To kick off the AGL series, I sat down with Sydney born and New York based, Makeup Artist and Creative Director, Charlie Riddle to uncover his “gold lining” moment, which led him to become an international phenomenon. Charlie’s portfolio of valuable experience ranges from shaping the creative direction at Jane Cosmetics, to routinely serving as a backstage veteran at New York Fashion Week, where he has contributed to trendsetting makeup looks at Rebecca Minkoff, Cynthia Rowley, Betsey Johnson, Alice & Olivia, Trina Turk, Honor, Lela Rose and Elizabeth & James, to working with a roster of celebrity clients, such as Kylie Jenner and Jaime King.
He has an innate ability to illuminate every face that he touches and creates notable looks that make his clientele feel as fabulous as they look! Whether you’re looking to break into the industry, seek new inspiration, or check out some new beauty products Charlie's got some A's to your Q's below.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? I have been a makeup artist living and working in New York for almost seven years. I started out in the beauty industry over 10 years ago. Originally, my goal was to become a dermatologist but, before going to med school, I decided to go to a school that studied just skin to see if this is something I truly wanted to pursue. One of the last courses of the program was on makeup, and I completely fell in love with the idea of this being art.
What was your "gold lining" that lead you down this career path? To me, everyone was a blank canvas and seeing how beauty changed a person's confidence, in an instant, made me realize this was the path I wanted to go down.
What is your creative process like? What inspires you today? My creative process can be a little all over the map. Nighttime is usually when my mind is racing with ideas for the next day. Depending on what I’m working on, I will try to be my own mixologist and find ways to make a product work best for how I apply. I try not to pay attention to what others are doing so I don’t get in my own way.
As for inspiration, traveling is the best way to recharge my mind and discover things that excite me. Also, I am really into different prints and patterns right now vs. just solid colors.
What's in your travel beauty bag? My travel beauty bag keeps getting heavier. I always have La Prairie Eye/Lip Perfection Duo. It’s so hydrating and great to refresh under eyes and lips - especially after a long haul. The other products I take with me everywhere are Goop Instant Facial, Herbivore Lapis Oil, Glossier Boy Brow and Milk Makeup Blur and Bronzing Stick. Additionally, I always take a travel size of IGK Beach Club Texture Spray- love the texture it gives my hair and it smells like a vacation.
What has been the most exciting moment in your career to date? I always say when people ask me this is that I hope it hasn’t happened yet. I always want to have something to look forward to that I get excited about. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients and learn from some incredible people. Working with a charity called Wish Upon a Teen is very close to my heart.
Has the space changed since you first entered? If so, how? Any advice for aspiring artists? YES, it definitely has. When I first started there were no influencers, or instagram artists. Today, it is a completely open wide space, and you really have to figure out your niche. I would say to artists starting out is try to imagine your career path backwards. If you want to work with designers and have your work published in magazines, set yourself apart and continually evolve your experience and talents by learning from those whose path you admired. For the artists that want to be the star and the brand themselves, figure out who your audience is and how to keep and hold on to them.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up? I always try to take time to evaluate what is really bothering me. Is it me making myself feel this way, or is it a situation I have been put in?
I think, when you have those feelings, it’s always really good to tell someone you are close with and then just get it out. Sometimes you’ll figure out the answer by saying it out loud to someone, or you just end up laughing about how silly it was to even doubt yourself in the first place.
What quotation or saying inspires you and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love? I love the quote from Dr. Seuss… “Kid, You’ll move mountains” – To me, it’s saying never underestimate the capability that you alone have to make your mark on this world.
What’s your best advice for all those people who want to follow in your footsteps? Try to work with as many different types of people as possible. Skin tones, all ages and all different features. When you finally get comfortable with yourself as an artist- get uncomfortable and go and assist another artist. Keep learning and allow others along the way to show you what might end up being a different way to get to your same ultimate goal.
Any future trends we should be on the lookout for? I think different prints and textures are going to be something to look out for to play with the eyes. And just as with fashion, I think leisurewear and “gym makeup” is going to be trending. Products that look effortless, but give you that glow.
What's your zodiac sign? I’m a Cancer!
Recent discovery? Late to the game but I’m obsessed with Infrared and Cryotherapy. It’s such an amazing way to change the way you feel/your body in such little time.
What is your philosophy on self care? What would you say is your number one self care tip? Workout everyday - even if you’re tired. Go for 20-30 minutes and be active and you will NEVER regret it after. It totally boosts your energy and all around well being. And,SLEEP well - even if you have a crazy hectic schedule. Take at least one day a week to completely recharge and recover.
What are some of your go to spots in NYC? I love PUBLIC Hotels; it has such a great vibe and many different bars, and a great rooftop. I love the Jimmy at the James Hotel. Chalk Point Kitchen is my absolute favorite place to grab dinner with friends. And, I love Higher DOSE for a day of relaxation.
So next time you're in the area, head in and make your debut to see what you discover!
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