We had the good fortune of connecting with Kriss Blevens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kriss, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I have a favorite yet powerful affirmation that came to me at a peak of my career as a political makeup artist. It was 2008 in Simi Valley California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and I was about to do makeup for Senator John McCain for the final presidential debate of that election cycle. However, at the last minute, I was quickly ushered to the veranda overlooking the Simi Valley Mountain range where the press were lined up for this monumental event. I was told I needed to put some makeup on the governor, and fast. It did not occur to me until he was approaching that it was Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, my kids favorite movie icon. We had a quick introduction and according to my producer it would need to be an even quicker application than I had planned for. As the makeup got started, my producer asked me to hurry even more so I frantically sped up my makeup pace. Suddenly, the terminator grabbed me by both wrists, took his gaze off of the majestic mountain side, looked me in the eyes and said “Kriss, you scramble for NOBODY!”. I slowed down, and continued the makeover without compromising any quality. My producer immediately changed his tune and told me to take all of the time I needed. Quickly, I was then sent off to Senator John McCains holding room to start his makeup with a brush in hand and Arnold’s mantra in my soul. I began to do his makeup. As usual, we giggled until someone from his advance team came over and started to rush the process. I turned to him, now empowered, looked him in the eyes with that same majestic stare and said to him, “This is your candidate, this is my candidate and quite frankly I don’t scramble for nobody”. John McCain and in his jovial manner, said “Kriss, you take all the time you need to make up this old geezer.” It was at that moment that the mantra became mine to keep and it has stuck with me to this day. So don’t scramble for nobody, work at a pace that never compromises artistic quality. Never hold back from commanding the things you need to be able to create your next masterpiece.
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.
My career spans 35 years of extraordinary experience beginning in 1987 when I competed in the Miss America Pageant. My talent as a gymnast was set to music from the musical cats and I wore full cat makeup, giving me the nickname ‘the Makeup Girl’. What sets me apart is that I did not seek to do what I do, it chose me as a destiny in a cosmic, white light sort of experience. I was assisting a girl, teaching her how to do her makeup for the first time and when she looked into the mirror she cried as she had never seen herself as beautiful. A powerful voice within commanded my soul “Your going to be a makeup artist’. I never looked back. Doors just opened, destiny works that way. It wasn’t always easy but the passion of participating in the creative and transformative experience of peoples ‘looks and feels’ was my rocket fuel. The lessons I have learned are so numerous. I like to call myself a mosaic, I am a little piece of every person I have ever touched. I want the world to know that the beauty industry has not tainted me, it has enriched my soul to be the authentic, altruistic artist that I am.
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.
I would board my rolling home, my own custom decorated tour bus and just roll into the sunset stopping anywhere that called us. No itinerary, no destination just freedom.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to make a shoutout to Patrick Buchanan, American politician, who gave me the opportunity to do my first ever political makeup gig for the cover of Newsweek Magazine in 1992 and continued to encourage and inspire me which has developed into a phenomenal 35 year career as a political media makeup artist.
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