Photo Source: Aleah Ray Dorsey

Photo Credit: Kara Near, The 316 Group

Aleah Ray Dorsey is the founder and lip mixologist at Makeup Meltdown LLC. Having years of experience behind the counters of some of the world’s most well-known cosmetics lines as a professional makeup artist, she’s taken that passion to the next level by creating customized lipsticks that fit the unique needs of clients.

Read what she has to say. –tonya williams

How did your career start in the world of beauty?

My career in the world of beauty had a very unconventional start. After working as a middle school French teacher for six years in my native New Jersey, I decided to relocate to Charlotte, North Carolina, where my two best friends were then living, for a fresh start and change of pace in the summer of 2010. In the middle of trying to figure out my “next move” I got bit by the “beauty bug” working at a downtown Charlotte salon and spa. Part of my duties as a receptionist was to give quick makeup touch-ups to clients on their way out the door — and well I guess you could say, I was hooked from that moment on!

What is your signature look and how do you set yourself apart from other makeup artists?

More than anything, I love a timeless, modern, polished and pretty look.  When doing makeup on clients, I strive for a clean brow, lush lashes, even glowing skin, a pinch of blush, and  – my favorite part – the perfect pout. I’ve been able to create that with Makeup Meltdown.

What gave you the idea to customize lipsticks?

You know, a long time ago, I saw a quote on Instagram that said, “Create the things you wish existed.” It stuck with me, and when it came to creating Makeup Meltdown, LLC. that’s exactly what I did. Working in the retail cosmetics industry for nearly four years, I’ve seen countless women come up short in their search for the perfect lipstick collecting drawer and makeup bags full of colors that “came close” along the way. So last November, I started thinking, what if there was a way to create the perfect lip color for clients every time from hue, to finish, to case even? And six months later, Makeup Meltdown was born.

What is the most important advice you can give to a woman?

It may seem cliché, but the best advice I can give to women, is that in makeup there really are no rules Every face is unique and beautiful in its own way, so what works amazingly for one blogger or YouTube beauty maven, may not work for you and that’s OK. The key is finding out what your unique makeup prescription is, and following it. And when you do, you’ll feel much more beautiful and confident each and every day.

What are common beauty mistakes women make?

I think the most common beauty mistake women make is not prioritizing their makeup routine. When I worked for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, one thing I learned that sticks with me today is to always do my makeup in the order of most impactful to least impactful. Everyday, I see women with beautiful eye makeup, that haven’t used any under eye concealer or a stunning highlight with undefined brows. Keeping the Bobbi mantra in mind will help you to identify what is going to be the most impactful thing you can do for your look, and to start with that one thing every morning. For me, it’s my brows, with under eye concealer being a close second. That way, when life interrupts and I don’t get time to finish my full face, I know I have spent the time I did have wisely and truly made a difference in my look.

Who has been your mentor(s) in this industry?

I honestly can’t name just one. There have been so many fellow artists, clients and friends along the way that have molded me into the makeup artist and businesswoman I am today.

What are some signature products in your kit?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge primer junkie. From lid primer to keep shadow colors true and long lasting, to a face primer to keep skin looking smooth and shine free, I truly believe the importance of priming your face before applying any other product cannot be underestimated. Another thing I love and always keep at least two of unless I run out mid-application is an invisible lip liner. Even as an artist, I’d always been pretty adverse to lip liner [due to] images of grocery store grandmas with crooked liner [that] haunted me for years, but discovering lip liner that was invisible, foolproof and that kept lipstick and even gloss in place, was definitely a light bulb moment in my career. And, of course, I finish each look with a color from Makeup Meltdown — that’s a must.

What are some staple items every woman should have in her makeup bag?

Makeup bags don’t have to be massive. Five things every woman needs in her makeup bag to look polished and pretty in a snap? A quality mascara that’s less than two months old — anything older needs to go bye-bye, a brow pencil, under eye concealer, invisible lip liner and the perfect everyday lip color.

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