Kelly Rose Smith: Interview with a makeup artist

I intereviewed a new up and coming makeup artist, Kelly Rose Smith. This is definitely a girl you need to pay attention to because she’s going places! 

Check her out at KRMakeupartistry or on Facebook

KHW: What inspired you to choose the career path that you are currently pursuing?

KRS: Ever since I was 4 years old I was always stealing and playing with my mom’s makeup. I have always been fascinated with the way it can transform a person. My interest grew as I grew and I really began experimenting with different makeup looks in middle and high school. I had also always been really into the macabre and anything dark, alternative, and creepy. One day I had an epiphany and thought to myself “why don’t I put the two together?!” I did some research and discovered that there was really a way to make it into a career. After that, I did nothing but research and practice fx makeup with household items until I went to school for it once I graduated highschool. I grew almost addicted to the reactions I would get from people when I would create something shocking such as a creature or a wound. People’s reactions would always give me such a rush. Because of that I see myself as not only an artist, but an entertainer as well. I love what I do and wouldn’t give it up for the world.

KHW: Where did you end up going to school to learn your makeup artistry? What was the experience like?

KRS: After researching many schools, and visiting a few, I decided that the Tom Savini Special Makeup FX program at the Douglas Education Center was the perfect fit for me. I went for about 2 years and received an associate degree. It was an amazing school that provided me with so many amazing experiences; a lot of which no other school in the world offers. Going there was the best decision I had ever made in my life.

KHW: Since graduating, have you been able to use your sfx skills professionally?

KRS: Yes! Absolutely! While in school I learned not only fx, but I also took beauty and fashion makeup classes. I’ve been able to put both the skills to work! Since Graduation (about 6 months ago) I’ve competed in the NY IMATS competition (international makeup artist trade show) and I’ve also worked at a Sephora and am currently a prestige beauty advisor at Ulta Beauty. I also recently did all the makeup and fx work for an upcoming music video from Cannibal Corpse. But I can’t say a whole lot about that until the video gets released.

KHW: Cannibal Corpse? That’s amazing!

KRS: Yes, cannibal corpse! I’m so excited about it! Their new album just dropped Tuesday and was #4 on the metal charts, and I think the record label is going to release the video next week.

KHW: As a makeup artist, what are some of your signature looks that you like to personally do on yourself?

KRS: That’s a good question. I generally do mostly heavy makeups on myself as an everyday look. I love anything sultry and smokey. I feel dark makeup reflects my personality the best. I also always make sure I have strong/bold eyebrows; that’s like my signature thing.

KHW: What make brands do you absolutely love when doing your sultry and smokey looks?

KRS: I love Urban Decay, Too faced, Lorac, and Sugarpill. And for lips, I wear Lime Crime almost every day.

KHW: I love Lime Crime! What’s your favorite product of their’s?

KRS: They are amazing! And my favorite collection is the Clueless Witch Collection. They are so pigmented and are super long lasting! And my favorite color from the collection is Salem! They aren’t only beautiful, they smell amazing, too!

KHW: Out of all the sfx looks that you have done, what is the look you are most proud of?

KRS: Oh wow. That is so hard…probably my zombie looks.

KHW: That’s amazing! What inspires you to get super gory?

KRS: I just love gore. It’s very hard to go wrong with gore because the more disgusting-the better! It’s just mindless and you can have a lot of fun with it!

KHW: Do you have a dream job that you would absolutely kill to have?

KRS: Absolutely! It’s always been a dream of mine to work on the Pirates of the Caribbean set! That, or anything Tim burton!

KHW: Tim Burton’s style is the best, is there any movie of his that is particularly inspiring?

KRS: It really is! I love it so much! Ve Neill is a huge inspiration of mine as well. She did the makeup for quite a few of his works such as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. And the most inspiring movie of his for me is definitely Sweeney Todd.

KHW: For those wanting to be makeup artists in the future, what advice would you give to them?

KRS: The best advice I can give is that if you are truly passionate about it. It’s an amazing craft to get in to. I’m going to be completely honest; it’s a lot of hard work and long days/nights. But it’s completely worth it at the end when you can say “I did that with my imagination and my own two hands.” It’s a very rewarding career in the sense of self-satisfaction and loving what you do with your life.


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