Career StoriesPassion 17 July 2014
Career Stories: Make up and hair artist Alexandra Borcila (29)

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WELCOME TO A NEW CAREER ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW!
As you probably know, Career one-on-one is a returning interview series (read more on these kick ass career girls here) where we talk with smart, passionate, self-made power chicks about their creative career, vision on their industry and how they’d gotten their start. To give you a behind-the-scenes peek and share tricks of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle trade that you usually don’t come by online.

Today we’re looking in to the profession of make up artists and talking to Alexandra. We first fell for her when she did Yara’s hair and make up for an eight page Cosmopolitan shoot. The always bubbly beautifier works for huge magazine titles like Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, L’Offciel and Esquire. On CHAPTER FRIDAY she opens up about how she made her mark and became one of the top creatives in the beauty industry. 

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS A MAKE UP ARTIST?
Alexandra: ‘Through my modeling job I constantly came in contact with make-up and hair artists. During work, my attention would get drawn to the amazing colors and dozens of eye shadows and lipsticks laid out on the table. Five years ago I decided to move away from Romania – where I originally come from – to pursue the career I always dreamt of. Being a hair and make up artist isn’t considered a ‘real job’ in Romania. To get going, I started with a make up course by House of Orange and then I went to Mogeen for hairstyling lessons, both of them being probably the best schools in Holland to learn this profession.’

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH A BEAUTY LOOK FOR A SHOOT?
Alexandra: ‘It really depends on the scene and the team I’m working with. Mostly I will receive a moodboard a few days before the shoot. Flipping through inspiring books gives me ideas and I learn from the masters: I check out website from agencies abroad like Art+Commerce and look up icons like Lucia Pieroni, Lisa Eldridge , Charlotte Tilbury and of course Pat McGrath.’

HARDEST PART OF THE JOB?
Alexandra: ‘Carrying my massive bags is one of the hardest part of the job! Sometimes I feel like a make-up artist slash body builder, haha!

SO, WHAT’S IN THAT MASSIVE BAG?
Alexandra: ‘Usually I take about thirty kilo’s of stuff with me. Hairproducts, nail polishes, blushers… you name it, I’ll bring it. My bags are only getting heavier and since I travel by public transport all the time – thank god for stylists with cars – it’s quite the journey. One of these days I have to quit this extreme sport and dare to drive a car!’

NOTE TO SELF?
Alexandra: ‘Stay focused, set goals and enjoy everything in between. I’m really happy with the place where I am right now. I got here through hard work and dedication. I don’t take anything for granted. The more experienced I get, the more work there is for me. Every situation is different and a learning lesson for the future.

BIGGEST BUSINESS DREAM RIGHT NOW?
Alexandra: ‘I dare to dream big. One day, I hope to work at international Fashion Weeks and see my work being featured in i-D magazine or Vogue. Right now, I’m planning my dream wedding, so I’m taking it easy.’

A PIECE OF ADVICE FOR DREAMERS LIKE YOU?
Alexandra: ‘If you like something, try it. I you try it, see if you love it. Doing this job, you don’t get to experience the same day twice. Honestly, I can’t tell you what I did yesterday, haha. Telling you this… I think I found my dream job!’

See the impressive portfolio (inspiration galore!) of Alexandra here.

(interview by Kelly Nederlof and photography by Karen van Duijvenbode)

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