If you managed to hire Laura Evavold of Faces by Laura, you made the right choice. We chatted with the talented North Dakota makeup artist (licensed MAC Cosmetics trained and certified, along with a published makeup and brow artist, nonetheless) about her hard work, volunteering, love for art, and what she’s doing when she’s not making everyone look gorgeous.
Tell us about how your company got started.
I had always liked doing makeup, but when it was time for college, I decided I wanted to go to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, CA. My sister actually posed the question to me about reconsidering since she could see how much I enjoyed makeup, but I was set on following in my great uncle’s footsteps, who was a well known window designer in Chicago, IL. Once I graduated, though, there weren’t many jobs in that field. I was getting married at the time, and I hired a MAC artist to do my wedding makeup. She ended up helping me get set up with doing freelance makeup for what I thought would be a temporary job, until I found my dream job, but after getting hired at MAC Cosmetics I stayed with the company for years. It turns out my sister was right all along, and I found my home in the beauty industry! I was making the move to Minneapolis in 2010, and decided to go out on my own as a freelance makeup artist once again so I could have a more flexible schedule. When I moved to Grand Forks, ND was when I really put the time and effort to build a long-term clientele base.
What was your ‘aha’ moment for what you wanted for your brand and company?
I had gone through a few names that just didn’t feel quite right, but decided to keep it simple and to the point. I landed on Faces by Laura, and a friend of mine who was more computer savvy than I am sat down with me to create the logo. I knew exactly what I wanted… a shape that looked like the outline of a mirror and something very simple and clean. So, it actually happened pretty quickly.
What are big lessons you’ve learned in your 13 years thus far in the beauty industry?
First and foremost, I’ve learned people are my priority. I deeply care about my clients as if I were in that chair having a service done myself. I want to work hard for you. That’s who I am, and that is what my business is built on. Anything else is fleeting.
Talent has a lot to do with this industry, but if you can marry talent and hard work, you will always go to bed feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. I’ve learned the real value in hard work. I’ve learned how to ride the roller coaster of owning your own business with all the highs and lows and what success means to me.
I’ve also learned that there may be a lot of other people doing makeup, but there is only one me. What I have to offer the world can’t be duplicated. Likewise, what you have to offer can’t be duplicated. We are all wonderfully unique in our experiences, our talents, our education and so on. When you put yourself out there you are making yourself vulnerable to not just compliments and praise, but also criticism and rejection. You have to be confident in yourself and accept learning from both in order to be truly successful.
What trends are you seeing in makeup?
There is a lot of focus on skin more so than ever along with fun graphic eye liner or bold lips.
What do you recommend for brides for makeup? Should they keep it as natural as possible?
Not always! There are a lot of factors that are at play. What time of day is the ceremony? What is the theme or color scheme of the wedding? What kind of girl is she? Does she play it safe, or is she open to trying something out of her comfort zone? That doesn’t necessarily mean a dark, smokey eye or a bold lip. Sometimes going out of your comfort zone is wearing a white eyeliner on your waterline instead of black. I ask a lot of open-ended questions to get to the right look for a bride.
What mistakes do brides make with makeup on their wedding day and/or in general?
Thinking they should just do it themselves. If never again, this is the one day you can have a professional enhance your natural beauty in ways you probably don’t even know about! In general, I think a lot of women don’t consider how much the canvas affects the look of the art. If you don’t care for your skin, the makeup isn’t going to look as good.
Tell us about your other art you’re involved in.
I used to love painting with acrylic or drawing in pencil. I’ve also dabbled in watercolor. These days I’ve gotten more into chalk lettering/drawing. I’d like to get more into calligraphy. I’m passionate about art and self expression. I encourage my kids to create things, be it with LEGOs or a piece of paper and scissors. I think there’s so much healing in the soul when you create something.
Tell us about your volunteer work.
I am a firm believer in using your gifts to serve others. There may not seem like much need for makeup in the grand scheme of all the hurt going on in the world today, but there is! I have volunteered for two amazing organizations providing makeup application. One of those organizations is Working Wardrobes. At the time they provided clothing, hair, makeup for job interviews for homeless and battered women. It was a very moving experience at the beginning of my career that truly solidified the effect I can personally have on others using makeup. Specifically, when I covered a bruise on a battered woman’s face and seeing her tearful reaction when she looked in the mirror. That was a moment I will never forget.
The other organization is Look Good… Feel Better, which is through the American Cancer Society. They offer classes all over the country to women undergoing chemo where they provide wigs and wig fittings, makeup and application tips. Again, a very moving and humbling experience.
I also try to make myself available when opportunities pop up to serve a client with a life-threatening illness free of charge. I’m currently working on the creation of a non-profit for such opportunities so that I would have more opportunities through a known organization. So, stay tuned!
Why did you choose the coffee shop for your second location for everyday you?
I’ll be honest, going and sitting in a coffee shop to enjoy a hot drink is a luxury these days! With three kiddos, it’s usually either a drive-thru coffee shop or the trusty Keurig! But, on the rare occasion I do get to pick a spot to hang out, the Urban Stampede is unique place to unwind.
It looks like you’ve lived a lot of different places. What have been some of your favorite parts of living in different cities, and what have you taken from all of your experiences?
I am a gypsy at heart. I love traveling and living in new places. I love finding cool hole-in-the-wall restaurants or coffee shops, walking the busy streets of a big city, or getting lost on a dirt road out in the country. I just like diversity! I went from being raised in Southern California to living and working in Baltimore and New York, and all of a sudden 90 percent of my clientele was a different nationality than me. I had to learn how to work with different skin colors and types, and it was extremely educating. It helped me grow not just as an artist, but as a younger woman who grew up in the bubble of Orange County, CA.
What brought you to North Dakota?
My husband is originally from East Grand Forks, MN but for the first year of our marriage we lived several hours away from family. When our son was born at 25 weeks gestation (yeah, you heard that right) and all of our family had to travel a great distance to support us through that difficult time, we made the decision to move near family. All of my family is sprinkled along the West Coast, so it made sense to be in the most densely populated area of family that was the closest.
Tell us about your studio. What are your favorite parts about it?
I love the windows! The windows were the selling point for me. I also love how spacious it is! I also like sharing it with a hairstylist, who I don’t get to see a whole lot, but it’s fun to work side by side with someone occasionally. It feels more like a team mentality, and I enjoy that.
What is your favorite part about doing makeup and working with clients?
I love being creative and having creative freedom, but I also love the connection that happens when you touch someone. It’s like what they say about getting your hair done or getting a massage – when you come to someone you don’t know and ask them to touch you, it requires a bit of vulnerability, you know? And once you start your work and they begin to chat and open up, there’s a bond and a trust that’s building. I’m very privileged to be trusted by so many women. I don’t take that for granted. I have made some very close friendships through that connection over the years doing makeup.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve worked on for a styled shoot or for a commercial shoot?
I haven’t done anything too wild, I guess, but one shoot I did near Minneapolis last spring ended up being pretty interesting! We were shooting out at a huge park and it had just rained but the sun was coming out. I made the poor decision to wear a duster sweater and walked through some tall grass. I didn’t think ticks would be out in full force, but there I was basically dragging for them! I found several on my person later on and that, my friends, is how you become paranoid about Lyme’s Disease!
Tell us about your home life.
Well, as you already know I have three adorable kids. A 10-year-old boy, a 5-year-old boy, and a 1-year-old girl. I have a husband who is pretty adorable, too. He owns his own hardwood floor refinishing business and is extremely busy most of the time, but his schedule is fairly flexible, which is so nice. We can meet for lunch sometimes, or he can occasionally take over as taxi driver for our kids. He’s a very supportive guy, which makes what I do easier.
What TV shows are you obsessed with right now.
I am obsessed with the Walking Dead. I binge watched season one when season two was starting and now it’s priority one on the DVR. I like the special FX makeup, but I just love the character development and storyline. I’m kind of an apocalyptic nerd, not full on bomb shelter in the backyard or anything, just interested in learning the survival tactics and the possibility of zombies [laughs].
What can people find you doing when you’re not working or also working on art?
Seeking a quiet room to FaceTime my long-distance family, counting to three, and single handedly supporting online shops. I also enjoy decorating my home. Art, these days, pretty much just involves Play-Doh or finger paints, and I’m completely okay with that. I get to be creative at work, so it’s a balance.
What is one of your favorite moments working with a bride?
I always love when a bride see’s herself for the first time and is in a joyful shock. I have had a bride cry, and that was one of my favorite moments. Some of my favorite memories are becoming friends with a bride. I love that they can become like family. I’ll do the brides makeup, and the mother of the bride, and then the sister when she gets married, and I get to see everyone all over again.
Anything to add?
I’m just a girl who’s love language is makeup. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share that love!
Photography: Emily Swan Photography