Meeting with Cristian Ramayo, a colorful freelance makeup artist from Los Angeles, who grew up in Campeche (Mexico) behind the stage of one of the biggest Carnival festivals in the Americas.
Cristian, can you briefly walk us through your personal story and tell us how you became a freelance makeup artist?
My story starts in my native Campeche, in southeast Mexico. I was the youngest of three siblings, the playful one and also the spoiled one. I was my mom’s favorite in a traditional catholic Mexican family. We were kind of tight as I was growing up but my parents managed to give all we need. I was a very creative cute blondish kid, a very happy people person always signing up for school activities and dance contests. In Middle School, I even took an electricity class because I wanted to create lamps among other things.
Unfortunately, my cushy happy world came to a crash when my mother die when I was 15. It devastated my family and I ended up living with my uncle, a local fashion designer, and a celebrity in his own right. Thanks to him, I got exposed to the fashion world, lights and shows. Carnaval of Campeche is the most important celebration there. It’s a big deal like in New Orleans, Rio or Venezia and it almost lasts a month in February. The preparations start almost eight months before and my uncle was deeply involved in it. This is how I first got in contact with make-up and freelance makeup artists.
Carnival of Campeche, Mexico.
During that time I finish college and graduated in Communications, but my soul belonged already to the glamour and the beauty of the arts. I started helping well-established make-up artists in my home town for all kinds of events, television shootings and for the Carnaval. This is how I discovered my passion for make-up but I never went completely into it at that time.
Then, I met the guy who became my husband and I moved to Los Angeles with him. As I was getting settled into my new life in California, I started doing make-ups for my friends for parties, weddings, social events and or other occasions. They really liked the way I played with colors and shadows to make them look beautiful. At the same time, during my first years of marriage, my husband and I were traveling a lot. I started attending seminars and classes in different places, led by different artists with particular styles and techniques. I strengthened my skills with this new learning and a lot of practice.
Currently, I mainly work in Los Angeles as a freelance makeup artist for social events, red carpets events and all in between and I go back to Campeche every time I can to teach women how to do their own make-up. I also take advantage of every opportunity I can find to take make-up classes for myself. I attend demonstrations and seminars with professional MUAs to perpetually be on a learning curve and stay on top.
My childhood dream has come true. I fight for it daily with perseverance and, I am getting better every day. Life is a never-ending process and I want to be here for the long run.
Cristian Ramayo in Los Angeles (Photo credits: Maper)