We have Carl Ray next on our A Few Questions With series. You have seen his work grace the covers and pages of Vogue, Glamour, Essence and Variety to name a few, but the one unforgettable face that features Carl’s makeup art is the incomparable Michelle Obama. Carl has been the personal makeup artist to Mrs. Obama for a number of years for official appearances both nationally and around the world. You can also find Carl at his business in downtown D.C. One80 Salon We are excited to feature Carl for this series and we are sure you are too! Also be sure to check out the feature Spotlight Carl Ray from our Fall 2016 issue and follow Carl on instagram @carlraymua

Get a chance to see Carl in person among the inspiring presenters at this year’s The Artist Summit produced by The Powder Group from October 1-6, 2017 in Provincetown, MA. #seeyouatthesummit. For more information about The Artist Summit visit www.theartistsummit.com

What inspires you right now? (and Why?)
Nature, Old movies, past and present starlets, makeup artist, fashion, countries and cultures

Who are three of the biggest influences in your career? (and how have they effected your career)
My Mama I loved watching her apply her makeup growing up… She encouraged me from a young age to do what I love no matter what.

Kevyn Aucoin, his books influenced me majorly. First time I saw the book in the bookstore I looked at every page and was obsessed with every image I saw. Each page was so beautiful and magical to me.

I also get inspiration from all types art and artists.  Fellow makeup artist, painters, Photographers, sculptors, pottery, glazes, glass blowers – You name it.

Can you tell us about a defining moment in your career? One that made you realize this was what you were going to do with the rest of your life.
Twenty years ago I did wedding makeup for the editor of Washingtonian Magazine. She wrote a story for Washingtonian Magazine about her entire bridal experience and included a section about me and a picture of her getting her makeup applied by me on her wedding day. I tore out the magazine sheet and marched to the Four Seasons Hotel and said I want to be the Resident Makeup Artist here. I was hired on the spot. I worked at the Four Seasons Hotel for 17 years before I decided to move my business downtown at One80 Salon.

What advice would you give to a makeup artist or hair stylist starting out in the industry?
Practice – do as many faces as possible – stay positive & focused. Assist as much as possible.  Be a team player and play well with others. Keep a smile on your face 🙂

What is more important to you the work (a makeup artist or hair stylists artistic skill) or the artist (the person themselves – personality, professionalism)?
I feel both are important.  Your skill will speak for itself and your professionalism should speak just as loud.

What is the key to a successful work-life balance?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat well, sleep well, exercise and pursue an activity you enjoy.  Seek role models, have a positive attitude, avoid stress, mental exhaustion and burnout and most importantly Do what you love to do!

Photos courtesy of: www.carlraymakeupartist.com

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