Porsche, in New York

zr-porsche-cover“I will always attribute my career to my mother. She was so glamorous and I used to get up early so I could watch her do her makeup and put on her suit and heels.”

Originally PORSCHE COOPER wanted to be a lawyer, but during college at the University of Texas, Porsche started working for MAC cosmetics and her passion for all things beauty began to take hold. After graduating from UT and a brief stint at a law firm, Porsche realized that what she really wanted to do was pursue a career as a make-up artist in New York.

Porsche accepted a position with MAC and began working on fashion shows for designers like Rodarte and Proenza Schouler before landing a major break grooming Chris Brown for an appearance on BET. Soon after Porsche’s talent was no longer a secret and her portfolio began to fill with editorials for magazines like Glamour and private clients like Azaelia Banks, June Ambrose and NeNe Leakes.

Working in the fashion and beauty industry is of interest to many of you, so I wanted to get the inside scoop from a successful make up artist like Porsche and I’m certain you’ll be inspired by her infectious attitude about life and the importance of living your dreams.

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Porsche, describe your first beauty memory.
My mother has always had an affinity for all things beautiful. I remember being about 6 years old watching her get ready for work in the morning, brushing her Guerlain powder across her cheeks, applying her signature cat-eye liquid liner and red lipstick. Right then and there my love of makeup and artistry began…that and being in love with the glamorous lifestyle. I attribute my entire career to my mother.

How did your career as a make up artist begin?
I was in college studying government and communications and was in the beauty department at Saks Fifth Ave, when I was approached by a manager at the MAC counter and showered with compliments on my personal makeup. She asked me if I would be interested in working for the brand and willing to do a verbal and makeup interview. I of course was super excited and was later hired. That marked the very beginning of my professional career.

Any lessons learned when you were first starting out?
There were so many lessons I learned when I first started doing makeup, but probably the most important is to never stop learning. Never tell yourself or anyone what you can’t do–you can learn how to do anything! I’ve taught myself so many techniques over the years and have learned to master my craft by watching those who came before me. You are never too good to be better.

Describe a typical day now.
There isn’t a typical day for me. Each day of the week is totally different from the next. I might have personal clients making tv appearances, be on set for a photo shoot, have a meeting with one of my creative counterparts to formulate a concept for a new project, give a personal makeup lesson, do makeup for one of New York’s sociables for a gala, or be on set for a fashion video. Don’t even get me started on my schedule during Fashion Week! I am forever grateful that my industry is full of so many creative outlets and is never, ever mundane.

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Harper’s Bazaar tear sheet featuring Porsche’s work

What most inspires your creativity?
I am inspired by iconic women past and present, museums, street fashion, my closest cronies, beauty in nature, and the most skilled hands in makeup.

What would be a dream collaboration for you?
I love shooting editorials, so one of my dream collaborations would be to design makeup looks for a print and moving art campaign for one of my favorite design houses like Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta or Lanvin.

What advice would you give aspiring make up artists?
If you work hard enough, you can be exactly what and where you want to be. Always believe you are good enough–you think therefore you are.

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Describe your personal style.
Sparkle, sequins, shimmer, beads, fringe, tassels. I love anything uber feminine and luxe. I would wear an evening gown everyday if it were appropriate.

What are your five must-have beauty essentials?
Sisley-Paris Restorative Facial Cream, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Lansinoh baby wipes, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer and false eyelashes.

With such a hectic schedule, how do you create balance in your life?
I have to prioritize what is most important. I can’t be everywhere and be everything to everyone until I’ve been good to myself first.

Name a song that takes you someplace special whenever you hear it.
Lovers Rock by Sade.

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Name a place you’d like to see before you die.
I look forward to yachting the Mediterranean during the European summer from the French Riviera to the Greek Isles to visit Monaco, Cannes, Ibiza, Croatia…heavenly, no?

One word…

What advice do you have for younger women?
The most important and most wondrous relationship you will have in life, is with yourself. We must nurture our mind, body, and spirit with love and respect. Live your life! Do what you love. There does not exist a dream that is too grand to manifest into reality. Our history and lineage has taught us so. If you are not living your dream, or better yet working towards it relentlessly, you are not living to your full potential. We were all designed with a certain level of genius and talent that we must tap into and pursue. We do a disservice to ourselves and to our world by being complacent with mediocrity. Take a chance on yourself. You are worth the risk!

If asked to write your memoirs, what would the title be?
Dipped in Gold.

Interviewed May 2013 by Yolanda, editor of Zavvi Rodaine.
Top Photo used with permission of Lexi Cross.
Additional Photos used with permission of Jamie Beck with styling by Kelly Framel.
© Zavvi Rodaine.com 2013. No part of this interview may be used or reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the Editor of Zavvi Rodaine.com.

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