Adrienne Pitkin. Wife, Mother, Business Owner, Teacher
Shelsea and I wanted to feature Adrienne because she has made a meaningful impact on us and on our passion for makeup. For me, she was the MAC artist who took me under her wing, nearly 14 years ago (geez! I feel so old as I type that;) encouraging me to apply for a part time position at the MAC counter (something I had only dreamed of landing). After I started, she mentored me and answered every.single.question I had about makeup. I remember taking notes on a note card asking her which eye shadows to pair with others for pretty color combinations. She was so gracious and so patient with me. She shared her knowledge and her amazing talent with me because that is who she is. Over the years, Adrienne would become a close friend to me, I’d stand as a bridesmaid in her wedding, something that meant more to me than she probably knew. I have always looked up to Adrienne. Always been in awe of her skill of beauty and natural makeup. And in other areas of life. She’s a devoted mother, and wife. I don’t know that I have ever heard her complain or speak badly about anyone. She’s incredibly kind and yet she stands strong and lives her life on her terms. She left a full time job with benefits to pursue a career as a freelance makeup artist. Today, that might seem like a leap of faith- 12 years ago when she did it, we were all in awe. She has a confidence in herself and in her value that I have always admired. Without knowing her, you see a crazy talented makeup artist who has worked with celebrities, and beauty queens, and was one of the most sought after artists for the Austin Bride. To know Adrienne, you know she’s all of the above with the most humble and kind of hearts. It is my absolute honor to introduce you to Adrienne Pitkin.
- You had such an impact on both of us and our love for makeup. Was there someone you attribute your love for beauty and makeup to? Awe thank you! That always means a lot to me when I hear that from you two. I would say there was more than one person, who planted that seed for all things beauty and makeup. The first one that comes to mind is my cousin, Diana, who was a Dallas cowboy cheerleader in the early 80s. She was like a superstar in my eyes with her beauty and talent as a popular football cheerleader. I remember being about 5 years old when I watched her for the first time apply makeup in her bathroom. It was classic 80s glamour going on with that frosted white shadow, blue smokey eye shadow, and rose rouge applied. She was and still is a very beautiful woman! Another person that comes into mind is my former college roommate, Delisa, who introduced me to BROW SHAPING! Many people have assumed I wore makeup early as a teenager since I became a makeup artist for a living, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I barely wore makeup up until college, but that all changed when I learned from my friend how to shape and fill in my brows. That was just the beginning for me to start wearing makeup on a daily basis. And finally, I could not forget to mention the late and great Kevyn Aucoin, makeup artist to the stars!! I purchased his book, The Art of Makeup, back at the time when I was just dreaming of becoming a makeup artist. His book is the first of many makeup books in my library today. Kevyn Aucoin was a genius and so generous with sharing his techniques and tips to aspiring makeup artists and the everyday woman. He is surely missed in this world of beauty and makeup.
- It takes a lot of courage and confidence in yourself to take a leap of faith and start your own business. I always admired that in you. What advice would you have for someone who has a passion and wants to take the next step into starting a business. My main advice would be to save 3-6 months of living expenses before you quit your day job to start your own business! Unfortunately, I didn’t follow that advice when I started my business as a freelance makeup artist in town. I was so naïve about starting a business. I didn’t have business cards, a clientele, marketing plan, or website in the beginning so I was barely making ends meet. If I would have had some savings for the first couple of months I could have been less stressed out about bills, and instead enjoy the adventure of having my own business. Thankfully, my freelance makeup career finally took off a few years later and business became very steady and fun for me! What I think held me through that tough year was my passion for beauty and makeup. Also, the gift from my talented friend, Jennifer, to design and launch my first website, helped my business tremendously!!! However, passion is definitely the number two thing you need for starting a business because passion can lead to patience, hard work, and endurance in a career.
- You wear many hats, and I’ve always admired how you do wear them all so well. Business owner, mom, wife, friend, and active member of your church. Recently you shifted your focus, to homeschooling your girls. I admire how you decide where to invest your time and energy and you set the boundaries with everything else. For someone like myself that often tries to do so much, (and never does them all 100%), being able to draw the line, is something I want to do more of. Have you always been that way or how did you become that way? Most of my life I have been a YES girl! So I have not always set boundaries with family, friends, and especially clients. A little over a year and a half ago, I felt God gently asking me to slow down from work to be home more with my family. This was not an easy act of will for me. It took me about 6-9 months for me to accept in my Heart to say yes because I was so worried about losing loyal clients or my status in the community as a sought after makeup artist (just being honest). Plus, I LOVED meeting new people all the time as a makeup artist and traveling to cool venues in Austin. But I finally said Yes to God, and started saying NO to people who needed to hire me for makeup. This was not easy as a confessed people pleaser, but it was a discipline I needed to exercise. And now looking back almost a year from that decision, this time has brought me more peace than I have felt in a long time. Plus, this slower season has granted me more time and attention to focus on improving my health & fitness, develop family relationships more, as well as grow spiritually. It has also given me clarity to decide that home school is the path my children will take this Fall, which is something I NEVER thought I’d say. It’s funny how different our paths are from God’s I guess. J I never rule out doing makeup again. In fact, I did work some this past July, but I missed being home so for sure at this moment, home is where I need and want to be.
- From working with brides, to beauty queens and even celebrities, what did you find most rewarding about your work as a makeup artist? The first thing that pops in my head is remembering how rewarding it was to hear my clients tell me how calm or relaxed they feel in my makeup chair. Not only do I want my clients to look and feel their best, but I want to make their experience with me just as pleasing!!! Over the years ,I have been surprised to hear from people how rare it is to receive both good makeup application and good service! Though I’d like to think my quiet and polite personality helped clients feel at ease, I know the real reason is my faith in God, whose presence I know resides with me. So I stopped giving credit to myself a few years ago and happily point it elsewhere.
- What is your definition of beauty? My definition of beauty is like a hidden phrase on Wheel of Fortune because I do not have a clear knowledge of it just yet! Haha! Sorry to disappoint.
- Having two young girls, how do you plan to teach them about makeup and beauty? Well they are teaching themselves because they love watching Makeup Tutorials on You Tube. Ha! In all seriousness, I allow them to see me be “makeup free” several times during the week when we are out of the house so they can see that I do not obsess over myself if I have a naked face. They do have play makeup at home whenever they play dress up, but they are more currently obsessesed with their LPS toys (Littlest Pet Shop toys) than makeup at this age. If they ever decide as teenagers when they want to wear makeup on a daily basis, don’t you know there will be some makeup instruction from this momma first!
- When do you feel most beautiful? I feel my BEST when my hair is styled with soft long waves! I know that’s so specific, but that’s my honest answer. I don’t have to wear a lot of makeup, but it’s a treat when I have time at home to style it or get it done by my favorite stylist, Freida! She creates the best beach wave curls with a flat iron, which is something I am still trying to master at home. I will wear out my style for almost 3 days straight! The other days you will find me wearing a ponytail. Ha!
- What 3 products can you not leave the house without? My TOP 3 beauty must haves are: 1) Mascara! I have used the cult classic, L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black, for years, and it is/was a staple in my professional makeup kit. 2)Brow shadow! I look like a different person when I do not have my brows filled in . I use MAC Brun Eye shadow with an angled brush to fill in my brows, which are naturally light and sparse. I have used brow gels, brow pomades, and brow pencils, but I always go back to Brun Eyeshadow because it is fast, easy, and the perfect shade for me. 3) Blush! I will wear blush over eyeshadow or lipstick. My two favorite interchangeable shades are NARS Orgasm (I hate that name, but it is the most beautiful golden peach/pink shade) and Snuggle Blush by Everyday Minerals. I love blush with a fleck of shimmer!