Kyeana Jones Photography
Portrait and Wedding photographer
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Interviews and Special Projects

Let's Chat! Makeup with Esthetician & Pro Makeup Artist Shay Mercedes


What led you on the path to be an MUA?

In my spare time I would do acrylic paintings.  I’ve always been creative as far as drawing and painting goes. Then I started to think of ways I could turn my hobby into a financial gain, so I started doing makeup. It’s been awesome ever since!

What certifications, if any, do you carry?

I’m a licensed esthetician with a certification in brow and lash tinting, and I also have a bachelors in science.

What is your area of expertise?

My area of expertise is eyebrow enhancement which involves training the brow to clients desired look through manipulation of waxing and tinting. I also specialize in customized foundation matching, it’s one of the things I find most important in makeup and love doing.

Any tips for aspiring MUAS?

Practice as much as you can and always find outlets and classes to perfect your craft. Be confident in what you’re doing and love what you’re doing. Everything else will follow!

Now onto the nitty gritty!

How would you describe the perfect client experience?

The perfect client experience for me would have to be smiles and laughs from the beginning to end. I’m a very up beat person so I always approach my clients as such so there is no surprises when meeting. I answer any questions my client has as well as asking them questions to make sure we get the perfect application that suites them. When my client is comfortable throughout the makeup application, happy and satisfied in the end...I’m happy. But when they call me back for services that makes me REALLY happy!

Do you set any expectations for your clients so that you can insure that it will be a
successful experience for the two of you?

The only expectation I would have to say I have is that clients respect the appointment policy. I like to make sure all my clients get the same respect and undivided attention from me. By following the appointment policy, it allows me manage my time to ensure a great experience for all potential and current clients.

What’s the difference between a full face and natural look?

It’s honestly different for everyone. For myself, I believe a full face is “the works”...contour, lashes, cream/ liquid foundations, face powders and nice glamour eye. When doing a natural look, it really depends on the client. Some of my clients want natural makeup meaning nothing heavy and I have other clients that like just their eyes and lips to have a natural daytime look while their face still has a full application of makeup.

What is the average time to complete a full face? Natural look?

A full face makeup application for be takes about 45 mins to and hour. While a natural look depending on the client may take 30-45 mins.

How should a client prep their face to have the best makeup application turn out? Is it all really up to the MUA?

I always suggest a nice facial a day or two before a flawless makeup application. A good exfoliation makes the skin smoother. The day of the makeup application, just come with a clean canvas no lotion or products needed. I have all the goods to make the natural skin glow!

What would you say to someone who turns down the idea of hiring a professional
makeup artist for their photoshoot? Why should they reconsider?

Everyone is entitled to do a shoot of their own preference. A pro MUA will bring the creative aspect of the Photoshoot to life. When all professionals in a Photoshoot play their part, magic happens...who doesn’t want that.

Any Dos and Don’ts that may seem obvious to you as a MUA, but not so obvious to someone who has never had their makeup done professionally?

My biggest no, no would be not taking care of your skin. Always take care of your skin daily whether or not you wear makeup a lot or very little. Your makeup application comes out flawless when your skin is taken care of. Also, as hard as it is...try not to fall sleep with your makeup on!

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Being a makeup artist has led me to many friendships and long lasting relationship with great people. I don’t feel like I’m working when doing makeup and that’s the best part. Becoming an esthetician is one of the best decisions I’ve made and I have a lot more in store.

How can people find you on social media?

I can be reached on Facebook and Instagram at faceslaybyshay. Website:


Photo by Jessica Marie Portraits

Photo by Jessica Marie Portraits

Kyeana Jones