Every great has an inspiring story or moment behind them. Some have their moments earlier than others. Here, SHEEN had the opportunity to sit down with trailblazer MUA D’Andre Michael to dive deeper than what most of us know him as. We were able to see who inspired him, and how he transitioned into photography, and of course, we got a few makeup tips for the winter season. D’Andre Michael is a creator who expanded his talents for the world to see.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. I was an only child for 10 years. I had one first cousin and a lot of friend cousins (my mother’s best friend’s children) that I grew up with. I had a lot of toys, games, just things to keep my attention. It allowed me to occupy my time, and my brain and kept me out of my family’s stuff (my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother). My attention span was that of a flea. I got bored easily and got into everything. I was nosey and curious, and I meddled with EVERYTHING I could. However, I was a good kid. I was spoiled but I wasn’t a brat! I was very loved and that’s all I knew growing up. That’s all I know now is HOW TO LOVE.
Someone who inspired you and why?
My grandmother, absolutely! She was very creative, an artist, an evangelist, she was very beautiful, and graceful. Everybody loved her. She treated everyone with kindness and a smile. I loved watching how she interacted with people. I wanted to do everything she did. I went to church with her and watched her do her hair. I had it so bad, I only ate what she ate! My grandmother was the one who told me to get out of Peoria and go make something of myself.
What would old ‘D’ tell young ‘D’ today based on the journey you have traveled so far?
I wouldn’t tell him too much about what the journey entails. One reason is because I believe when you know something is coming you subconsciously aren’t going to push yourself or strive harder. Secondly, I don’t like expectations. They tend to somehow find a way to let you down. One thing I would let him know is that he’s going to be alright regardless of who and what comes across on his journey. Every mistake is a lesson you must learn. Every single person you meet (good or bad) will be an experience needed to shape and mold you into who you will become, and for every mountain you come across, you HAVE to climb it to get to the other side! There are NO shortcuts. There is NO easy way to attain what you will get by cutting corners. There will be tears, laughter, regrets, heartbreaks, and lots of content but you’re gonna be OK.
When did you start taking an interest in photography?
I started taking an interest in photography around 2006! When I decided I wanted to write a beauty book, I figured I’d learn how to do it myself so I could truly capture my work as I saw it and not have to explain to a photographer what I wanted I wanted it to be a true representation of myself and my art.
What are some winter colors to incorporate this year?
This winter was so bright and colorful. I think the color palette for Winter 2023 will consist of:
RUSTY RICH REDS
RICH EARTH TONES
Do skincare routines change as seasons change?
Yes! Your skin tends to need more moisture, due to the lack of humidity. You would want to switch to an oil-based moisturizer for your face and body, especially for those with dermatitis and psoriasis. You could look into investing in a humidifier to avoid winter rash as well. Some people even use natural oils to lock in moisture and hydration (but avoid olive oil as it can make dry skin worse). Also, continue to use SPF! Don’t let the winter sun fool you. Find a great lip balm as well. Routine: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize, Sunscreen (exfoliate twice a week).
Does being an MUA and a photographer go hand and hand?
Yes to a degree. It all depends on the artist and the photographer. When you are a team, you have an understanding of one another’s art. A photographer with a great eye for BEAUTY COMPREHENSION / COMPOSITION will be inspired by great makeup. They will know how to light, frame, and execute a final image. A makeup artist can also be inspired by a photographer’s lighting. If you have a great sense of direction you can guide that photographer to your final idea. However; when people do both (MUA and photography) they’re putting all ideas together from concept to finish. You have to have an understanding of light, color, concept, the technical side, and creativity. For me, I knew lighting before I ever picked up a camera. I started working at CNN in Atlanta in ’96. While some artists wanted to look at the gossip magazines and chit-chat, I was more interested in why some people were green on screen and others were not. Due to my interest growing, I opted to go talk to the lighting guy. Just like that, I got my first lesson in understanding Lighting & Color Theory.
Photo Credits: D’Andre Michael