Makeup Enthusiast: Meet Van Anh Nguyen Empowering others through the art of makeup

Through social media posts, sophomore Van Anh Nguyen shares her enthusiasm and appreciation towards the world of makeup. She showcases her cosmetology skills through her posts and wants people to realize how amazing the medium of makeup really is. “I love doing sharp and striking looks,” Nguyen said. “As Nicki Minaj has once stated, ‘Who wants to look simple, when you can look stunning?’”
Photo Credit: Van Anh Nguyen
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Using a contour palette to define her cheekbone, sophomore Van Anh Nguyen swiftly utilizes her brush and applies the product. After she is finished, Nguyen feels more confident and is ready to begin her day by experimenting with more fashion looks.

From watching makeup tutorials at a young age, Nguyen was intrigued and her passion for makeup blossomed.

“Makeup has always been a topic of interest for me ever since I was little,” Nguyen said. “When it comes to makeup, I don’t really have a specific person that comes to mind when I think about how I want to do my makeup. Rather, I think of concepts and ideas that pique an interest in me, for example, ‘fierce’, ‘soft’, etc.”

Nguyen’s interest in makeup started from watching popular makeup artists like Michelle Phan and using her mother’s makeup to re-create them.

“I remember watching Michelle Phan’s ‘Barbie Transformation Tutorial’ when I was seven,” Nguyen said. “I ran into my mom’s bathroom afterward, excited to turn myself into Barbie. Of course, it probably didn’t look great but at the time, seven-year-old me was probably proud of myself for doing that.”

Nguyen started getting serious about makeup when she began to copy a variety of looks that were popular on social media and then slowly gravitated toward doing others’ makeup.

“I believe that makeup is a form of art and my face is the canvas,” Nguyen said. “I love the idea of being able to express yourself through painting, fashion, makeup, etc., and for me, I enjoy doing it through [makeup] and clothes.”

By doing makeup for herself and others, Nguyen enjoys the process of watching her customers’ self-confidence grow.

“When I was able to do looks on other people, I found happiness and enjoyment knowing that I’ve made people feel that type of confidence that you get when you’re all glamoured up,” Nguyen said. “As long as it works and [they] like it, then it’s good enough for me.”

Obtaining a career in cosmetology isn’t something that Nguyen is focusing on at the moment, however, she isn’t opposed to having a potential job relating to makeup.

“I’ve never thought about makeup as something I’d be doing full time as I have other things I’m more passionate about, but it would be sick to be doing other people’s makeup as a side job,” Nguyen said.“I don’t necessarily have a job [at the moment] that requires me to do makeup but for the scope of practice, presentation is really important and makeup is how I choose to present myself.”

Despite the excitement Nguyen shows for makeup through social media, she gets the occasional backlash from others’ opinions online.

“You’d be surprised at the amount of people who think they’re entitled to give their opinions on what you decide to do to yourself,” Nguyen said. “I’ve received a handful of comments and insults about how I should be ‘natural’ and that people would be scared to see the real me. I had people online, mostly men, call me a catfish, not natural, or not suited for their ‘type’ and going so far as making comments like ‘One whip and it’s gone’ or ‘You just learned how to put on makeup, nothing else changed.’ I never bothered with the rude remarks because these were strangers who think they knew who I was as a person based on how I wanted to portray myself online.”

Nguyen hopes to spread the word that makeup is an amazing art form and that people should explore and experiment more with this unique medium.

“If I could give one piece of advice it would be to know your face and see what you feel comfortable with and see what suits you the best,” Nguyen said. “Watch videos if you have to and just experiment with everything.”

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