CELEBRITY MAKE-UP ARTIST: AMBER AMOS
Celebrity makeup artist Amber Amos first began her journey into the beauty industry when she started working at a make-up kiosk in her local Chicago neighborhood mall.
After she attended and completed the Make-up Designory in New York, she assisted on editorial photoshoots for magazines including Seventeen, Redbook, Essence, Details, Self, and Shape. During that time, Amber developed her signature flawless skin and effortless beauty aesthetic for which she is now so well-known.
Her work has now been featured in Teen Vogue, V Magazine, WWD, and GQ. And her A-list celebrity clientele includes Mariah Carey, Mel B, Skai Jackson, Lionel Richie, Ice T, and Josh Hartnett, among a slew of others.
Amuze caught up with the New York-based artist to discuss what inspires her to create, how her nerves go the best of her when working with her first celebrity client, and her favorite beauty tips and tricks.
How did you get your start in the make-up artistry business and why did you decide to pursue it as a full time career?
I got my ‘unofficial’ start in the make-up world when I was 16. My first make-up job — which I successfully scored on my own — was at a kiosk in my local Chicago neighborhood mall called ‘Color Me Beautiful’. My real start came after make-up school when I was assisting other artists already in the business.
What’s the make-up aesthetic you’re most well known for?
Natural glam with a strong focus on glowing skin.
How would you describe your personal make-up style?
Simply put: easy breezy. It usually takes me 10-15 minutes for an everyday look, but still only about 20-30 for a more glam ‘do.
What do you like to splurge on?
I’m a Sagittarius, so if I see something I have to have, and I’m feeling fancy, it’s mine!
What inspires you to create statement make-up looks for your celebrity clients?
I’m constantly inspired by street style and culture. For more individualized looks, I draw inspiration from the client’s outfit, the type of event they’re attending, and their overall vibe and mood.
What has been the most surreal moment for you?
I have had too many! One that sticks out though is when I witnessed the cutest duet between Mariah Carey and her daughter, Monroe, singing ‘Sweet Fantasy’. Did I mention it took place in her in-home salon?!
Who was your first celebrity client and how did you land him/her?
The first celebrity I ever worked with was supermodel Selita Ebanks. It was the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Press Day back in 2011. She came in late from another engagement and I had the only empty seat — it was a fluke! This also happened to be the year she was making her surprise return to the catwalk and unfortunately, my nerves got the better of me. I ended up giving her the worst smokey eye of my entire career! It was awful. Luckily, a lovely veteran artist stepped in and saved me (and Selita). Later, that same artist gave me some pointers and a pep talk.
If you could only use one make-up brand for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Fenty. Although it’s a new brand, I’m a fan of everything I’ve tried. I even use it on myself. Fenty and Pat McGrath Labs re-inspired me in my own personal makeup routine. Close seconds are Milk Makeup and Nars.
What are the three tools in your make-up kit that you just can’t live without?
My Japanese eyelash curler (it really lets you get up to the lash line), my beauty blenders, and my eyebrow comb.
What is your current make-up obsession?
I’m currently obsessed with pretty much anything metallic. But true metallic, not just loads of glitter posing as metallic.
What was your first job?
My first job ever was a short lived stint at a local McDonald’s.
Best make-up tip?
Always remember skincare is the first step to any great makeup application. And never sleep in your makeup.
What is your must-have beauty product?
My Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil and L'Oreal's Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara.
Do you have a secret make-up how-to tip for us?
My favorite make-up hack is the ultimate cheat code for anyone struggling with winged liner. First, start with a traditional eyeliner pencil and draw your line. Then, trace over it with your liquid or gel liner. If you still need some extra help, clean it up with a little concealer. Voila!
Do you have any hobbies?
Besides hanging with family and friends, I like to explore and experience new places and spaces.
What's your favorite product in your make-up kit?
My L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black . It makes my eyes pop instantly and I sometimes use it to fill in thinning hair spots!
Who's your style icon?
I’ve been obsessed with Rihanna and Zendaya’s style for a while. The way they both can command a baggy street-chic look one moment and then a high-end couture look the next is so dope to me.
What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
“Make sure you secure your own oxygen mask before helping others”. You can’t truly help someone else if you aren’t properly prepared for the situation yourself.
What is one thing our readers would be surprised to hear?
Since I work in beauty and love make-up, some people may be surprised to know that I was a huge tomboy growing up. I was always hanging with the boys, having spitting contests, and coming home dirty. Not much has changed…I spit less and clean-up more!
If you could paint one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Would it be too obsessive to say say Rihanna again? Also, Aaliyah. I am a Mid-West girl who was raised on hip-hop and R&B. Aaliyah was a style and beauty icon of the 1990s and early 2000s. I remember wanting to dress and look just like her. It doesn’t hurt that her beauty aesthetic back then is still aligned to what I do now.
“Live your Best Life”
THE QUICK FIVE:
Chocolate or fries?
Netflix and chill or night out with the girls?
Netflix and Chill.
Matte or glossy lip?
Statement lip or bold eye?
Heels for height or sneakers for comfort?