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Kay-Ann McKenzie: The Journey of a Makeup Artist And Looks To Try This Halloween

by Carolyn Lee Oct 14, 2019

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Halloween is usually a time to play dress-up and have fun being characters that we enjoy. 

Over the years, the day has been adopted by people across the Caribbean. This has resulted in many theme parties and events where people show-off their costumes. 

If you are a true fan of Halloween, an important aspect of your overall look is your makeup. 

Yello caught up with makeup artist, Kay-Ann McKenzie, an internationally certified licenced professional makeup artist with over 12 years in the industry. 

Kay-Ann shares a few classic Halloween makeup looks and a bit about her work in the industry. 

Miss Kay-Ann McKenzie, Internationally Certified Licensed Professional Makeup Artist.

When did you discover your love for makeup?  

As a child, while watching music videos and movies with my sister, I was very curious about all the different makeup looks that I was seeing. 

I wondered about how Storm (X-Men) had white eyes and why the characters in Star Trek looked the way they did. I realised that it was makeup, and my sister became my test subject. 

You have been in the makeup industry for 12 years. What has your experience been like? 

Entrepreneurship is hard work. It takes passion, determination, dedication, commitment and focus. Although it has been a slow process for me as an artist, I pride myself on always putting my best foot forward. I focus on providing the quality of service I would want for myself. I find that a lot of my clients are repeat clients and referrals, and that’s a significant win for me.  

What are the four essential qualities that a makeup artist needs to have to be successful in their career? 

I believe that four essential qualities a makeup artist needs to have are patience, determination flexibility and an open mind. 

Share one challenge that you’ve had in your career and how you overcame it. 

I don’t like wearing eye makeup. However, as an artist, it was necessary to practice and keep up with the trends so that when a client requests a specific look, I can deliver the highest quality. 

Makeup by Kay-Ann McKenzie. Photo credit Gilisa Green.

What are some of the areas that you are competent in? 

When it comes to creating makeup looks, I’m versatile. I’m competent at doing advanced makeup artistry, bridal makeup, special effects FX makeup and HD airbrush makeup. 

If a client is unhappy with their look, how do you respond? 

I never allow any of my clients to leave my chair unhappy. In producing world-class artistry, I approach each client as a new canvas. 

I always consult with my clients to find out their history with makeup and navigate their preferences, because what my client wants is vital when delivering a makeup look. This gives me a good idea of what to aim for during the session. 

Freddy Krueger makeup by Kay-Ann McKenzie.

What are a few of your favourite makeup looks? Why? 

I love special effects, avant-garde and cosplay makeup. These allow me to tap into my creativity truly.  

How do you stay abreast of the latest beauty trends? 

The beauty industry is always rapidly evolving, so I follow other makeup artists locally and internationally, who inspire my artistry. I also follow popular makeup brands.  

What are some of the ‘must-have’ products that you use for each job? 

I always ensure that I have Ben Nye Final Seal Matte Sealer, RCMA No Colour Powder and Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturiser.  

Who are some of your makeup inspirations? 

My makeup inspirations are Sam Fine, Ve Neill, Rick Baker, Patrick Ta and Danessa Myricks.  

Bat Girl makeup by Kay-Ann McKenzie.

It’s almost Halloween. What inspires your Halloween makeup looks? 

My inspiration mostly comes from fantasy and horror movies. I love character makeup remakes like Maleficent, Beetlejuice and Freddy Krueger.  

What advice would you give to an aspiring makeup artist? 

Today, the beauty industry is valued at an estimated USD 532 billion. You can have a share of the pie. You must have a clear vision for where you want your career as a makeup artist to go and keep at it. Trust the process and invest in improving your skills and knowledge of the industry.  

To see more of her work or to connect with Kay-Ann, you can visit her Instagram or Facebook page @epiphany.artistry 

All photos provided by Kay-Ann McKenzie.