With the premiere of Relatively Nat & Liv airing recently on E!, we sat down for a chat with Nat & Liv’s makeup artist and hairstylist, Sara Rose, who hails from Victoria and graduated from local beauty school Blanche Macdonald. Sara, who hustled to become a name in hair and makeup and has done two seasons at New York Fashion Week and worked with celebrities like Janice Joostema and Karlie Kloss, dished on her climb up the MUA ladder, what it's like working with celebs and her summer beauty routine! —Noa Nichol
Hi Sara! Tell us a little about yourself to start!
Hi, I'm Sara Rose. I love making women feel their utmost best and greatly appreciate the fact that I can make a living from this! I grew up in dance and performing arts and also dressing up in my sister Lindsay's closet—she was my idol. Lindsay always told me to get into hair and makeup but I always was concerned I needed to buckle down and get a "proper career". After attending college and attempting a few "proper career" options, I threw myself in the deep end. At 21 I moved to the Cayman Islands to take a leap into the beauty world and worked as a counter rep for Estee Lauder. From there, I knew I loved doing makeup and being in the beauty industry but I needed more, retail sales wasn't my thing. I moved home to Canada and built my confidence and my craft at Blanche McDonald. Since then, I have not turned back. I've now been in the hair and makeup industry (officially) for around nine years and I don't see myself stopping any time soon.
What was your time/education at Blanche Macdonald like, and what has it meant to your career?
Blanche Macdonald was a big step for me. I had started out on my own in the industry working alongside friends and even behind an Estee Lauder counter in the Cayman Islands. When I embarked on Blanche, I knew it meant I was ready and they were there for me. The program was filled with phenomenal educators, who were still relevant in the industry, alongside amazing support staff who kept in touch with me and even allowed for pop-ins after graduation, when I was feeling lost or confused.
How did you score the Nat & Liv gig?!
I would say hustling, positivity and hard work for the past 10 years! The actual story though is that when Natalie and Olivia had launched their journey of starting their TV show, Natalie reached out to my good friend and longtime client, Janice Joostema, to inquire who her hairstylist was. Next thing you know here we are: one season completed, and friendships to last a lifetime.
What is it like, working as a MUA on a reality show?
So far it has been a lot of fun! Working on any show, especially a reality show, you must be able to roll with the punches. There are long hours, but surrounded by a lot of giggles (especially with the Halcro/Pierson family). An exciting challenge is that there is always the possibility that a look you did three months ago might have to be recreated down to the T! So I love it!
What was working at New York Fashion week like?
New York itself is an entity to reckon with, so taking that city then upping it with the likes of all of the TOP industry moguls—it is indescribable. I worked two seasons of NYFW with my friend’s fashion line, ODILON by Stacey Clark. Working NYFW was within the first three years of my career and I couldn’t pinch myself hard enough during the experience! Each corner I turned and event I attended kept getting better. I remember racing to one show that James Vincent was kind enough to let me assist him on, and upon arriving there WAY TOO early, I wandered into a bagel shop to check the neighbourhood out and grab a coffee. At that time there was no major attachment to our phones so I was standing there gazing into the world, possibly eavesdropping on the conversation behind me. Only then did I realize it was Michael Kors and his EA. At this moment I knew I was in the right spot!
Is working on models/celebs intimidating at all ... or are they just like us?!
Honestly, it is intimidating, but so is working with some of my boss babe female clients that hire me for special events. Models are humans, but the difference is, they have THE TOP stylists working on them at all times and know their personal preferences very well. I think this is what I find to be the most intimidating part. Realizing that I’ve been brought in after the client has just worked with the likes of Sir John, Joyce Bonelli, Harry Josh—the list goes on—the week before! I take it very seriously to make sure the communication of their desired looks is clear. Online research is a very good friend before bookings!
What's your personal summer makeup routine like?
My personal summer routine is, number 1, SUNSCREEN! I’ve started riding my bicycle so I am making sure that day-to-day I am wearing a 60 SPF on my face. Sunscreen must go over your moisturizer but under your concealer and foundation. After that I have recently been playing with the following: NARS pure radiant tinted moisturizer, for all over coverage and have been loving it; FENTY Pro Filt’r Concealer for blemishes and undereye; Benefit Hoola bronzer for an all over “tanned effect” and contouring my forehead and cheekbones; Shu Uemura lash curler; and my MUST have MAC extended play Mascara. Curl first than mascara. This mascara is legitimately buildable, does not run and is removed way easier than waterproof (#notanad). The look is finished off with the Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow and a nice iridescent lip gloss.
Fave Vancouver spots to score great beauty prods?
My frequent hot spots are the MAC on Robson. All of the staff there are very knowledgeable and helpful in sharing their new products. Curlique Beauty on Robson for my kit must haves and for the family-like experience. Charlotte Tilbury in Holt Renfrew makes me feel so fancy in their beauty space—it eats me up and I live for it! And last but not least, Brush Salon for all my hair kit needs.