Makeup Became Her Accidental Art

Name:  Esther Kim
Age:  22 
Profession:  Makeup Artist 
Ultimate Career Goal:  Do Leonardo Dicaprio’s Makeup 

IMG_0513Kim’s jobs occur In Manhattan,  a two-hour-commute for her living in Bayside

Esther Kim a San Francisco native, now mixed with her New York attitude couldn’t fathom makeup as her calling.   But having practiced on her friends in high school, eventually helped unlock that passion that she could make it as an artist.

“I would volunteer to do my friends make up because as girls we always help each other out with makeup and then they would start to ask me,” said Kim.

After receiving her associates degree from Queensborough Community College, Kim decided to save up all the money she made from various part-time jobs –Red Mango, Hot Yoga Receptionist–  to attend Makeup Designory.  MUD taught her the technique and precision  of transforming people into unimaginable creations.  Although she learned a lot, school wasn’t easy for Kim.

“In the beginning it was a class but after awhile the strong ones in the class were always secretly competing with each other,” said Kim, “we wanted to prove we were the most creative.”

In total she’s done makeup for models at roughly 10 photo-shoots and shows.  She was shocked to learn that the models she’s encountered weren’t what she initially perceived models to be.  What she admires the most is that a majority of them have other passions and use modeling as a gig to pay the bills.


“I always thought they were stupid and only cared about their looks but actually they are actually pretty smart,” said Kim.

As for her fellow artists, she condemns the ones that are “unsanitary.”

“They would use the same brush on other models or they would blow on their brushes and put it directly to their face.  They don’t sanitize their tools or their hands, they drop things and don’t sanitize.” Said Kim   (Note to models watch the makeup artist so you’re not a victim!)

Looking forward Esther dreams of doing bizarre makeup for Hollywood films turning actors into monsters.   She’s currently building up her rapport in New York but plans on branching out back to California.  She knows this is a hard path given the relationship based (who you know) dynamics of the industry but continues to build up her extensive portfolio.

“Makeup is hard work.  People think  ‘Oh it’s art related so it’s easy’ but it’s not,” said Kim.  “There’s a lot of different techniques and styles and you usually have 10 hour shoot days that can start at 4am.”