When it comes to the art of creative makeup, be it natural or bold, Julia Vuong, a Toronto-based Makeup artist, and foodie, is one of the best names out there. She left University to pursue her creative passion for makeup. We had a quick chat with her about how she navigated her way through the beauty industry, and how she got here!
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your work.
My name is Julia. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I’m a 24-year-old makeup artist. I started makeup at the age of 19 when I dropped out of UofT [University of Toronto] to pursue it. I realized it was my passion and studied makeup for a year instead. Currently, I’m focusing on fashion, film, and commercials and would say my favourite thing to do in beauty, is soft glam and getting people ready for events. I just really like to play with makeup!
How did you get into the beauty industry?
It was something that happened gradually. I had started working as a beauty advisor at a cosmetics store and through that, ended up meeting a lot of MUAs and stylists and cinematographers. I then started assisting a makeup artist I met and was able to meet more people and start booking my own gigs. Meanwhile, I was also posting to Instagram and trying to follow photographers and models on social media in order to create creative collaborations with people around the city.
Photography by Dexter Da Silva
What’s your favorite thing about working in the beauty industry?
The freedom and creativity when it comes to creating something. With makeup especially, you never know what the end result is going to look like, no matter how many times you've done it. I love how freeing it is and how creative you can be. It’s fun to see the whole picture come together. Additionally, you can either go super bold and do crazy graphic looks, or you can do something super natural and pretty. It’s nice to be able to have that window to do different types of looks. It can really change your mood. It’s great to be that creative and have no boundaries to what you want to do. At the end of the day, it’s not permanent and it’s nice to be able to play dress up and try out different looks.
What makeup product makes you feel most fierce?
I would definitely have to say lip products and lashes. It makes the biggest difference. I find that adding lashes to your makeup look can really complete it. It also works even if you don’t have any makeup on and put on lipstick and a pair of lashes. Those two things are key in finishing a look.
What are your philosophies when it comes to beauty?
I have a few that I always try to remind myself of. One would be just to always have fun and the other one would be to not compare. It does get very competitive. With Instagram, I see so much so quickly every day. You’re just constantly being bombarded with other makeup brands coming up with new things, YouTubers, celebrities, and I try not to compare myself—no matter what. If it makes you happy, do it for yourself. As long as I’m reminding myself that and realizing that every makeup style is different and they’re all beautiful, it keeps me way more grounded and I feel happier.
Tell us about a moment in your career so far that you are most proud of?
I have a lot! There is certain brand work that I have done that has been really amazing. Growing up I would wear clothes like Adidas and Gucci just to be a part of the work that I always admired. Being able to be a part of that team or be a part of the campaign is always amazing for me. When I had done the Adidas campaign they actually put it up on the billboard at the Toronto Eaton Centre and it was really cool to see it blown up that big.
Another thing that I think I really love is being able to do makeup for someone’s important day, like an actress at an award show. I am always very appreciative of that, and it's very special to me.
What has your relationship with beauty been like?
I believe that I have just always loved makeup. In high school, I would wear a winged liner every single day. If I didn't, I felt off that day. I did ballet growing up and wearing makeup early on from being on stage made me fall in love with it. I would also paint with watercolors and pastels and as I got older and was allowed to buy my makeup and play with makeup, I got more into it. YouTube changed the game for me because I was always watching tutorials. But it's also something that makes me really happy. When I’m in a bad mood, I do makeup and I’m instantly in a better mood. Whether it's minimal makeup or not, I find it therapeutic and I feel really happy. And when other people really like the makeup I do for them, it makes me happy. It’s always very rewarding to be in that situation.
Outside of being an MUA, what do you like to do with your time?
I really like to eat. I like to try different restaurants in the city and anytime I travel I like to try various restaurants there. I would definitely say traveling and trying different foods. I also try my best to get into things I am interested in at that moment, like fashion or interior design. I may have a phase and get obsessed with seeing how those businesses work. Lately, it has been looking at homes and looking at how people decorate their homes. I don’t know if that is because Selling Sunset is on Netflix, but it could be. I take my time to look into anything I am interested in, and learn more about it.
What is your current go-to beauty product?
I would have to say blush. I’ve been using a stick blush and I put a little bit on my cheeks and lips and I feel a lot more alive.
What’s a beauty tip that you swear by?
If you want that feathery eyebrow look, put the eyebrow gel in your brows and use your ring finger and hold your brows down in the direction that you want it to stay up. Once you hold it down for like 5 seconds, your brows are going to stick up that way without using too much product. And it’s so easy because you don’t need any tools other than your fingers.
Before we wrap up this interview, tell us a bit more about where our readers can find you online.
Everyone can find me on Instagram @juliavng and I think that’s all I have. I have a few things in the works but nothing launched as yet so for now just keep tabs on Instagram!