Chenese Bean, Makeup Artist
Watch out, this girl will get in your face.
That’s how makeup artist, Chenese Bean makes a living. “[So many women sit in my] makeup chair and immediately talk down about themselves discussing their flaws. Because let’s be honest, I’m in their personal space, so that’s just natural to talk about personal things,” Bean laughs. “But at the finished results I’ve had women cry, smile or just become speechless as to how beautiful they look afterward. The first thing they say is ‘Oh my God, that doesn’t look like me. I look gorgeous!'”
That kind of reaction is what got Bean in the business. She considers herself an artist and her clients are her canvas. “Yes, my techniques, tips and application process is different,” she says, “but then again I wouldn’t be an artist if I was just like everyone else.”
But before he had clients, she was her own canvas. “In 1996, I auditioned to be in a music video and we were told to arrive camera ready… [so] I came ready to roll,” she recalls. “One of the producers complimented me so much, he asked which makeup artist on set did it.” To his amazement, Bean told the producer she applied her own makeup.
After the video shoot, she went searching for the makeup artists the producer spoke of. “I went over to the hair and makeup station and that’s when my entire body became numb,” she recalls. “I stopped and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. That feeling has stuck with me ever since.”
Today, Bean loves being the behind-the-scenes beautifier. She says she loves it because “It brings out the lively and bold side of my personality.” But what most people don’t know is that it also helped bring her out of a difficult time in life.
When Bean first started makeup artistry, she mainly saw obstacles when she looked in the mirror. She was a single mom at the young age of 22 with enough drama in her life to make your head spin. “I had so many obstacles coming my way then which made me depressed…I felt unattractive, I lost a lot of weight from not eating and hated looking at myself in the mirror,” she says. “Not now! My clients, from what they’ve told me, pick up on how my artistry excites me. They can see that I love what I do.”
Rolanda Johnson, PhD, one of Bean’s clients, can attest to that. Johnson says Bean has established a wide variety of clients, including well-known clients in the entertainment industry, because they recognize and reward her talent. “I am impressed by her skill as a makeup artist, her ability to develop and grow her business and the passion that she has to transfer beauty to others.”
Speaking of growing her business, marketing is this eye shadow slinger’s trademark. Her dynamic Web site, coupled with social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, drive awareness for her published work in publications such as Taste Magazine and Cincy Chic. She also strategically markets her business through niche wedding-related organizations such as Your Wedding Mafia.
When asked what makes her successful, she responded, “Marketing plays a big part, along with talent of course.” Bean says was heavily influenced by Destiny’s Child when she was getting her start in ’98. “Back then they were everywhere and at times you’d get sick of it,” she recalls. “But that’s what marketing is all about: In your face, love it or leave.”
“[She’s] known for her strong self marketing skills,” says Johnson. “Chenese has established herself as a well-known, experienced makeup artist who has a talent that can not be duplicated.”
Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography