With her signature rocker-chic style and eye for the avant garde, it’s no surprise that makeup artist Amy Chance is currently one of the most sought-after artists for some of the hottest actresses and recording artists on the planet. The list includes Sky Ferreira, Lily Allen, Kate Mara and Chloe Sevigny. Growing up in Hollywood, Amy parlayed her interest for music, movies and fashion into makeup. Her work has appeared everywhere from Jalouse and i-D to ELLE and Nylon, and she has worked with photographers and directors such as as Hedi Slimane, David Lynch, David Fincher and Ron Howard. Amy took a moment out of her busy Awards Season schedule to answer some questions from Wisdom in Beauty below.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR TRAINING?
I took a beauty course at a local makeup school, but I got my real training from assisting other makeup artists. Most notably, Paul Starr.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST “BREAK” IN THE INDUSTRY?
When I was still a very new artist, I heard of an agency that was looking to start a new talent division. When I went in to meet with them, I brought a notebook filled with pages I had ripped out of magazines as examples of the kind of work I wanted to do, because I didn’t really have a portfolio yet! They took me on, and I started assisting some of their more established artists and doing some smaller editorials. After a while, clients started calling and requesting me specifically and before I knew it, I had built a solid body of work and a great client base.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DELVE INTO THE WORLD OF MAKEUP?
I suppose that goes as far back as being a little girl. My grandmother always had such amazing beauty products and she always let me play with them. I was particularly obsessed with her false lashes. As a teenager, I loved makeup, and I loved music. When I realized that doing makeup in magazines and music videos was an actual job, I knew that was what I was meant to do.
YOU'VE BUILT AN EXPANSIVE PORTFOLIO WORKING ACROSS THE REALMS OF MUSIC, EDITORIAL AND RED CARPET. IS THERE ONE YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE OTHERS?
Working in music, editorial and red carpet are all very different, but I love all three. When I'm working with a music artist, it is about creating an image to go along with their work. Often times with musicians, it’s more of a collaboration. They usually have an idea of where they want to go with the look and then I offer my ideas and we come up with something together. On editorials, I collaborate with the photographer or art director, but ultimately the makeup look is up to me; I get to be really creative. Red carpet work is exciting because I love making my clients feel beautiful and confident in front of the cameras.
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LOOKS YOU'VE CREATED OVER THE YEARS?
I really love the look I did on Corinne Bailey Rae for the Grammy's in 2012. That was one of those awesome moments where the hair, makeup, and styling all came together. It was a more sophisticated look for her and I loved being a part of the transformation. I love every look I've done for Chloe Sevigny because she's always one step ahead of everyone else. Most recently, I love the look I created for Sky Ferreira's You’re Not The One music video. I've worked with Sky since she was very young, and on this video we both decided we wanted to go with a very strong look. This marked a totally new, grown up look for her, and I loved being a part of it.
IS THERE A SIGNATURE LOOK YOU KEEP GOING BACK TO AND HOW DO YOU KEEP IT FRESH/UPDATED?
A long time ago, when I started working with Lily Allen, she was always known to rock a winged eyeliner look. People started seeing that in my work and suddenly everybody wanted a cat eye, or a winged liner… I even had someone ask me for "Lily Allen eyes"! I suppose after a while that became my signature look. I've heard "my look" described as natural, with strong eyes, and a pop of color. Of course I'm always doing and trying new things, but that look is definitely what I've become known for.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE MAKEUP TRICKS YOU'VE PICKED UP ALONG THE WAY?
I tend to stay away from "transformative" makeup, and prefer to highlight a client’s natural beauty. I like to make someone look like the best version of themselves, not like a totally different person.
ANY STAND-OUT PRODUCTS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT AND KEEP GOING BACK TO?
I can't live without Kiehl's Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer. It really tightens up the skin around the eyes and smooths out any creases. For some reason it’s a part of Kiehl's men's line, but I'm an equal opportunity beautifier, so I use it on women too.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST RECENT THINGS THAT INSPIRED YOU AND MOVED YOU TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK OR SPURRED A NEW IDEA FOR A BEAUTY LOOK?
Recently I had the honor of sharing a client with Peter Savic. Peter is a legendary hair stylist, and although his work is very innovative, his approach is a bit more “old school.” He shows up every day with beautiful images that he's printed off of his computer and he goes through them all with our client to show her his ideas. He'll say, "I think that today you should look like Sophia Loren on an Italian beach in the middle of summer.” In these days of technology, it's easy to get lazy. Working with Peter has reminded me why I loved doing this in the first place, and to always have hard copies of my inspirations, not just save them to a folder on my computer that I may or may not go back to.
LIVING SUCH A JET-SET LIFESTYLE SOUNDS GLAMOROUS BUT I'M SURE IT'S ALSO EXHAUSTING! HOW DO YOU STAY SANE? WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME TO UNWIND?
Traveling around and meeting new people is a lot of fun, but it can get lonely too. I may have Skyped with my dogs a few times.
WHAT PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE COMING UP?
Lily Allen and Corinne Bailey Rae both have new music coming out and I will be working on the promotion for that. I just did an ad campaign for Frye boots with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals that I'm excited for everyone to see. I just had two music videos for Broken Bells come out starring Kate Mara. She's such a great actress, and I think she looks beautiful! I also have big ad campaigns for Target, Adidas, and Levi's that will be out soon.