‘Do some solid research before you decide to go into a career in make-up’:
Meet cruelty-free MUA Alexandra Sas
Alexandra is a 26-year-old, cruelty-free MUA based in Brighton. We met up at an independent coffee shop in Brighton and had a chat about her career.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am originally from Romania and came to England 7 years ago to study Media Design. However, after graduating from the university I decided that this is not the right career for me, so I went on a make-up course.
When did you first discover your passion for make-up?
I always enjoyed make-up, but my friends were the first people to point out that I was good at it. My actual passion for it kicked off in 2014, so I decided to do a short course to explore it as an art form, and I fell in love. That’s when I found out that I was actually good at it!
What fascinates you the most about it?
Everything that surrounds it! Especially the fact that it is a versatile form of art – you can play around it a lot – there are no right or wrong ways to use make-up.
Do you specialise in a particular kind of make-up (e.g. wedding make-up..)? What’s your specialty?
I don’t really specialise in a particular kind of make-up. I love working on creative shoots, editorial looks, and high fashion shots – I like my work to reflect a nice blend of everything.
Many artists have a style that makes them unique. What’s yours?
I am a fan of creative, bright, colourful looks – mostly unwearable!
What do you enjoy the most – working on your own face or the clients’?
I enjoy both equally, but it’s of course easier to go a little bit crazier when you work on your own face; I like the freedom I have when working on my own face. I’m into edgy, ‘unwearable’ looks, you see.
When and why did you decide to become a cruelty-free makeup artist?
Last year – in fact, everything started when I decided to go vegetarian. I discovered plenty of great, cruelty-free brands, so I got inspired to keep it up.
As a cruelty-free makeup artist what is the biggest challenge you have faced?
I don’t think I have faced any really big challenges. However, many clients tend to prefer bigger brands. Now that more and more drug store vegan brands are popping up, I like to embrace the change.
How easy was it to make the transition to cruelty free?
Fairly easy, I would say. There are plenty of affordable cruelty-free, good quality brands out there that are vegan as well.
Speaking of it…do you want to explain the difference between ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’?
Cruelty-free implies that the products were not tested on animals, whereas vegan implies that they don’t contain any animal products in them.
What would you say to those assuming cruelty-free and vegan make-up products are not affordable?
I would encourage them to do some research because nowadays even drug stores provide customers with a wide range of such products that are affordable.
Do you think that vegan make-up products can work for any client skin type?
Yeah, definitely! What makes the difference between vegan and non-vegan products are the ingredients used, not skin type!
How far do you think your clients consider sustainability when buying make-up products?
Well, some of them do, but the majority are not really into it, I think. That’s probably because there are so many make-up brands out there that people use – it’s impossible to keep track of what’s cruelty-free and what is not.
Do you have a favourite cruelty-free cosmetic line at the moment?
I am currently in love with two cosmetic lines, but my absolute favourite is Melt Cosmetics. I love this brand because apart from being cruelty-free, it also produces outstanding quality products.
What are your top 3 cruelty-free makeup essentials?
At the moment I would choose my NYX liquid liner, my Melt Cosmetics eye shadows, and synthetic Koko lashes.
What advice would you give to someone looking to build a cruelty-free career?
I would tell them to do some solid research before deciding to go into a career in make-up. That’s because it is important to stick to your decision once you make up your mind. Find a cause, ask yourself why you think that such a career is the right one for you, stick to your beliefs and express them to the world…find a message you want to get across through art. This may set you as an inspiration to other people wanting to follow a similar career path.
Any future plans?
I am currently building up my portfolio and working at photoshoots, so we’ll see where it goes from here. I may also invest some more time in my YouTube videos…I do aspire of course to manage to build my own cruelty-free makeup kit, but this feels to be an untouchable dream at the moment!
A massive thank you to Alexandra for her time, and good luck on her career!