Sometimes you just have to follow where life seems to bring you. Freelance makeup artist Lino Martinez is a great example of that. He mustered up the courage and packed his bags (sold his apartment in only 2 hours!) and headed to the concrete jungle to make some big moves and heavily pursue his passion. He moved from Phoenix to NYC as a freelance makeup artists and my biggest comment is – that’s one hell of a move!
On a sunny February morning in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I sit down with the artists – in his most natural habitat and let his hands paint my face. Here’s the conversation that transpired:
How did you discover your love for hair and makeup?
I would always play with my mom and sister’s hair growing up and then it turned into me doing hair and makeup and furthering my skills at church and weddings which lead me to beauty school, and now I’m a beauty artist.
What was your first job in the industry?
I was 22 at a beauty salon in Phoenix.
What was the best lesson you learned on the job?
I’ve learned to keep a positive attitude when dealing with clients and people in general. You don’t know what type of person your client is or what attitude they are going to sit in your chair with. So, I have really learned that keeping positive and keeping out negative vibes is really vital to my success and my own personal happiness.
What are some of the lessons you would want to tell others?
“Don’t be scared”
“Don’t be sorry”
Being from Arizona, how did you decide to move to NYC (of all places)?
I was at an Ann Taylor business convention from a fellow makeup artist from NYC recruited me and told me she thought I should move to NYC. Before you know it, I put my apartment up for sale, it sold in less than an hour! Then I sold my car and I was on my way to NYC, I didn’t even secure a job yet. I just knew I wanted my life to take a different path, and I prayed about it, and I felt that this was the answer so I trusted my instinct and took the risk.
As I am a native to the tri-state, being in NYC has never truly been a culture shock, what was the hardest thing to adjust to when moving here?
Transportation. I was really used to having a car back in Phoenix, my own private way of getting from point A to point B. But in NYC, privacy is a luxury, I do miss having my own car to help me get to where I need to go.
It is also very difficult to make friends here [he’s not kidding]. Everyone’s always busy and moving from appointments to parties, etc. It’s hard to get in on the action sometimes.
What about the weather? I would think that would be difficult to adjust to…
Oh yes, when I moved here, NYC was having it’s coldest winter ever and it was definitely hard to adjust. Winters are as hard here as summers are in Arizona.
But also what is challenging to me is not getting lost in the crowd. Everyone shines so differently in New York and everything moves so fast, it was worrisome to me to make sure I didn’t just start blending in but really focused my goals to stand out.
What is your favorite thing about NYC?
I absolutely love the energy here. Anyone can feed into all the vibrations moving throughout the city. Everyone has a lot of dreams and big dreams. It’s great to bounce of that and push myself further in my career.
What is the biggest challenge in the NYC market versus the Phoenix market?
People here aren’t always eager to pay the big bucks to get the big look. I think that’s due to the high cost of living and high expenses.
I am also in shock of the love for the minimal look here. People always request to look like they did the makeup themselves; they aren’t into the big glam look.
What is the single most important thing about applying makeup?
Keeping your skin hydrated.
What are your three favorite makeup brands right now?
Any last piece of advice for any aspiring makeup artists looking to make a big move?
Be patient; don’t just look for instant success. It may take some time to get fully on your feet and find the right path but just work for it and let it happen naturally.