Makeup Artist Sheika Daley Talks Career Path and Celebrity Clients

As a youngster, Sheika Daley’s favourite section about becoming a dancer was the recitals. 1 time, when she was 7, her mother arrived backstage to do her make-up. “I bear in mind she experienced this a single palette from Fashion Truthful,” she tells me about the telephone. “I’ll under no circumstances neglect it—it experienced a spotlight, a black shade, a red blush, and blue eyeshadow. And she also experienced one particular crimson lipstick.” The transformative ability of makeup struck Daley, even at that younger age. “I fell in love with shade just after that.”

Elevated by a mother who is a painter and a father with an inclination toward audio, it is as if Daley was destined to be a makeup artist. But it took her a small when and a great deal of tricky function to get her to where by she is now. Ahead of developing an spectacular resumé, which consists of famous people like Zendaya and Serena Williams, Lancôme’s world-wide makeup artist was a math big at Florida A&M College on a whole scholarship. A great deal to the dismay of her mother and father, she gave up the scholarship, remaining college, and started out down a vocation path that experienced stops at the Victoria’s Secret magnificence counter and a Miami strip club, to title a couple of of the formative encounters she had on the way up.

In advance, Daley shares the aspects behind starting a salon in her dorm place, her choice to fall out of college, and extra.

Coveteur: Tell me about your childhood. What was it like?

Sheika Daley: “I experienced a excellent childhood. My mother was in art, and my weekends consisted of ballerina lessons, and then I would come property and my dad, who also worked in finance, would be DJing. My mom beloved to entertain, so she often experienced folks in excess of. I grew up with a lot of like and happiness and the flexibility to specific that, to a limit.

My dad managed hedge money, and it was envisioned that I would consider above his enterprise and adhere to in his footsteps. And that was the path I was essentially on. I was straight As, I was in magnet plans, honor modern society, all the points. What ever could be accomplished, I tried to get it because my dad taught me to test to be the finest at no matter what it is that I do. I finished up heading to school on a total mathematical science scholarship.”

When you have been likely down that finance route and studying math, had been you however carrying out make-up?

SD: “I was. Ahead of I left for school, which is when I realized that I genuinely appreciate accomplishing makeup. I would do my sister’s make-up then make her do photo shoots on our front garden. I understood make-up was definitely my calling my initially calendar year in college or university because I was having what I acquired in class and placing it straight into a splendor small business at college.

I went to an HBCU—there were a good deal of Black women who experienced just acquired their contemporary perms, relaxers, and braids. I realized they experienced 6 months prior to new development arrived in. They had been likely to require a clean and established, a silk push, or a haircut. So I designed these minimal papers with my cellphone quantity, companies, and charges. My dorm space turned into a full-on salon to the issue in which I could not even go to class and I was finding in trouble. And I assumed, ‘I can do this. I can take what I’m mastering and consider the inventive capability that I have and mesh the two to flip it into a thing.’ Right after that 1st calendar year, I decided to go away, give up my scholarship, and go house. My moms and dads ended up seeking at me like, ‘You have obtained to be kidding me.’”

How did you break the news to them?

SD: “Because I wasn’t heading to class my freshman yr, I had to go to summer time faculty. But summer months university at an HBCU is the wackest time at any time due to the fact no person is there. You are just there by oneself and it can be a university town. So my mom known as one particular time and she was like, ‘Baby, you want to arrive property?’ In two several hours, they were being on the highway. My mother and father drove up there to arrive get me, and we had a assembly in my counselor’s workplace with my mothers and fathers because my dad preferred to figure out how we could straighten this all out.

At this level, they’ve uncovered out that I’ve been lacking classes—all of this is now staying discovered in my counselor’s office environment. And the woman was like, ‘We gave you this entire scholarship. Do you not want it?’ And I was like, ‘It’s not that I don’t want it, but I do not want to do this. This is not creating me pleased. I want to do make-up.’ My mother and father didn’t know this at the time, but I was going by a critical melancholy there mainly because my father taught me to be pretty impartial from 15 yrs outdated. So at 15, I experienced a task, I had my motor vehicle, I was accomplishing my personal factor.

Then my freshman calendar year, they took absent my car. He stated, ‘You are not able to have a auto your to start with yr. You cannot have a career your initially 12 months.’ So now I am dependent on somebody sending me cash each solitary month, which was not my lifestyle for about four or 5 years. I’m attempting to figure out what I want to do. I am just heading to course and coming back home, and that just wasn’t my way of life. It genuinely depressed me. I just desired to do the job. I bear in mind telling my father, ‘Daddy, please permit me just figure this out. I know you really don’t realize. It’s a whole new path, but I guarantee you I’m not likely to let you down.” And which is pushed me at any time given that.”

That’s astounding. When would you say your profession truly began to consider off?

SD: “I bought a position at Victoria’s Magic formula at their make-up counter. I studied—that’s the place I discovered about shade correcting—and crafted up my clientele. So at this place, I am performing two work. I am doing work at a psychological health and fitness heart throughout the working day and Victoria’s Solution at evening. Through this time, MAC [Cosmetics] released, and it was this major point because it was the very first makeup line geared in direction of artists. It was funky, it was exciting.

I fell so in love with the brand and I was established to function there. I tried out for a complete calendar year, and then ultimately they known as me back. I received an job interview then a work at the MAC counter. I acquired a ton there, too—all the different traits and how to obtain them with the solutions we have. We bought to paint and take a look at and do makeup. They also taught me how to make a portfolio and perform with photographers.

So in the midst of that, we applied to have freelancers who would perform holidays. I hit it off with one of them, her identify was Sweet, and she advised me about how she will work at distinct strip golf equipment. She was like, “The dollars we make here in a week, you can make 5 periods that in one evening.” I advised her to hook me up. It took a number of months, but I inevitably commenced, bought modified to it, and made excellent dollars. I finished up doing work seven days a week and I ended up leaving MAC for the reason that it was just also a great deal for my agenda. to test and get down there to perform on time.

I was ready to learn simply because I can do the make-up and then see how it wears, how it performs. I was ready to construct my creative self confidence much too, since the dancers gave me consistent comments every single solitary day. I decided to perform on my portfolio at the same time, which intended driving down to South Seashore and doing the job with photographers. I did editorials through the day and left at 5 p.m. Then I would go to the strip club from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. I did that religiously each solitary working day for about a 12 months, which was ridiculous mainly because I was hardly receiving any sleep. I was driving almost two hrs each and every working day, back again and forth.”

I did editorials through the working day and left at 5 p.m. Then I would go to the strip club from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where did that electrical power appear from?

SD: “I was established. And for the reason that my confidence was currently being crafted, I understood I was superior at something. I knew that I essential to posture myself in the correct locations so that I could truly make a name for myself. I understood I could not continue to be at the strip club endlessly. Also, my dad and mom did not know I was operating there.

Ultimately, I opened my individual studio in South Beach. It was an eyelash and magnificence studio, so the dancers would come in to get their make-up carried out before they went to the club. I was also aiding. Again in the working day for you to e book any jobs, you had to be equipped to do the two hair and makeup, so I did. Although assisting, I uncovered set etiquette and I was able to seriously research the craft. Then I started off doing the job with Trina—she and I strike it off and she grew to become my customer. At this time, I’m in Chicago functioning with Ford Styles, and I’m in Miami, and I’m also on the street with her on the weekends.

I fulfilled Kelly Rowland through a buddy, I did her makeup, and we hit it off. I acquired an opportunity to transfer to New York—I was able to stay with my uncle until I observed a put of my own—and I instructed her. In 3 months of getting in NYC, I bought a contact from Serena Williams mainly because Kelly experienced supplied her my cellphone number. I did her makeup for her guide tour and award shows. And at the exact same time, I am nonetheless touring with Trina.”

So now you are totally booked.

SD: “Bananas. I just ended up having a lot more purchasers by way of word of mouth—Lala [Anthony], Brandy, Monica. It took off from there.”

What does the subsequent chapter of your profession glance like for you?

SD: “I feel it really is staying penned. I’ve been privileged to be Lancôme’s world makeup artist. They’ve been wonderful with getting my feed-back and listening to what I am declaring. I’m at a spot now where by I am trusting my understanding in make-up when it comes to currently being revolutionary and imaginative.”