SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
Meet LA & SD Makeup Artist: Gina Marie Wheeler
Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Marie Wheeler.
Gina Marie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve enjoyed art and creative outlets as far back as my memory goes. I have no idea where my passion for fashion, makeup and hair came from. My family was far from glamorous growing up. We got our clothes from Walmart or haircuts from Supercuts and makeup wasn’t allowed. When I started college I knew I wanted a job that I would enjoy that I could maybe even have fun at. I applied to work at the Macy’s Clinique counter in Sacramento. The same woman that sold me my first skincare regime hired me and became such a mentor to me. Her customers were so loyal to her, they lit up every time they saw her. I loved that, I wanted that. Luckily, I was at a very busy counter. I had the opportunity to do as many makeup applications as I could possibly finish in a day. I quickly realized that practice was the only way I could perfect my trade. I loved that each client brought a new canvas for me. Everything I had ever learned studying art was now being used through my now favorite medium, makeup. My favorite part of my job is handing my client the mirror and seeing how they look at themselves. It’s the most fulfilling part of my life making people feel good.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never a smooth road when you do something artistic for a living. I started my journey at the height of a good economy and it quickly crashed. Makeup isn’t a necessity when you’ve lost your job and are facing losing your home. I found ways to make money and supplement my income making desserts for events. I would then book events doing both the makeup and desserts for them. It was hectic and difficult to balance. I slept very little but loved having so many creative projects. I could’ve never worked as hard as I did during that time if I wasn’t so excited every day about making people feel good. I’ve moved multiple times which has also been a challenge, you have to start fresh with new customer each time, but the creativity and hard work of rebuilding my clientele is exciting to me.
What were you like growing up?
I’m the oldest of four kids, and both of my parents worked a lot. So I was really responsible for caring for my sister and two brothers. I got them ready for school, did homework, started dinner. When I wasn’t playing mini mom I was active in Girl Scouts, 4H, Italian School and soccer. My family moved a few times while I was in school so I used those activities as a way to quickly make new friends. I always enjoyed being really busy with extracurricular activities, I think that’s how I figured out to balance a hectic schedule, which now I love.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I think the holidays were always my favorite. Christmas especially. We were the only grandchildren in our family until we were older, so everyone always came to our house. We started prepping food and the house a week prior to Christmas. We all had our favorite dishes and we made them all. I think being Italian takes the food to another level for a holiday. There was nothing we didn’t make (bread, sausages, pasta, cookies, etc. everything from scratch) We ate all day long as our grandparents, aunts, and uncles all made their way over to our house. It was loud with talking and laughter over the Christmas music and by the end of the night everyone was stuffed with all their favorite foods. Christmas was perfect.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the next few years, I hope to add NYFW and a feature film to my list of projects. I’m also figuring out how to better incorporate travel into my career that includes my husband and friends. Most of the time when I’m working away from home it’s alone, I’d like to plan it better to mix professional and personal in the same trip.
- Website: http://www.makeupbygina.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: mua_ginamarie