Stories
Interview with Makeup Artist Ashleigh Ciucci – Part 1 December 13, 2013

Ashleigh Ciucci is a fashion and editorial makeup artist whose work can be seen in for Allure, Lucky, W Magazine, Style.com, Popsugar, Refinery29, among other publications and on the runways for Narcisco Rodriguez, Rachel Zoe, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors among others. Ashleigh gave MAKE UP FOR EVER insight into what inspires her, what she loves most about makeup and a typical day in the life of a makeup artist in the first of a two-part interview.

The thing that I love the most about makeup is the transformative aspect. If you’re having a bad day and you swipe on a red lip, you walk different, you talk different and your day looks brighter.

Interview with Makeup Artist Ashleigh Ciucci – Part 1

December 13, 2013

Ashleigh Ciucci is a fashion and editorial makeup artist whose work can be seen in for Allure, Lucky, W Magazine, Style.com, Popsugar, Refinery29, among other publications and on the runways for Narcisco Rodriguez, Rachel Zoe, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors among others. Ashleigh gave MAKE UP FOR EVER insight into what inspires her, what she loves most about makeup and a typical day in the life of a makeup artist in the first of a two-part interview.

The thing that I love the most about makeup is the transformative aspect. If you’re having a bad day and you swipe on a red lip, you walk different, you talk different and your day looks brighter.

Who are some people that have inspired you throughout your career?

To start, my mother is my earliest inspiration.  She taught me about the power of lipstick and glamour from an early age.  She’s always been an encouraging and optimistic force.  Within the industry, Kelley Quan was the first artist I assisted on a regular basis.  She taught me all about how the industry works and how to be a creative artist with a smart business sense.  Artistically, Pat McGrath is the queen of expression and I try to think outside the box and push myself the way that she does. 

What do you love most about makeup?

The thing that I love the most about makeup is the transformative aspect.  If you’re having a bad day and you swipe on a red lip, you walk different, you talk different and your day looks brighter.  If a fresh-faced model walks in and you create a story with makeup on her face, she becomes the character to tell this story.  

If you weren’t a makeup artist, what else would you do?

To be honest, if I wasn’t a makeup artist, I would be a crazy cat lady.  I’ve always had a love for felines and I could totally see myself working in a shelter nursing babies back to health and giving middle-aged cats new life! Possibly putting lipstick on them? Meow!

Tell us about a typical day on set.

The day starts with meeting with the creative team—art director, photographer, stylist, hairdresser—to decide on the direction of the shoot/project.  Once the look is decided upon, I unpack my meticulously organized kit (I have Virgo in me, what can I say.) Everything has its place and is always neat and tidy! Depending on the look, I do the makeup first or after the hair; if the hair needs to be set or is more complicated, I’ll typically do makeup second.  If the hair is light and won’t take my prep time, I’ll do the face first. Once our subject is dressed and ready for set, the photographer will snap off a test image to make sure everything looks right under the lights.  The hair person and I will do final touches to make sure she’s/he’s totally camera ready.  Throughout the shoot, I’ll keep an eye on-set as well as the monitor (if available) to make sure the makeup stays fresh.  At the end of the day, I hand off a wipe to my model to swipe their face clean, clean my brushes and pack up my kit!

How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?

My signature look is clean skin, flushed cheeks and perfect brows.  From here, I love to play with bold lips and pops of color on the eye that can be both classic and unexpected.  I also love applying individual lashes to where they’re nearly invisible to the naked eye.  The thing that sets me apart from other artists is my ability to bring out the freshest beauty while having fun at the same time. 

Read part 2 of Ashleigh's interview.