Los Angeles makeup artist, Sparkle Tafao, has been in the beauty business for over a decade. Her work has appeared in both film and print, with a client roster that includes: The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Young and the Restless, Tyrese Gibson, Shemar Moore, Victoria Rowell, Toccara Jones, Tamara Tunie, Taryn Manning, Michael Emerson and Tamala Jones.
Here, Sparkle gives us a behind the scenes glimpse of the fast paced worlds of entertainment, fashion and beauty. Her philosophy is if you’re alive and breathing, then you are creating something. So, create something positive.
Can you tell me a little about your work as a makeup artist?
My journey as a makeup artist began over 15 years ago. I started out as a licensed esthetician. I had my own facial spa inside a popular retail store, white coat and all. It was rather boring and monotonous, but my most exciting moments were when I did makeup for clients. I began to realize I had a passion for makeup and have been doing it ever since.
What inspired you to branch out on your own?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and what really inspires me is challenges and adversity. I’ve worked for many businesses and made them lots of money. It’s the lack of appreciation I’ve experienced that always leads me back to my own makeup business. There’s no greater feeling for me then when I do makeup for my own business and I see how happy my clients are.
When I have done makeup and hair for photo shoots and I see those clothes selling quickly, that inspires me. Also, when numerous photographers tell me they don’t have to edit my work I’m inspired. Appreciation gives art life and breath.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up early to double check my bags, because there is nothing more unprofessional than forgetting something, and I haven’t had the luxury of having an assistant regularly. After I’ve done that, I check emails and text clients. Then I browse magazines and blogs to see what newness is out there. Throughout the day, I pray for inspiration and ideas.
I do a lot of driving because I work with multiple clients in a day. I’m on location and in constant communication with stylists, buyers, photographers and business owners. I also visit showrooms and PR firms. It’s all a constant fast pace.
How would you describe your personal style?
I wear a lot of black. Mostly due to convenience and because it looks pulled together. Since I wear so much black, I love small details that are almost unnoticeable like zippers, how it’s sewn, lace, velvet, mesh, studding, cut outs and other little things.
Where do you find the inspiration for the work you do?
I’m inspired by texture. The cork in a wine bottle can translate to me buying a cork vintage lamp and then I’m inspired to do a layering of various nudes and browns. I’m also really inspired by interior design and clothing textures.
I may see some fabulous blue drapes and next thing you know I’m using lots of blue eyeliner. I love applying subtle hints of color. There are so many ways to use blue, grey, green and plum liner for a understated and sophisticated look. I rarely use black eyeliner on my clients and jobs.
How do you live your best life?
I love for my home to be decorated beautifully and to use all my pretty items. My mother saved her crystal and antiques and she has since gone to heaven. She never used them. There’s something about having watched her save her beautiful things and not use them, that makes me want to enjoy things fully. So, I use all the fine pieces she left me. It’s my way of remembering her in a joyful way.
It’s been a life lesson for me. Eat dinner on your china, use that crystal glass, light a candle and use the good silverware. We work very hard, so we should always experience enjoyable moments, not just on special occasions.
By the way, see the smiling lady doing CariDee‘s makeup in this Stelara commercial? Yup, that’s Sparkle!