Tera DeCavalcante has used her creative skills to transform women into glamourous versions of themselves and pop art creations. Always a lover of makeup, it wasn’t until a class during her time at the Aveda Institute of Minneapolis for Esthiology that she realized that she wanted to turn that passion into a career. Now, at age 21, she’s the owner of Tera Giovanna Makeup Artistry, where she gets to do what she loves every day.
We talked with Tera DeCavalcante to find out about what it takes to become a professional makeup artist and what her experiences in the industry have looked like.
Feather Magazine: When and how did your interest in becoming a makeup artist come about?
Tera DeCavalcante: Ever since I was kid I’d look at fashion magazines and look at their makeup, so I always loved the beauty industry. But I didn’t start to really look into it until I was a senior in high school and knew of all the opportunities there really were in the beauty industry! And I think the moment I really knew I was for sure going to take the path to be a makeup artist was when I was at Aveda and we were taking a makeup class and it just clicked for me. I knew this was what I wanted to do.
FM: How did you determine the best approach to getting started?
TD: I found makeup artists on Facebook and asked them about their schooling if they went to any because I thought it would be smart to ask people who aren’t biased to the schools and would give me honest advice. I did a lot of research too to find the best schools that I could afford and were the best match for me.
FM: What was training to become a makeup artist like?
TD: It was very intense! I never realized how much really goes into being a makeup artist and all the knowledge and skills to learn. It’s a lot more than just putting lipstick on someone. Especially when it comes to makeup for movies and for print. Every day I learned about 20 things I didn’t know before!
FM: Are there different kinds of makeup artists?
TD: Oh yes! There are all different mediums of makeup and all different kinds of jobs you can have. You can run your own bridal makeup business, or work strictly for films or all of it in between! And then there are also makeup artists who work for Chanel and Dior at the counters at Macy’s; there’s a wide range of jobs to choose from being a makeup artist to suit yourself better.
FM: What is your favorite type of makeup to do?
TD: I always have fun working with brides and makeup for photo shoots. Both are always so much fun. I also just started to get into runway and that has been my absolute favorite to work in. It’s fast-paced and high-energy the whole time, and very unique, creative makeup. It’s exhilarating to see your work strutting down the catwalk after it’s all done!
FM: What is a typical day like for a makeup artist?
TD: It’s always different! One day I’ll be up at 4 a.m. driving to the cities for a bridal party at 7 a.m. and be there until 1 p.m. and then coming home to get myself ready for a photo shoot the next day. There’s a lot of scheduling, planning and communicating with people and getting looks together for different gigs I have coming up. There’s always something I have to do!
FM: What is the best part of being a makeup artist?
TD: The best part is being able to be creative in everything I’m doing. And the people; I love everyone I’ve had the chance to work with and meet, we always have fun. And that’s what I’m thankful for. I love having a job where I look forward to waking up and going to the location to work.
FM: What is the worst part?
TD: Honestly, getting my name out there is really hard. I’m trying to build my business and become known, but it’s a competitive industry. And truthfully, there isn’t always a lot of money to be made, so that’s a stressor. I have to pay for so much to have a business, so any money I make is gone to pay off what I have to buy for the next gig. But it’s worth it! I’m happy I took the steps to chase my dreams and do what I truly love.