SAFFAIE aka ROXY
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
Saffaie has a long list of experience under her belt.
She has lived in Hawaii, Paris, and now she's based in
Los Angeles /New York. Roxy has traveled around the
world and has worked with many. To name a few she
has worked with fashion photographers Steven Klein,
Patrick Hoelck, Hedi Slimane, and Miles Aldridge.
Her work has been featured in Oyster, Vogue Brazil,
Paper, Nylon, Essence, and WWD. Some of her
clients has included Michael Kors, Russel Simmons,
Leighton Meester, Tommy Hilfiger, Ashton Kutcher. Fashion
shows YSL, Jill Stuart, Giorgio Armani Prive,
Pucci, French Festival - Christian Dior, Chanel, Hermes,
Jean Paul Gautier, and Sonya Rykiel. The list goes
on and on.
Exclusively Fashion Magazine:
Can you tell me your journey as a make-up artist from
when you began to now?
My passion for creating and having a flair for
entrepreneurialism is the foundation of my career. From
painting on the walls of my childhood home to making
over my friends for events in high school, I fell in
love with color and transformation. Being a professional
makeup artist came to me while working in sales behind a
makeup counter years ago. Although I was very good
with sales, my favorite part of the job was to perform
makeup on the women that would come to the counter.
It was not long before I quit that job after realizing
that I could actually have a career strictly doing
makeup and actually make a good living doing it.
I started the freelance hustle, came up on
some great jobs here and there, but also struggled to
keep it steady and learn the business. Being young and
journeying through my 20’s I also was finding my way in
life and had developed another work related passion for
Marketing and PR in the fashion and music industries. I
ventured out and pursued work in those areas and
eventually moved from Honolulu to New York City to take
it a step further. In NYC I found myself keeping
one foot in makeup, doing jobs that would come to me
through people I knew, and one foot in the areas of
marketing and PR until eventually it was time for
another change. That change took place when I
decided to move to Paris for several months and attend
Christian Chauveau’s artistic academy. It was an amazing
experience with everything taught in French by some of
the most incredible makeup artist instructors. My
hands already had a feeling for performing makeup with
good skill but being a student at CC, my EYES left the
school equipped with the strongest attention to detail,
which to this day keeps me on top of my game.
I ended up moving back to NYC 6 months
later and picked up where I left off, playing with 2
different careers, freelance makeup and marketing. Three
years my inspirations for work evolved when I moved from
NYC to LA and that’s I decided to commit to my makeup
career full time. My artistry with makeup found its
way back to me only this time I discovered a new love
for it and patience so I could grow a real career from
it. I started working on my book, building
relationships and constantly researching.
makeup is all that I do, all that I want to do and all
that plan to do in the years to come. I absolutely love
my job and never feel like I am “working’ when hired for
a gig. I will say that the experiences I gained while
working in marketing and PR have helped me be a stronger
business woman and not just a creative artist which I
feel is crucial to building a successful career as
EFM: Do you remember your first
paid job; if so, what was it? Were you nervous?
My first paid job was for
Chanel at the Chanel boutique in Honolulu where I was
living at the time. I was more focused on doing a
great job than I was nervous. Chanel was having a model
search and the winner would walk the Chanel runway in a
huge collection of runway shows called “ The French
Festival” where designers such as Hermes, Christian Dior
and Jean Paul Gautier were featured along with Chanel.
My model was the winner and I got press in the local
papers because of it so I was really excited about it.
Do you think that it is hard to break into this
Yes I do think it’s
challenging to break into this business and do well in
it. I think some of the best careers will offer some
challenge and in return the reward is that much sweeter
when you succeed.
EFM: We all know that you have to
work from the bottom to reach the top in this industry.
How long have you been working to gain experience and do
you think that it is still necessary to work for free?
have been working for years to gain experience and
everyday I seek new ones. The day I have “too much
experience” is the day I am officially bored with what I
do for a living. Everyday is a new experience in
my career and that’s one of the things I love about it
most. I do see it still necessary to be open to
working free jobs, pending the job and reason behind it.
If there is a good cause or someone I really want to
work with, I don’t have any problem offering my makeup
for as a free trail or a test to gain a relationship.
That said it’s also very important to not sell yourself
EFM: What is your
favorite brand of
make-up to use?
It’s hard to have a “favorite”
I use so many amazing lines such as Shu Uemura, Smashbox,
Nars and YSL. I also use some amazing makeup from
Japan that delivers incredibly.
What inspires you?
makes my emotions move inspires me. Nature, Art,
History, Music, Travel, Poetry, Love and even Pain…
EFM: It can be pretty hectic
backstage during fashion week; how do you stay calm and
I stay focused and
confident. I was hired for a reason and my job is
to deliver. It’s important to be reliable.
EFM: What is your typical day
like and how long are the hours?
One of my favorite things
about my job is that no day is typical. Every job
is different. It can be a day waking at 5 to be on
set by 7 and working 10+ hours. Or a day on
location painting on beautiful talent and petting wild
horses all day… that was one of my most recent jobs-
EFM: Do you have a
favorite color of
lipstick; if so what color?
I love a sharp red
with a blue undertone but my sister favourite is a
shocking fuchsia. I love to make a statement with
What are the make-up trends for fall 09?
It seems this year fall trends
produced a focus on red lips or had an 80’s inspired,
dramatic eye. Makeup can be a great accessory to your
look and I think fall is an especially great time to
approach your look in that fashion. Most people
usually find their fall wardrobe to be full of dark
colors so working color on your face can be a great way
to brighten up your look.
EFM: Any beauty tips for a
long lasting glow?
RS: Take care
of your skin. Use sunscreen, exfoliate, moisturize and
try to live a healthy lifestyle. Skin is the
canvas to your makeup and the better the skin the better
your makeup will wear.
What advice can you give to make-up artists who are
working for the first time backstage at a fashion show?
Stay focused, be confident and
always professional. Be the kind of makeup artist
you would want supporting you at one of your fashion
advice would you give to an aspiring make-up artist?
Believe in yourself, keep your
brushes moving, learn the business not just how to apply
makeup, educate yourself on the industry and be patient.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes that I live by
is that “Success is a journey not a destination” so
enjoy the ride…
Interview by Rochell “E” James