Vincent Oquendo, one of our many talented and inspiring presenters at the upcoming The Powder Group’s program Industry Intensive: Latina Beauty Now. Check out our interview with Vincent below! Get details and register for the Industry Intensive: Latina Beauty Now program here .
What do you find most exciting about working in makeup at this time in the industry?
I think there is a lot of change happening right now globally in every aspect of our society. When societal change has happened historically – the Renaissance, the jazz era, the Harlem Renaissance – we have seen a surge in art and creativity. With all the energetic change right now, we are seeing beauty become more expressive with the use of color, texture, glitter – all types of makeup.
Also, I feel like this new generation, Gen Z is sort of redefining what beauty is and it’s very inspiring, because you find boundaries being pushed constantly. Even if I look at some of my roster of clients that I have worked with like Winnie Harlow, Ashley Graham, India Moore and Leyna Bloom – these are all people who are changing what we see as beautiful. It’s very exciting.
Do you have a personal style of artistry and if so, how would you define it?
I think I’m know for really fitting the look to that of my client – not really ever making it about the makeup. I’m pretty good at reading the client’s energy also. If a client is feeling a little nervous or if there is a little bit of anxiety happening when I walk into a room, then I tend to play down the look and just make them look and feel like their best selves so maybe it’s more of a demure. So, I think my style is sort of “confidence”
What is the biggest difference in working on print versus red carpet?
When working in Print you’re in the studio, so things can get retouched, and there’s a bit more control and the lighting is very controlled as well. However, when working on red carpet what ends up happening is the look needs to be 360 degrees. It’s going to be from the moment that client is in the chair, because we’re shooting behind-the-scenes (BTS) and they are on their social media already. So from the first moment of application when I start the makeup I already need to start thinking about how this is going to translate, how the fans are going to receive it, and how it’s going to photographed. I have had a lot of BTS photos when the client is still in the chair run in major places like Vogue.com, Elle.com and all big publications, so it’s really thinking about the entire look.
Also I have to think about the lighting from my makeup chair to when they’re walking out of the building and paparazzi is shooting them, to the red carpet itself. I also have to think about how they look while on the red carpet getting interviewed and photographed, the lighting shifts and changes. So I have to really consider and keep that in mind, because when they’re on the red carpet all the different levels of flash and filters and the fact that their look has to translate has to appear flattering no matter the angle or lighting they are being shot in. And back to print it’s very controlled, and you have one light source and the looks appears more two dimensional.
What has been the most special moment of your career to date?
I have been very fortunate and have had a few of those “pinch me” moments. One of the biggest moments would be when I got the cover of W magazine. It was very humbling and it was definitely one of those moments that sort of punctuated my career. Another moment was when I got my first beauty contract, and then recently I was just signed as an ambassador for Maybelline that was a huge moment for me. Another one was when I got my first Vogue cover – for Vogue Spain – Miguel Reveriego shot it. Emily Ratajkowski was the client. Okay, I guess I would say that would be my most special moment to date.
Why is the influence of Latina beauty so important in the industry right now?
When I think of Latina beauty, I think of it culturally. How I grew up as a Latino, culturally what influenced that, so I think about the influence of family, of culture, music, and all these kinds of things. There is a warmth to the Latino culture that translates into the work.
It’s just a matter of us all having this conversation now and this is a conversation that was usually reserved for just a select few of what do we consider beautiful. You know. I think we’re at a point now where the things that make you stand out, are the things that make you most interesting, unique, and in my opinion beautiful. Because it’s that uniqueness, that thing that sets you apart, is that thing that makes you magic – and there is a lot of magic in Latina beauty.