Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meet makeup artist Kymm McLean

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 8:32 AM

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Meet Kymm McLean. If you're fast enough. This woman works seven days a week, doing everything from wardrobe styling, hair styling and makeup for models to makeup lessons and makeovers for girls' birthday parties.

Creative Loafing: Tell me a little about what you do.

Kymm McLean: I’m a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist, but I also do wardrobe and styling. So when a photographer is going to do a photo shoot with a model, or an agency needs a model to work on their portfolio, I’ll do her hair, her makeup, and put together her wardrobe, then I’ll go on set and actually style them and pose them.

I also do makeovers and teach makeup. I’ve taught classes at Aveda and the Art Institute. I work in all different kinds of environments. I’ve even done kids birthday parties for little girls.

I've also been to people’s houses, like if there’s a big gala at the Mint Museum, a lot of the attendees in Myers Park, they’ll call me and I’ll go to their house and do their makeup. A girl had a birthday party and I did her and all 10 of her friends before they went out to the club. I've been to hotel rooms and do people who are in town for special events. I literally get such random phone calls all the time. I’m doing NASCAR guys for a Tylenol commercial this week. There’s really nothing that I don’t do. And that’s another reason why I’m as big as I am because I am very diverse.

So you pretty much do everything?

I actually make clothes too. It’s crazy. I use to sell my stuff in boutiques on Melrose in L.A. I make hats and jewelry. What I really like to do is buy like a pair of already made shoes or jeans or a shirt, and I like to deconstruct it and add things to it and kind of redo the whole thing.

Where do you get your inspiration for the looks you put together?

I wish I could tell you that I go through magazines, but I don’t. The only thing that I can say is that a lot of times when I listen to music, and they’re describing a situation in the song, I get kind of lost in it and I start thinking. I’m one of those people that lay awake at night and I just can’t stop thinking. It’s like my mind just won't shut off and there are always ideas that are flowing through it. I keep pen and paper by my bed and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and just sketch something out I need to make or something that needs to be shot or a hair idea I just came up with. Another thing I’ve noticed in this industry is a lot of times people come in and they have pictures and ideas. And it's kind of like, here’s the box, now I’m going to put this model in that box. I don’t work like that. I do the exact opposite. When you sit down and say, “What can you do with me?” I look at your hair, your texture, your color, your eye shape — I’m looking at you and creating a look from that. So most of the stuff that I do, I’m not inspired by anything else outside of the person, I just inspired by the person themselves.

Do you notice any popular trends for the spring?

Bohemian is back with a vengeance. I was a little surprised to see that recycled this soon since it hasn’t really been that many years. My thought on that is the whole bohemian look is a lazy girl’s fashion. It's cheap. The fabrics are usually flattering. Everything is very flowy and summery. You can have a really bright design with the paisleys and the florals. The clothing is very active and they have very active patterns. I think the reason is when you think about bohemian, gypsy, hippy, it kind of goes back to the values that it’s not all about the glamour. I think that’s why everything has been so toned down.  I don’t really think glamour really fits in right now. Wedges are back. Cork heels are back. Sandals are in with a vengeance. It's just the whole recycled bohemian look, which I have mixed feelings about, but it is definitely a very comfortable summer attire. Its almost downright beachy.

What about independently owned stores in Charlotte. Do you have any favorites?

I do. For the high-end, Sloan is awesome. Sloan is top of the line. Middle-end, something that is affordable, is Boris & Natasha. She carries everything. You know, you can get a dress for $60 but you can also pay $400 for one. I mean she has a range. Low-end, I love Rats Nest, you know, all the little vintagy shops. I think cowboy boots are going to be huge this year with the bohemian dresses, and Rats Nest has a huge selection for both guys and girls. Oh, and Plato’s Closet.

To contact Kymm for a consultation, visit her Web site or call 704-258-1564.

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