Today we’d like to introduce you to Raquel Cohen.
Raquel, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Growing up, I was always fascinated with makeup. It started with loving classic film icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, and their seemingly effortless beauty and glamour. My own grandmother wore red lipstick every day (Revlon “certainly red, which still is being sold today!). As I got older and involved with theater, makeup was my favorite part of the process. I felt I truly became the character once the makeup was on, and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. once I was in my early 20s, I decided I was going to start trying to do makeup on other people. I would take my makeup kit to parties to see if anybody would let me practice on them. My roommate at the time was a model, and when they suggested that I do makeup for photo shoots, I truly fell in love with the craft, and it just grew from there! I am still learning new things all the time, and that’s what I love about it. It never gets boring.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not always been a smooth road. Being self-taught, there was a lot that I had to learn, from techniques to the order of how to apply a full face, and the difference between everyday “in-person” makeup, and film/photo makeup, also finding my own signature style and technique, instead of just trying to mimic whatever I was seeing on YouTube at the time. Also accepting what my limitations were as an artist. There are simply some things that I was not good at, that needed a lot of work. when I look back on previous work I try not to cringe! Also building a clientele and portfolio was extremely difficult in the beginning.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I would say my favorite types of looks, and what I am known for, are retro styling with a modern twist. I have always been inspired by the 1970s and 1990s in particular. As for what I am most proud of, it’s not a particular look. The greatest compliment I have received from my clients, is that I really listen to them, and what they want, as opposed to only doing what I want. An artist that I worked for when I was first starting out gave me excellent advice. She told me “This is not about you, and what you like. This about making the client feel beautiful.” I see me and the client as a team, and we are collaborating to bring their vision to life.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
This is very cliché, but do not give up. There’s always going to be another artist that’s more experienced than you, has more expensive products, that’s more popular and well known. Don’t get discouraged. Look at every gig, whether it goes well or not, as an experience to learn and hone your craft. Look at other artists as your colleagues and collaborators, not your competition.
- Instagram: @raq.a.pella
- Facebook: facebook.com/raquelmua
Erica Lynn Mode