We had the good fortune of connecting with Caleb Claeys and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caleb, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was simple, deciding to do what I love doing – makeup. For years I worked for corporations, starting at 9 and ending at 5. I always had a huge passion for makeup and would do it on the side for friends and family. Everyone kept telling me that I had a natural gift and needed to follow it. After years of teaching myself new techniques and painting more faces, I decided to apply for MAC Cosmetics. I would freelance when I was available but realized I could be doing this all for myself. Now with Makeup by Caleb, I get to be more involved with my clients including photoshoots, wedding ceremonies, birthdays, or whatever else a client needs their makeup done for.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
You ask any makeup artist or artist in general, none of us got to where we are without setbacks, failures, or self doubt. We literally follow our passion with zero guarantee that someone is going to appreciate our art. Ever since I was small I’d watch my mom put on her makeup. As I got older I’d spend hours on YouTube, watching videos of different makeup artists. I’d ask my friends and family if I could do their makeup even if they didn’t need it done. As an adult I was working in corporate jobs so I could purchase makeup and practice on myself whenever I could. I’ve lost count the number of times I had to wipe off the makeup and start all over again. I’ve learned over the years to trust myself and to trust the process. What excites me most is when my client is happy and feels their absolute best.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is easy. He visits on a monthly basis, always beginning on a Thursday evening where you’ll find us at Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest. Over the weekend, hikes through Balboa Park and laying by the pool before hitting up our favorite LGBTQ+ patios (Baja Betty’s, Mo’s, Uptown Tavern). Sunday brunch is always a must! Anything outdoors really.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give a huge shout out to all my friends and family. For years they not only supported me but pushed me out of comfort zone when I didn’t think I could do it but they knew I could. I also have to thank my partner, Tyler, for all the love and support on a daily basis.

Instagram: makeup_by_caleb

Image Credits
Tyler Barker

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