Katey Denno, Makeup Artist
Meet Katey Denno, celebrity makeup artist, green living and beauty expert, and teacher. Katey is known not only as a green beauty icon, but for painting the faces of some of your favorite celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Amanda Seyfried, Cara Delevigne, and Amber Heard.
Before making the switch to makeup artistry full-time, Katey worked as a social worker in inner-city DC, and the Bronx NY for over a decade. Katey focused on working with women and children in tough situations, people living with HIV/AIDS, and M to F transgender women. Katey would help put on fashion shows to raise money for the clinic and learned a lot about the power of makeup in the process. She would arrange beauty days for her clients while working in battered women's shelters, and would attempt to make connections over the superficial, using makeup and beauty as a bridge to begin working on deeper issues.
Katey was at a dinner party one night when she met a makeup artist who saw her doodling on a napkin. They had asked Katey if she'd like to be an on-set assistant at a photoshoot one day and Katey took her up on the opportunity, calling in sick to attend. She later realized that she had an interest in real makeup and wanted to be part of the action. Katey spent the next few months making spreadsheets of makeup artists whose work she admired and pitching herself to agencies with no formal experience, offering her services at low rates. She went on to meet her soon-to-be agent and became the first ever makeup artist to join The Wall Group's talent division.
Katey has make a name for herself as a natural makeup expert and is known for putting emphasis on skincare. Her favorite tools to work with are her lash curler, a good face oil, and her Beauty Blender sponge for flawless makeup application.
Katey's advice for aspiring makeup artists? "Find your niche. Figure out what really drives your passion and do everything you can to really excel in those areas. Work tirelessly." Katey got her start answering ads on Craigslist to shoot with aspiring models and photographers and doing test shoots 3-5 times a week. She advises others to get their name out there, get experience. "Do your research and find makeup artists whose work inspires you and ask if you can assist them."
Katey says the hardest part of her job is not getting to be creative as she would like to be. When arriving at a shoot for an ad campaign for example, the makeup look has already been decided by the photographer or client, and it's Katey's job to figure out how to create, on any given face, what it is she's been told to create as the finished look, "which is often 'no makeup makeup'", says Katey.
Her favorite part of getting to do what she does for a living is being able to make women feel good about themselves and instill confidence in them. To Katey - that feeling is priceless.
FOLLOW KATEY ON INSTAGRAM @KATEYDENNO