Making a successful career path for himself at an early stage, Carlos Aiden talks to Mess about living in Berlin and the struggles of learning a new language to when he first set his eyes on fashion magazines and felt an instant connection to the world he would later build for himself. #Freshmess
So who is Carlos Aiden?
My name is Carlos Aiden, born 1987 in Lima, Peru. In 2012 I graduated as a Professional Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist at YAB ACADEMY School in Berlin, Germany. Since thenI started my international carrier and worked for projects in Madrid, New York, Paris, Berlin, Peru and on the Island of Mauritius. In 2014 I was working in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) on several international high fashion shootings. Since May 2015 I am back in Germany, working for clients in Berlin, Stuttgart, and Munich.
Did you always know you wanted to be an MUA? And how did you go about starting the profession?
As a child I was already interested in fashion magazines and fascinated by photos of beautiful women. When I had the chance to immigrate to Europe, it has been my biggest wish to study this profession. When I arrived at Berlin, Germany, I was looking around for make-up artist Schools, applying there and passed recruitment tests. From the two offers I had I chose the YAB Academy.
Describe your MUA work style, aesthetics and what type of photo shoots and editorials you work on.
My work style covers the entire spectrum from historical make-up styles, event-related themes to the most exciting catwalk trends of today. Since I started in the world of make – up, I have applied knowledge of rhythm, balance and colour to make – up trying to print my personal stamp on every one of my pieces of work, both in the commercial as well as in private projects.
My focus is on high fashion photo shootings, but I also have attended many fashion shows, like the Fashion Week in Berlin and others. Regarding editorials, I mostly do Beauty, Fashion, and High Fashion editorials.
How did you know that being an MUA is what you wanted to do?
When I was a child, I have always been interested in fashion and pop music. When I then came to Europe in 2008, I knew I would start studying and become a Makeup Artist. Not because I was invited to a show at the Berlin Fashion Week, I think this was after participating at my first show at the Berlin Fashion Week were I was working with my class mates during our studies. It was a great experience to see all the models, stylists, MUAs, the designer and all the staff. I was happy to realise that I also could work accurately under time pressure and that this environment pushes me to great results.
What has been your favourite project or Photo shoot so far?
My favourite photo shootings so far have been the two shootings in Paris. Both have been outside at famous touristic locations and about high fashion. Challenging was not only the work itself, but also the hassle not to have strangers on the photos.
How did you start – Describe your journey
I was able to build-up at this early state my own network of photographers and fashion designers who have greatly facilitated the entry into the MUA professional world
What make-up trends can we look forward to in the near future?
A romantic and very feminine look. Gentle eye make-up in rosé, the matching lipstick with a lightly pearl effect. Then, highlighted lips in vibrant shades of crimson, pink, orange, and oxblood. And also Glitterati and Glitter Effects especially to eyes and eyelids, as well as eyes in bright blue colours such as cobalt blue.
What advice do you have for MUA’s starting out?
Work already during the time at school at small projects to get experience. And start building up a network with photographers and models as soon as possible. They may offer you jobs or recommend you to other designers and agencies.
Have you always been passionate about being an MUA. Explain why
Yes – my fascination for beautiful and luxury women photos in fashion magazines created the desire inside me to do this as a profession as well.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My source of inspirations are basically music, painting, cinema and literature, especially the Latin American magical realism. From all these sources I extract the time spirit and waves that I transport through the choice of colours, shapes and contours into the make-up work.
What is next for Carlos the MUA
I am looking forward for more international projects. My interest is in High Fashion Shootings in Dubai, Shanghai, and Sidney.
MM: Where did your passion for makeup start? What made you want to pursue it as a career?
As a child I was already interested in fashion magazines and fascinated by photos of beautiful women. When I had the chance to immigrate to Europe, it has been my biggest wish to study this profession. I love working with women and MUA profession gives me great pleasure, even when working under stress and time pressure at a fashion show. Just the way as I have imagined, now this is my professional life as an MUA.
MM: You studied at the YAB Academy School in Berlin- what was that like?
Beginning was difficult because of the German language. But I have learned a lot at the YAB Academy School. After the first month we were able to attend the first fashion shootings, and after 3 months only, we participated in fashion shows. In addition to the practical experiences I was able to build-up at this early state my own network of photographers and fashion designers who have greatly facilitated the entry into the MUA professional world.
MM: You have lived and travelled all over the world- which cities are your favourite and where for you is home?
Paris, the city of fashion, is my favourite city. Followed by Los Angeles, New York, Milan, and London, as well as Berlin. Yes, Berlin, because there I have my biggest network located.
MM: You’ve cited music as one of many influences. Who are your favourite musicians/artists and how does their music translate into your work?
There are fewer individual artist as a musical genre that is influencing my work. Typical catwalk music, such as Progressive House by Galantis with their song “Runaway (U & I)” inspires me and gives me the drive to my work. So it is rather the spirit of the times, I feel in the music and I transport through the choice of colours, shapes and contours into the make-up work.
MM: You have worked on an impressive array of editorials for big name clients- Vogue (Italy), Elle (Germany) and Zink to name a few- what is a typical day on shoot like? What prep do you do beforehand?
I am also a little nervous and excited, but the joy of meeting new and interesting people, getting to know beautiful places and fascinating outfits is much greater motivation. Preparations start already the day before with the composition of the materials, products and clothing, brushes are thoroughly cleaned and also I try to go to sleep early. The shootings often start quite early and usually take a long time. After meeting the designers, models, photographers and stylists we have a close look at the location and fashion products. The team shares a vision of the shooting and exchanging of ideas. This is all very creative and connected with a lot of fun, and the one goal connects all: a perfect shooting with optimal results.It all is a lot of fun and I enjoy photo shootings a lot.
MM: In terms of MUA, it seems (from an outsider) to be an industry still largely dominated by women. Do you think the world of beauty and fashion will see more male MUA’s in the future- what are your thoughts?
Well, from my point of view I think the situation will not change much in the future. There have been always a certain percentage of male MUA’s and I think this is quite stable over the last decades. Even though more heterosexual people today pay more attention to their beauty and style, called metro sexual people, the males that choose MUA as a profession is independent from this social change. So I do not think it will change much in the future and the dominance of women MUA’s will continue. But this is not an issue for me at all. Because I do not think that male MUA’s are discriminated or have less chances. I think the overall situation is quite balanced and fair.
MM: The world of beauty and make-up has shifted significantly over the past decade. Defined brows and contouring seem to be the beauty trends that just will not go away. What do you make of it all- and should I start investing in a good contour kit?!
Yes this is right. But in my work I do not focus so much on this. I use defined browns as needed to the look – more often I am using contouring of course. Well, I think a high quality contour kit should be in every women’s bathroom…
MM: What is the most common mistake women make when it comes to make-up?
I think the most common mistake women do is choosing a wrong foundation colour that does not fit perfectly to their skin. As the foundation is the start of any make – up it is most important to have the best fit to the natural skin colour. As the skin colour is changing with the seasons, it is necessary to have more than one foundation and more then one colour. My advice is to ask for a professional consultant in the store when purchasing make-up products.
MM: What’s the golden make-up rule we should all be living by?
Well I think there is not the one golden rule, but there are helpful advices for eyes, brows, lips, contouring etc. When it comes to lips, do not apply lipstick on naked lips. Even in a hurry or to refresh lipstick after a coffee break, always apply light face moisturiser and let it soak shortly before applying the lipstick. This prevents smearing or drying out the lips.
MM: Who are your favourite beauty brands/products?
My first choice are the products of Dior. All products from the DIOR show product range.
MM: What is the one makeup/beauty product you can’t live without?
Well, I guess it is a no-show foundation, followed by a great concealer.
MM: If you could collaborate with any photographer and model, for any client- who would it be and what look would you give them?