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.

Renown make-up artist and photographer Roque Cozzette agreed to be first in the lineup. Cozzette is a valued educator and has been a staple at many International Make-Up Artist Trade Shows (IMATS). And we have recruited him to be a part of our new and exciting Artistry Unlocked program.

See below for the upcoming event with Cozzette in Portland, Ore. Read on to learn more about this fantastic make-up artist.


Make-Up Artist: Where are you from?

Roque Cozzette: San Francisco

MUA: What do you like about where you are from?

Cozzette: SF had this bohemian gypsy hippy vibe in the ’70s and ’80s, so I really loved the impact that had on me. I grew up in a diverse creative community where artistic freedom had been a norm. There is an energy in the Bay Area that felt vibrant, and I can see how a lot of technology is created there.

MUA: Where do your currently live?

Cozzette: Brooklyn, N.Y. Twenty-one years now. This is my heart.

Roque Cozzette
Roque Cozzette in his element

MUA: How long have you been a make-up artist?

Cozzette: 30-plus years.

MUA: What surprises you the most about being a make-up artist?

Cozzette: How it makes you feel and that it’s a bridge to inner feelings of self. It never gets old. That I can make money creating what I love and it never feels like hard work or finite.

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

Cozzette: I didn’t really … I was an androgynous ’80s boy with no fear and paint brushes in my hand, as I started painting first. I just followed my heart rather than do what the world was doing or my parents’ ideal idea was for what I should become. When I realized I could get paid and I knew I was on a new uncharted path. I’m guided by feeling—intuition.

MUA: Describe your craft/make-up artistry with five words

Cozzette: Magic. Emotion. Co-Creation. Dimension. Empower.

MUA: Is there a particular medium, genre or style you feel best conveys your artistry?

Cozzette: I resonate with beauty and couture make-up styles.

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

Cozzette: A fashion show at a club in 1985.

MUA: What was your first job ever?

Cozzette: Working with my father (mentor) in his firewood business.

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

Cozzette: I’m inspired by the tenacity and creativity of the younger generations now. I see myself in them as a 16-year-old in 10th grade. I went to beauty school and learned cosmetology. I never took a make-up class; I just painted my face and allowed that feeling of self-empowerment to guide me to be a conduit to others.

Roque Cozzette IMATS
One of Cozzette’s make-up creations

MUA: What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way? 

Cozzette: I can’t think of anything … I love the evolution of thought and creation and our ability to create anew. I never do the same make-up twice no matter how I try.

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

Cozzette: When I don’t feel positive vibes. I won’t allow myself to remain in situations that trigger negative emotions. I am strong enough to realize that I am responsible for attracting everything in my life and use the contrast around me as a guide. Positive emotion—I act. Negative emotion—I don’t act.

MUA: What risks are worth taking?

Cozzette: Releasing fear. Not acting on your ego. Allowing yourself to be successful.

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

Cozzette: Oh geez … To do something for stability. False premise—Stability will lead you to what you want that’s secure when what you really want is freedom.

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

Cozzette: Inner Journey.

MUA: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?

Cozzette: To not listen to my intuition.

MUA: What are you really good at, but kind of embarrassed that you are good at it?

Cozzette: I’m good at everything I do because I love it. I’d be embarrassed if I took on things that I didn’t love.

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

Cozzette: Looking outside of yourself for approval.

MUA: What books do you like to read?

Cozzette: Law of Attraction by Abraham-Hicks (duh lol), photography and website development.

Roque Cozzette IMATS L.A.
Cozzette onstage at IMATS L.A.

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

Cozzette: I am a seasoned vegan cook and started at 8 years old. I dream of having a Cozzette Beauty Café.

MUA: Are you involved in any charities? If not, if you were given $100,000 to donate to a charity of your choice, which would it be? 

Cozzette: I have been involved in several over the years, like In God’s Love We Deliver, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, donate to several causes to help Puerto Rico and Barn Sanctuary to help the animals! And a lot more I can’t even remember right now. I’d donate to PETA.

MUA: What were you like in high school? 

Cozzette: Disconnected! I never accepted the sameness being taught in school. I couldn’t wait to get out and find independence. Mind you, I was pretty popular because of my new wave style. I dressed up in costumes to go to school and didn’t think about what others thought.

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

Cozzette: My chihuahua Isabella, my two parrots and black tourmaline crystal.


Come meet Roque Cozzette in person in Portland at the Shout House on Aug. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. where he will give a dynamic seminar with a live photoshoot on where make-up meets self-awareness.

He will demonstrate advanced make-up application, color theory and light techniques that enhance shape and help perfect skin. As a make-up artist and photographer, Cozzette will illustrate his personal take on beauty and accessories to style a complete look. You’ll learn what it’s like to take control of your career and create your dream portfolio through self-empowerment and technology in the digital age.  

Get your ticket here!