– Could you tell us about your most memorable photo shoot?
This photo shoot (with Koh Gen Do) stands out because I’ve never done a photo shoot in Japan and always had a desire to do something with kimonos. Another one that stands out is the cover I did with British Vogue (August 2018). Also, my Time magazine cover with the First Lady (Michelle Obama) is also very memorable.
– What led you in becoming a makeup artist?
I was taking fashion photography while I was in college and saw girls with makeup which did not look good as what I saw in the magazines, so I had to make them even more beautiful. I went to the drugstore and bought cheap makeup and kept all the products in the fish box to carry out with me whenever I did their makeup or a photo shoot.
To become a better makeup artist, I practiced on myself and took pictures of myself with a polaroid so that I can do the same makeup on the models. I have always had an interest in beauty; physical, mental or any aspects. So I always want everything and everyone around me to feel beautiful.
“It’s more than just makeup, you get heart,
you can feel the love
from being in my presence
because I give love from within.”
– How do you feel about aging?
I don’t mind aging as long as I remain looking young. Which is why I try hard on it. I like to be around and work with young people because they give me energy.
I feel that there are perspective differences on aging between Americans and Japanese. I know this because from watching TV last week (in Japan), a lot of the Japanese women don’t mind showing their age or their winkles. They think about good skin, good clear skin, they don’t mind the winkles.
On the other hand, Americans want their skin to be as smooth as possible so they use many fillers, Botox and face lifts. This is because in America, a lot of your work is based on your looks and that always made me feel like I wasn’t accepted because of my looks. People look at you first and they learn who you are later. Which is why, if you want to be in the beauty industry in the states, you have to abide by the “unsaid rules” that you have to look a certain way. After loosing half of my weight, I started feeling better about myself and didn’t care about what people said because it’s all about how you feel about yourself. If you like who you are, and love who you are then it doesn’t matter what everyone else says. And I love who Derrick is now. I still feel like I’m a work in progress but, I love who I am.