I wanted to start off my first blog post ever with an introduction about myself. Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here?
Well, let me tell you. My name is Bri Stein, short for "Brianne Stein". I was born in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia Canada at Kelowna General Hospital on May 10, 1992 (Mother's Day... sorry Mom!). 6 pounds, 5 ounces, Blonde hair and blue eyes. I grew up in Kelowna, thanks to my parents who thought that Kelowna would be a better stomping ground for me than Edmonton, and I'm glad they were right!
All throughout my childhood I was always very creative, from drawing, painting, colouring, chalking the driveway to making jewelry. My parents still have boxes of my art in the basement, boxes and boxes. I was always out doing something creative to feed my soul of learning about art, all different aspects of it. When I was a child I was gifted books on how to draw, massive sets with all the drawing and painting mediums that a child could ever wish for and an endless supply of printer paper and notebooks to create my works. I loved colour.
I also loved playing with barbies. Some of my first memories of creating beauty was when I was bored with my barbies and would give them a new look. I bluntly cut their hair with craft scissors, took washable markers and added a new pop of pink to their lips, amplified the bright blue eyeshadow and sometimes even blushed them up with some red marker on the apples of their cheeks. I'm sure my parents must have been pretty freaked out seeing my barbies look like something out of a horror film after I was done with them. I thought they were beautiful and I gave them new life, and something new for me to play with!
It wasn't until late elementary school (grade 6 and 7) where I started to realize my passion for makeup artistry. I remember digging through the makeup me and my sister had for our dance recitals and figure skating competition and wearing it to school. My parents didn't really care, because they knew I was an artist. I wore the cobalt blue eyeshadow heavily blended into the outer corner of my eyes until I hit pan in the product. I loved bright colours, and continued to wear them throughout high school.
I've always loved makeup, I'm not sure how I came upon loving it- I just always did. I remember every Christmas my parents would fill my stockings with candy like Jelly Belly's and Lifesavers, but I also remember always getting Lip Smackers lip balm.... this is where my obsession began. It was desk cleaning day in grade 7, and I remember my teacher scolding me for having 14 lip glosses in my desk. 14, I had 14 lip glosses in my desk at the age of twelve. My teacher knew I had a problem and only allowed me to keep 3, a girl had to have choices... am I right?
I was always stopped in the hallways at school with fellow peers and teachers wondering what makeup creation I was wearing that day. My face was my canvas, but this also came with a lot of ridicule and bullying as well. The boys at school used to bully me for wearing so much makeup, along with some of the girls. I was teased with the statement "you wear so much makeup because you're insecure", which was partially true. I struggled with acne since the 5th grade, and used makeup to cover blemishes, BUT I did not wear colourful eyeshadow and lipstick because I didn't like the way I looked. I wore makeup as self expression, just as someone who has tattoos or how people dress themselves in the morning. It has always been about self expression for me.
My grade 11/12 Psychology teacher began calling me "rainbow" because she said that both my looks and personality were that of the colour spectrum of a rainbow. She called me this until the day I graduated. This was also the teacher that did not mind if I wasn't paying attention in her class, because she saw my potential. I always was paying attention- but I was also creating works of art on my desk, and sometimes even my neighbours desk too. She loved seeing my work. In her class I created so many pieces that I still have to this day. I remember one week I was slaving away at a portrait of Marilyn Monroe (my beauty icon) that I created in her class, she would always walk by and see my progress on the piece after the end of each class. I ended up selling this piece to someone for $200.00. In that moment, I knew that I could make a living selling my art to people who appreciated it.
Through the years of high school was the years of self discovery for me and what I wanted to pursue as a career. I knew I wanted to be a makeup artist. I was never the kind of kid who excelled in the academics. You would always find me surrounded by my peers, I was always a people person. If I wasn't with my friends, I was in the art room. Painting, drawing, sketching, sculpting... I loved it all. I won many awards throughout high school for my arts achievements as well as maintaining a 97% average in Art.
The day that I graduated from high school I had a business plan in place. I was going to pursue the career of makeup artistry and become successful doing it. I knew it, and I believed it. "Bri Stein Artistry" was born, established in 2010. I was already working at a Makeup counter as a beauty advisor at this point, and was making a name for myself in the industry working with local photographers, models and designers. Things grew over the next couple of years and eventually I was working too much to maintain my other job and quit to become a full-time freelance makeup artist. This was one of the scariest times of my life. Self employed at 20 years old. Was I going to be able to pay my bills? What if I wasn't successful? You can do anything you put your mind to. This is exactly what I did.
I am self taught and will always be self taught. I spend countless hours and budget thousands of dollars each year to pay for seminars, webinars hands on workshops, private training as well as pay to be in professional networking groups to better my craft. Education is very important for me, but I do prefer an unstructured approach to education with creative learning. In Canada, you do not need to be certified, licensed or have a diploma to practice business in makeup artistry. This is what enabled me to learn at my own fast pace, which in turn proved successful. I am driven by my excitement to learn, which in turn I believes to make me a better artist than if I was forced through a structured course being told what is right from wrong. There is no rules to makeup artistry (with the exception of sanitation). I am proud to be self taught!
Since 2010 I have been featured in magazines, large publications, music videos, fashion week. I have also won awards for my artistry. The real reward for my career is being able to work with people on a daily basis and make them look and feel beautiful. This is where my heart is, my passion, my life- makeup artistry and everything involved with it. I immerse myself every single day in the beauty of people, and in the beauty of the colourful world surrounding me. I am very thankful for every single supporter of mine, for without you I would be nothing at all. So I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me achieve my goals of living and working my dream.
I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me and my career as a makeup artist! This story is to be continued. Until then, Thank you for reading!