photography Josh Nistas
model Deidra Sherman
hmua Kiersten Carson
What is a day in the life of Kiersten Carson like?
My day is always different, depending on the day you catch me on. Currently I am a cosmetology student at the Aveda Institute Tucson in Tucson, AZ. I attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays all day long. If you catch me on a day not at school, I am either prepping for a shoot, shooting or networking to set up for a shoot. I also love to travel and spend time with my boyfriend, David, and our two pets, Cleo and Pipp.
How did your career begin as a mua?
I first fell in love with makeup when I was a freshman at the University of Arizona, which was three years ago. I use to really dislike makeup and hair because I felt it made people see a side of you that wasn’t honest. When I met my random roommate, Riley Myles, she showed me a whole new side of makeup and hair. I fell in love. We would watch YouTube videos together and just learn everything we could about makeup. At the time, I was studying business and did so for about 2 years. One day, my current roommate, Evanna Kessler, came to Aveda Institute Tucson to get her hair done and I came with her. I talked to a student, Lindsey Chenoweth, and she told me how much she loved going to school here and if it was something I wanted to do I should do it. Right then, I knew this was what I wanted. I messaged my parents and told them I wanted to drop out of the University of Arizona and go to cosmetology school. December 2015, the December before I first came to Aveda with my roommate, I had started doing makeup professionally on models for photo shoots. My coworker, Emily Bernat, also modeled and told me she was doing a shoot with Fenix.Fox (Josh Nistas) and wanted me to do her makeup for it. I was nervous but never turned down a challenge. Because of all these people, my life changed forever.
Nice, so where are you located?
Tell us how you came up with the concept of the Starchild photo shoot.
The concept came from Pinterest. I always loved doing Avant Garde looks and decided to make a board of looks I wanted to recreate with my own twist. I saw a photo of a girl with her whole chest covered in red glitter and I knew that this is something I wanted to do. I didn’t know of any makeup artist or body painters in Arizona that have done such a crazy project. I messaged Fenix. Fox and told him that I had this idea and he loved it. He said why don’t we turn this into a series and just go big with it, so that’s what we did. It was amazing to see what we could create.
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
I wouldn’t say I have a signature look and that is what I think sets me apart from others, I am very diverse in what I do. I never turn down a challenge because I feel it makes me a better makeup artist. I create looks from bridal to editorial to Avant Garde. Everything is different but the end result is always happiness.
What is the most memorable moment you have had while doing makeup?
The most memorable moment I’ve had while doing makeup is the first time I ever did someone else’s makeup. My roommate, Evanna, asked me if I could do her makeup for her before she went out. I was so nervous but ready to try. After it was done, she loved it. I remember feeling such joy, knowing that I made her feel beautiful. It was the best moment in my life. I knew then that I could make everyone feel this way and that it was a feeling I never wanted to lose. Since then, every time I create a look I still get that same feeling. It’s the best feeling in the world.
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?