Krissy VanderWoude

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Krissy VanderWoude and I am a makeup artist.

Where are you from?

Aside from living briefly in Chicago after highschool, I have always been in the Northwest Indiana area and currently reside in Schererville.

How did you get started?

As far back as I can remember I have had a love for makeup. While working for my dad’s photography studio after high school, I met another makeup artist whom he had hired to do makeup for the models and actors he was photographing. This artist (Claire) really inspired me and was actually the one who encouraged me to follow this path. She took me under her wing, helped point me in the right direction and I have never looked back since!  I am so glad that I decided to further pursue my love of makeup as my career, because it has never felt like work to me!

Do you have a side hustle or hobbies?

I write vocals/lyrics and sing for a shoegaze/dreampop band called Whimsical.  We are in the process of writing and recording our next album now, which we hope will be finished later this year and ready for release in 2019 (on Saint Marie Records).  Due to the fact that I have my own home recording studio, I have also had the opportunity to write and record for many additional musical collaborations with other artists from all across the world (including places like Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Canada, California, etc).

What was one of your biggest mistakes and what did you learn from it?

I am not much of a risk taker and I believe that has been a big mistake of mine.  I’ve always tried to stay within comfort zones, which has limited some of my potential and caused me to stand in my own way at times.  There are some advantages to “playing it safe” but I am really trying to learn how important it is to let go of the “what if’s”, and instead follow my dreams, take chances and believe that I can do anything I set my mind and heart on.

What are the top tools you need to do your job?

A great set of quality makeup brushes, an airbrush makeup system (compressor and airbrush gun), high end makeup that is richly pigmented and a creative imagination!  

Who or what inspires you and why?

Who:  The most inspiring people to me are selfless people, with humble hearts, who use their gifts and talents to give back to others. I believe these kind of people can make such a difference in the world and leave lasting, positive impressions in the lives of others.

What:  Music inspires me, like almost nothing else can.  It is something I am so passionate about listening to and creating!  I find it to be so powerful overall and it is a true universal language.  Music is attached to some of my fondest memories and greatest friendships in life.  

What do you love about Northwest Indiana?

SO many things!  I love the cultural diversity here.  I love that there are so many fun things to do!  We have such a wide variety of restaurants, places to shop and events that encourage us to engage in the community.  I really enjoy being so close to Chicago, which has been a great place to see so many of my favorite bands! However, I also love that by driving just a few minutes in another direction I can then be in a calm, serene, and peaceful rural setting where chirping birds and singing crickets are putting on their own concert!

What resources are you finding to educate yourself?

Although I have been a makeup artist for 20 years, I am constantly looking for ways to expand my artistic knowledge and build my skillset. I try to take a makeup class of some sort every year.   I don’t think there’s ever been a time where I have taken a class (whether it has been online or in a classroom environment) and felt like I didn’t learn something new. I always find classes to be an inspirational way to keep myself from settling into a makeup rut and they help to keep me from creating “cookie cutter” makeup looks.  I also try to stay on top of the latest trends in makeup and products by subscribing to monthly makeup subscriptions (such as “Ipsy”, “BoxyCharm”, “Sephora Play”, etc). For between $10-$15/mo these subscriptions send 4-5 deluxe sized samples of the latest and greatest new products on the market ! This has been an excellent resource for helping me to find some of my favorite new products.  It also keeps me well informed for my clients, as I am often asked to make product suggestions for them, or for my opinion on certain products in general.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?

My first piece of advice would be telling them to make sure that they are properly licensed and insured.  There is a common misconception in this industry that makeup artists do not need to be licensed because “it’s just makeup”.  In the state of Indiana it is the legal requirement to carry an esthetics or cosmetology license in order to do makeup and charge for services.  I wasn’t even personally aware of this when I first started out. Although I had taken many classes, was certified in many different makeup courses, and had already been working as a makeup artist for many years, I ended up having to go back to school halfway through my career in order to obtain proper licensure.  This also happened to several other makeup artist friends of mine, a few of whom had to go to school for a license (when they were already years into their careers as makeup artists) because the Indiana State Board had sent them a “cease and desist” letter upon finding out that they were working without one. I don’t want to see that happen to anyone else, so I always advise aspiring makeup artists to start with that first.  Aside from that, I encourage artists to build their portfolio and perfect their craft by offering to do complimentary makeup on as many different people as they can. Before beginning to charge for services, I suggest practicing makeup on people of different skin tones, skin types, ages and ethnicities. This will not only build their confidence level but also help to prepare them to be comfortable with any potential client who may sit in their chair.  Working at a makeup counter (such as MAC cosmetics) is another excellent way to start out as an artist! Something like this will help to not only season the artist to be more well rounded and creative, but also help to teach business skills that are much needed in this line of work (such as time efficiency, reliability, responsibility, cleanliness, product knowledge, etc). I honestly just cannot encourage people enough to pursue this line of work. It is the most rewarding career and one that I am so grateful to be a part of.  It never feels like work to me and is something I love doing, just as much today as I did when I first started out!

What’s next for you?

I am planning to continue specializing in the beauty of bridal makeup, as that is where my heart is when it comes to this industry.  However, I also hope to be able to add more luxury services in the near future, such as lash extensions and possibly microblading. I am also opening up my schedule to allow for more opportunities for people to take individual makeup lessons with me.  

Where can we find you?



Instagram: krissy_v_makeup