RINGWOOD, N.J. – When she was growing up in Ringwood, Rebecca Martin never knew what she wanted to be when she got older.
Then her mom took her to a makeup counter.
“I was actually adopted by Italians and I am Korean, so of course my mom didn’t know how to correctly apply makeup to my type of skin and my eyes,” Martin said. “So, she took me to an Estee Lauder counter for my 16th birthday.”
The experience, helped Martin “find myself,” she said.
“Seeing an Asian makeup artist and how she was dressed and how her makeup was, something just drew me to it,” she said.
Now a 25-year-old Fair Lawn resident, Martin works as a professional freelance makeup artist. She has done work for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, VH1 Live, the Real Housewives of New York and celebrities like P. Diddy, French Montana, Somaya Reece and Shanell “Lady Luck” Jones.
She’ll also be appearing as herself — Somaya Reece’s personal makeup artist — on upcoming episodes of Bravo TV’s new reality show, First Family of Hip Hop. The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m.
Martin said social media helped her break into doing makeup for celebrities and most of her clients find her through Instagram and word of mouth.
“I started doing makeup for my friends and my family and started promoting myself as doing makeup, and from there … it started going crazy,” she said.
She also does makeup for weddings, provides people with personal makeup lessons and uses her talent to give back.
Every so often she uses social media to ask women to send her their stories of why they want a makeover. “I’ll read their stories -- and who I think really genuinely needs it -- I will contact them. And then I will do their makeup for like a special event,” she said.
She has done makeovers and personal makeup lessons for homeless women and domestic violence victims, she said.
“My favorite part about doing makeup is meeting new people and hearing everybody’s stories and making them feel their best self, but still looking like themselves,” she said.
“I just love teaching people and making people feel good about themselves,” she said.
Follow Martin on Instagram at @KOREANKANDY .