Stacy Bissessar- Forrester is one of those people who knew what she wanted to do before she was going to school. As a child, she would sit and stare at her mother putting on make-up and she says “nothing could get in between her and that”. Fast forward twenty something years later, and nothing has changed; Stacy is still in a love affair with make-up. If anything, it has become stronger. She is dedicated to her art, and as she sees it, it`s going to be a lifelong relationship.
EP: When did you start doing Makeup?
SBF: I`ve been on my own for about seven years now but in all I`ve been doing makeup ten plus years. I started working for Sacha cosmetics as a cosmetics consultant at Pennywise. Then I went on to work at their image centre. I worked for Revlon as well for a short time. After a couple of years, I went on my own. Make-up was my first job; I knew I wanted to be a makeup artist since I was small.
“I knew I wanted to be a makeup artist since I was small.”
EP: How small is small?
SBF: ….Small. Just last night my mother and I were talking and she was telling me since I was 2 years old
I would sit down and watch her doing her makeup and no one could get in my way. I always knew. When I was going to school I would get in trouble for wearing makeup. My friends are not surprised now that I`m a makeup artist.
Once I finished school, my mother sent me to courses in Cosmetology and Makeup.
I find joy when I`m doing makeup. This is what I love. If you speak to any one of my clients, they will tell you when I am almost finished doing a face I start dancing. Just seeing how their face changes, and how they are so happy when they`re finished, it`s a joy for me. I love what I do, I love it, I don`t think I`ll ever do anything else.
EP: When was the first time you did someone`s makeup?
SBF: The first person I ever did was at Pennywise. The girl was so fascinated by how I used to do my makeup to go to work. So I started doing the girl in Pennywise San Fernando`s Makeup. When anyone of them got married I was the person they came to. My first client was one of the girls getting married in the store.
EP: Is it possible for you to put into words what you enjoy about doing makeup?
SBF: Makeup is an art for me. I`m a very artistic person. I can look at anything and draw or paint it. I started doing that when I was younger, it`s calming and exciting. It`s exciting seeing my clients happy and the joy and confidence you can bring to them in such a short space of time.
“It`s exciting seeing my clients happy and the joy and confidence you can bring to them in such a short space of time.”
EP: Do you think there are different levels of Make-up artistry and where do you think you are?
SBF: I think there are levels but I don`t know where I would place myself. I would let my work and years of experience speak for itself.
EP: Can you see your own improvement over the years and was there a time when you saw specific advancements in your makeup?
SBF: I have definitely seen improvement over the years. I would say probably in the last four years I`ve improved a lot because I really started doing a lot of practising. I mean I used to take it seriously but I went to another level with how I took my artistry. I would practise on my husband, honestly. I can blackmail him, I have pictures.
EP: Are there specific things that you can point to that you have improved in?
SBF: Yes. I never really used to concentrate on skin. Over the past couple of years, concentrating on skin has been a really big thing for me. I spend a lot of time and money now on improving skin prep in my kit. Taking skin more seriously, to get a more flawless look, a longer lasting look. I want when people see my client in real life they see skin. I`ve improved a lot when it comes to skin care and skin prep and I`ve toned down a lot on eyes. Yes, a lot of Trinidadians like bright colours and while I can still do the twenty colours on the eyes, I`m concentrating more on doing beauty makeup and glam makeup. Soft, blending, blending is key for me. I hate to see harsh lines on someone`s face. I don`t like heavy contouring and highlighting. If you look at my clients you will see. I don`t do that trend.
EP: Was there anything that happened four years ago? When you said you got even more serious about your makeup?
SBF: Not really. But I always had a support system behind me. My mom always encouraged me from the get go and my husband as well. He started investing a lot in me and my kit around that time. So I started to take my artistry more seriously, I mean I was always serious but I kicked it up a notch. My husband, he supported me financially, emotionally, when it came to my artistry. He really pushed me to do this on my own. Don`t go and work for anybody else, you can do it. Practising on him, starting doing my research, even more research. So he was part of it too. He kind of gave me a little more drive. And then my kids got a little older then. So I was able to have a little more time to do my thing.
EP: How old are your kids?
SBF: My son is 12 and my daughter is 10.
EP: What are three tips you would give someone who wants to be a great makeup artist?
SBF: Don`t try to be like others, be you. Practice, practice, practice. Don`t try to copy other looks and be like another make-up artist. Two, always be updated. Don`t ever think that you know too much because trends in make-up artistry are always changing. Don`t always think you know everything. Three, enjoy it, love what you do.
“Don`t ever think that you know too much.”
EP: What are three key skills you think a makeup artist should have? Technical or non-technical.
SBF: Knowing your colours. You should know your colour wheel. That`s very important for make-up artistry. Blending. Blending is very important. Knowing face shape, eye shapes etc. Knowing the anatomy of the face.
EP: What does it mean to you to be extraordinary?
SBF: Loving yourself. Loving what you`re doing, loving your craft. Knowing you have a skill, knowing that you want to do something and putting in the time and effort. Making it your own and taking it to another level and being humble while you`re doing it.