My Interview With a MAC Makeup Artist!


andy travis makeup


Meet Andy Travis.  I was delighted to find that one of my coworkers worked for MAC!  Of course, I wanted to take some time out & pick his brain.  I wanted to know the ins & outs of MAC, as well as tips from a professional makeup artist.  And you get to read my Q & A with him!


What are your favorite MAC products to work with?

My favorite products are the loose pigments, eye primers, cream blushes, matte lipsticks, Face & Body foundation, and all of their brushes.

What do you find overrated at MAC?

The pigmented Lipglass.  It’s uncomfortable to wear and it’s overpriced. Also, the Mineralized Collection is overrated, which includes powders & foundation, because one can find similar things in a lower price range.

What are your favorite drugstore favorites?

Any mascara is pretty much the same, so I get them there at Duane Reade, for example.  The applicator makes the biggest difference and not necessarily the formula itself.  It doesn’t make sense to buy a really expensive mascara because you could use a drugstore mascara & get the same effect with a better applicator.

What is a good mascara applicator?

One that is cross bristled, which catches onto the whole eyelash and coats the whole eyelash with mascara.  It’s best to go to a professional makeup store and get a wands that works for you and your eyelashes so as to give whatever effect you want because you can dip them into different mascaras.

Mascara wands

(He recommends getting rubber shorty or the flat comb brush above.  Don’t know where to buy mascara wands?  Click here for 50 pc set of mascara wands for only $12!  Don’t feel like throwing them out?  Don’t!  After using, use a good makeup remover, & tissue, wipe it off, & then sterilize with alcohol.)

What are common makeup mistakes that women make all the time?

Wearing the wrong foundation colors and not considering what the foundation looks like in respect to the entire body.  Also, having on too many products at one time; pick one feature & let that be the focus.

What is the biggest misconception people have about makeup artists?

That they know everything about every product. And they don’t. We don’t know about every product, but we do know how to make the most out of a little or anything at hand.

Is it easy to become a makeup artist?  Or is it very difficult to work your way into the industry?

I don’t think so. You have to study, work hard, & network like any other profession. I have found that makeup and its industry finds the artist, not the other way around. It came to me via theater conservatory. I already had years of painting and art experience, and that fuses well with makeup, of course.

What is the biggest misconception about buying high end makeup?  Or inexpensive makeup?

The misconception is that it’s better. Most makeup is manufactured in the same place, and the specific formulas are them packaged differently according to the brand.The best thing to do is to experiment with different products and brushes to find out what works for YOU.

makeup artist 2

What is the most common question that you get asked all the time?  

“Is this okay?” I get this one all the time. I usually say, “Uh….do you like it? Does that color make you feel good?” Makeup, as I see it, is a tool to achieve a certain effect. If you don’t know what effect you want, it’s hard to know what to use or buy.

If someone you knew asked you if you would recommend being a makeup artist, what would you say?  

I would say, “What kind of makeup do you want to do?” Making special effects for Hollywood is a world away from selling M.A.C. products.

What do you think is the most important thing women should do (in regards to their skin)?

Regarding one’s skin, the best things are to drink plenty of water, take collagen supplements, eat well, and get good sleep. You know, take care of yourself.


It’s important for all makeup artists to keep their tools clean.  What is the proper way to clean makeup brushes? 

Gentle hand soap is good for natural bristles, and dish soap is very effective for plastic bristles. There is no need to spend lots of money on makeup remover.

Is it better to put on liquid foundation with a brush or a sponge?  

BRUSH! Sponges are for quick, temporary chorus makeup and such when applying body makeup, for example. They also attract bacteria and dirt that you don’t want on your face of body, waste money, and absorb product that never gets used.

What do you think of these new trends in contouring, & strobing? 

It’s a new trend, but it’s nothing new at all.


Do you have any recommendations for upcoming brides who are looking for a makeup artist for their special day?  

The bride should request a trial run with the makeup artist before her special day. This avoids miscommunication and not looking the way she wants. The focus on the wedding day should be the event – family and friends – not her face.

Are there any disadvantages to being a makeup artist? 

Yes. Some clients try to take advantage of freelancers regarding pay.  Also, some designers and artistic directors can be jerks, so working “under” their direction can be challenging.

Are there any insider tips / beauty hacks you can share? 

No. Just don’t freak out about makeup. It’s should be fun and make you feel good!

woman eye cream

Do you have any tips for applying makeup for dry, normal, or oily skin? 

Make sure that the surface of your skin is happy, exfoliated, and hydrated before applying makeup. Know your skin, and change your foundation, if necessary, for the season that your in (i.e. winter vs. summer).

What is the most rewarding thing about being a makeup artist?  

Fusing art with making people feel more beautiful, or more in character for theater or film, is a great feeling. I love being part of an artistic team. Seeing the end result come out well is a great feeling.


Makeup Artist, Andy Travis

Would you like to know more about Andy?  Would you like to contact him? Check out his website at!

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