Artist of the Week Natalie Huffman | BRUSHING UP | Senior uses makeup for transformative looks

Senior Natalie Huffman has been refining her makeup skills for over four years. 

On the first day of freshman year, senior Natalie Huffman walked through the doors of Peet Junior High wearing makeup to school for the first time. Experimenting and practicing over the summer, Huffman found new confidence on that first day. Since then, Huffman has been strutting into high school with confidence in each and every new look she tries. “That’s a feeling that never gets old,” Huffman said.

Huffman is influenced by the beauty community of social media and finds inspiration watching from the viewer’s side of the screen. “Seeing people ‘transform’ themselves into anything they want with such a wide array of products and colors is insane to me. I love love love watching videos about makeup, whether it’s reviews, tutorials, first impressions of new products, I love it for some reason and find it so interesting how large the industry is and how much it impacts people,” Huffman said.

Huffman said her creativity is influenced by more than the typical makeup artist you’d find on YouTube. “I think one of my biggest inspirations for makeup creativity is not only people like Jeffree Star and Nikkitutorials who strive to make people feel the absolute best about themselves while being so successful, but a huge role model to me is Billie Eilish. Her creativity and mindset is so mind blowing to me. Even though she isn’t really tied into the ‘beauty community,’ she just has the most insane ideas that continue to blow people like me away,” Huffman said.

When it comes to makeup, Huffman said eyeshadow is her weapon of choice. “I love eyeshadow overall. Eyeshadow, lipstick and lashes are definitely  some of my favorite things to experiment with. Some of my favorite holy grail products that I always find myself coming back to and continuously using is the Jaclyn Hill X Morphe palette. The colors are so universally flattering on all skin tones with a wide array of flattering warm tone shadows with fun pops of color that leave room for so much play,” Huffman said.

Creating many exotic looks over the years, Huffman said she can’t pick a favorite look because it all depends on the day. “I don’t necessarily have a favorite look because all looks have their own special thing about them, whether it’s just a brown smokey eye with a deep berry lip or bright blue eyeshadow with gems, it all ties back to how it makes me feel and view myself,” Huffman said.

A creative person by nature, Huffman has always had an eye for art. “I’ve always been involved with art in some way shape or form. Painting, ceramics, drawing, all that stuff. Same with those styles of art, there’s no right or wrong way to approach or follow through with the process of creating and creativity, and because of that I think that being involved with other arts doesn’t directly influence each other and makeup, but it helps spark creativity more often,” Huffman said.

Like any skill, Huffman said makeup takes practice, but it also needs to be spontaneous and without routine. “There’s no right or wrong way to do makeup. It’s all in how you approach it, but looks tend to be more ‘successful’ the more you do it. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be heavily and consistently practiced. It’s more of how you feel about yourself and enjoying the process that comes with makeup. There are so many ways to approach it, so like I said, I don’t think there’s specific guidelines to follow, but looking back on how I used to do my makeup there are some significant changes that cause me to become more satisfied with how I look if that makes sense,” Huffman said.

Wanting to “stand out to an extent,’’ Huffman aims for a slightly edgier style in terms of fashion. “Social media and, believe it or not, Tik Tok is where I get most of my inspiration for my looks. I love the whole baggy clothes with an insane amount of jewelry trend that’s going around right now, semi e-boy look. I love the stacking chains, big rings and other interesting pieces of jewelry look right now. Overall, taking different pieces from a variety of ‘fashion categories’ that appeal to me and putting them together into something I feel good and confident in is my overall goal for my style,” Huffman said. “Makeup influences my style in a way where it’s another piece that creates the whole look overall. I feel as though some of my looks aren’t complete with[out] a bold lip color or dramatic lashes. So, it definitely is one of the building blocks that add up to the final outcome.”

Huffman never knows when inspiration may strike, but she has identified a trend in her makeup schedule. “Honestly, when I do my more intense looks, I usually do it right before I’m about to shower or really late at night. No idea why, but it seems like every time I know I should be asleep, that’s when I usually do the more intense looks, and that’s one of the best things about makeup. It’s not permanent, and you can always take it off and start over again,” Huffman said.

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