Celebrity Makeup Artist Monika Blunder’s Career Moments

Welcome to Big Break, the place a number of the most influential figures within the magnificence trade replicate on the sweetness moments that made them — from the nice to the dangerous, and every thing in between. Here, celeb make-up artist Monika Blunder shares her journey from rising up in a small city in Austria to working with a number of the most well-known girls in Hollywood, changing into a YouTube sensation, and finally, beginning her personal make-up line — all while being a mum of two.
Makeup artist Monika Blunder has been drawn to stunning issues since a younger age, which is straightforward to do while you grew up in a small, picturesque city tucked away within the Austrian Alps like she did. Her father hunted mushrooms and made his personal jam. Her household picked apples from the tree on their property and created their very own botanical cures from arnica and edelweiss. Not many individuals wore make-up, so it took a visit to the closest huge metropolis for Blunder to find that working in cosmetics was her dream job. Or even a job for that matter.
“My older brother was working in Munich as a digicam assistant for an enormous firm producing American films and once I was 14, 15, I’d go go to him on set,” Blunder advised POPSUGAR. “I bear in mind being so drawn to the make-up division and considering, ‘That’s what I wish to do. I wish to study to do make-up.'”
“In German truly, the phrase for ardour is leidenschaft. Leiden means struggling and schaft means undertaking one thing, so I imagine that being passionate, it’s a must to truly endure just a little bit.”
What occurred subsequent appears like one thing that solely occurs in movies. Unable to afford the personal make-up college in Frankfurt, 16-year-old Monika wrote a letter to the Austrian authorities. “I want I nonetheless had the letter as a result of I do not know what I wrote in it, however it was like 10 pages lengthy. I believe I advised them that that is what I wish to do, and there is not any education in my space, and . . . effectively, they wrote again and supplied to pay for half of my college.”
The scholarship gave Blunder the assistance she wanted, though “in hindsight, I did not study something about make-up on the college,” she laughed. “What it did train me was the right way to be away from my small city and the right way to maintain myself. I labored on this little bakery to pay for my studio I rented, however loads of the youngsters who went to that college, every thing was paid for, they did not need to work,” she stated. “And I believe it gave me that zeal; as a result of not every thing was handed to me as a child, I used to be very decided to do effectively. In German truly, the phrase for ardour is leidenschaft. Leiden means struggling and schaft means undertaking one thing, so I imagine that being passionate, it’s a must to truly endure just a little bit.”
After Frankfurt, Blunder moved to Munich, the place she assisted a well-liked make-up artist for a 12 months. “That’s once I actually realized quite a bit, like the right way to be on set, the right way to behave, the language, the merchandise he used, all of these issues.” And while she was attempting to determine what to do subsequent, Blunder acquired devastating information that will change the course of her life and her profession. Her brother’s spouse handed away, leaving him and their small baby in LA the place he was now working as a director for a widely known movie and music video manufacturing firm referred to as Propaganda Films. “He referred to as me and I advised him, ‘You know what, I’m going to come back to LA and assist you for a few months and we’ll determine this out.’ So I went, not considering that I used to be going to finish up residing right here. I actually thought that possibly I’d transfer again to Europe.”
Image Source: Courtesy of Monika Blunder
It was while serving to out her brother on the West Coast that Blunder acquired her “huge break” into the trade. Her brother managed to get her a gig aiding make-up artist Paul Starr, who steadily labored on music movies for Propaganda. “I received in to work with Paul, which was superb, however what I additionally wish to say — and I inform this to my youngsters on a regular basis — is that it is nice to get that first preliminary connection, however then it is as much as you. You actually need to show your self since you will be whoever you’re, have the correct connections, however for those who’re not good at what you do, then they don’t seem to be going to wish to work with you once more.”
Another essential connection for Blunder was the mannequin Rebecca Romijn, whom she met on a photoshoot for the now defunct girls’s clothes catalogue referred to as Spiegel. Blunder bumped into Romijn at a restaurant a while after the shoot and handed alongside her telephone quantity. As luck would have it, Romijn had a GQ cowl shoot with Dennis Rodman the subsequent week and requested her to do her make-up. Blunder then spent the subsequent decade doing make-up for big-name fashions and main trend photographers like Herb Ritts, earlier than transitioning to working with celebrities within the 2000s. Her first main consumer was Amanda Seyfried. “I met her on the very early stage. I met her proper earlier than Mamma Mia got here out, after which I did all of the Mamma Mia press along with her. Then it simply snowballed and I started getting the opposite shoppers.” That record contains many stars she nonetheless works with in the present day, together with Megan Fox, Emilia Clarke, Gemma Chan, Molly Sims, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Garner, to call a number of.
“You actually need to show your self since you will be whoever you’re, have the correct connections, however for those who’re not good at what you do, then they don’t seem to be going to wish to work with you once more.”
In 2014, with a powerful roster of A-list celeb shoppers beneath her belt, Blunder turned her consideration to YouTube. She now has over 200,000 subscribers, however again then she was identical to many people — obsessive about watching make-up tutorials from individuals like Lisa Eldridge and the Pixiwoo women Samantha and Nicola Chapman. But despite the fact that her husband urged her to start out her personal channel, Blunder wasn’t satisfied anybody would wish to watch her. “I’m truly a shy individual. I believed, ‘I can not be in entrance of the digicam. My English is just not that nice. People are going to make enjoyable of me.'”
It wasn’t till a couple of 12 months later, when she noticed a video of somebody re-creating a make-up look that she had achieved for Megan Fox, that Blunder realised it was time to get in entrance of the digicam. And her fears of being laughed at have been instantly banished. In truth, she acquired an enthusiastic response that finally impressed her to construct her personal model. “I believe that folks actually favored that I did not make [the tutorials] too sophisticated. I used to be additionally actually choosy on what forms of paid content material I did as a result of I by no means wished to showcase merchandise that I did not imagine in. And then I used to be like, ‘You know, I’m doing these movies, possibly I ought to have my very own merchandise, as a result of individuals actually imagine within the merchandise I like to recommend.’ And that is when the concept for Monika Blunder Beauty sparked.”
The model, which launched within the US in December 2020 and within the UK 7 months later, consists of two merchandise to this point — a basis/concealer hybrid referred to as Blunder Cover and a mixing brush, with extra to come back this autumn — and is a real reflection of Blunder’s life and work. Blunder Cover incorporates botanicals native to Austria and components that replicate her and her dad and mom’ clear life-style. In the trade, Blunder is understood for making her shoppers’ pores and skin look otherworldly, as if they don’t seem to be sporting any basis in any respect. “I simply love doing make-up to make everybody look the perfect they’ll look and simply make them look pure and exquisite and the perfect model of themselves,” she stated of her work. And the creamy, hydrating Blunder Cover permits you to just do that at dwelling.
Image Source: Courtesy of Monika Blunder / Jin-Woo Prensena / Getty / Illustrations by Bonnie Mills
When requested what the proudest second of her profession has been to this point, along with working with the likes of Emilia Clarke and Jennifer Lawrence and doing covers for Harper’s Bazaar, Blunder admits that it is launching her product line. “I used to be simply so happy with it, as a result of I by no means did rather well at school. I barely completed highschool. And I’ve a brother who’s a professor at a college, and my different brother is a director. They all went to college, all of them studied, and my dad all the time requested, ‘What’s going to occur with you?’ So simply to indicate all of them that I used to be nonetheless in a position to do one thing superb, to enter enterprise and study a lot once more, that was a very proud second for me.”
Throughout her profession, Blunder has by no means as soon as appeared again. Not when she wrote a letter to the Austrian authorities, or when she moved from Frankfurt to Munich, or packed up and flew throughout an ocean to assist her brother in LA. But there did come a time the place she started to query her profession path: after changing into a mum. “When my youngsters have been actually little, my husband’s first huge job had him gone on a regular basis, actually each week he was in New York. I used to be virtually like a single mother, and it turned so onerous to work,” she recalled. “Loads of make-up artists, they do not have a life. They actually dedicate their life to their job. But for me it was actually onerous as a result of my primary aim was to have youngsters and a household. That’s simply what I wished. My job was nice and I all the time wished to work, however the wrestle to make all of it occur was all the time . . . as a mother, you all the time have these responsible emotions of being late and dealing too onerous.”
Over time, Blunder realized the right way to work it out, which got here right down to “making the correct choices on what I tackle,” she stated. “It’s been discovering a stability, studying the right way to say no. Your brokers are clearly going to let you know that you must take each job, as a result of everyone seems to be getting cash for those who work. But it is a cool factor to have the ability to say no, as a result of on the finish of the day I wish to be happy with what I’ve achieved, and happy with my youngsters, too.”

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