“My main inspiration is nature.”
Kimia Nourtajalli is a professional makeup artist and has been serving the industry for over 10 years. Kimia also writes poems, and paintd in her spare time. In 2013, Kimia won the European miniature painting competition. Her other interests are cooking and creating new recipes. Her amazing work has already graced the pages of our magazine several times and this time, we sat with her to know more about her and her passion for makeup.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Kimia Nourtajalli, makeup artist and founder of Michiamonk. I live in the UAE, and I have continued to serve in this industry for the past 10 years.
Tell us about your education.
I have studied fine art at the Art University of Tehran, and 6 years after my graduation, I studied fashion designing at Bedfordshire University in the UAE, followed by obtaining a certified degree as a makeup artist with Kryolan.
How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get your start in the industry?
I started my career 11 years ago as a wardrobe stylist and looking at how I would do my own makeup, I was requested by the production team to also do some basic makeup on the models and actors on board.
Slowly, I started loving doing makeup on others, and I took it more seriously. However, until today, I continue being a stylist and a makeup artist on sets.
What do you love most about makeup?
Makeup, for me, is an art. The slogan of my favorite makeup brand (Kryolan) is “makeup is a science. ”
I like to believe makeup combines art and science where you can elaborate and express beauty creatively.
Personally, I love to challenge myself on every project to gain more experience and learn new things about my job. Every face is a blank canvas where I can translate my artistic ideas into a masterpiece. Being creative is the main reason that I love doing makeup.
What would you have done if you hadn’t been a makeup artist?
It’s hard to choose something over being a makeup artist, but I would be a fashion photographer or a dermatologist if I had to choose.
Through your journey, what barriers or challenges did you have to face, and how did you overcome these barriers?
First of all, challenges and barriers are two platforms that make us grow more to achieve our dreams. In my field, I have come across several challenges. For example, at the start of my career, to gain people’s trust and be approved as a pro-MUA, I worked so hard that sometimes I would even waive off my payments. I would collaborate with different companies to prove I was ready to take on challenging tasks. Slowly, I observed that my work was being recognized, and that is when I realized working hard to pass the challenges will polish that rough gem inside you, and you can be closer to shine.
What is your favorite makeup brand?
Well, every makeup brand has something which makes them the best.
So for me, after testing so many products, some of them stand out more than the rest, for example, I adore Dior backstage foundations, I love eyebrow products by Benefit, I really like Tarte and Nars concealers, but if I want to be specific, my top three groups of makeup brands would be,
1.Kryolan and Dior
2.Makeup forever Tarte and Nars
3.Kikomilano,Urbandecay and Benefit
Where do you get your inspiration? Who are some people that have inspired you throughout your career?
For me, anything that has harmony is beautiful. So even if I create some avant-garde look, I always keep harmony in my mind. My main inspiration is nature. I love using earthy colors a lot, and of course, minimal looks fascinate me the most.
Two of the most fantastic makeup artists who inspire me are Wayne Goss and Nikki Wolff, or @nikki_makeup.
I believe they know exactly what they are doing with products. The way they use the products on the skin, it is sheer magic.
How would you describe your signature look, and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
My preferred style is naturally glamorous plus GLOWY skin. I work a lot on skin base, and I always prepare the skin, which usually starts with a light face massage. Most of those lovely people I did make up for always tell me that they wish I was their personal makeup artist, which I guess is because of the face massage :). Skin must look flawless with well-defined and sculpted features, but the overall finish needs to look ultra-natural. I’m not heavy-handed with products. In fact, I use fewer products but blend them well on the skin.
How is shooting for camera and lights, different than everyday makeup?
The makeup in front of the camera must be more potent than daily makeup. This is because the lights and cameras take away a lot of colors from the makeup. Like Catwalk and Live Fashion Shows, people would not see the makeup if it wasn’t heavy.
How do you keep up with all the new trends and styles?
I always say an artist should feed their eyes. So how I keep up with all the beauty trends and style is to read fashion or beauty magazines and maintaining a Pinterest board of makeup styles as part of my efforts to stay updated. But to be honest, not every trend fascinates me. As mentioned before, where there is harmony, there is beauty in it for me.
What is your favorite memory of your career so far?
Once I was booked to do makeup for a fashion show. Twelve models were participating in the catwalk. The client told me there are 3 other makeup artists where we can divide the work amongst ourselves to manage time more efficiently and get the models ready quickly. So I reached the venue, and I saw only one other makeup artist who was there because of a model who was her friend, so it was left to me to groom eleven models with different skin tones, different eye shapes, and different skin textures. I had only one hour and 45 minutes to make everyone ready. Long story short, till today, I don’t know how I managed to perfectly pull it off, but yes, this was a challenge that made my career’s best memory so far.
What are some common beauty mistakes that women make?
Well, there are some mistakes that I see more often in makeup which are:
•Using way too many products for contouring
•Applying lipstick to naked lips
•Drawing lines on the entire brow
And about the general beauty, the most important one is women not taking care of their skin correctly. That is not drinking enough water, eating wrong, not sleeping well, not having a skincare routine, not using sunscreen, sleeping with makeup on to name a few.
What beauty products do you think should be a staple in every woman’s purse?
Oh! What an interesting question. I think a perfect concealer, eyebrow gel, lip balm, mascara, and a light blush are what I carry in my purse, and they are the to-go products that can be quickly applied anywhere, at any time.
Share something you would like the world to know about you
I write poems, and I paint a lot. In 2013, I was the winner of the European miniature painting competition, and I love cooking and creating new recipes.
How do you feel being part of the CiiN family?
CiiN is that platform where you know you will be supported and you are in a professional atmosphere that your talent can be seen.
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?
Please, please, please take care of your health and especially your skin. Eat right and Sleep right.
Your message for CiiN magazine?
The world would be a much better place if everyone spread love, care, and support the way you do to small businesses.
And I want to thank your professional team for being so supportive, innovative, and having that artistic eye to fish out so many hidden gems through their work.