Where do I begin?
She has extensive print and commercial experience, worked as a backstage artist, platform artist, educator, collaborated with photographers and some of the top talent in the hair industry – you name it she has done it all. Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Liza. Here is a bit of her incredible story.
Liza Macawili Ramos
Makeup Artist | Licensed Esthetician
| Retired Dancer + Cheerleader
LizaMakeup | Los Angeles, CA
Before we begin – congratulations on all your career accomplishments to date. To do what you love is one thing, but making a successful career out of it is another.
So let’s start from the beginning. Did coming from a family of artists influence your career path?
Thank you so much the lovely introduction. Growing up, art was a huge part of my life. My sisters and I always had art supplies like crayons, markers, yarn, pipe cleaners and paper around and we all took art classes. Our great grandfather was the artist of the town our family is from. My family is a traditional Filipino family, so my parents would have loved for us to get into the medical industry, but my oldest sister, my niece and I forged careers in the art world. I chose performing arts in my former career and worked as a makeup artist as my side gig until I retired from dance. I have been a full-time freelance makeup artist since.
It seems these days YouTube, iPad and phones have replaced kid’s toys – which I find a little sad. I think giving kids things that force them to use their imagination and explore their artistic side – has such immense value. Did playing with Fashion Plate and Barbies – ignite the artist in you?
I think being the youngest had a lot to do with my artistry. While my sisters were in school I had to find ways to entertain myself so I spent hours playing with my Barbies and Fashion Plate. I even had the Barbie perfume maker so I was making cosmetics when I was 9. I had the Barbie doll head so I could practice hairstyles too.
I think the kids now just have more options. I was playing with one of the daughters of a host at work on set last week and she had an app where you could play dress up with the subject. You could pick her hair, makeup & wardrobe and her setting! Although nothing is like touching and feeling fabric and hair, it was pretty much like playing with paper dolls like when I was a kid. They just have more choices now.
Social media is a great tool for staying connected with family and friends. For artists it is a way to show their portfolio and networking. But, I think there is a huge downside – especially when it comes to the illusion of beauty. With all the photo editing apps and filters, in your opinion – how has social media impacted the beauty industry?
This is a question that could take a whole book to answer, and it’s so subjective! For me personally, when social media started to gain momentum, I didn’t think it would affect my business because I thought that social media artists worked one side of the business and I worked on another. But when beauty companies started sponsoring influencers more because they had more followers, and started hiring them as beauty experts, that’s when it affected my business. I don’t get requests for beauty expert appearances anymore, and I haven’t been sponsored as much as I used to.
Of course the beauty companies love the influencers. They sometimes use 30 products to get a face done, and with a million followers! This is not a fad. I know some really amazing artists who have become influencers also but it’s a lot of work, tagging, hashtagging and creating content. It’s like a full time job in itself.
I could have tried to generate more of a following to gain more interest with beauty companies, but I decided to go the route of a corporate artist. In all honesty, having gone from a professional dancer, dancing from show to show, to freelance makeup artist going from client to client, I was ready for some stability.
Being a corporate makeup artist, I still have my flexible schedule, but I’m on payroll. I have some benefits and I go to the same studios most of the time. I was ready for that. My husband and I take care of my parents now and I can’t really travel as much or work long hours.
I made it happen. I didn’t know I could do it, but he did.
– Liza Macawili Ramos on Fabio Sementilli
You had the opportunity to work with Fabio Sementilli – he was one of the beauty industries great mentors and leaders. What are the most important lessons you learned from him?
I loved Fabio. He had this big, gregarious laugh that would energize the room and he always made sure to take the time out to say hi to everyone. From him I learned to keep learning, to mentor the new generation and to surround myself with honest, talented people.
Ever since high school I have been in love with the NFL – I even watch the combine and draft. My dream job would have been working at the head office in New York. Since that didn’t happen, I’ll have to live through you.
You were a cheerleader and now you are a makeup artist with the NFL network. Tell us about your experiences with the NFL as a performing artist versus being a makeup artist.
Working for the NFL as a dancer was one of my goals in high school. It was a highlight of my life to make the LA Rams Cheerleaders. It was my 23rd birthday, and my parents and friends had come to cheer me on at the open final auditions at Universal Citywalk.
Dancing for the NFL was hard work! We had rehearsals three times a week in addition to games, promotions and charity functions. Being on the team taught me about tenacity. Making a team was just the beginning. I had to work even harder when I was on the team to show I earned my spot.
But nothing is like the NFL. It was always an amazing feeling to run out on the field. I love the fanfare and tradition. The relationships I have with my teammates is still strong, and I just recently went to a reunion! Just like it was a goal to dance for the NFL I manifested a job with the NFL Network as a makeup artist. Coincidentally, my friend Lisa, who I danced with at Disney, is a production manager there and she recommended me.
This business is all about connections!
She reached out to me a few times when the Rams moved back to LA and she let me know about the makeup department at the network. A year and a half later I was able to get an interview and do a work trial. I’m so grateful I just completed my rookie season.
At the NFL, football is family.
I actually shared the field with a lot of the football players (now analysts) when I was cheering. Where else can you go to work, sit on set and watch football? I have also worked for the Rams organization as a makeup artist and I’ve been on the sidelines with the cheerleaders keeping them camera ready. This last season I was right there in the tunnel when the players were introduced. It was a rush every time!
I am going to selfishly sneak in a question for myself – how was it like working with Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube?
Snoop Dogg and I went to high school at Long Beach Poly. We won a Halloween costume contest together! Working with him was so much fun. We shot him and his cars at his studio at the time. He’s hilarious! When I went to touch him up he said “You know why we shiny? Cuz we stars.” I brought my yearbook and he signed a picture of us from the costume contest.
After the shoot Nate Dogg and The Don came by to hang out. When I left they were playing basketball in the driveway. Coincidentally, when Snoop performed at The Call of Duty: Black Ops Championships, his dressing room was next to one I was working in, and he performed at the Rams playoff game last season. He is a hard working guy!
Ice Cube was amazing. He has great energy! He made everyone comfortable on set, and he took pictures with everyone afterwards. His son, O’Shea Jr. came by The NFL Network last season. Although I didn’t do his grooming that day,
it was still a life comes full circle moment.
For all our male readers – are there any grooming tips you can offer to keep them looking dapper?
Moisturize! Drink a lot of water and at least have a basic skincare routine. Cleanse, moisturize, sunscreen and lip balm! It only takes a minute.
If we took a look in your makeup kit what would we see?
My kit staples are Viseart eyeshadow palettes, Armani Luminous Silk foundation, AJ Crimson foundation, Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, Embryolisse moisturizer and Glossier lip balms. I also added a lot of Pat Mcgrath pigments and shadows to my kit. I’ve been discovering a lot of smaller brands I like through subscription boxes too. Seraphine Botanicals makes my new favorite eyeliner, liquid coal.
What is the most common mistake women make when applying or choosing cosmetics?
This is a hard question because makeup is an art and is so subjective.
When I was a teenager I experimented with Boy George and Cyndi Lauper makeup on myself and I wish I had pictures of it. I don’t like to tell anyone they’re making a mistake, but I’ll just say I like blended, classic looks. And I like a fuller eyebrow, although I rocked those pencil thin eyebrows in the 90’s. I do see some eyebrow trends that make me cringe.
What one beauty product should women never leave the house without?
I can’t pick just one for me. I don’t like to leave the house without foundation and tinted lip balm, and if I could sneak one more product in it would be Glossier Boy Brow. But if I have to pick one product for everyone else, it would be sunscreen.
If you could offer one makeup tip to all women, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of a red lip!
There’s a red for everyone out there and you instantly look put together when you put on a red lip.
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
My routine changes all of the time because I’m constantly experimenting with new products, but for the most part I try to drink detox tea regularly, cleanse, moisturize and use eye cream. I try to mask while doing house work so I could kill two birds with one stone. I don’t have a lot of down time these days.
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
My favorite way to pamper myself is to take 20 minutes to listen to my meditation apps. They help keep me calm and grounded. I also like to roll on my rumble roller. It’s a foam roller with nubbins that really dig in. I think it’s saved me a lot in chiropractor visits. It’s painful, but good painful! When I have time I try to get a facial.
Finally – what three words describe you best?
I think three words to describe me are warm, quirky and sensitive.
The Makeup Show Ellis Faas Finalist | Nick Berardi
Beauty Launch Pad for ICON Salon Lab | Michael Pool
L.A. Rams Trading Card | Crestine Villanueva
Lowrider Snoop | Reinaldo Robinson
Lowrider Ice Cube | Reinaldo Robinson
Estetica Best of USA by Cocre8: Robert Valentine
Beautiful People by Cocre8 | Robert Valentine