Samaria Hudson has transitioned from dancing on stage to working behind it over the course of 2015.
Third-year psychobiology student Hudson and two other students will be makeup artists for the UCLA Cultural Affairs Commission’s fashion show, “So Fresh and So Clean,” Thursday. A budding makeup artist, Hudson was chosen because she can craft natural looks for people of color.
Hudson said she began viewing YouTube tutorials from YouTubers like Jackie Aina and Vicky Logan in December 2014, obsessively practicing challenging techniques in a mirror for one to two hours each day.
Learning online was initially difficult, Hudson said, because she couldn’t ask anyone questions, but she found YouTubers would often respond to questions posted in the comments.
“Once I just kept practicing and watching their videos over and over again it was simple,” Hudson said.
Preferring to use drugstore products, Hudson said she has filled her kit with foundations and blushes from the Target makeup section. She has spent hours browsing through the brightly lit isles, finding different products to try at home. Hudson used her skills to prepare friends for photoshoots and performances, like the Nigerian Student Association at UCLA’s dance team.
While Hudson danced on the team for two years, she chose not to continue because of the demanding time commitment. However, she stayed involved by volunteering to do team members’ makeup before performances.
“Being behind the stage showed me how much work was put into preparing everyone to get out,” Hudson said. “I wanted to make sure everything was right because my work was being put out there to see.”
Third-year anthropology student Kunbi Latona knew just what she wanted her look to be for NSA’s annual culture show in May 2015, bringing Hudson pictures from Instagram of women with pink smokey eye. Hudson helped her prepare backstage, bringing these visions to reality while adding her own touches of complementary colors.
Hudson said smokey eyes will make another appearance in the upcoming fashion show, which is part of Hip Hop Appreciation month. The show will illustrate hip-hop’s versatility and importance in the fashion world, said Kelsee Thomas, a third-year fine arts student and member of the fashion committee.
Hudson will prepare between 15 and 20 models for the runway and plans to use dark reds and smokey eye to create a gothic, rugged look. Hudson said the striking look will differ from her usual fresh and light style.
“She makes sure to enhance the person’s beauty in themselves, she doesn’t go crazy with the colors or anything,” Thomas said. “She wants to make sure that in the end you’re showing all of your natural beauty.”
Thomas said at many fashion shows people of color are not represented properly, a combination of many makeup artist’s lack of experience and makeup brands catering to lighter skin tones. But because Hudson specializes in makeup for people of color, Thomas said she trusts her abilities and will grant her artistic liberty during the show.
“We’re really going to let her do what she wants since I’ve seen her makeup before and she’s pretty great,” Thomas said.
Hudson said she wants to continue developing her brand through freelance makeup for events like the fashion show, growing her portfolio so she can start an Instagram page of her work. Her interest in the medical field, combined with a budding makeup career, has led Hudson to consider the cosmetic side of dermatology and developing healthy skin products.
While Hudson has also considered starting a YouTube channel like the ones she spent hours watching and studying, publishing her own tutorials to inspire other women, she feels at this point she cannot devote the time needed to make videos she would be proud of.
“I want to give it my all,” Hudson said. “I take a lot of pride in my work.”