Viktorija Bowers, born and raised in Croatia (Hrvatska) on the Dalmatian Coast.  She's a very talented artist, with top clients: Diane Von Furstenberg, Dove, L'Oreal Professional, Nicole Miller, Gap, Neiman Marcus, Olay, and J. Crew.  Editorials: Vogue, WWD, L' Officiel, Essence, New York Magaizne, Oprah, and CITY.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me your journey as a makeup artist from when you began to now?

Viktorija Bowers: I started by chance encounter with MAC manager, when they opened up a counter in the mall where I was working handing out perfumes. They liked my look and asked me to come audition for them for a part-time position. I got the job and once I picked up that brush it was magic, I knew what my career was going to be. I came from small town coast of Croatia and my mom is a hairstylist. So I was always surrounded by women beautifying them- selves and it was just so natural to me. MAC gave me 4 wonderful years of practice, opportunity to learn diverse makeup application and product. While working at the counter, I started contacting photographers and testing for my portfolio on my free time. I worked very hard to build a decent portfolio and decided to move to NYC to pursue my dreams. When I arrived here, I knew that everything I accomplished (while living in Atlanta) I had to let go of and start over. I was nobody in the very important fashion city and I knew I had to roll up my sleeves and work hard.  It ensued many months (almost a year) of testing, doing stuff for free and pounding the pavement. I am so grateful for every opportunity given.

EFM: Where do you reside (live).

VB: I live in New York City

EFM: Do you think that it is hard to break into this business?

VB: Yes. Makeup artist are a dime a dozen. It is a little bit easier for hairstylist, good talented ones are hard to find and agencies will fight for them. There are so many makeup artist that are very talented, that sometimes it can be discouraging. That, however, never stopped me from following my dream. Besides makeup skill, you need to have a professional attitude and personality to enhance your marketability.

EFM: Can you tell me your favorite brand of makeup to use?

VB:  I love companies like Smasbox, Benefit, Makeup For Ever, Stila, Urban Decay and indie makeup artist lines like Alison Raffaele and Obsessive Compulsive Makeup that makes great organic products.

EFM: Who was your first Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist that you assisted?

VB: I only assisted Dick Page for a few seasons of Fashion Week.  That was an amazing experience. I hold Mr. Page in highest regard and he is my role model. I love his light-handed makeup technique, his unassuming personality and kindness. He is the total package, true inspiration.

EFM: What inspires you?

VB: Everything.  It can be a puddle that's formed on the street, the way it mixed with car oil that reflects  the sun; I find inspiration in it. Music, fairy tales, art, people, life experiences......you can find inspiration in everything, if you open yourself up.

EFM: What is your typical day like and how long are the hours?

VB: Call times are typically around 9 am, unless we are going out of town on location, then sometimes pick up (with location van) can be 5 am in the morning. Hours vary, sometimes they are your standard 8 hours or they can go on for 12 hours (even 16 in some cases). They are long and I recommend dressing comfortably.

EFM: Do you have any beauty tips for a long lasting glow?

VB: Skin care!!! No foundation will cover horrible skin.  If you want to glow, use night moisturizer at night, spf one during the day time and exfoliate at least once a week. Use primers to prolong your makeup; use primers, like Laura Mercier primer or Urban Decay primer for the eyes, it makes shadow and foundation stay longer. I am also a big fan of cream blushes; I like Stila convertible colors.

EFM: Name five things that women need in their make bag?

VB: Tinted moisturizer, good concealer (I love erase paste by Benefit), eyelash curler, mascara, multiple purpose cream color (like Stila Convertible colors), and lip gloss.

EFM: Do you have a favorite color of lipstick; if so what color?

VB: My personal signature is Ruby Woo matte red.

EFM: What advice would you give to an aspiring makeup artist?

VB: I have seen few instances where aspiring makeup artist took someone else's images and put them in their portfolio to speed up the process. It is the worst ethical offense you can do in our industry.  Once found out (and trust me you will be) it is pretty much career suicide. There is no way around it, you have to work HARD and keep your focus. I am very grateful to all people in this city that gave me my first chance and believed in me. If you are a hard worker with persistence (respectful  one, stalkers are big turn off) you will be rewarded. View every experience as  a valuable lesson.

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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