Interview: Andi Metro

I met Andi on set 2 years ago.

She greeted me with a friendly one-hand wave, the other hand was occupied by a makeup brush and a model sitting in her chair. Andi was wearing all black vintage denim and a tee, characteristic of NYC, where black reigns supreme- intimidated me at first as a non-native New Yorker. However the girl under the cool exterior was a sweetheart and an inspiration to many who are trying to pursue a career in the beauty industry. Read on to find out how Andi got started as a makeup artist and build a name for herself, plus some pointers on how to keep your skin healthy this winter season. Stop by and say hello, http://www.andimetro.com/.

Andi! Who are you and what you do?

My name is Andi Metro and I am a New York based Makeup Artist working primarily in Television, Fashion and Celebrity.

Andi Metro Modern Nothings

When did you know a career in beauty was for you?

Growing up I was always into the arts. I dabbled in painting, music and photography. However in High School I found my true passion resided in photography. I’d innately always been inspired by fashion magazines like Vogue and W. As my interests grew I discovered even more alternative publications that pushed boundaries like today’s Purple Magazine or Sneeze. I was endlessly captivated by the photos inside these books. This is what drove my aesthetic as a photographer. The models, the raw lighting, the shadows, the heroine chic tone veiling over everything created a mood I became obsessed with. My mission was to create a universe through my photos. As a student with very little resources, I had to create this world on my own. If I wanted my model to appear sweaty, it was up to me. If I wanted the photo to be about her eyebrows, it was up to me. I quickly found I had a knack for it. There were many similar aspects to the art I had been doing before. Understanding shapes, lights, shadows, contour, texture, knowing the finesse of color theory–all things that came into play while doing makeup. It was fun. And just like that, I became a Makeup Artist.

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What was the biggest challenge that you faced getting started? What was your breakthrough point?

The biggest challenge was not having any sort of guidance to lead me into making this as a real career. Nowadays this profession has been highly popularized by social media and our society’s obsession with celebrities. It is far more accessible now to follow the steps of an artist you admire online, research is readily available at the click of a button. However I started this journey over 16 years ago. Social media was not the monster it is today. All I knew about this career was that I liked it, and that I excelled at it. But how was I to learn more? Was I doing it right? How do I get jobs? Where do I apply to? Who do I ask? I was completely lost and had to it all on my own, over several long years. I ended up getting recruited to work for a well-known makeup company called MAC. I worked with MAC for 10 years and learned invaluable product knowledge and people skills. My breakthrough moment was finally believing in myself as a freelancer and getting the courage to leave the company.

If you could go back in time, is there anything you would change?

Assisting more developed Artists is the way to go. There is so much to be learned in this process. I wish I’d known this as a young artist. I can only imagine what having learned about making connections, what my kit should look like, how to invoice, what to expect upon arriving at a shoot, what is to be expected of me–at an earlier stage, could have done for my career now.

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In what ways do you use your makeup to provoke people?

Makeup should make you feel good. When you feel good you hold your head up higher. When you hold your head up higher, you are more powerful. When you feel powerful you are more able to seize the day, be it in front of a camera, a classroom, a date…

Since the cold winter months are swiftly approaching, what are some the best ways to moisturize your skin and keep it healthy?

This is a tough one. I find that no matter what you do, winter always ages you! IT’S AWFUL. But you can most definitely do your best to fight it. Making sure you include a serum along with your moisturizer in your skincare regime is clutch. Serums penetrate the skin while moisturizers are more topical. Keeping the skin supple and plump is important during the drying season. Especially at night! All the superficial heat that is keeping you warm while you sleep is simultaneously sucking you dry. A humidifier is always a good idea…and WATER, WATER, WATER!
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For some of us who are clueless about make up (me!) what are some tips for an easy natural look that doesn’t take an hour to do?

I’m actually a less is more person. However every individual needs their own personal cocktail that suits them personally. Almost everyone could use a dab of concealer for red spots, imperfections and maybe under-eye darkness. If you really want to look flawless you can add a light foundation to that and a little sheer setting powder. Some bronzer for color, a little salve on the cheeks, lips and eyelids, topped off my some mascara and you have a pretty fool proof look that should suit pretty much anyone. You can always add on from there.

I know you have worked with some well-known personalities like Naomi Campbell, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, the Kardashians etc.+ shows like Marc Jacobs and Victoria Secret, what was your most memorable experience/person?

I get asked this all the time and the honest answer is….there is no one or even two experiences that stand out to me. I’ve had many surreal moments, I’ve crossed paths with many childhood heroes…but after time they are just people and we are both just doing a job. Having worked with an abundance of musicians, I will say, enjoying a few live intimate shows has been quite a perk.

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What is the best piece of advice that has been given to you that you actually stuck by? What advice would you give to someone else?

Some sound advice would be to just say YES! Even if the situation intimidates you. You’ll never learn anything by playing it safe. Blindly throw yourself out there. Even if you fail, you will have learned something. Failing is ok. This is what your youth is for. Find something you enjoy, master it and never give up.

What does “being alive” mean to you?

Being alive to me means feeing everything. Good, bad, amazing, horrible.

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What is something you love about yourself?

I love that I know that I don’t need the assistance of a single soul in order to survive. I know because I’ve done it.

If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?

I took a 2 year hiatus from makeup and went back to school for premed. I really wanted to help people. But truthfully all that math and science made me miserable. It made me appreciate the fact that I have fun at what I do.

Andi Metro Modern Nothings