Each year – brings a fresh new start and 2017 is going to be quite the year for Kathryn Best – a new city, home, job, blog and many new adventures. I read her first blog post and wanted to know more. Here is my one-on-one with the face behind Beauty & The Best.

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Kathryn Best
Make-up Artist

Instagram: @katbest_
Website: www.beautyandthekatbest.com

Your love for makeup started at a young age. So this is more than a career for you – it’s a passion. The beauty industry is a very competitive market – is this passion what still drives you today?

That’s what I find to be tricky when it comes to this industry. I find that most of the time we compare ourselves to other artists or we compare what we’re doing vs. what someone else is doing. This has always been a passion for me and it keeps me wanting to work hard, but when I pay too much attention to what other people are doing, it can get discouraging. It’s important for new artists or any artist really, to focus on yourself and the things you’re working on.

It’s great to get inspiration from other people but I would say that the only thing that will continue to push me or make me pursue my dream, is being true to myself and my passions as an artist.

It’s important to understand that we all have our things, and there’s going to be someone that’s better, but all I can do is learn from them. I’ve learned to make those techniques suit me and adapt them to what works for me as an artist. When I leave the competitive part out of being a makeup artist I find that I’m more creative, and passionate, because I’m just doing my own thing and doing what’s best for me.

I’ve always said that art comes in all forms – painters, writers, hair stylists, makeup artists. You have makeup as your creative outlet. What inspires you as an artist?

Inspiration comes to me at the most random times. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk downtown or sit at a park somewhere and just think. I leave my phone at home and just watch the world around me. Especially when it comes to finding writing inspiration, I like to kind of step back from my life for a minute and allow myself to be inspired by other people. Other times I’ll maybe have a bath and listen to music while looking through makeup trends on Instagram or look through fashion magazines. I also like to draw from time to time to keep those creative juices flowing.

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You said in your first post that, as a young teenager, you used makeup to help deal with young teenage insecurities. Makeup allowed you to look however you wanted. I think on the surface, especially with the need to fit in as a teenager, this can be a great way to build confidence. Now that you are older, do you see things differently?

I think makeup is an amazing way to build confidence, as it helped me build mine. But, I do think there’s a very fine line between building confidence and masking insecurities. When I was growing up, we didn’t have Instagram – and don’t get me wrong I live for it, but now a days I think girls – especially young girls, become obsessed with that “instagram look.” With today’s society there’s a lot more pressure to look or be a certain way. So I think now, I definitely see things differently. Makeup should never be used to make you feel like another person or be used as a mask. I tell all my young clients that are just learning, that makeup is supposed to enhance our natural beauty and what we already have – not to change or cover who we are. I used to hate my freckles (which is why I started using foundation) and there was a time last year when people were drawing on fake freckles because they loved them and they wanted to have them!

What makes us different is what makes us unique, we may not love a certain thing about ourselves but there’s always people out there who will appreciate those things.

I think that as long as we keep that in mind, makeup can be an amazing tool.

I think having the fundamentals is important in any profession, but when it comes to art  – technique – should be fluid. And, I agree with you – there should be no rules for makeup. Each face and personality is different. When you moved back home to Thunder Bay after attending Algonquin College, was this a turning point in your career?

It definitely was a turning point in my career. I really honestly thought I would never move back to Thunder Bay, so it was a little bit disappointing for me when I decided to go back. I had a tough time in Ottawa. I felt so disconnected with myself and who I truly was, I met the most amazing people but I also knew in my heart that I needed to take a step back. When I got home- even though now I know it was for the best, I had felt like I failed myself and lost my talents. I needed that time to recoup and figure out what I was passionate about in the first place. Once I went home and reconnected with my old clients and coworkers who have supported me since the beginning, it really changed my mindset. Right now I’m feeling the most inspired and creative then I have in a very long time.

I like to think that we all need to have those lows to really appreciate the highs.

You mentioned that you always thought about starting a blog but never thought you would get the courage to do it. I think everything in life happens when it’s supposed to. Are you glad you waited until now to join the world of bloggers?

I’m really glad that I waited until now. Before I didn’t really have a clear direction of where I wanted to go with this. It was also a little intimidating to start. I was never a fan of writing nor was I good at it. But like you said, life happens when it’s supposed to and I’m a huge believer in that as well. I’m glad I waited until now so that I could really reflect on myself and where I want my career to go. I still have a long way to go but the feedback I’ve gotten so far really helps me feel confident in my decision. Plus there’s no better time to start something new then the New Year!

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Tell us about a few highlights from your freelance career.

I would have to say one of the best things about freelancing would have to be getting to meet all the incredible people I work with, and of course the clients. The coolest feeling though, is getting to see your work on tv commercials or in advertisements. I worked really closely with a clothing company called Ungalli. They’re two sisters from Thunder Bay who started a company where all their clothes are made using all 100% recycled materials. I love the message that their brand has and getting to work with them was great. I got to see my work all over the city and on the internet and that was a really cool feeling.

Social media has completely turn the world on its head. In the 90’s before magazine covers featured models instead of celebrities, there were a few models that reached a cult status in the fashion world: Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour and Claudia Schiffer. Today there is a return to that – super model status – Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss. The biggest difference I think is that these models are building their own brand through social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They are more in control of their careers. I think this puts them at a huge advantage. Do you think the same goes for makeup artists?

I definitely think the same goes for makeup artists. It’s awesome that now we can post things that are only relative to ourselves and our brand. Like you said, we’re more in control of our careers. Before Instagram and social media took the world by storm, makeup artists and models had people representing them, whereas now we all represent ourselves. The content we post is how our clientele picks us to be their makeup artist. Not to mention that now, social media is the main way that we get clients.

I’ve noticed that it’s really changed the dynamic of makeup artists and how influential they are to today’s culture.

Before Instagram, celebrities were only known for being celebrities. Today, there’s so much focus on the actual “glam teams,” they almost get as much attention as the actual celebrities. I think now makeup artists kind of make the celebrity who they are. Who would Kim Kardashian be without Mario Dedivanovic or Joyce Bonelli? Makeup artists have really become an important asset to the fashion and celebrity world and it’s all because of social media.

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Beauty bloggers have taken YouTube by storm. I think people completely underestimate how much work goes into making a easy to follow makeup tutorial. Give our readers an idea of how much time goes into these videos.

I actually used to make makeup YouTube tutorials once upon a time. There’s so many different sections in the beauty industry and I quickly learned that this definitely wasn’t the section for me. I give so much credit to the people who take the time to film and edit on a regular basis. Filming the look itself takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, but the real work is turning that into a 10 minute video that people can easily follow. The lighting and the angles also need to be just right or else the whole video can seem low quality. The most successful YouTubers also actually connect with their audience and fanbase through these videos. You need to have a very outgoing and charismatic personality in order for people to relate to not only you, but the makeup looks and the vibe of the video, too.

I love esquido lashes but I am deathly afraid to apply them myself – so, I like asking makeup artists for application tips. Do you have any you want to share?

I always find lash application tricky too. It’s so much easier to apply on someone else then on yourself, but what I find helps the most is definitely have a good pair of thin tip tweezers. These are my best friend when it comes to applying. One of the things I’ve learned is to keep the eye somewhat open when applying lashes – especially a strip lash. When the eye is fully closed that’s when you get creases or wrinkles on the eyelid, as most people close the eye too tight.

When keeping the eye somewhat open – it gives you an exact guideline of where to apply.

I let the glue dry on the lash for about 30 seconds before applying and I always apply to the middle of the eye first. That way you can adjust where the ends of the lashes sit on the eye whereas when you apply starting at the inner
or outer corner first it doesn’t fit quite right. Also this way, if the glue dries a little too much on the ends of the strip lash, you have the middle already glued on and you can just add a little more glue to the ends as you go.

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What one beauty product should women never leave the house without?

I never leave the house without my MAC Fix+ and a lip gloss. I find my skin gets oily throughout the day and sometimes a little dull and tired looking with makeup. To give myself an instant refresh I’ll spray my face a few times with Fix+ and apply a light pink lip gloss to make me look a little more alive!

If we took a look in your makeup kit what would we see?

A broken champagne pop highlighter that I’ve been too sad about to clean up yet and my collection of nude glosses/lipsticks!

Do you have a daily beauty routine?

My beauty routine changes from day to day, but I always make sure I use my all time favourite product – coconut oil! I use coconut oil for everything. I’m really big on finding natural beauty products and this happens to be my fave. I use it as a lip treatment to keep my lips moisturized – especially before applying liquid lipstick when the lips tend to get that dried out look. I also use coconut oil for oil pulling 3-4 times a week. For those of you who’ve never tried it, it’s a life changer.

I used to use white strips all the time but my teeth got so sensitive I couldn’t drink anything cold or hot. I switched to oil pulling and my teeth are now naturally white, and there’s no more sensitivity for me either!

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What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?

Getting my nails done, for sure! I always have acrylic tips on – always. Whenever my nails aren’t done for some reason I feel so much less put together. I like to get them re-done every 3 weeks or so.

How would you describe your style?

When it comes to my style I’m usually either super casual favourite lululemon sweat pants and a hoodie or the total opposite and I’m completely done up. I would say when I am dressed up I lean more towards contemporary style choices.

I like to stick to style choices that are more on the simple side, clean lines and no patterns. Most of my clothes are black but I also lean towards light blue and a the neutral colour palette.

I love Starbucks too – what is your favorite coffee?

I’m hooked on Caramel Macchiato’s with skim milk. My absolute fave – I switch it up sometimes and get it iced. So yummy.

Finally give us three words that describe you best.

Creative, caring and outgoing.