Taylor Chang-Babian and I first became friends over 8 years ago when we met working on set while represented by the same agency. She has inspired me ever since. Taylor is not only a talented artist but also an instantly likeable person, a consummate professional and a go getter extraordinaire! As long as I have known Taylor she has been juggling more things that I thought was humanly possible and does it all with humor, excellence and unbelievably is always there for her friends and family. Taylor is represented by CloutierRemix Agency http://www.CloutierRemix.com , she is also the Author of Style Eyes and Asian Faces and the creator of an amazing eyelash line Kre-at beauty which is carried in Barney’s New York stores nationwide as well as many exclusive retail outlets. Despite her busy schedule, in true Taylor fashion she accepted my request to do an interview. It is my pleasure to share her insightful and generous answers here.
Kendra: Tell us about you, your career, how you got started, first big break,or pivotal moments, etc.
Taylor: I managed a salon for several years doing payroll, graphs, and firing (I was never allowed to hire, just fire). I was really good at my job, except for the firing of course. The entire salon was booked for a month in advance, even the new stylists. But it was work. I didn’t love it. On the salon wall was etched “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I looked at it every day and I took the bold move to find something I loved.
I did makeup in the salon to up retail sales. I enjoyed it. I loved it. And one day after taking a one day makeup class the instructor asked how long I’ve been a makeup artist. I told her I managed. I wasn’t an artist “She said. Some people have it. Some people don’t. You have it and need to be a makeup artist” That gave me the confidence to pursue makeup artistry.
I knew no one, nothing about freelance or how to get in. So I researched and looked inside magazines to find out who did all the covers. (The internet or email was not really an option then) I talked to whoever I could talk to about getting in. I got rejected a lot! After being rejected 3 times by my current agents. I finally got a call to do a test (free shoot for portfolios) for a photographer. The shoot never happened, but I think they were impressed by my genuine gratitude and called me again to assist on another shoot. That was it. I had my foot in the door and I worked as hard as I could with as much humility as I could.
Kendra: Over the years that I have seen you working on set as an accomplished Make Up Artist while growing your brand with books and product not to mention that you are a wife and mother… what inspires you? How do you juggle it all and do so much so well? And don’t say you don’t sleep… that is a given… how do you find that drive, strength and purpose and push when you need it?
Taylor: I don’t do everything well. A lot falls through the cracks, but I’m okay with it. I let it go. I don’t panic when not everything gets done. There’s only so much I can do and a lot of it is getting the most important stuff done first. I do work in an emergency state a lot.
I had my kids very young. I am grateful for everything I have. Everyone hates it when I say this, but I don’t feel accomplished. I am much more accomplished than when I first started, sure, but I still have so much more I want to do. So much more I want to build. I used to rent out my parking spot for $25 so we could eat out once a month. I didn’t have a car and used to push my 2 kids in a stroller to do errands. Who knew that life would turn into beauty books and t.v. appearances being driven around in car services. Its crazy. I take nothing for granted and I work really hard because I used to work really hard and make soo much less. But all that hard work paid off and continues to pay off. I know if I slack, my life will slack. Just because you’re in doesn’t mean you’ll stay in. If you have that attitude in this very volatile business and know that there are thousands of artists ready to take your spot at anytime. You’ll last alot longer in the Industry.
Kendra: Ok, so you have a photo studio, an amazing eyelash brand Kre-at beauty sold in Barney’s as well as many exclusive retail locations, multiple books and a flourishing career as a Celebrity Make Up Artist… what’s next for Taylor?
Taylor: I just want to keep them going at this point. Its all A LOT of hard work and all this sounds a lot fancier than it is. Right now I’m just trying to juggle it all and get home in time to make dinner.
Kendra: What brings you joy?
Taylor: Dinner at home with the kids with the TV of
Kendra: What are your top 3 or 5 fav must have products in your kit?
Taylor: La Creme Moisturizer, cosmetic puffs, kre-at lashes of course, wet ones and an array of brushes. The rest I can kind of tweak.
Kendra: Top 3 tips to help any woman look her best?
Taylor: * Sunscreen, so much damage can be prevented if you just use sunscreen. Flawless Foundation, It can lift your face and make you look years younger and fresher. Curl your lashes. This one a lot of women have trouble with, but learn it. it adds lift to the eyes and makes Everyone look better.
Kendra: What skills or traits do you think have helped you build your career?
Taylor: Humility, truly believing one person is not better than any other. I don’t treat celebrities any different than someone that comes to one of my department store events. And A.D.D. No joke I think I have it like most multitasking women. I have to work or I’m not happy. However, this year I’m really working on taking more breaks. It hasn’t happened yet, but the thought is there.
Kendra: Any common mistakes you see that many women make either in Make Up or also in being businesswomen?
Taylor: Entitlement. I am such and such a makeup artist/business woman. I shouldn’t have to this. Or you should treat me better because I’m so and so”. Its actually a very dangerous attitude to have. Also not being in charge of your career and expecting your agents to do everything for you. I believe you should surround yourself with the best people, be in partnership with everyone around you and put in more footwork than they do for YOUR career.
Kendra: How do you keep stretching and stay fresh an an artist?
Taylor: Educating helps a lot! When you teach you learn. I do these Personal appearances throughout the country at dept stores and talking to real women about real beauty issues helps enormously. Then I’m inspired by random things. The swirls from stationary.
Kendra: Anything you haven’t done yet that you would love to do?
Taylor: I don’t know about love to do, but I haven’t done YouTube. I have a problem with fame. I don’t necessarily want my face out there. Ive always been the girl behind the scenes and having it be all about me is scary. It actually doesn’t make sense because I have no problem being on TV. Maybe because TV spots are temporary and last only for a few minutes. YouTube is forever. However at this point I’m weighing out my fears for my bigger desire to educate.