Tantalum: What is some good advice you have for makeup artists?
Sparkle Tafao: Don't give up. Stay humble and create good relationships wherever you go. People have longer memories than you think and it takes more than talent to keep moving forward in your career. People have to want to work with you.
Tantalum: What do you find to be the most difficult when working with a team of artist trying to meet a common look?
Sparkle Tafao: When a group of creatives come together, everyone has an idea of what will look good, but it has to flow together cohesively. I accomplish this by really listening and paying attention as the flow changes throughout the shoot. You have to know how to make quick adjustments based on what is happening in the moment.
Tantalum: What inspires you?
Sparkle Tafao: I'm inspired by everything I see, even down to the texture in the concrete on the sidewalk; the cork that comes out of the wine bottle; flowers that I walk by; a woman wearing a fabulous scarf that doesn't match her outfit; or the season of fall.
Tantalum: What do you hope your contribution to the project says to the viewers?
Sparkle Tafao: I try my best to provoke emotion when you look at the photo. I want to move people to a place where the makeup just makes you feel something and connect with the visual imagery.
Tantalum: What are some words of wisdom you have?
Sparkle Tafao: Trust that you will be ok no matter what happens and have faith.
Tantalum: How do you plan for the unexpected?
Sparkle Tafao: Preparation is key. In my kit I have almost two of everything in two separate bags but the second bag is lighter then the first. I do this so if we are in studio and we go on location I will be packed lighter but just as prepared. If you’re concerned about space then package your second bag items in tiny containers. I learned this from Francesca Tolot.
Tantalum: What do you feel is the most common mistake makeup artist make?
Sparkle Tafao: Underestimating the value of preparing the skin with good skincare. Not having an open mind. If you know it all then there’s no room for improvement.
Tantalum: Who mentored you and what was the most valuable lesson they taught you?
Sparkle Tafao: So many people mentored me. I love to get around people older than me and learn from their experiences. The most valuable lesson I feel I was taught is that presentation is important in everything you do. The time that your presentation isn't right, or your appearance or your kit may be wrong might be the day that you meet someone really important.
Tantalum: What are your words to live by?
Sparkle Tafao: Encourage people and stay positive wherever you go. People want to be around good energy. Try to learn from everyone even if they are teaching you what not to do that is helpful too.
Tantalum: What advanced classes have helped you the most?
Sparkle Tafao: I’m a licensed esthetician. That has helped tremendously because a makeup artist should have a good understanding of the skin and bone structure.
Tantalum: What do you say to people that feel education isn't important?
Sparkle Tafao: You’re always learning until the day you die, so if your uncomfortable in a classroom setting, then teach yourself. Read books but stay informed.
Tantalum: How do you keep your style fresh?
Sparkle Tafao: I analyze my work constantly and I pay attention to the greats I love, like Tom Pecheux and Pat McGrath. I met Tom once and he taught me the value of products with a cream consistency over 14 years ago and since then cream products are my staples.