Think you could pull off navy blue lipstick? Spend a few minutes scrolling through Stephanie Neiheisel's Instagram, and the makeup artist just might have you convinced.
"My work is clean, fresh, bright, soft, but with an edge," the 29-year-old says. "If it isn't clean beauty, it's dark beauty."
Just as Neiheisel has a thing for a strong lip, the Phoenician who grew up in Salt Lake City also has a thing for juggling multiple projects.
She's working with natural makeup emporium Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, located at Biltmore Fashion Park, as a content creator and social media manager. "We always have something brewing there," she says. Recently, Neiheisel launched a wedding market business with Amelia Walsh called The Marry Mart, whose first marketplace will be held on September 5 at Vintage 45. And with fellow makeup artist Bryanna Casey, Neiheisel soon will launch the Phoenix Makeup Collective, an agency designed to represent local makeup and skincare professionals based in the Valley.
All of which is to say, the artist has immersed herself completely in Phoenix's beauty scene.
"I'm in my ninth year of being a makeup artist, and I feel so honored to have grown so quickly here in Arizona over the last five years," she says. "I've been fortunate to be featured in many magazines throughout the years and I've worked with a few celebrities as well."
Neiheisel is sought out for her distinct style — a blend of delicate beauty and powerful statement makeup. Oh, and her beautifully groomed eyebrows, something she says people tend to get so, so wrong when doing it themselves.
"Don't get me wrong: I love myself a bold structured brow, but I highly recommend hiring someone to help you learn how to do your brows versus filling them in super dark," Neiheisel says. "The square, blocked-out brow is not good. Less is more, friends!"
The artist is a wealth of advice when it comes to beauty — and careers in the field. She suggests that up-and-comers either assist other makeup artists to learn the business or spend time working behind a cosmetic retail counter. "There are a lot [of] technicalities with being a makeup artist, and I think people think it's all fun and rainbows and lipstick, but you need to know proper hygiene etiquette to maintain your kit and how to communicate with your customers," Neiheisel says. "I did a lot of free work and trade for almost two years before I started charging for shoots. Asking lots of questions, working hard, and being consistent with your brand image will get you far."
By the looks of things, her methods have worked to great effect thus far in her career. And at the end of the day, she says, it's about staying true to herself and what's creatively satisfying. "It's so easy to get lost in the noise and forget what really makes your heart happy," Neiheisel says. "I will never sacrifice my true friends, family, or time to cater to what the industry says I should be. I will always work hard, support others, and deliver high-quality services to my clients while nurturing the things, and people, in life I hold dearest to me."
I came to Phoenix with a fully packed run-down Hyundai Elantra, a full heart, and zero expectations. It was 117 degrees and I kept asking myself what the heck I was doing.
I make art because more often than not creating something visual with my hands is an easier way of expressing myself, and in such a fast-paced, busy life it's a form of meditation.
I'm most productive when I wake up before 6 a.m.! There's something about knocking out my to-do list before 9 a.m. that keeps me motivated and going all day.
My inspiration wall is full of black-and-white photos, dried flowers and leaves, gold accents, faces, and lots of random textures.
I've learned most from my mistakes. As have many of us! As well as from my peers. I'm surrounded by some insanely awesome girl bosses.
Good work should always be something that catches your eye instantly, and for the first few minutes you can't describe with words as to why. It speaks for itself.
The Phoenix creative scene could use more camaraderie and support. While I'm fortunately surrounded by supportive amazing people, there could be more we contribute to each other.
The 2016 Creatives so far:
100. Nicole Olson
99. Andrew Pielage
98. Jessica Rowe
97. Danny Neumann
96. Beth Cato
95. Jessie Balli
94. Ron May
93. Leonor Aispuro
92. Sarah Waite
91. Christina "Xappa" Franco
90. Christian Adame
89. Tara Sharpe
88. Patricia Sannit
87. Brian Klein
86. Dennita Sewell
85. Garth Johnson
84. Charissa Lucille
83. Ryan Downey
82. Samantha Thompson
81. Cherie Buck-Hutchison
80. Freddie Paull
79. Jennifer Campbell
78. Dwayne Hartford
77. Shaliyah Ben
76. Kym Ventola
75. Matthew Watkins
74. Tom Budzak
73. Rachel Egboro
72. Rosemary Close
71. Ally Haynes-Hamblen
70. Alex Ozers
69. Fawn DeViney
68. Laura Dragon