Leslie Sondreal may put makeup on people as a business, but considers this job as something more beyond the makeup—a way to build confidence.
“You have to love what you see in the mirror when you wash off your makeup,” Sondreal said. “You have to still be confident with who you are.”
Sondreal started “Shut Up and Makeup with Leslie,” as a freelance makeup artist and international cosmetic business owner, three years ago. Over the past year, she has expanded the business to include a team of not only makeup artists, but also hair stylists, known together as Shut Up & Glam Up– the Hair & Makeup Glam Squad. She discussed her start in makeup, her current business, the things she enjoys most about her job, and the reason she sees makeup as an art and fashion.
Three years ago, she started selling makeup, a decision opening up doors for her, and later a photographer saw her makeup work in a wedding, opening up even more doors. Through the makeup company she worked with, Sondreal was chosen to attend a convention in St. Louis, as one of 18 makeup artists at the event, a “big deal” she said. The event hosted 10,000 presenters from eight different countries.
Currently, Sondreal lives in rural Middle River with her husband of 15 years, David, and they have three children– Piper, 15, Paris, 12, and Deacon, 4. Together, they enjoy spending time in the outdoors, especially the North Shore in northeast Minnesota. She loves being a mom and spending time with her family, but before selling makeup, knew she wanted be more than just a stay at home mom. She felt she could help women discover their worth and beauty with and without makeup. Since starting her business, she has noticed a change in herself.
“I had zero confidence before (doing people’s makeup),” Sondreal said. “… Now I feel like I’m building confidence in people. I get told that all the time. And, I wasn’t doing that before.”
On staff, Sondreal has her main makeup artist, Sydney Thygeson, and one in training, Erin Telander. Sondreal doesn’t just pick random people off the streets to be makeup artists, looking for individuals with talent, passion and the ability to be trained or coached. Also, aspiring 14-year old makeup artist, Hannah Lindohlm, helped Sondreal in the Just For Kix Dance production of Thriller.
For the last year, she has also had two hair stylists on her team with some hair styling background in Kathrine Howard and Josey Smith. Having a team like this, Sondreal said, allows her to address an entire wedding party.
As for events she caters to, she didn’t limit it, but did say they do makeup and hair for high school senior photos, weddings, theatre events (more on a voluntary basis), Halloween, and various other photo shoots. She also does face painting for various occasions, an area where she’s always looking to improve.
To learn more about and see more of Leslie’s work, go to Facebook and search “Shut Up and Makeup with Leslie” or “Shut Up and Makeup,” or email Leslie at [email protected].
To see more of this story, read the November 30 issue of The Tribune in print or online.