Rachel Madison started painting faces at 14 years old. By the end of high school she was a graduate of PJ’s College of Cosmetology.

Not only is Madison talented but at 18 she has passion and determination that rivals most young adults her age. Inevitably, this will lead her to a thriving career—on her own terms—within this crazy (wonderful) world of make-up. And for these reasons, and many more, we highlight her here, as a Rising Star.

Recently, Madison competed in the Living Art American Body Painting Championship. “It was definitely a learning experience and a motivation to keep pushing and getting better,” says Madison. “Being the youngest artist there at 18 was a bit intimidating, but everyone was so sweet and it was awesome to see everyone’s work come alive. I hope to participate in the event next year as well.”

Before make-up, nothing seemed to interest Madison career-wise. Once she dove into the make-up arena, she knew instantly. “I knew that this was what I wanted to do no matter how much work it would be to make it my full-time career.”

Madison says make-up has changed her life in many ways. “A huge thing is my confidence. When I first started working on clients or even just some friends, I was so nervous, afraid of messing up or that they wouldn’t like it. Fast forward to now, I’m a completely different person and after working with so many different people and gaining more experience. I’m so much more confident than I was before both in my career and personal life.”

Looking forward, Madison’s goals as a make-up artist and body painter are to “first move out of Indiana, to a bigger city where the industry is really thriving.” From there Madison says her dream come true would be to work with a make-up team on a movie set and to, eventually, create her own make-up line.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of would be how I’ve grown as an artist,” says Madison. “Where I was when I started doing make-up is completely different from where I’m at now, which is always good! Improvement is always a great thing at whatever your craft is.

“As far as my work, my Avatar-inspired body paint has to be one of my absolute favorite body paint projects. The paint took about five to six hours and it was published in Skin Markz magazine; it’s one of my proudest body paints and is well known in my area.”

When Madison first started doing make-up she looked up to and was inspired by Madeyewlook by Lex. “She was one of the first artists I saw who was doing body painting and filming tutorials. I have always looked up to her because of how talented she is and how humble she has remained. A few more artists I’ve looked up to would be Ve Neill, Craig Tracy, Kevin James Bennett and so many more.”

Madison’s work leans towards avant-garde. She loves learning new techniques and styles and is always striving to challenge herself but says, “I love doing creative, out of the box looks the most though.”

Currently, Madison finances her career with the money she makes from clients. She continues to invest in her kit. “I’m constantly trying new products and replenishing my supplies. Everything from buying more eyelashes, disposable mascara wands and lip applicators, lip products, the list goes on.”

Madison is highly self-motivated and keeps busy, either planning her next body paint or make-up, networking, scheduling gigs… the list goes on. “Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming,” says Madison, “but it’s all completely worth it. I love what I do!”