Los Angeles, CA ~ On November 1, 2017 I had the pleasure of chatting with beauty influencer extraordinaire, Kandee Johnson. Kandee, a makeup artist by trade, has captured the hearts of her fans worldwide with her bubbly personality and unique style. She currently has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram and almost 4 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. She is co-host (along with Patrick Starr) of the upcoming American Influencer Awards at LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles. Little ole me got the chance to chat with her. So exciting. Here’s what she had to say:
Biggest Influences in Beauty:
When asked about her biggest influences in beauty, Kandee immediately mentioned iconic makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin. Discovering his book Making Faces was when first fell in love with makeup and it’s transformative capabilities. Beyond his amazing artistry skills, what inspired Kandee the most was his relationships with people and his ability to make them feel beautiful.
Priscilla Ono. It was really inspiring to hear Kandee a talk about her friend and fellow makeup artist. Kandee remembered a time not that long ago in which she was chatting with Priscilla about their career and life goals. Priscilla’s dream: do Rihanna’s makeup. Kandee: Gwen Stefani’s. Fast forward to today: Priscilla is now a makeup artist for Fenty Beauty (Rihnanna’s makeup line) and Kandee and Gwen, they’re basically besties. She didn’t’ say that. I did. But it’s true.
Kandee’s inspiration comes not only from the way makeup makes people look, but how it makes them feel. Makeup, unlike anything else, has the power to make people feel beautiful and glamorous, in ways they wouldn’t have felt otherwise.
Who to Watch?
I asked Kandee who she loves to follow on social media, and he was inspired by in the ever growing beauty community.
She emphasized that her favorite artists (regardless of how many followers) are people who really let their creativity and artistry shine.
Mimi Choi (@mimles) a Vancouver based makeup artist. One look at her instagram feed and you’ll see why she’s one of Kandee’s faves. All I have to say is: WHOA. So talented.
Linda Halberg (@lindahallberg) a Swedish makeup artist and beauty blogger. When it comes to makeup, she’s got some skills. It doesn’t hurt that she’s insanely beautiful. #goals
Matt Conrad (@mattyconrad) A barber. Wait, what? For Kandee inspiration comes in all forms, even if it’s men’s grooming. Check out Matty. He has a pretty cool message: “Fall in love with the process.”
Fun fact: Kandee originally went to beauty school for hair, not makeup. Her grandmother was a hairdresser. It’s in her blood.
Advice for Other Artists:
“Be a hot pink tree in a forest of green. Let yourself shine through. Be different. You don’t have to be like anyone else. Don’t copy anyone. Pave your own unique path.” Kandee went on to say that the most important thing in a world that can be competitive, is to be true to yourself. Don’t’ be afraid to stand out.
American Influencer Awards:
The upcoming awards show is dedicated solely to honoring beauty’s greatest influencers in social media. And Kandee couldn’t be more excited about it. According to Kandee, she feels like she is hosting the Oscars of beauty. The night is about celebrating the beauty community, for which Kandee Johnson is the heart and soul. She herself is not just a makeup artist or an influencer. She is truly an inspiration for all artists. Her final words: Be yourself. Be creative. Follow your heart and what ignites you to feel beautiful, whatever that may be. Kandee, I couldn’t agree with you more.
The American Influencer Awards are live in Los Angeles on November 18, 2017. Tickets are available for purchase at aiaawards.com
**Note: An edited version of this post was originally published on November 16, 2017 on beautylaunchpad.com. This is the original, less boring version. ;)**