We spoke with Makeup Artist to the stars, Merrell Hollis, and he gave us a peak into what he loves about make up. We can’t wait for his upcoming events in the store!
What was your initial draw to makeup? Was it always an interest?
As a young boy I would watch my mother apply her makeup for work, and it reminded me of coloring and painting, but on a face. That piqued my interest.
You’re the makeup artist to the amazing Wendy Williams. Do you find that working with someone so consistently lets your imagination roam? Do you come up with new ideas you’d like to try with her?
Working on the Wendy Williams Show is truly a blessing. My boss allows me to have complete creative control, because she trusts my eye. I honestly think if I had to wear the same makeup every day it would be so boring!
You’ve worked in fashion, editorial, and television. Do different skills come into play?
There are definitely different skills that come into play when it comes to fashion, editorial, TV, etc. TV requires you to know the art of proper contouring and highlighting and blending while using double the product as fashion and editorial. When I work on editorial I concentrate on allowing the skin to show through and I love the skin to be luminous, and for TV I prefer suede/matte skin. Also with TV you have to limit the more creative makeup looks, the makeup should be a little more relative to the general public.
Merrell Hollis: Inspiration and Techniques
How much does your eye pick up inspiration from people you see on the street or while you’re out and about?
I love living in New York! This city is truly inspiring. When I walk around the city I pull all sorts of inspiration from New Yorkers; there’s so much style and individuality.
Are there any current products or techniques that you’re excited about?
There’s so much happening in makeup. And makeup has changed quite a bit. Contour and highlighting has shifted, lashes, and skin! I can’t wait to talk about these things and demonstrate in my upcoming classes at MWS! Mehron has these new highlight and contour pallettes that are so dope! They’re my favorite palettes right now!
We’re starting to see some women wearing no or little make up in their daily lives, as well as some men and trans people wearing make up. Do you thinking there are shifting attitudes towards make up as there are shifting attitudes towards gender?
There is definitely a shift happening in who wears make up and how they wear it. Women are becoming more comfortable in their skin and with themselves, and men are becoming more comfortable wearing makeup in the open. I think it’s great that everyone is able to express themselves and be creative with makeup. It makes me so happy!
Do you think there are common misperceptions about make up?
A common misconception about makeup is that everyone needs full coverage. There are so many formulas of foundation. You can create beautiful skin with a tinted moisturizer and concealer, or with building a liquid. It’s different for everyone and there are many ways to make skin look beautiful.
Merrell Hollis: Makeup Essentials and Lessons Learned
What are some of the most important essentials for make up in every day life?
The every day essential for makeup depends on your personality and how you wear your makeup, but a great set of brushes is always good. A selection of luminous creams is great!
Can you share some early lessons that you learned that have proven invaluable in your career?
I’ve learned that relationships are essential in this industry, and also continuous education. Makeup is changing at a rapid speed and you have to stay current.
Merrell Hollis: Relationship with MWS
When did you first hear about Manhattan Wardrobe Supply and what is your relationship with them like?
I’ve always known about MWS because of my friends in wardrobe. One of the stylists alerted me that they had makeup, and my first visit was one of the most wonderful experiences I ever had. They welcomed me with open arms and took the time to educate me on products I was not familiar with, and suggested new items that they thought that I would love. MWS is definitely the place to be if you love makeup and education.
Thank you so much for speaking with us, Merrell! We can’t wait for your classes at MWS!