Creative Spotlight: Ashlyn Mark & Melissa Wong, ESPIAL Makeup Artists

Photoshoots have been underway here at CAISA Fashion Show! On the CFS blog today, we’ll be highlighting two of our amazing student makeup artists, Ashlyn and Melissa:

When did you start learning about makeup, and why did you decide to pursue doing makeup artistry?

Ashlyn: Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a knack for painting and visual art. When I was 12, I started experimenting with makeup and soon discovered many beauty YouTubers on the internet. Over the years, I learned a lot about makeup application techniques, brands and products through my own research and experimentation. Eventually, as an artist and cosmetic enthusiast, I translated my skills in fine art, my passion for makeup artistry, and knowledge of the beauty industry to create my own beauty service business- FINESSE by Ashlyn! I even launched my YouTube channel because I thoroughly enjoy creating makeup tutorials and sharing my makeup tips and tricks with my viewers. Follow and subscribe to my Instagram and YouTube channel!

Melissa: I started learning about makeup in Grade 8. I would watch hours and hours of beauty tutorials on YouTube in my room, trying to learn everything I could about makeup. In my spare time I would take pictures of the colorful eyeshadow looks I had created and kept them in a special album on my phone. Sometime in Grade 10 I started posting my creative makeup looks on Instagram and from there, wanted to start freelancing for prom and grad events! I decided to pursue doing makeup as an art because I loved the way it helped myself and other girls feel instantly more confident. Seeing smiling faces leave my chair is one of many reasons I continue to love what I do.

What is your daily makeup routine?

Ashlyn: My routine changes all the time since I love to try new products and techniques. If I’m going to wear makeup and want something natural, quick, and easy, I fill in my brows a little bit (probably using the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Brown), curl my lashes, throw on some mascara (probably a drugstore waterproof formula or Too Faced B.T.S.), and maybe a bit of concealer (Maybelline Fit Me in 20 Sand). I usually only use a light dusting of powder all over my face during the warmer months to reduce shine!

Melissa: Everyday I wear a full face of makeup. That usually includes foundation, powder, brow product, bronzer, contour, blush, highlight, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara and to end off, a liquid lipstick. Honestly, it may sound like a lot but it ends up looking very soft and natural!

Who is your makeup inspiration?

Ashlyn: I’m really inspired by Lisa Eldridge and Jaclyn Hill. Lisa is a fantastic professional makeup artist who’s been in the business for a very long time. She has so many great tips and guides to follow and does such stunning work on all her models.

I started following Jaclyn’s journey on YouTube when she first began building her audience (making low quality videos in her kitchen). Over the years, her channel has grown to almost 4 million subscribers, she has collaborated with many makeup brands and is now a well-known beauty guru! Her story is a perfect example of how working hard towards your dream will bring you much success as long as your heart is in it.

Melissa: I have many makeup inspirations. Most of the artists that inspire me are girls (and guys) on Instagram who create colorful eye-makeup looks. Some of my personal favorites are lucinda212, beccaboo318, janeenersss, risadexter, thepryncess and kelseyannaf on Instagram. All of the mentioned artists create exceptionally precise, colorful, and creative makeup looks (aka not just a basic smoky eye) and I will always look up to their work!

What are some of your “Holy Grail” products?

Ashlyn:  Since my eyelashes don’t curl naturally, I can’t live without waterproof mascara. It just holds a curl so much better than any non-waterproof formula. I am currently using Maybelline Rocket Volum’ Express (waterproof) but I change mascaras all the time!

Also love to use Bite Beauty Agave Lip Masks! They are especially great for the winter months, since they are very moisturizing and long-wearing. I like how they are made with food grade ingredients and act as an intense lip balm.

Melissa: I absolutely love the Jeffree Star Lip Velours! The formulas of these liquid lipsticks are amazing– so lightweight, comfortable and long-wearing. Another holy grail product of mine is the Morphe 350 palette. It is a palette composed of warm-toned neutral eye shadows that work for every skin tone and happen to be very reasonably priced. The Shu Uemura eyelash curler is also a must have in my makeup bag; it creates the most perfectly curled lashes.

What makeup trends do you predict for 2017?

Ashlyn: Burgundy, red, and peach colours! So many brands have come out with warm palettes and I think they compliment everyone. Kylie Cosmetics, Too Faced and Anastasia Beverly Hills (and quite a few other standout brands) all came out with their version of peachy warm-toned palettes and I think they’ll be put to good use this year! I also believe glossy lips are going to make a comeback soon… matte lips totally took over 2016!

Melissa: I’m excited to see what 2017 brings to the makeup game! I think that super colorful/glitter eyeliner, glossy lips and blush are going to be the “in” looks this upcoming year.

For more makeup inspiration, follow Ashlyn and Melissa on their accounts:


Instagram: Tag @finessebyashlyn
Facebook Page:
YouTube:           Website:


Instagram: Tag @melsmakeupdiary





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