My name is Crystal Collard and I am from Anchorage, Alaska, and it’s not really as desolate as you’d think. My first real experience with makeup was in Junior High; I had received a costume set of makeup and thought it was the best thing in the world. The very next day, I was at my private, conservative, Christian school with purple shimmering lipgloss and blue eye shadow straight up to my brows… needless to say the faculty did not take well to me looking like an 80s hooker. That event and the feelings around it caused my makeup side to lay dormant for some years to follow. Throughout high school I was pure tomboy, with a flair for hippy clothes and colored hair, and that was as interesting as I got.
As I came close to graduation, I realized I had no idea what I wanted to be. My school was a college prep school, and practically required you to pick a profession and college to attend. With the looming pressure, and the knowledge that I wanted to go to art school but could not afford it, and didn’t know how I’d make money in that field, my view shifted to doing hair. I had always had hair to my waist or near to, and every color I could come by without alerting the school staff. Despite my low confidence, I was reminded of how good I felt when someone did my hair, and how that small vanity increased my confidence 10 fold. I knew I wanted to reciprocate and create those feelings within others.
Months after I graduated, I began Cosmetology/Hairschool. Being a tomboy, my recollection of the experiences I had there ranged from amazingly interesting as far as the educational aspects, to completely tear-jerkingly brutal for the social aspects. Think of a reality show that mixes Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, a documentary about strippers/crack heads, and some biochemistry classes. That was my hairschool experience, with scars and bruises to show for it, but eventually I graduated. A very special thing did happen to me while I was there, I was chosen to model for a Goldwell hair show. Unfortunately, from high school up to that point, I had been allergic to most makeup; fearful that they would tell me I couldn’t be in the show anymore, I allowed the MAC makeup artist to do as she wished, and as they say, the show always goes on. Much to my surprise as I walked along the runway, I had outgrown some of my adolescent allergies, and was now free to the makeup world! Following the show and later that day, I marched from the hotel the show was at in full makeup and costume, down the park strip and to the mall where I knew they sold MAC. I walked in, pointed to my lips and eyes, and told them “I want these exact colors”. Ever since then, it’s only gotten worse.
Inspirations from my looks come from everything around me as well as my interest base; sometimes sunsets and nature scenes inspire me, at other times my favourite video game or super heroes, all I know is once I get an idea in my head I must complete it or it will never leave. If I had to choose a favorite makeup artist other than myself, someone who I find pushes limits, and always succeeds it would be a draw between Amy (Shrinkle) of Sugarpill, or Tanja, Rose Shock. Both of these women execute everything flawlessly, have no fear of any color or shape, and boldly proclaim their love for makeup. As for my favorite brand, I really cannot pick one because it is fully dependent on the product type. My one true makeup love would be MAC, because we have such a long history, and it was a MAC artist that opened the door for me to even consider using any type of makeup again after my allergies. For brand, I truly appreciate the individuality of Sugarpill and how vibrant their colors are while staying committed to individuality and their values of utilizing vegan products. And Limecrime, the very first brand that convinced me lipstick was a necessary and worthwhile tool, a brand that is constantly reinventing new ways to color the world and has set a very high standard for smaller makeup companies everywhere.
And if I had to pick a favorite look, one that I enjoyed more than any other, it would be 2012’s Halloween look. I was the only person on my small college campus that dressed up for Halloween, and boy was it a blast. This look is called “Two-Faced Barbie”, one side of my whole body being exaggeratedly glamorous, and the other being zombiefied, torn, and bloody. I enjoyed this because it was the first time I made my own prosthetics, I did it in about 2 hours (full look, hair style, outfit, etc. at 5am no less), and because I learned so much from doing it! I used neon colors to create bruises, the craziest materials for my wounds, it was my first application of big-eyed double lashes, and I loved my “glamor” side so much I’ve recreated that for everyday wear quite a few times!
Hope you enjoy my looks to come, check me out on http://www.facebook/com/Luminouslooks and feel free to leave any questions/comments there!