Gregorie Styles Tells a Person’s Story Through Makeup

“My entire goal is to make sure I’m telling someone’s story accurately, even if they don’t have the words to necessarily express it.”

Occupation: Makeup artist, personal stylist, blogger
Style: Always glowing

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway

Did you always know you’d be a makeup artist one day?

Like most people, when you’re younger, you’re not exactly sure what you want to do. I knew I was going to be something creative, so in college I took gen eds and a ton of art classes. I was sitting in a drawing class one day, and we were supposed to draw the person in front of us, and I thought, Who is this person outside of here? Why does she have her hair that way? What made her pick those shoes? And so I decided that I didn’t want to just create work that was flat on a canvas. I wanted to create something that could move and breathe through the world. I woke up one day and told my parents I was going to cosmetology school, and they were like, What’s happening?

You were a full-time hairstylist for nine years before becoming a district educator for Sephora.

As a hairstylist I felt like I still wasn’t quite reaching my creative potential, so I decided to join a major cosmetics company. I was juggling both for quite some time. As a district educator for Sephora, I was in charge of [skin care] education and training. I worked one-on-one with clients to create regimens. I became a skin specialist, and then I felt like that wasn’t enough, so I had to add more things.

A few years ago you got into styling. How?

I was contacted by a woman who owns her own company and said, I need help with hair and makeup, and she struggled with what clothing to wear, so I just picked out what I thought looked best, and she was like, You remind me of Mary Poppins; you just pop in and get people’s lives together and then come back when we need you.

Now you offer hair, makeup, and styling services for weddings, events, and editorial work under your personal brand, Gregorie Styles. What’s your goal for each client?

I always talk about clients being the star of their own life. How do we tell that story from head to toe? How do we create a more empowered version of themselves? For some, that’s for a wedding day, and for others it could be for every business meeting or a promotional video. My entire goal is to make sure I’m telling someone’s story accurately, even if they don’t have the words to necessarily express it. It’s the most fulfilling when you talk to a client and they don’t see their full potential, but you’ve already seen it, and you are literally painting the story that you are learning about them. Then they look in the mirror, and they realize I was this person the entire time.

Photograph by Aaron M. Conway

What’s your personal style like?

My personal style varies depending on my day-to-day life. I’m definitely a T-shirt, jeans, and backward ball cap kind of guy, and then the next day I’m at brunch in all sequins. I think that we all have days where we’re more confident than others, and some days we express ourselves by saying, I’m cool with just being me and being casual, and the next day we’re like, I’m inspired by something, and I’m going to live in this moment and be much more eccentric.

What’s your go-to look?

As far as clothing, texture is my biggest color, so I may not be wearing the boldest color, but I like to layer different textures. I’m [also] a huge believer in glowing skin. Your skin is your biggest accessory. If it’s shine on my skin, highlighter, or something glossy, it’s always going to have some layer of glow.

Do you ever leave the house without applying makeup?

It varies day by day. I always tell people, especially when they ask me if I have a favorite brand or something, is brands are kind of like friends. You call one friend up to go to the movies with you; you call another to go party; and you call another to have a deep conversation. So you select your beauty regimen based on what’s happening with your life, whether that be a big event or a casual hang with friends.

What about people who feel like they’re a lost cause when it comes to makeup?

I grew up with a Southern minister as a father and I started makeup application on Barbie dolls. I used to steal my sister’s Barbie dolls, and I would take Crayola markers and shade in their blush and change their eye shadow, and then I would wipe it all off and start over. You always have time to learn.

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