Featured Beauty Artist: Blair Santos
"If I can make people feel beautiful, feel their best, then I can still make them happy and help them feel like their best versions of themselves"
Blair Santos has been always been a lover of makeup, having mastered the classic red lip by the 7th grade. After receiving a diploma in Makeup For Media & Creative Arts at Sheridan, she's done work for a Hallmark Film, Dancing With The Stars Mississauga, The Toronto Kids Fashion Show Week, Miss Teen Universe, Miss Galaxy, and Miss World.
Did we also mention she's also a social media influencer and YouTuber? This girl stays busy!
We had the pleasure of sitting down to learn more about Blair's journey, and experienced first hand her infectious positive energy.
Q. How did you start your journey to become a makeup artist/hairstylist?
In high school I didn't know that being a makeup artist was a legitimate career and then when I finally graduated and took a year off, I decided that I was going to do psychology. While I was doing psychology, I realized that the work was pretty sad because there was a lot of personal issues to deal with, so how do I still still help people and make them happy without the deep, personal turmoil. So I decided that if I can make people feel beautiful, feel their best, then I can still make them happy and help them feel like their best versions of themselves.
I ended up studying Sheridan, and it was a really amazing in depth program. It taught me a lot about hair, makeup, nails, skin and they taught me how to free lance. I worked on projects like onset a Hallmark film for background hair & makeup, Dancing With The Stars Mississauga for hair & makeup. A major amount of my projects afterwards were through Jennifer Turner, an amazing talented artist, who hired me onto her team for Modern Makeup. I've done a number of pageants through her which has been really cool.
Images taken from @adinonsir_aesthetics
Q. Do you still freelance on the side?
Yes, I basically can do whatever you want! I can travel anywhere and go anytime of the day; I just like to know that I made a client happy, so I can do nails, hair, and makeup.
Q. You speak a lot about making sure that clients have a great experience, it seems that you go out of your way to make them happy
100%, because I see it as more than just, you know, doing hair and makeup, it's about the entire experience, like the conversation we have in the chair. And like getting to know the person and developing a relationship. And like even sending you a message afterwards, just being like I hope your night went well, like, I hope you enjoyed the makeup or if you sent me a cute selfie, like just so I could post it on my Instagram to show that you liked it. If they did. It's cool just to see like someone liked your makeup. And usually people will send you photos if they like it. They'll be like, Look my makeup for prom. And I'm like, thank you!
Q. When you are working on a client, what is the most important thing you should bring to the table?
I think being able to understand the client without them having to tell you what they want. So being able to read the person, and know that the person wants to have a conversation; or maybe explaining techniques and tips if they're a teen and they want to know how to make their foundation look good; or maybe they're stressed out and this is their relaxing moment, we should just be quiet, give them a little face massage, maybe take a little walk in with the moisturizer, massabing the temples, and letting them relax. It's just about reading the person, and tailoring the experience best to their personality as best as you can tell.
Images taken from @adinonsir_aesthetics
Q. If you had to give advice to a fellow beauty artist, what would it be?
Be open to criticism, like, no one is perfect. And there's always something else you can learn or something you can improve on. So just be open to that.
I guess Also, don't be afraid to reach out to other artists that you think are talented. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed by the numbers on social media and they someone with 20,000 100,000 followers, won't see your DM. But there are times where I have messaged larger artists that I didn't think would reply back to me and they messaged me back and answered my questions to help me improve. So don't be afraid to reach out because at the end of the day, this is like an art field and art fields are based around other people helping each other and networking.
Fun Fact: Blair struck up a conversation with a woman while she was trying to get chips at an event, and couldn't help but compliment that this woman was "beautiful". Turns out she was also a makeup artist by the name of Paula Ortiz, of Paula Beauty, and the conversation ended up with an interview for Miss Universe. After landing the job, another opportunity struck when she kindly grabbed a pizza slice for another makeup artist....who turned out to be Jennifer Turner of Modern Makeup (her current team lead). Just shows it doesn't hurt to reach out and be nice.
*Details of this interview were edited for length and readability.