Regency: Tell us a little bit about your career path. How did you end up specializing in makeup artistry?
Allison: I think makeup has always been my true love. I went to college, got a degree, and didn't have a clue what I wanted to do with it (like so many young adults out there). The first day I started at Regency, something just clicked, and I knew I would never be happy doing anything but this. Although I also have a real passion for hair, all of the new makeup techniques and ever-changing trends have always given me that challenging aspect which forever keeps my on my toes. Working at MAC Cosmetics was also huge for me, and really fueled my desire to make makeup artistry my main focus.
Allison getting "wild" on set with model Tearra Rosario.
Photography by Alena Demidova.
Regency: Once you decided to become a makeup artist, how did you get exposure and get your name out there?
Allison: I have to be brutally honest; it is not easy. There is just as much (if not more!) fierce competition in makeup work as there is in hair. It took many years of plugging away, doing trade (free) shoots, and making connections with the right photographers, models, designers, clients, brides, etc.
You have to invest yourself wholeheartedly into your business. You just have to think of every possible avenue to make yourself visible so that the right people will take notice. Self promotion always has to be in the back of your mind. I'm in the process of having an amazing website designed, and social networking sites have been incredible resources for me.
Regency: Are you specializing in any particular form of makeup artistry, or is there a favorite aspect of makeup artistry that you prefer?
Allison: I would have to say that my specialty is beauty makeup. Although I really enjoy more avant-garde and special effects looks, I have a real knack for "pretty". I love enhancing a woman (or man's) natural beauty and really highlighting their individual/unique features. I also really enjoy doing drag makeup. It is always challenging and never lacking in fun and excitement!
Allison, a professional makeup artist and 2007 Regency Beauty Institute graduate shares why she loves her job and some words of advice for students.
Regency: Do you also do hair?
Allison: Yep, I do hair. In the majority of my shoots/weddings, I style hair. I also still do cutting and coloring for some family members and close friends, and styling and finishing (particularly a great blow out) are my specialties! Although I favor makeup artistry, hair allows me to mix it up a bit and stretch my creative legs.
Regency: What have been some of your most fun or interesting projects?
Allison: Twin Cities Metro Magazine was probably one of the best. We shot it in the middle of downtown Minneapolis, on the busiest street, during the busiest part of the day. It created a real buzz to say the least. Not to mention, America's Next Top Model Runner-Up and hometown hero Raina Hein was featured in the shoot - so she had a lot of fans swarming! I have also had the opportunity to work with some big names such as Taylor Swift and Trina. It is hard to single out different highlights because waking up every day and being able to do what I love and have a burning passion for, and being able to collaborate with incredibly talented and creative people, is a gift in itself.
Regency graduate Allison Aubuchon (middle) and MN hairstylist Mark DeBolt with their winning model, Alexandra Fee. The team took gold at Wella's National TrendVision competition in Toronto and went to Paris to compete internationally.
Regency: Now that you have some experience in the industry, is it everything you wanted it to be?
Allison: This industry is the light in my life! I couldn't imagine it being any better. There are so many fantastic opportunities out there for driven and hair and makeup artists, and I want to experience as many of those opportunities as humanly possible. I won't stop until I am at the top of my game! And I haven't even mentioned the amazing people I have met along the way, which is one of the greatest aspects of this industry. I am surrounded by people who love this industry as wholeheartedly as I do and it keeps me constantly inspired.
Regency: What’s the most valuable thing you learned at Regency? Any student experiences that really stand out?
Allison: I have so many great experiences that stand out. I learned countless things at Regency, all of which laid an excellent foundation for my future plans. My educators were patient, knowledgeable and pushed me to break through barriers that challenged me (even perms, lol). Regency prepared me for real life interactions with clients and co-workers, and taught me to always think outside the box. There is always a way you can put a fresh new twist on a classic look, you just have to find it.
Also, our Salon Fair was huge for me (I won the student showcase in the "trendy" category) and gave me many great opportunities. Regency’s connections with local shows and stylists also gave me a great opportunity to work on a student platform artistry team called S.W.A.T (Students With Awesome Talent), which allowed me to get on stage in front of peers and industry professionals and teach new techniques. This helped me in overcoming a lot of my fears, and also helped me meet experienced stylists who were able to give me very helpful feedback.
Regency: What advice would you give students who are attending (or thinking about attending) Regency?
Allison: My advice is to come to school with the desire to learn this fabulous trade, and to take it seriously. Always ask questions until you truly understand. You are paying for your education, and you shouldn't feel shy or embarrassed about trying to squeeze every bit of knowledge and experience that you can out of it. Your educators can be your biggest resource, and so can other students who are slightly more advanced. I took advantage of as many of Regency's connections in the community as possible and it gave me the opportunity to get my name out there before I even graduated.
The beauty industry is very competitive. Use that competitiveness as inspiration to never stop learning, never stop striving for perfection, and always presenting yourself as a professional, even while you’re a student. It starts in school, so put your game face on!
Regency: What are your future plans?
Allison: Like most makeup artists, I want to be painting faces behind the scenes at every fashion week across the globe and seeing my work on the pages of editorial magazine spreads and major cosmetic campaigns. I also really love teaching my craft, so a training position for a major product line would be right up my alley. At the end of the day, I just want to feel as if I am putting my all into every single project I do. I believe if I do that, I will find success. I want to spend the rest of my life doing what I love!
Regency Beauty has not made and will not make any guarantees of employment or salary upon graduation.