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Angie Wieck, Published December 30 2013

It's My Job: A beautiful inspiration

MOORHEAD – One could say Elyse Michelle has been doing makeup for clients since she was still in grade school. She was in just fifth grade when her older sister asked her to do her hair and makeup for homecoming.

Today she operates her own makeup studio in the Moorhead Center Mall.

Do you sell makeup?

Yes, I have my own line of mineral-based makeup. It’s not something I want to make into a career, but it’s fun. I think it got the most attention when my sister was ill because I made a color specifically for her called “Survivor,” and then I sold it to raise money. When people tried that one, they liked it, and would want another color or ask me to make a color close to something they had.

You make it?

I make it, label it, package it, sell it. I spent a long time just coming up with the recipes and ordering raw ingredients. There was a lot of trial and error, but now I have 52 eye shadows and seven blushes.

What are some of your makeup jobs?

I do a lot of weddings. Winter is my downtime, but starting in about March, I’m booked every single weekend until September.

I also do work with photographers for photo shoots. I did a few things with FM Spotlight. I’ve also worked with Yvonne Denault on her boudoir photography.

I recently got into pageant makeup thanks to my client Madison Johnson, the new Miss Teen North Dakota International. She contacted me to do makeup, and the pageant organizer asked me to do some other girls. It was an awesome experience, and I’d love to do it again, especially because my girl won!

I do makeup consultations, too. When people reach a certain age, their makeup needs to change with them. I give clients new ways of applying makeup and other ways to switch it up.

What are some of the other services you provide?

I do custom spray tans, which I love because then you’re not risking skin cancer. … By doing custom instead of booth, you can contour people. Things you want to look a little tighter or firmer, you can make a little darker.

I also recently started doing lash extensions, which has been amazing. People come in and it’s one hair to every natural lash. They will fall out with your natural lashes or you can get them filled like you would with acrylic nails.

My main passion remains makeup, though. In this market, bridal makeup or a photo shoot, you might see a client only one time. With lashes, those people come back every three to four weeks. That’s built up a lot of my business.

Tell me about your YouTube makeup tutorials.

I’ve always had so much fun watching others do them, and it’s how I’ve learned a lot of my techniques. A lot of times I feel like clients want to ask me how to do certain things, but they’re too nervous to ask me. So, through the tutorials I’m able to offer my advice from working in the industry.

I was really motivated to start doing this after my sister passed away from cancer earlier this year. I told her I wanted to do it, so I’m doing it. In a lot of ways that’s kind of been my inspiration because we never really know how much time we have left.

To view the tutorials, search for ‘Elyse Michelle’ on You Tube or like her Facebook page.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501