Capitol Communicator is featuring “Best Crew,” a profile series brought to you by Eli Meir Kaplan, a Washington, D.C.-based commercial photographer and director. The series “Best Crew” features talent behind the scenes of photo, film and video productions. This profile features Kim Reyes, Kim Reyes Makeup, LLC, www.kimreyesmakeup.com.
Kim, how long have you been in business and how did you get started?
I incorporated my business, Kim Reyes Makeup, LLC, in 2001, and became a full-time makeup artist. As a daughter of an artist, I‘ve been making art since the age of 4, got a B.A. in fashion design at VA TECH and color, texture & makeup came naturally to me. After college, a job in Aspen for a ski clothing designer led to a job at a new high-end accessory showroom in Manhattan with Chanel’s former accessory designer. This job was akin to “The Devil Wears Prada”-experience & I found myself longing for something different in my life.
I gave NYC a two-year go, inspiring in me an interest in fashion photography & editorial makeup. I was inspired by Tyen and Scavullo beautifully creative images.
Fast forward to 1992, and I opened and managed the first Prescriptives Cosmetics counter at Tyson’s Corner in Virginia where I learned that I LOVED making people beautiful with makeup but hated selling it. I then took a job with a jewelry designer in DC and for 9 years worked her trade shows, designed jewelry, displays and did all the makeup for her models photographed wearing her line. It was here I really learned my craft and how to “see” what the camera sees with makeup. I started reading, researching, testing and networking and taking workshops with Suzanne Patterson becoming my mentor in both beauty makeup & injury simulation.
Who are some of your clients and why do they love working with you?
I have worked with two Supreme Court Justices, CEO’s of huge corporations, celebrities and music artists and I know what I bring to the table is a calming presence, a very strong work ethic and professionalism.
I’m also willing to help with whatever needs to be done be it holding a reflector, steaming a dress or making a coffee run! One of my longtime clients is Paula Kerger, CEO of PBS, who trusts me with her hair & makeup. I have done many huge corporate events with bodypainting and making headpieces, worked on The Museum of African American History’s “Greenbook” Interactive kiosk and created costumes for live models at the Natural History Museum’s newest fossil exhibit opening. I also just helped design and create two theatrical looks for future Richmond Ballet performances.
What is your most invaluable tool?
My most invaluable tool would have to be my creativity in “macgyvering” through last minute problems and I can make just about anything with cotton and silicone or epoxy clay.
What kit purchase have you made that you wish you didn’t?
I spent about $800 at the last IMATS show on a small compressor and airbrush that I don’t really need and it’s still in the box!
Who has inspired and helped you along the way?
I have had many help me along my journey from Emmy Award Winning Makeup Artist Suzanne Patterson, photographer Adrienne Mills who introduced me to bodypainting and my husband and mother who have sat through hours of my makeup experiments on their faces.
What do you love about the work you do?
It’s always a different experience in a different location meeting and working with fabulous and diverse personalities!
What was a favorite production you’ve worked on and what made it special?
I worked with the fabulous Cade Martin on a huge international design magazine with incredible Bodypaint concepts, wigs, costumes and props!
What advice would you give to others who are starting out in your field?
Treat EVERYONE with respect, look people in the eye with a smile and introduce yourself, stay off your phone while working and ALWAYS be 15 minutes early at the very least! Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and give a hand to someone who may not even know they need it.
Don’t expect to have experience handed to you without going through the study and trial and error!
And lastly never stop learning – everyone does things differently and you can learn something from every experience.
What are your top-five favorite movies?
I work all the time and am so VERY behind in watching current movies so this list is dated: “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” “My Teacher The Octopus”, “Amores Perros”, “The Bird Cage” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Love Kim dearly.
Skilled artist, good teacher and wonderful mentor!