Make-up artists are usually behind the camera, like way behind the camera. Rarely do they get an opportunity to shine in front of the lens. At Make-Up Artist magazine we want to give them a chance to speak their truth when it comes to the profession and approach. As well as a chance for us to get closer to these creatives—find out what makes them tick, what inspires them and how they make intentions reality.

In this interview, we sit down with renown make-up artist Ashley Fierro who is a valued educator and has been a staple at many International Make-Up Artist Trade Shows (IMATS). And we have recruited her to be a part of our new and exciting Artistry Unlocked program.

Click here or below to purchase tickets for the upcoming Artistry Unlocked class at IMATS with Fierro in L.A., on Friday, Jan. 11. Read on to learn more about this fantastic make-up artist.

Make-Up Artist: Where are you from? Where is your home currently? 

Ashley Fierro: I grew up in Southern California—San Diego specifically. I currently live in South Oceanside and my make-up studio is located in Carlsbad Village.

MUA: Why did you decide to become a make-up artist?

Fierro: It’s a long story … but the short version is that I always did make-up! I was the kid in high school that had a long line of friends, and I would do their make-up for dances in my mom’s bathroom. But as I got older and went to school, I was really driven and wanted a high-powered career and went off and got what I thought was my dream job. I managed an international territory and about $25 million in business as a 22-year-old. I had always done make-up on the side, but it was more just fun—helping out friends with brands, brides that I went to high school with, etcetera. I felt like it was too easy and fun to be a real job. Once I got burned out from my “dream job” I had three hip surgeries and had a lot of down time on my back recovering and time to think! I realized what I thought I wanted I didn’t want anymore. I wanted to create. I loved the transformation from when someone would come to me for make-up and when they would leave the chair with a little more pep in their step. Doing make-up filled me up and I wanted to do that every day.

MUA: What kind of make-up training have you had?

Fierro: 100-percent self-taught.

MUA: What was your first job as a make-up artist? What was your first job ever? 

Fierro: First job as a make-up artist where I actually got paid was for a high school friend and it was her wedding. My first job ever was at a snack shack on the beach serving ice cream and nachos to kids at the beach.

MUADescribe your craft/make-up artistry with five words. How is your personality reflected in your work?

Fierro: Natural. Radiant. Effortless. Luxury. Detailed.

MUA: What gets you fired up?

Fierro: So many things! I absolutely hate when things are not straight. Why do it if it is not straight? People who don’t take accountability or want other people to fix their problems. I love color and glitter, but I don’t usually get to use it—but when I do I am like a giddy child. Sports. Students who hit their goals or have a career breakthrough.

Make-up by Ashley Fierro at IMATS
Ashley Fierro doing make-up education

MUA: What’s worth spending more on to get the best?

Fierro: Coffee. Skincare. Technology.

MUA: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Fierro: I come from a designer/custom home-building family, so I get a lot of inspo from architectural design. I like clean and modern with a touch of comfort. I like to keep my make-up style accessible and more simplistic; less is more.

MUA: What do you think are some of the most inspiring things happening in the make-up industry currently? 

Fierro: Inclusion when it comes to color range and model selects and the focus on skin/clean beauty. Also, clean- and cruelty-free products.

MUA: Which current make-up industry trends are you following?

Fierro: I am always focused on clean, radiant beauty.

MUA: What do you think the key to success is in this industry?

Fierro: Relationships and being an overall good person. Community over competition.

MUA: What project are you working on now?

Fierro: Right now, I am focused on keeping my make-up artistry business growing. But more importantly, expanding the global reach of the Business of Makeup™ program because it is having such an impact on my students lives. And creating new content for past graduates to keep their businesses moving in the right direction!

MUA: Have you ever wanted to do anything else professionally, or have you?

Fierro: I use to be a corporate-America person. But I love paper and I would love to own a paper or stationary store.

Make-up by Ashley Fierro at IMATS
Fierro's make-up

MUA: What is a charitable cause you believe in or support?

Fierro: For many years I have supported an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.

MUA: What’s the title of the current chapter of your life?

Fierro: Rise Up or Embracing the Unknown.

MUA: What’s the best and what is the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Fierro: Best: Character is doing the right thing when no one is looking. Worst: Work is a four-letter word.

MUA: If you could only bring four things into space for a long haul on the space station, what would those be?

Fierro: Coffee. Moisturizer. My Daughter. My Hubby.

MUA: What would be the worst job imaginable to you?

Fierro: An office job where you do the same task all day.

Make-up by Ashley Fierro at IMATS

MUA: What would be some of the most annoying things about having yourself as a roommate?

Fierro: I’m either very clean or messy depending on my workload—only extremes. I am vegan so many people find my eating habits and what I keep in the frig very annoying.

MUA: In what situation or place would you feel the most out of place in?

Fierro: Somewhere when I don’t get to speak, or I am not allowed to give my opinion. I like to talk and ask questions and if I need to hold my tongue on something, it makes me really uncomfortable.

MUA: What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with, but you just don’t get the point of?

Fierro: I am not a huge fan of liquid anything. I don’t use a lot liquid foundation, eyeliner, etcetera.

MUA: What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?

Fierro: Having my daughter—miracle baby!