Welcome to Huge Break, the place a few of the most influential figures within the magnificence trade mirror on the moments that made them — from the nice to the dangerous, and all the pieces in between. Right here, veteran (and self-taught!) make-up artist Sheika Daley shares how she went from doing make-up on the prime gentleman’s membership in Miami to a few of the greatest names in Hollywood, together with Zendaya and Beyoncé.
After slipping into the ballerina pink tutu, however earlier than the curtain drew to legion of fogeys, 7-year-old Sheika Daley would wait backstage for the crowning glory: crimson lipstick. Her mom, a painter, shortly grew to become everybody’s go-to for make-up at dance recitals. She may get 20 to 30 ladies prepared with a single Trend Truthful Eye Shadow Trio.
“I used to be fascinated with how she held the comb, how she painted on the colours,” Daley mentioned. “In some way she would make us all look totally different, and I’d simply watch her as she labored. When she placed on that crimson lipstick I used to be like, ‘Wait a minute. This can be a complete ‘nother world for me.'”
That fascination lingered effectively into school, the place she was finding out mathematical science on a full-ride scholarship. Her life trajectory was in plain sight: professor, actuary, mathematician. Nonetheless, “as a lot as I used to be making an attempt to excel in that world, my thoughts was nonetheless on make-up,” she mentioned. “In my first 12 months of faculty, I spent most of my time in my dorm room getting individuals prepared for pageants. It was my factor. I noticed then that I already knew what I actually needed to do with my life, and that wasn’t it.”
Whereas they have been promoting panties, I used to be studying up on shade correction and pores and skin tones and product formulations.
By the top of freshman 12 months, Daley was headed again house to Florida to launch a job hunt that may get her foot within the door. Quickly, she received a gig at Victoria’s Secret — “that was the one firm I knew that had make-up and skincare” — and ended up working as the top of the wonder counter. With out formal cosmetics coaching, she started to show herself all the pieces there may be to find out about make-up. “I used to be a pupil once more, studying all the pieces I may get my fingers on. Whereas they have been promoting panties, I used to be studying up on shade correction and pores and skin tones and product formulations.”
Round that very same time, MAC Cosmetics was simply rising onto the wonder scene as this “hip, new, enjoyable, energetic make-up line that was all inclusive for everybody,” she mentioned. “As a girl of shade, that was enormous, as a result of again then there weren’t quite a lot of make-up strains that had a full vary of shade for everybody.”
For sure: Daley needed in on the magic — and after two years frequenting the shop each single month, asking the shop supervisor for an opportunity, she lastly landed the job.
Studying the Methods of the (Make-up) Commerce
As soon as there, she was like a magnificence sponge, absorbing as a lot details about the world of professional make-up as she may. Over the following few years, “MAC taught me methods to construct my portfolio, that I wanted to construct relationships with photographers, that I wanted to search out an company,” she mentioned. “I noticed, That is just the start; step one. There was a lot left to do, and I used to be getting older.”
Past that, working 20 hours every week at a magnificence counter additionally wasn’t bringing in a lot cash, and Daley knew she wanted to department out with a purpose to flip this career right into a profession. Then, in walked her alternative: a contract make-up artist who rotated nights doing the glam for women at a neighborhood strip membership known as Tootsie’s in Miami.
“At some point she informed me how a lot cash she made in a single night time, and I mentioned, ‘It’s worthwhile to signal me up. Instantly.'”
And join, Daley did. Two months later, she secured a place working anyplace was from two to seven nights every week on the gentleman’s membership. “The ladies ended up loving me,” she recalled, including that this was the place she actually received to play. “That ended up being the place my creativity simply exploded, as a result of I had the liberty to actually do no matter I needed.”
You possibly can additionally say it was the primary time she received to place her make-up mastery to work on the massive stage.