Dreamheart Spotlight #9

I was well into my twenties the first time I let a man lay a digit on my mane.  Yes, I was skeptical.  And as I set there sweating through my blouse, having heart palpitations and dreading to open my eyes as he swiveled the chair to a position facing the mirror; I had my speech all mapped out for how I would plead my case when I took him to court.  Minutes later when I finally opened my eyes, to my surprised, ALL MY HAIR WAS STILL THERE.  And you know what?  It looked good!  I learned a very important lesson that day.  In today’s Dreamheart Spotlight you will meet Leon Willis, hair stylist, makeup artist (MUA) and wardrobe stylist. (And yes... A Man!) 

“I started as a hairstylist then started doing makeup and wardrobe styling. I love makeup and wardrobe styling the most. Most of my wardrobe styling clients come from me doing their makeup,” said Willis. “I haven't had any work published or anything but that's my goal to do makeup and wardrobe for celebs, shows, events, and the everyday person as well. Not so much with hair though.”

Willis’ merge into the fashion industry was unorthodox to say the least.  “Well I'm kind of the odd ball in the industry. I'm was a college and overseas basketball player before I started doing hair so it's funny how people react when they hear what I do and that I'm actually good and passionate about it,” he said.
 
Not all of Willis’ abilities and fashion forecasting savvy were self taught.  “I attended and finished cosmetology school at Bennett Career Institute.”

“The Internet is [a] friend, blogs, YouTube, Google can teach u anything but you can't count out magazines. I have them all over my apartment. I might be a magazine hoarder”, he joked.

With dreams to glam celebrities such as Lala Vazquez, Angelina Jolie, Jill Scott, Pink and Lady Gaga to name a few; Willis does not take his job lightly.

 “I take the whole 24/7 365 approach so when there is a job no matter where I'm there; as long as we can work out something I'll travel to wherever no matter when. I just love what I do so much,” he said.

Willis went on to share a secret with us about his fascination with international fashion, culture, and comedy. “Pat McGrath is like my makeup mom who doesn't know it”, he laughed. “I want to do every fashion show she does and I love British comedy. “

Among many there is one stereotype Willis wanted to lay to rest.  “[MUA] is a true profession and everyone can't do it. People don't realize how hard we work in this industry. It's a 24hr job we don't just punch in and out like a 9-5 it's a lifestyle. Most jobs you go home and you’re not what you do anymore but I'm always a makeup artist, hairstylist and wardrobe stylist no matter when,” he said.

With pet peeves exposure, often comes sound advice.  “Women who cake makeup on their face and women who where their makeup to sleep; It's not good for your skin and the most important thing in makeup is taking care of the skin,” said Willis.

In spite of being in high demand, Willis remains humble.  “I [have] only been doing this for almost a year plus I look at each job as a blessing so if I'm available I don't turn any jobs down. Even if I was well recognized I would still take free and TFP jobs.”

Want to know more about this Dreamheart?

The best way to contact Leon Willis for either more information and/or booking:

Twitter: @leewill_MUA
Model Mayham: #2287085
Facebook: Lee Willis

Be sure to show Leon some love and don't miss next week's Dreamheart Spotlight!

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