Having been in the beauty industry for nearly a decade, Vanesa Edeza effortlessly combines the dreamy aesthetics of the ’90s with the romantic allure of contemporary makeup artistry.
Crafting looks that echo the iconic styles of ’90s supermodels while introducing a fresh twist, Vanesa’s portfolio reflects a deep understanding of color theory, skin textures, and facial structures. Every brushstroke reveals her expertise, whether she’s collaborating with celebrities like TiaCorine or Dess Dior. Meanwhile, her commitment to impeccable finishes and quality products has cemented her as a makeup artist to watch.
Vanesa’s journey started much earlier in Baldwin Park, located in San Gabriel Valley. The small city couldn’t contain her big dreams. Immersed in issues of Vogue and other magazines, she crafted collages and fantasized about stepping into the high-heeled shoes of the makeup artists who brought those editorial looks to life. So, she hustled, learning the ropes at the beauty counters of Sephora, MAC, and Kylie Cosmetics right out of high school.
However, beyond the glitz and glamour, Vanesa sees the bigger picture. As a proud Mexican-American artist, she champions representation and tirelessly advocates for diversity in the beauty industry. Like many of us, the MUA is eager to see a field as vibrant and varied as the looks she creates. Vanesa consistently highlights the beauty of women of color through her work, creating a canvas that tells a story far beyond just makeup.
We spoke to Vanesa Edeza about discovering makeup, her current obsessions, championing WOC, and much more. Continue scrolling to read our conversation.
Before we get into your accolades, can you tell us more about yourself and how you became a makeup artist?
Absolutely! Well, first and foremost, I’m a Mexican-American makeup artist, I grew up in a small town called Baldwin Park in the San Gabriel Valley. I started working at different makeup stores and counters like Sephora, MAC, and Kylie Cosmetics right after graduating high school, where I was quick to pick up techniques and elevate my makeup artistry skills. I also learned from other artists in the field and had mentors along the way.
Do you remember when you first discovered makeup?
I became fascinated with the art of makeup at such a young age. From watching my mother and how she would wear her makeup to being inspired by the makeup my dolls had growing up. A core memory that I have that lit this spark in me was when my mother would take me makeup shopping on her days off. We would always make a stop at Sephora or MAC, and the girls that worked there always looked so cool to me because they wore these fun colors on their eyelids, or unique lipstick combinations on their lips and just looked flawless from head to toe.
I would watch them do makeup on their clients and saw them transform people and make them feel even more beautiful than they already were. I just thought that was so special, for them to use their artistry skills to make people feel a certain way. I just knew I wanted to be like those artists when I grew up.
You often describe your work as “romantic and dreamy with a 90s supermodel touch.” What products do you use to achieve your signature aesthetic?
I always reach for my classic MAC lip liners to create overdrawn ombre-shaded lips. Or my Dior Face & Body Backstage Primer for that supermodel glow. I also really love the bright matte undereye, and my favorite way to achieve that is with the Kevyn Aucoin sensual skin enhancers or Makeup Forever matte velvet concealers. I either set with Charlotte Tilbury or Huda Beauty powders.
What’s the most important makeup tip you’ve ever learned?
Color theory! Every makeup artist really needs to understand color theory in order to be able to work on all complexions. To be able to master color theory and be able to create a custom foundation shade for someone using only primary colors is truly incredible and can really take your technique to another level.
Earlier this year, you did glam on Dess Dior — what was the process behind creating that look?
She was looking to do something fun and different. We combined a soft glam look with a creative eye. The eye was really cool because it was like an airbrushed star on the inner corners of her eyes and tied into a soft cut crease on the lids.
Beyond that, you’ve also worked with some exciting clients, including Marta Pozzan, TiaCorine, and more. What’s been the biggest pinch-me moment in your career?
Honestly, anytime I get to work on special projects with special people, it feels like a “pinch me” moment. I’m always so grateful because ever since starting my career, my goal has been to be in the industry and work with big names and work on editorials, campaigns, music videos, red carpets, et cetera. And I’m really out here doing that! You just never know where your career is going to take you!
Let’s talk about trends! Is there anything that you’ve been obsessed with lately?
I’ve actually been super obsessed with asymmetric eye or lip looks. @Sam_Makeup_Art on Instagram creates these otherworldly looks that are just so inspiring to me!
One of the many reasons that people have come to love you is that you champion women of color through your work as a MUA. How do you feel about where the industry is right now in terms of diversity and inclusion?
I’m very thankful for the opportunities and the trust to be able to work with so many WOCs. As a Latina, I would love to see more diversity working alongside me in the makeup and hair department. Although some things have been changing, there is still opportunity.
Finally, what other beauty products do you swear by?
I love the Hourglass Veil Setting Spray, Patrick Ta Blush Duos and Body Glow, Augustinus Bader moisturizer, and Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Palette.