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)
What were some of the struggles along the way?
I will not say that it has been an easy path, but I have enjoyed it at each stage, from the concern, the interest in the profession, the constant preparation and growth in the process. One of the struggles for a frelance makeup artist is to stay active, trained and qualified to provide a unique quality-service to their models, but the main combat is to keep the faith and believe in yourself.
Tell us about a little bit more about your freelance makeup artist business.
It is a very competitive environment and it is sometimes hard to follow your own path, accept to climb the steps one by one to get the credits you deserve. I work every day to satisfy the customers who visit my studio. Actually, my greatest reward is to pamper them with my brushes and make them feel good about themselves day after day.
Masterclass with Cristian Ramayo – (Photo credits: Maper)
I use Social Media for self-expression, for sharing my passions and for showcasing my freelance makeup artist’s voice, style and work. My Facebook live broadcasts are very popular among my followers and they lead me to constantly schedule more and more masterclasses and training sessions in real-life. I love these professional and social interactions more than anything else, and I must confess I am desperately missing them right now (COVID-19 lockdown).
I am a passionate, ethical and skilled professional with a strong generous, caring and creative personality. I feel energized by my customers when I take the time to create a personalized look that responds to their wishes and needs and when I see that they feel beautiful inside and out.
Cristian working on a model – (Photo credits:Lily Flores Photography)
Who or what inspires you the most?
How do you intrepret Beauty in your freelance makeup artist life?
Beauty comes out from passion, creativity and the desire to highlight it, its’ a lifestyle. Beauty is luxury available for free to anyone who would like to see it.
Creation by Cristian Ramayo – (Photo credits: Lily Flores Photography)
Do you have a meticulous skincare routine?
The skin is like a plant, you have to take care of it, hydrate it, nourish it, protect it so that it always looks alive and radiant.
I am a freelance makeup artist, I must show the example. My skincare routine begins in the morning by washing my face first with a cleansing foam, then I use a natural aqua gel from the Cure brand to gently remove layers of dry dead or rough skin to obtain clear, firm and ideal skin, I continue with a facial spray with aloe cucumber and green tea, then apply a few drops of hyaluronic acid and collagen and finish with my moisturizer depending on the weather, in winter I use Lait-Creme Fluid, in summer Hydra-Mat Emulsion. If I am exhausted I use Smooth Radiant Complexion (Lisseur Bonne Mine).
Do you have a specific skin prep routine for your models as well?
Cristian during a M.A.C makeup event
What are your two “darling” skincare products among Embryolisse range?
1. Hydra-Mat Emulsion: perfectly moisturizes the skin for many hours with a matte finish leaving the skin soft and fresh.
2. Smooth Radiant Complexion (Lisseur Bonne Mine): It is perfect for tired skin and I use it a lot for mature skin and brides. It leaves the skin hydrated and toned with a fresh and radiant appearance.
And your motto, if you have one?
My own motto is “Being a freelance makeup artist is not a job, it’s my lifestyle.”
The one that helps me to keep going is: “Only those who risk going too far can find out how far they can go.” – TS ELIOT
Thank you so much Cristian for sharing your colorful story with our readers.
Cristian Ramayo Make up Studio