Jan 12, 2023 - Things to Do

This Charlotte makeup artist showed me that I’ve been doing my makeup all wrong

If you’re anything like me, you may be guilty of sticking with the same makeup products and techniques way too long (I’m looking at you, high school Naked palette).

That’s why, last week, I met with Caitlyn Dominic, a Charlotte-area makeup artist who offers personalized makeup lessons for clients looking to upgrade their makeup skills.

  • I spent the afternoon in Dominic’s in-home Matthews studio learning an everyday makeup routine. It’s a service she’s recently launched through her business, Makeup by Caitlyn Michelle.

Her new personalized makeup service, which specializes in a “soft glam look,” aims to teach makeup to clients of any age and skill level — from “teens just starting to wear makeup,” to “adults who have zero knowledge of what steps to do and products to use,” Dominic said.

Why it matters: In the age of endless makeup tutorials, trends and products on the market, learning even basic makeup techniques can feel like information overload. With this in mind, Dominic began rolling out one-on-one makeup lessons a few months back.

Flashback: Dominic has worked in the makeup industry since 2012, specializing in wedding makeup and special occasions.

  • In May 2022, she left her job in corporate marketing to run her makeup business full-time.

A self-taught artist, she’s trained with celebrity makeup artists like Mario Dedivanovic, “best known as Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist,” she told me.

Caitlyn Michelle
Caitlyn Dominic runs her full-time business, Makeup by Caitlyn Michelle, out of her in-home studio in Matthews. Photo: Courtesy of Erica Serrano Photography

Here’s how the lesson works:

First, you’ll arrive at the studio bare-faced with all of your current makeup products. You’ll chat about your current routine and what you hope to improve. For me, that included contouring and eyes.

Then, you’ll do a full makeup application process step-by-step, from primer to setting spray. You’ll use your own makeup and test out products from Dominic’s professional kit with brands like Dior and Charlotte Tilbury (trust me, it’s no joke).

But here’s how you really learn: She’ll apply the makeup on one side of your face, then you’ll copy and do the other side, starting with the eyes, then face, then lips.

  • It was humbling to attempt winged eyeliner in front of a professional, but this was perfect for a visual learner like me. Previously, lines I’d apply were a little severe. Also, I learned you’re supposed to apply your eye makeup first, before the rest of your face.

The lesson doesn’t end when the makeup look is finished. Within 48 hours, you’ll get digital notes recapping the entire lesson, along with hyperlinks to products you discussed adding to your personal arsenal.

  • She suggested adding cream blush, an eyeshadow palette and a few brushes to mine.
A before and after of my “soft glam look.” Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

I also asked Dominic if she had any “makeup non-negotiables.” Here are her four tips and tricks:

1. Well prepped skin: Do your skincare routine prior to your makeup. Use a moisturizer to prep your face. “It’ll ensure makeup products blend nicely,” Dominic said.

2. Light layers and blend:  Apply makeup products in thin layers and be sure to blend, blend, “and then blend some more,” she notes. Before my tutorial, I wasn’t blending my contour lines as much as I should.

3. Use a powder puff: For applying loose or pressed powder, a powder puff is key to a seamless under eye look that won’t doesn’t crease.

4. Lean back: If you’re wondering whether your makeup is symmetrical, lean back, says Dominic. “Sometimes when you’re staring too closely into the mirror, you can’t see the full picture of how things are looking.”

Details: Dominic’s one-on-one makeup lesson is $300 ($200 for a virtual lesson). You can also book the experience with a friend or small group for $200 per person.

  • You can book an appointment online.
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