We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Luman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, what is the most important factor behind your success?
As a professional makeup artist, my success actually comes from a variety of factors. There isn’t just one quality or one skill that has contributed to my career. It is truly an accumulation of years of experience. The main three I’ll focus on are Professionalism, Humility, and Passion. Being “professional” encompasses so many qualities in my opinion. Punctuality, respect for others, preparedness, effective communication, and the willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. If I didn’t have one of these skills, I wouldn’t have had many of the opportunities that I have been given in my career. Humility is so important because as a makeup artist, I need to understand that the job isn’t about me. It’s about the client. Sometimes putting aside your need to feel appreciated or understood as an artist is absolutely necessary for the success of the project. It’s always a team effort. Passion is just essential. I wouldn’t be a makeup artist today if I wasn’t passionate about it. My passion grew out of experiencing the effects that my work had on people. As a teenager, I used to steal my mom’s makeup and play around, creating looks on myself that I had seen in a magazine. As I started to do my friend’s makeup in high school and even college, I realized how rewarding it was for me to see them light up at the finished product. It was how their confidence exuded and for me that was all the “compensation” I needed. Even though I do a lot more tv/video/commercial jobs today, working weddings is still one of my favorite and most rewarding things to do. It takes me back to those days when someone would light up because they had never seen themselves like that before.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up in Indianapolis, IN in a conventional family where you go to college, get a degree, and get a job. I feel very blessed that my family pushed me and my sisters to get an education, but I found myself confused and bored at Purdue, majoring in Business. The one thing I always remembered my dad telling me when I was in high schoool (trying to figure out my life) was “The best job you can ever have is doing what you do for free, but getting paid for it.” Since I was a teenager I was doing everyone’s makeup for free! And college was no exception. That is when I knew that I had to pursue my passion. I left Purdue as a sophomore and never looked back. I found an experienced makeup artist in Indy (Kathy Moberly) and trained with her and then got a job at the MAC counter at Nordstrom in downtown Indianapolis. My time there and the training I received as a MAC artist helped mold me into the artist I am today. But the whole time, I knew I wanted to move to a city where I would have opportunities to do bigger things, and make some money! In 2007 I decided to move to Miami, FL for its still “up and coming” market and the warm weather. I had no money, no jobs lined up, and no connections. This is before social media, so building my business and networking was not as easy as it is today. But my fear of regret was bigger than my fear of failure, and I went into it 1000%. It definitely wasn’t easy. I had to prove myself, get out there and meet people, follow up on any leads, try to convince people to give me a chance. It took persistence, faith, gumption, confidence, and flat out hard work. But it definitely paid off. I remember my one year anniversary of moving there, I was assisting the makeup artist on an Italian Vogue photoshoot. It was surreal. I just remembered this overwhelming sense of accomplishment. To me, that was success. And it still is. The time I spent in Miami has lead to countless other connections and jobs that I still have to this day (13 years later). Some of the people I have worked with over the years include: Kasey Musgraves, The Goo Goo Dolls, Train, Pamela Anderson, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Anderson Cooper, Katrina Campins, Candace Swanepoel, Russell Simmons, and Olympic Gold Medalists Laurie Hernandez and Nastia Liukin. Some other notable clients include: Effy Jewelry, The Salvation Army, Princess Cruise Lines, AT&T, The Sak, Hooters, Maxim, and Toyota. My work can also be seen in/on GQ Magazine, Ocean Drive, Star and OK Magazines, NFL Network, Fox Business, Style, Bravo!, and TNT.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of all the places I have lived and visited, Dallas just feels like home to me and my husband. I love that the city has so many green spaces. I love the Katy Trail, Klyde Warren Park (food trucks and events), and the Trinity River area. Sometimes on the Katy Trail, I forget I’m in a big city, there’s actually a secret trail down by the creek that you can only access from Reverchon Park, not many people know about it. You can catch me walking my dog or rollerblading on the trail. I often take friends/family to the Aquarium and the Dallas Museum of Art. Both are close to Klyde Warren Park and the DMA is free admission! My favorite is the sloth feeding at the Aquarium—he’s so cute! The Winspear Opera House is my favorite for a romantic night out. My husband took me on a date to Flora Street Cafe by Stephan Pyles and then to see Hairspray there. There are so many good restaurants it’s hard to choose sometimes. We love Mexican and Tex Mex so we frequent Meso Maya, Javier’s, and Velvet Taco. Meso Maya’s food and drinks are all made from scratch! Dallas does brunch bigger than anyone else and that’s proboably my favorite! I love Mercat Bistro, Bread Winners, City Council, and Henry’s Majestic—they have a mimosa bar with all kinds of fruit! When we want to have a nice dinner or celebrate a birthday or anniversary, we go to Truluck’s. We love sitting in the bar area because they have live music and the best homemade carrot cake on the planet! James, the Maitre D always takes good care of us. For ambiance and cocktails our favorites are Tipsy Alchemist, Akai, and Felix Culpa. My favorite drink at Tipsy is the Machete. To mix it, it goes around the entire lounge in a “vacuum shoot”. Just trust me. For nightlife there are so many options depending on what you like. Deep Ellum is one of the oldest areas of Dallas and is still bustling with live music and eclectic energy. There are bars with live music, micro breweries, art galleries, and more. My favorite club there is Truth and Alibi. The front looks like an old candy store and you need a secret code to get in. Once you get in, it’s furnished in Louis XVI style chairs and chandeliers. That’s where we go if we have a group that want to dance. We have lived in Victory Park for years and love the energy there. That’s where the American Airlines Center is and its so easy to catch a Mav’s or Stars game. All the major concerts are there too so it’s lively. There’s also a lot of new restaurants and shops there. I was so happy when the new Cinopolis opened up. It’s an upscale dine-in movie theatre. I love going to the movies. Best movie theatre award goes to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. You just have to experience it. Taco Tuesday and $5 movies, plus they have the best breakfast tacos ever! There is so much more to Dallas but those are just some highlights!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is an absolute no-brainer for me! The single, most important mentor in my life has been Kathy Moberly. I met Kathy almost 20 years ago. When I decided to pursue a career as a makeup artist she was the one who trained me (one-on-one), guided me, basically adopted me!! She has given me not only so much guidance over the years, but opportunities and camaraderie. She is like a mentor, mother, sister, and best friend all in one. I would not have the career I have today if it wasn’t for her. Her experience, passion, creativity, ambition, and love for others continues to inspire me even after 20 years. She recently opened a new school in Louisville, KY called Create Institute of Makeup Design.
Facebook: Megan Luman
Zac Grimaldo Marco Grob