photo by Hannah Kristina Metz, model Kristin Gallegos wearing Family Affairs Elba Kimono, in lip print
Kristin Gallegos, a makeup artist, photographer, and cool girl about town, is widely known on the New York scene for her spot on sense of style and confident presence. She's intriguing and I had to catch up with her to find out where she comes from, what causes are closest to her heart, and everything that makes her such an 'it' girl.
Where are you from originally and how do you think it shapes who you are?
I'm originally from Long Beach, California. I grew up kinda poor and my parents taught me all about hard work and working for everything you have and want. So everything I have I have worked my ass off for which makes me appreciate everything so much more! I definitely think that where I come from shaped me as a person. I'm a very ambitious and independent woman!
How did you decide to become a makeup artist and what are the best parts, and biggest challenges about that career?
I was a ballet dancer before I was a makeup artist. I quit when I was 17 and that was always what I wanted to do up until then. But something changed and I fell out of love with it. My mom was always good at makeup and I had to do my own makeup for ballet performances so I had a knack for it. So after a few years I decided to look into makeup as a career. I didn't know anything about the industry or anyone that did it so it was all trial and error really! The best part of my job is that I can basically make my own schedule and that it is different everyday. I get bored easily so working on different jobs with different people everyday is great for me. And I have gotten to travel the world for work which is amazing. I would never have been able to go to any of the places I've been otherwise. The biggest challenge for me though is being freelance and not getting paid right away like a normal job. You have to wait forever for a job to pay. And they don't take taxes out so you have to be on top of things. Money management isn't my strong suit. HA!
Who is the most interesting person you've done makeup for?
I've worked with so many amazing people over the years. I guess the most interesting would be Marina Abromovic! I did her makeup for US Harpers Bazaar at the apartment she shares with Ricardo Tisci in NYC. She had an amazing presence and energy. She's a very strong woman. She was very nice and engaging. Everything that came out of her mouth was fascinating! And to watch her in front of the camera was pretty special.
What's the most memorable campaign/job you've worked on and why?
I think the most memorable shoot would have to be Urban Outfitters in Iceland! It was a dream come true to be able to go there. It's such a magical place. Going to the blue lagoon was off the charts for me. And a couple of my now closest friends were on that shoot modeling so looking back it was pretty amazing.
What's your earliest memory of enjoying fashion?
Growing up my mom and sister always had subscriptions to fashion magazines. So I feel like from an early age I became fascinated with fashion and models. Despite being poor my mom always made sure we were dressed super cute. And in ballet I was obsessed with having the coolest dance wear. So it's always been part of my life!
What's a fashion "trend" can you not stand?
I can't stand normcore. Like I get being comfortable but you can still be comfortable and be put together! I miss the days of women always dressing up. You will never see me walking around dressed down! Even running errands I pull some sort of look. And always a good shoe!
What's the piece of clothing you've had the longest and just love to death?
I bought this amazing vintage red polyester mini dress from the 60's on eBay when I first moved to NYC 10 years ago. I was a broke assistant and could only afford vintage and I found this dress for super cheap. It fits like a glove and is the most perfect dress ever! It's still on rotation to this day. I'll never let it go!
If you were to support and campaign for any type of charity or cause, which would it be and why?
What's closest to my heart is spinal cord research. My sister was in a car accident when she was 14 and is paralyzed from the neck down. It would be a dream to see her walk again one day! I also give to St. Jude because little kids with cancer just breaks my heart! I think they're a great organization.
What are your favorite vegan makeup and or skincare lines?
I really love Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics! They're vegan and cruelty free. The lip tars are so much fun! I also love the eye pigments and nail polishes. As for skin care I love Aesop products, I think the line is great. All of it smells amazing!
Kristin is wearing all Family Affairs, shop these locally made in NYC in ecofriendly clothes and on HELPSY.
You can follow Kristin on Instagram // @KristinGallegos