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Your Favorite Gothic, Grungy Southern Belle With Makeup Artist Kayla

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Kayla is a makeup enthusiast and mother living in Tennessee. She shares a lot of gothic, grunge, and colorful looks on her Instagram. She is also a vintage fashion fan and loves anything from a Victorian aesthetic to tacky 80’s paisley prints and everything in between! 

Is there a relationship between your identity (queer/gender/ethnicity/otherwise) and the work you make?

I am bisexual, and that's something many do not know upon meeting me because I have children. I think my work, and my dabbling in a bit of every style kind of reflects that, in my opinion.

What are you hoping to achieve when it comes to putting your work out there on Youtube and Instagram?

I hope that when people come across my page they feel inspired to experiment and try something new. Whether it's color matching earrings or blending eyeshadow down to their cheekbones, my goal is for others to feel inspired in some way by my own self-expression. I don't thrive on being "perfect" as much as I thrive on personal growth, expression, and love.

How would you describe the makeup you wear?

The best way I can describe my makeup style is "grungy granny goth."

Do you have a tendency to coordinate your mood with whatever makeup look you wear that day?

I do! There are days where I feel more cutesy and wear pink, and then there are days where I am wearing a large black smoked out wing and black lipstick. It's all about what my mood is once I sit down at my vanity.

Does wearing makeup give you a sense of empowerment?

It does. I use makeup as a form of self-expression, and that has made me feel empowered because so many still think makeup is only used to "trick" people and to look pretty.

Throughout the years of you wearing makeup, how has the art evolved into something bigger for you?

I have made connections with so many people that have followed me, some have even become close friends of mine that I cherish deeply. Makeup has become not only a form of self-expression but a way to connect with people that make me feel less alone in the world.

What was your first “makeup moment” and what do you wear today?

I used to draw for hours on my mom as a child. I would use eyeliner and eyeshadow and get lost in drawing and creating different shades on her. I still tend to do that today. I'll pick up my brushes with one idea, and end up with something totally different because I got lost in myself.

How has being from Tennessee affected the art you put out, if it has at all?

It did when I was younger. I can say that in my city it's a rare occasion I run into people who have a similar style to mine, and I tend to draw a lot of stares with some of the looks I wear in public. I don't care anymore though—any look I post on my page is one that I would for sure wear in public.

Do you think people in the South have a tendency to express their artistic preferences differently than what you’ve seen in other places? Example: are they generally more conservative when it comes to makeup?

Yes, I do tend to see more conservative styles of makeup in my area. I only base that off what I see in public though, I do have quite a few followers from my city that have a similar taste in makeup.

Do you find that depending on the look you wear, or even when you’re not wearing makeup at all, people have a tendency to treat you differently?

Sometimes, but not often. I've had a couple of folks in public say off the wall things, but generally more people tend to compliment me!

Do you have any advice for any aspiring makeup artists?

Be consistent and don’t be afraid to let go and build relationships with people! Supporting other artists is also so vital to me. I think people think it’s all a competition when the truth is there’s room for everyone! It’s taken me a long time to build my skills up and find my own place in the beauty world. I feel that if I can do it, anyone can do it!

What is next for you? Do you have any hopes, dreams, plans you are excited about?

My hopes for this year and in the future are to continue to work with more indie brands. I love showcasing and raving about smaller indie brands on my page. I feel so many have unique products and packaging and so much to offer to the beauty community as a whole!