Don’t mess with this boy and his makeup!, Makeup artist Randy Santos talks @theboyandhismakeup
Once Randy Santos started experimenting with makeup during his Sophomore year of high school, he wanted to do nothing else.
Soon after, the self-taught makeup artist from The Bronx, who is now 24 and runs makeup-focused Instagram account @theboyandhismakeup, applied at retail chain Sephora and despite not having experience, wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“I applied several times [at Sephora] but never received a call back, actually most of the time I got the side eye,” said Santos.
“But I didn’t give up. I actually brought one of my friends to the store and did her makeup there. People started crowding around us to watch me do her makeup and some even started asking me questions and complimenting my work so, it caught the attention of the Assistant Manager…that’s how I got hired.”
However, Santos, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has been working at Sephora for about four years and is now at the 5th Avenue location, decided to up his makeup game outside of his job by creating @theboyandhismakeup, an Instagram account where he could showcase his work.
He began by taking pictures of his clients at Sephora and then setting up mini-photoshoots with friends at home. He’d take the photos with his iPhone.
“When I started, it wasn’t all picture perfect,” he said.
“But I started noticing positive reactions from people and I decided to dedicate all my posts and creativity to showing my makeup work and honestly, it was fascinating to me to see the interest and the growing following of the account so, I even created the hashtag #theboyandhismakeup to engage with people.”
But Santos, who has 17.4 thousand followers on the social media site, says it hasn’t all been praise and kind words. He admits he’s had to deal with negative comments and internet trolls.
“Some people name call, they write insults or says ‘Omg! Is that a man or a woman?’ or they’ll laugh at me in someway,” said Santos. “Some people have even told me that God doesn’t love me. I used to argue with them but now, I just block them because at the end of the day, what’s the point?”
He notes that running the @theboyandhismakeup account on Instagram has helped him build thick skin and also thanks his followers for their constant support and encouragement.
#IRL, out there in the streets of New York, Santos says, “…it’s pretty much the same thing. Some will love you and some will hate on you.”
“I wear makeup about five or six times a week and some people stare and make comments but I go out full face and that’s it,” he said. “I have the support of my friends, my family and my boyfriend, who are all very accepting and supportive so, that’s all that matters.”
Randy Santos of @theboyandhismakeup shares tidbits on finding success on Instagram.
On Getting Recognized in Person: “It was kind of strange at first because these young boys came to the store [Sephora] and they were just staring at me, two teenagers, and they were like just following me around and finally they asked me if I was @theboyandhismakeup and it seemed like they were a little starstruck so it was cute and funny.”
On Getting Contacted by Nicki Minaj: “Nicki Minaj was filming in New York and her makeup artist was sick and couldn’t travel so she sent out a Tweet asking her fans to recommend makeup artists for her. My friend tagged me and Nicki looked at my work and sent me a private message on Twitter saying she was interested. It didn’t work out in the end but it was still pretty amazing to have that exchange with her and for her to notice my work.”
On Advice for Followers who want to be MUA: “Focus on yourself. It’s easy to get intimidated by all the other talented people in the industry. Be humble and don’t lose your passion, be open to learning. Every single day, I learn something new. Believe it or not, everyone has something new to learn. There’s always more.
Randy is currently working on making Youtube videos and wishes to put even more of his personality “out there” for fans of his makeup artistry. For now, check him out at @theboyandhismakeup