Over the past eight years, Faleena Martinez has been using her artistic talents on unique canvasses: people’s faces.
The West Sacramento artist does everyday or special-event makeup and face painting or Halloween makeup for clients.
Martinez said she never considered herself an artist and she fell into makeup.
KCRA sat down with Martinez to talk about her art and the most popular looks for Halloween:
Q: How did you become a makeup artist?
Martinez: My daughter wanted expensive parties. She wanted a face painter at every party — and it was getting expensive. So I thought, “You know, why I don’t I try it.” So, I did.
I wasn’t that bad, and then friends were asking me to do their parties, so I started doing their parties. Next time, my husband is saying, “You’re really good. We’re not doing free parties anymore. You’re going to start charging.”
So, I did. My first party I was extremely nervous, because I’m not an artist. I’ve never drawn anything – I never took pen to paper, anything.
I just knew that I was good at my eyeliner. So, I used that concept to paint faces.
And it worked.
Q: When did you go from amateur to professional?
Martinez: When I first started, I did only designs that I knew I can execute. I kept the eyeliner in my eyes, so I did linear designs. I wanted to research and up my game. So I started researching, “There’s got to be a step-by-step process,” which there is.
Once I learned that, it just — I pretty much can do anything.
Kids show me pictures and I try it. And nine times out of 10, I nail it.
Q: How does Halloween impact your work requests?
Martinez: It doubles, sometimes triples. Like right now, I have (a lot of) requests in my email – and I respond to everybody. Whether I consider it or if I have to pass, I respond to everybody.
Q: Why do people choose to use makeup over masks for costumes?
Martinez: Because it’s customizable. You can adjust (the makeup) to what you want it to be, it’s going to fit any face or if you have scars or facial hair, (makeup) will accommodate all of that.
Q: What costume makeup look is popular right now?
Martinez: What’s really popular right now are mermaids and voodoo. I’m getting a lot of voodoo requests, like the rag doll, the voodoo witch doctor.
I thought “It” was going to be the No. 1 request, but it actually hasn’t been.
Because last year when “Suicide Squad” came out, I was doing Harlequin and Joker nonstop.
Q: What’s your favorite costume makeup look to do? What’s your least favorite?
Martinez: My favorite one to do: I actually enjoy doing the mermaid. Even though it’s the same, there is so much you can do with it. Fantasy mermaid ranges from blues and greens and you can go to pinks and purples.
There’s just so much you can do with this. My favorite is the mermaid.
I’m really tired of doing Minnie Mouse. Yeah, Minnie Mouse and Batman. Batman does not die.
Q: What tips do you have for aspiring costume makeup artists?
Martinez: I recommend that they play. Buy like a simple little primary color set and play with it.
Find out what medium works for you. Because for me, I have to use the water-activated. But for some people, they can use the liquid, that is already activated. You can go straight to using it, you don’t have to use the water to get it to work.