With her unique creative perspective and a long list of clients, including Schön Magazine and Vogue Italia, Ruby Yu is a Freelance Makeup Artist who’s consistently booked and busy. But this London-based MUA wasn’t always on this path.
Some artists always have an idea of what their dream is, but for others, it unfolds organically. Ruby is one of the latter.
I would recommend the program to someone who wants to learn makeup from the base! I started from 0 and the program gave me good knowledge of makeup!
Inspired by her love of movies, this Taiwan native had always appreciated the visual arts but didn’t exactly know what kind of creative she wanted to be. That is, until she found inspiration from another Makeup Artist, Ryan Burke.
I noticed that in his bio he said he was a freelance makeup artist, and I was like 'freelance? What do you mean freelance, you work for yourself?
“He’s a New York-based makeup artist, who does a lot of face painting, crazy stuff,” a type of creative expression that resonates with Ruby. “I noticed that in his bio he said he was a freelance makeup artist, and I was like ‘freelance? What do you mean freelance, you work for yourself?'” Curiosity sufficiently piqued, Ruby began to consider this as a career. “That was something that made me think ‘oh yeah, being a makeup artist is probably a good way to go if I want to do something creative.'”
From here, Ruby had a goal in mind, but a makeup career seemed like a novel idea at the time. Prior to discovering her passion for beauty, Ruby had little experience with makeup.
But determined to learn the craft, Ruby turned to Blanche Macdonald. Known to her first only by reputation, she felt secure with the makeup education she chose.
But despite her confidence in choice of schools, Ruby initially felt out of her depth with her skills — especially compared to her classmate. But with support from the makeup faculty, Ruby never felt discouraged. “I just started; I didn’t know how to do anything and a lot of my classmates knew how to do makeup already. The instructors really gave me the confidence to start doing makeup. It made me feel like, I can do makeup!“
I didn't know how to do anything and a lot of my classmates knew how to do makeup already. The instructors really gave me the confidence to start doing makeup.
Her newfound confidence grew even when she discovered editorial makeup in the fashion module; “I like to make something that’s creative; anything edgy and colourful — that’s my style.”
During her time at Blanche’s Global Makeup Co-op program, Ruby had the chance to develop a talent for beauty, editorial and bridal makeup. With these skills she’s been able to excel in several major beauty hubs, including New York, Vancouver and London. All of this experience has impacted her perspective on makeup.
“Every city I’ve worked in was very different. In Taiwan, the focus is largely bridal. When you work for fashion magazines in Asia, it’s more about light skin details with no strong colours. In Vancouver, it’s a lot of makeup for TV and film. But London is very different. You can collaborate with a lot more people based on creative ideas. London is the most creative to me.”
With all her experience, she explains that her favorite (apart from any look that focuses on the lips) is still editorial makeup. So, upon arriving in London, she scoured instagram for hashtags that matched her interests in beauty and reached out to fellow artists to find a creative community.
Having worked with various publications and backstage at London Fashion Week, Ruby has had a lot of opportunities come her way. To date she’s worked on shows for Daniel W. Fletcher, Susan Fang and Masha Popova, experiences she cherishes; “I love doing fashion shows, you get to meet lots of other brilliant MUAs.”
So what’s next for Ruby? “I want to get my portfolio ready for bigger clients. Eventually, I want to sign with an agency.” With an agency backing her up, there’s no doubt that Ruby can continue to grow and flourish in the beauty world. Who knows? You may see her work on the cover of Vogue someday.