SPOTLIGHT CARL RAY: MAKEUP ARTIST TO MICHELLE OBAMA

How did you get started in makeup?
I found my passion for makeup when I was 14 years old. My parents were going through a divorce, and I would watch my mom applying her makeup for work and for her new life in the dating scene. That’s when I got the makeup bug. I asked my mom if I could help her with her makeup application because I thought I could do it better than she did. She said yes. I could see the confidence and happiness that my makeup application was bringing her and that sparked my passion and purpose. I have always viewed myself as an artist and deeply connected to not only the creative process of makeup but the direct impact that it has on women’s confidence and self image.

Tell me about your experience working with the First Lady.
I had been working in Washington for years before I began working with the First Lady. I had grown my clientele to include political figures and VIPs who were local and also thosevisiting from across the country and around the world. I remember being super excited, and a bit nervous, the first time I met the First Lady, but that feels like a lifetime ago. I’ve now been working as her personal makeup artist for over 7 years. I’m responsible for all her official appearances foreign and domestic. That means everything from TV appearances to State Dinners, international events to magazine covers — including Vogue, InStyle, Essence, Glamour — family portraits to her incredible speech at the DNC.

Your work with Mrs. Obama has been universally praised across the broadcast, print and social media. How has the recognition affected your career?
The national and international recognition that I have received for my work has been amazing. Having my work on every major fashion publication and across every major media platform has been a..>> For Carl Ray’s complete spotligh, get the Fall 2016 Issue.