Thursday, September 1, 2016

2016 MTV VMA's with Sir John Barnett

Beyoncé - Medley LEMONADE (MTV VMA 2016) from Gon on Vimeo.

I had the amazing opportunity to assist Beyonce's MUA Sir John Barnett for the 2016 MTV VMA's.

Here are a few videos and images from Behind the Scenes I was able to capture:

This is a small preview of the body painting: the artists used a mix of a different pro makeup paints to make the pigment as opaque as possible. 

This was the makeup look created by Sir John for the "Spiritual" Dancers: Gold glitter eyes, heavily contoured cheekbones and a purple glitter lip to top it off.

Myself plus a quick clip of the dancers heading to the main stage.

This is one of the dancers I worked on for Beyonce's Lemonade Medley performance.

The "Nefertiti" Dancers


Sir John is a great teacher, this was my second time assisting him in New York. He works quickly and he expected all of us to work with speed as well. He taught us how to not only work with our brushes to create these looks but to work with our hands to blend the makeup effectively and fast.

This is me with a few of the artists backstage having a quick celebration after everyone was complete; we were so proud, excited and ready to watch the show. We were not allowed to capture any photos of Beyonce' or any of the dance routines, but it was absolutely amazing watching everything come together. We had to complete 80 dancers in hair, makeup, styling and body paint within 5 hours, so most of the time we were really busy getting every one complete.

Here are a few images of the performers on stage with Queen B from Getty Images:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Chicago Artist Studios

If you haven't heard by now, myself and photographer Ten Photos teamed up to create a new, creative space for photographers and artists to rent at a reasonable rate called 

The idea of "Chicago Artist Studios" came about when we noticed a lot of photographers and artists leaving and moving away from Chicago due to a lack of comradery amongst artists and lack of opportunity in Chicago. There are actually really great opportunities and work in Chicago but if no one talks about it, unfortunately no one knows about it. There's also an issue when the photographer or artist comes back to Chicago, they usually have no place to set up and work for their clients.  There are very little to no studio spaces available for hourly rentals in Chicago, so we wanted to change things up and create one. We want to break the barrier and link makeup artists with photographers, photographers with models, models with hair stylists, and hair/makeup artists with the agencies in Chicago.

Our mission is to help photographers, agencies and artists not only in Chicago but to also help artists from all around the Midwest who need a space to rent so they can effectively work on their job, project, event, or photoshoot in a professional atmosphere.  We will also host exclusive events and team up with some of the most innovative nail artists, makeup artists and hair stylists for education classes and networking parties. We want to branch out and create opportunities by connecting the top model agencies in Chicago with some of the best photographers and artists in the Midwest. 

We hope Chicago Artist Studios will create more networking, relationship building and unity between all the artists in Chicago.

We hosted our Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, February 13th, 2016.  Our food was catered by Oh! Chefs. Here are a few photos from our event, there are many more on our website:

If you are a photographer or artist in the Midwest, don't hesitate to contact us. We welcome all artists to use our space. There will be more events coming very soon, check the blog on our website to stay updated on the latest:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Zink Magazine Winter Issue with Kliq Studio

The Winter Issue of Zink Magazine just released before Christmas Day. Grab yourself a copy on news stands at Barnes and Noble!

"You & I"
Photographer | Carissa Lancaster of Kliq Studio
Model | Marta of Ford Models
Hair & Makeup | Andrea C. Samuels of Factor Artists 
Nail Artist | Ashley Gregory of Ford Artists

This was one of my most favorite projects I worked on for 2015. We had the gel paper concept planned out, but I had no idea what colors to choose before hand, so I literally brought every glitter, pigment and eye shadow color with me to prepare for the day. 

I have to start off saying that I absolutely love the team behind Kliq Studio. This was our first time working together on a concept that Ashley Gregory and myself really wanted to bring to life. Carissa and Le allowed us complete creative freedom; it was really refreshing and amazing to work with people that believe in your talents and give you all the time in the world to work your magic.

I started off clean, which is something I always recommend to every makeup artist. Starting off with clean makeup helps me see my canvas (my model) in a very raw and bare moment; it also helps me map out the features on her face that I would like to highlight in the editorial. I really loved the clear nails Ashley applied on Marta, the transparent makeup & nails looked so perfect together.

So I played with my usual favorites for the first look:

AJ Crimson Cream Foundation in Shade #1 & #2

This foundation is so amazing, it creates the perfect dewy, glossy effect on skin and it bounces off the lights beautifully.

Make Up For Ever "Full Cover" Concealer #3

I applied Inglot Face & Body Illuminator #61 all over Marta's hands, arms and face.

On the lips, I used Dior Addict Gloss in "Angelique"

The second look was not featured in Zink Magazine, but it is the current cover for Nails Magazine February Issue

I used Tom Ford lipstick in "Reckless" as the base

and Inglot gold pigment in #24 in the center of Marta's lips.

Here's an unedited image from my camera phone.

Look 3: I wanted to play up Marta's eyes and mimic the faded effect the gel paper created on her skin, so I created an ombre' effect on her brows with the lipstick.

I used Tom Ford "Bruised Plum" on her brows and brow bone

I applied Inglot Gold Pigment all over Marta's top and lower lid.

On her lips I mixed OCC Lip Tar "Androgyne" with NYX Lip Palette in "Oranges"

Look 4: I wanted to create a wet effect on her eyes, so I used "Silver" pigment by mac with a clear gloss on top on the outer corners of her eyes. 

On the inner corners I used a red eye shadow #50 by Inglot.

Ashley created this amazing silver foil on her nails and I fell in love with the results.

Look 5 was not chosen by Zink, but we all loved this look.

The yellow in the inner corners of her eyes was actually an accident.

I used Inglot Yellow Face & Body Pigment #237 for my first time and I had no idea it would splatter every where. I was about to clean it off and start over, but by that time it was starting to get dark outside and I didn't want to waste too much time. I just went with it and made a splatter effect with a neon pink pigment from MAC.

The blueish green on her lower lid and top lid was Inglot eye shadow #317 with Inglot black gel liner in #77

Look 6: We were going to go even more crazy, but the model needed to leave at a certain time so we had to cut it short. I kept it super simple and applied Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm with "Turkish Delight" by Nars on top. 

Overall, I am super DUPER happy with the results the team created!!
We had a blast on set and I look forward to creating even more beauty editorials in the future.