Artist Interview: 15 Years in the Industry with Andre Sarmiento

At DNA, we know that we are each other’s best resource: talking to the experts is one of the best ways we can hone our craft and perfect our skills as creative professionals. Last week,  we had the opportunity to chat with professional makeup artist Andre Sarmiento, whose work has been featured in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Vogue.

We picked his brain for the insider’s scoop on succeeding in the beauty industry. Check it out:

Photo by Kate Szatmari, Makeup by Andre Sarmiento

Where are you from? What inspires you creatively?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and am very much an Angeleno. I’m generally inspired by a feeling whether it’s luxe, somber, simple, tragic. It always begins with an emotion, and then I find other things to support that emotion. That’s when I might turn to art or nature to inform some more of the creative holes, but usually it’s just a feeling. 

How did you first decide to enter the creative beauty industry?

I knew I needed to do something creative that changed every day and offered me new and interesting challenges on a consistent basis. I loved fashion and people and products so it was clear from early on that makeup was going to be the way.

Makeup by Andre Sarmiento, dna beauty academy

Makeup by Andre Sarmiento

To what do you attribute your success in the beauty industry?

Dedication. I didn’t have a quick rise. I think people have a lot of respect for my work because I ultimately invested so much time in my learning and also in understanding this business. I also try to push my self to maintain my voice as an artist, and while it was hard at first, now it attracts the right clients.

What is the most helpful advice you have ever received?

I had been assisting for a while and was getting frustrated, and one of the artists I worked for told me that when it was my turn to be successful, I would be ready. My path was about really learning my craft. When you do that, you’re less likely to make mistakes and you’re more like to make the most of real opportunities.

Photography by Jorgen Gomnes, Makeup by Andre Sarmiento, dna beauty academy

Photography by Jorgen Gomnes, Makeup by Andre Sarmiento

What is the least helpful advice you have ever received?

To take any job that has money attached. I think it can be impossible to say no to money but I feel like sometimes you have to listen to your gut and know when the money isn’t worth itThis isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do free or low paid jobs, you just have to learn to know when those jobs have real value to you.

What advice would you give to professionals who are just getting started in the beauty industry? 

Don’t limit yourself by deciding who you’re going to be as an artist before you’ve had a chance to work. This business is a constant learning process—you have to go with the flow while keeping your eye on the prize. The bigger you dream while giving yourself room to evolve, the more likely you are to reach your goals. Give yourself a chance to understand the business before you decide what your career should totally look like. 

makeup by andre sarmiento

Makeup by Andre Sarmiento

Which tools should makeup artists always have?

In addition to a very fleshed out kit that has some version of every makeup type or tool, it’s good to have a first aid kit, tampons, Advil, nail-polish remover, paper-towels, top stick— if you work with celebs on the red carpet, any one of these little items could save the day. 

Andre Sarmiento – Bio

makeup artist andre sarmiento, dna beauty academy

Andre Sarmiento is an LA-based makeup artist with a devoted and discerning roster of clients. Known for his ability to create a beautiful, real skin quality in any professional medium, Andre is able to work seamlessly in fashion, beauty and with his celebrity clientele.

Andre’s collaborators appreciate him for intuitively understanding their ideas and for his relentless pursuit to make everything beautiful. Trusted by editors and beauty writers, his expertise and advice can be found on the biggest beauty sites and in the most respected magazines. His pursuit of simplicity makes him a unique voice among today’s artists.

His work has been featured in the pages of Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Vogue. Andre’s client list includes Brittany Snow, Nicola Peltz, Rosa Salazar and Kate Bosworth as well as beauty brands such as La Prairie, OPI and Honest Company.