Today we’d like to introduce you to Austen Parker.
Austen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Oddly enough, I never aspired to be a makeup artist – I originally moved to NYC at 19 years old to pursue modeling with my identical twin brother after a few agencies reached out. Through our network, we ended up doing a 1 1/2 year apprenticeship under a renowned celebrity makeup artist while modeling, after realizing we had more of an interest working behind the camera on a more creative level.
After finishing our studies, we started to build a steady and loyal base of high-profile private clientele that grew into working on set with major advertising producers and production companies. Our diverse portfolio of work includes beauty, fashion, advertising, celebrity, bridal, corporate portraiture, bodypainting, television, and runway. Our makeup artistry showcases an unparalleled understanding on creating facial symmetry through time-proven blending skills, product selection, and a well-edited use of color placement – making us a preferred choice among high-profile brides and celebrities alike.
Our love for all things creative expanded beyond makeup artistry to content creation and art directing – where I now frequently with beauty and fashion brands to elevate their image and overall exposure via event production, social media management, content creation, creative direction, clean beauty brand consulting, and influencer marketing.
I studied at both The University of Michigan and Baruch College, NYC – attaining business degrees in entrepreneurship and advanced business analysis, (including studies in fine art, art history and pre-medicine/cosmetic dermatology) – graduating with top honors.
I am based in New York City & Miami – however often travel worldwide.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was very tough in the beginning. In the first couple of years, I worked tirelessly to build my portfolio and expand my network – which oftentimes involved working for free, or very little money (while living in an incredibly expensive city, NYC). I was putting myself through business school, working two other jobs, and living paycheck to paycheck while doing the apprenticeship and trying to establish myself in a very competitive industry. The fashion/beauty world can be challenging to navigate, especially in the beginning – people are always trying to take advantage of young/talented creatives, and you have to learn quickly to decipher which projects are worth your time vs. the ones that are going to lead you nowhere (I had my fair share of those). As with everything though, hard work eventually pays off – and I was able to look back on all of these challenges as valuable learning experiences.
The other challenge I ran into was scaling my business/becoming too busy to handle my client base on my own. This led me to seeking out other makeup assistants to add to my team, and eventually train to key/lead their own jobs under my clientele base. I went through a handful before I found assistants that were naturally talented, professional, and trustworthy enough to have sent off on their own without having to worry about them poaching my clients and/or not being able to work well with other team members on set (believe it or not, these are two incredibly common problems professional makeup artists run into).
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Parker Twins Makeup – what should we know?
With over a decade of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, I have established myself as an industry authority. My expertise and skill set expands from professional makeup artistry (with work published in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar) to bodypainting, beauty directing, casting directing, and content creation. As a New York-based beauty editor and influencer, I established relationships with leading public relations firms to bring my readers and followers honest and engaging reviews on the latest and greatest beauty products currently in the market. In addition to working for major advertising and celebrity clientele, I also have a strong and long-standing private clientele base that endorse my makeup application and skincare consulting services.
What sets me apart from others as a makeup artist is my strong focus on facial anatomy/facial symmetry. If you split someone’s face right down the middle, no one is perfectly symmetrical – on eye may be lower and/or smaller, one side of the lip may be thinner/less full than the other, etc. I like to take a step back from my client and really analyze their facial anatomy/bone structure and formulate a “game plan” to create a look that makes them look as symmetrical as possible. Our eyes naturally detect symmetry as being more beautiful, which is what every client is ultimately aspiring to achieve when they hire a professional. This makes my style of makeup artistry a little bit more scientific and unconventional – as the makeup I do on one side of the face will not be identical to the other side of the face, yet the finished product will make the client look so much more symmetrical.
I am most known for my “clean beauty” or natural/everyday/etheral bridal makeup look – producing major New York Bridal Fashion Week shows that I beauty directed from start to finish. My work has been featured on major bridal platforms such as Brides.com and The Knot. I really enjoy working with brides and making them feel more beautiful than ever on their big day.
As much as I love working in bridal, I am most proud of my work as a body painter, where I have produced full-on events from start to finish body domestically and internationally. I also am most proud of my themed makeup looks for special advertising events!
Do you feel luck has played a role in your life?
Luck is a funny thing, and is very much so about “being in the right place and the right time”. When I moved to NYC, the neighbor who lived on my floor in my 22nd street apartment building happened to be a renowned celebrity makeup artist – living right next door to this individual is the reason I started my career in makeup artistry.
- Standard Makeup: $250/hr with a 2 hour minimum
- Themed Makeup: $350/hr
- Bodypainting: $1800+
- Half Day: $800
- Full Day: $1200+
- Bridal: $1500+
- Creative Direction/Content Production: $1000+
- Website: https://www.theparkertwinsmakeup.com/
- Phone: 9175322071
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/austenparker/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/austen.r.parker
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/theparkertwinsmakeup/
Peter D. Brown – for all images except the Harper’s Bazaar one, which was shot by Neha Pandey.