol, it’s a struggle because it’s a hustle. You’re an entrepreneur. So until you can afford to hire someone, you have to be your own manager. Scheduling, pre-booking, financing, choosing which jobs to book and which to decline, and maintain good energy with other artists so you can learn stuff from each other, but also, they are going to be the ones you refer to a job you have to decline because you’re already booked, and vice versa. Also, constantly adding to your makeup kit. You need to have products that are sweatproof, hydrating, and long-lasting. I have different makeup kits. I have my bodypainting/airbrush kit, SFX/hair work kit, film kit (NO GLITTER), and then my extreme beauty/glamour kit with all the glitter in the world. It gets expensive. But use that money towards taxes, find friends in makeup stores who get discounts, apply for makeup pro discounts at makeup supply stores, find sponsors to provide makeup, and use a percentage of what you’re charging clients towards a kit fee. Some advice, shadow other artists when you work because I’m always learning new products to add to my kit because of a
technique they showed me. Also, don’t let people try to run you. You’re doing a service for someone, spending out of your pocket, and commuting to them. Know your worth and get compensated for that. My best advice as a makeup artist would be to hang out with who you want to become. You will be influenced and develop into a better entrepreneur day by day. My good friend advised me once, “the universe recognizes hustle”. What you put it, you will get out. It’s true as hell.

Please tell us about Beauties to Beasts.
I get hired the most for glamour makeup. But I think that’s because it’s always a high demand. My favorite makeups to do are festival makeup, airbrushing, and mold making. I enjoy festival makeup because everyone wants glitter, extreme colors, and shiny gems. I’m like a fish attracted to shine. I love airbrushing because I just have one instrument and one product, my airbrush, and my paint, the rest is my imagination. I love mold making but I don’t have my own shop yet so I intern in a mold making shop about 2 times a week. I go on my own time because I’m learning from my favorite makeup artist in the world. I learn something new every time I’m there, it’s amazing. I’m most proud of just how much I’ve grown as an artist over the years and I’m proud to see my other makeup friends succeed in their career as well. It’s euphoric to imagine something, then execute it. I’m not sure what sets me apart from others. As artists, we all have our own quirks and goofy things about us so we are similar in that aspect. What I can say is, there are some artists who make excuses not to follow their passion and some who just do what they are made to do. I’m a doer. We all have ups and downs, but doing makeup is my escape from all the bad I could ever experience in life. I love makeup and I never want to stop doing it or ignore it.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that a lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Social media has helped me a lot in finding some mentors. I love my mentors. I reached out to two of them on Facebook. We had mutual friends so that made it more comfortable to reach out to them. Also, when I’m in costume and makeup stores, I always end up networking with someone there. Either they talk to me or I talk to them. Just everyone you run into in your everyday life is a connection. Chances are when having small talk, they will ask you what you do. Then you just start whipping out your portfolio. There’s always someone who knows someone and then boom there’s a contact for you to save.

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