Fashion Club's Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist Leibi Carias Works With Michelle Phan
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Leibi Carias has been styling hair for all the Fashion Club photo shoots for the last three years. She's the Beauty Director at Vampd Magazine, and can credit former supermodel Janice Dickinson for encouraging her career as a makeup artist. Recently, she worked with YouTube sensation Michelle Phan, and designed makeup and hair for a character on a video game scheduled to be on the market next year! Check out her website at www.leibicarias.com.
How long have you been working with Fashion Club? I've been working with Fashion Club for about two years. It was one of my first freelance gigs.
You work a lot with Karla Ticas on FC shoots. How did you meet? I met Karla Ticas on Fashion Club :) Karla is a makeup artist turned fashion beauty photographer. She still takes makeup gigs for certain clients. The stylist for Fashion Club at the time referred Karla to FIDM as a makeup artist for the FC shoots. She needed an assistant. I had reached out to her to work with her on one of her shoots so she asked me if I would mind assisting her on Fashion Club and I said I'd love to. We became best friends after that! Thanks Fashion Club!!
Tell us a little about your background: I started doing makeup at the age of fifteen. I took a florists program after school for training and job placement. When it was time to place me in a job, all of the flower shops were taken, so they placed me in a bridal shop that had a florist department. They really didn't need help with flower arranging so they asked me if I wouldn't mind helping out the bridal makeup artist who was pregnant at the time. I was so happy because she was paying me like 30 dollars a day and I got to play and see her do makeup. She started letting me help her prep a bridesmaid and slowly she noticed I had natural talent. So she started to hand me over more and more clients. I did that off and on through high school and that's where my passion for makeup grew.
After a graduated I wanted to go to beauty school but my mother was not having it. She said that was not a real career! So I enrolled in college but also beauty school. I was going to beauty school at night and was telling her that I was taking night school. Let's just say she wasn't too happy when she found out. I never completed my hours and I realized that I hated cutting and coloring hair. Since I dropped beauty school I decided to get a job at a makeup counter to feed my passion for makeup while still going to school. As I was getting close to graduating from college a counselor sat me down and asked me what I was going to do with my life after school and a panicked. I said, "Well, I'm graduating with a Social Science degree so maybe I'll go to some countries and study tribes or something." I sounded like an idiot. She looked and me and I knew that was not going to happen. She broke it down and told me you basically have like four more years of school to achieve that goal. I couldn't go to school anymore I was done. I did my time.
So I got a job here and there in finance but was not happy!!! One of my last jobs was at a celebrity bank as a customer finance specialist (still don't know what I did...hehhhe). I lasted one year. But since it was an upscale bank we had to dress up every day and my makeup was always nicely done.
One day Janice Dickinson walked in, looked at me, tried to touch my lips, and said, "Who is your surgeon?" I laughed and said it's my lipstick. Then she looked at my face and said, "You should be a makeup artist." I told her I was and she said, "Why are you here?" I couldn't answer her.
At that moment I decided I wanted to go back to makeup but didn't want to work at a counter. I wanted to freelance. I wanted to work in print, runway, film, etc. But I felt insecure because I never graduated from beauty school. So I decided to go to makeup school to learn hair styling and special effects. I graduated nine months later and started to freelance ever since. It's going to be three years this December.
What's the most interesting job you've been on as a hair stylist or makeup artist? I'm really lucky! Working in this industry I've had the honor to work on many exciting projects and celebs. But my most interesting makeup and hair gig has to be when I designed makeup and hair for a video game character. I can't say who because she won't be out 'til next year but she is huge! She is not a new video game character but she is being renewed for her next video game. She has also been on the big screen and was played by one of the biggest and sexiest actresses from our era! I spent two days in the studio creating her looks on the model then the computer guys would scan her look and start making her into a character. The studio was so involved in her look because her character is one of the sexiest video characters. I never thought I would be designing the look to a video game bombshell!
You were the key makeup artist at Downtown L.A. fashion week. Tell us a little about that. L.A. Fashion Week was the most exciting and toughest gig I have ever done!!! I keyed all of the makeup artist through Coa Cosmetics (my sponsor). It was about 15 designers for the MOCA shows in Downtown L.A. I don't think I slept for the whole month of October lol. All the meetings with designers, art director and the crew, face charts, inspiration boards. So much work but I loved every minute of it! It's not about just doing makeup as the key; you are responsible for designing the look for the designers collection. To see the end result and see how you contribute to the final look of the designers vision is an amazing feeling. For all the fashion lovers it's our version of art come to life. It is also kinda cool to see the collection before anyone!
You’re the Beauty Director at Vampd Magazine. Tell us a little about that role and what it entails. Being the Beauty Director for Vampd has a lot of responsibilities! But I love it was well. As the beauty director I'm in charge of a minimum of 30 pages of beauty material. That includes features, articles, spot lights, products, sponsors, dealing with writers, bloggers, PR agents, and the rest of the crew. I basically decide what will go in the beauty section of the magazine. Laying out the issue and trend forecasting for makeup and hair looks is what I enjoy the most. Oh and the swags the sponsors send products for review! Let's face it I'm a product junkie and always will be.
What do you love most about styling makeup and hair? What I love the most about hair and makeup is creating "my art." I've been painting since I was five years old so I'm very artistic. In L.A. everything is about clean and natural and celebrity driven looks so sometimes I don't get to be too creative. But when I get the chance to do avant-garde, I love every minute of it! I also love meeting new people so being a makeup and hair stylist gives me the opportunities to meet new people and new crews. I'm not a huge fan of routine—I'm a free spirit.
What are some of this fall’s hottest makeup trends? Hottest trends for fall is embarrassing the inner vampire in you. Media is a huge influence in trends. So the vampire culture is taking over! Some of the biggest designers had vampire inspired makeup looks on the runway for Fall 2010. Also, bold bright lips and natural makeup—so a pop of color. As for hair, braids made a huge comeback for spring 2010 and are still going strong. Also, distressed hair, messy hair, and high buns.
What are your top 3 favorite beauty products?
1. M.A.C Cosmetics smolder pencil in black. It's the best pencil for smudging and creating the perfect smokey eye.
2. AmazingCosmetics AmazingConcealer can't live with out this products its amazing and covers perfect. The formula is heavy but light and a lot goes a long way!
3. Paul Mitchel Hot Off The Press Thermal Protection Spray. Its a setting spray heat activated, it sets the hair beautifully and protects against heat.
You recently worked with Michelle Phan. What’s she like? Michelle Phan is the biggest YouTube tutorial artist and I had the pleasure to assist her. In this industry you don't always meet the greatest people but Michelle is a genuine person. We worked together on "The Make Me Over" contest. It was for a good cause to empower young women by giving them makeovers, but not just showing them that beauty is on the outside, but on the inside as well. The whole crew was women showing the young girls they can make their dreams come true with hard work. Michelle and I designed their makeup looks. We are planning on doing this every year! It was so rewarding to work with young ladies that appreciated us and were so amazing. They kept saying we inspired them but they inspired us!
What is your biggest goal right now? I don't have one goal, I have many goals!! I want to have an agent in Los Angeles, New York, Milan, Paris and London. It's a little ambitious but I don't let anything stop me. When I graduated from school they told us out of this class of 22 students, only one to three students would make it. And everyone said that would be me. I didn't say it out loud. I actually did it—I'm that one person.
See you at the next FC shoot, Leibi!