How Make Up Artist Aileen Quintana is Chasing Rainbows

We got to sit down with Aileen Quintana, who opened up her company— Makeup by Aileen— six years ago. With a staggering number of projects under her belt and coming her way, including being named the new Co-Chair for the Contemporary’s Committee for the Perez Art Museum Miami, she has evolved to be so much more than just your typical makeup artist. When approached for the interview, her exact words were: “No, let’s not do an interview, let’s make it an editorial.” With an incredible zest for life and a giving spirit, she doesn’t just make art— she lives it.

Galore Mag - Aileen Quintana

Photography by Loamis Rodriguez
interview by Carel Lajara

What do you think sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Something that has lead me to where I am today and to my success is my thought process and what I can bring to the table. I do a lot of creative direction and my concepts, when it comes to fashion, have definitely set me apart from everyone else. My ideas and designs, and at the same time my level of producing. When you go into production you can’t just be an artist anymore, you have to be the administrative side to a business. It’s nice to go in there, you have the art concept laid out and you’re able to orchestrate a team. My work is in production, so I have artists that work underneath my branch. I produce for TV, film, fashion, all sorts of multimedia. Great work and my professionalism have really set me apart. Also, my outlook for life. I’m always engaging and that’s intriguing, like when you engage with a client you can’t just have talent, you have some sort of entertainment value as well.

Who/what inspires you?
What doesn’t inspire me? You’re talking to a girl who wakes up at sunrise to watch the colors and who makes sure to always be outside when it’s golden hour. Those are the things that really have lead me to be who I am today. I’m a color theorist; looking at colors, analyzing colors, the color pattern, and my involvements with the arts as well, and using that as a beautiful partnership and merging fashion and art together with a medium of using beauty as my vessel. So really playing with colors. It’s so much fun.

What has been the most influential place you’ve visited?
I mean each city has so many different aspects; I currently work a lot in Japan. But, Hawaii, I mean you look out your window and there’s a rainbow, there’s rainbows every five minutes, it’s like what is wrong with this state? Is this even real? So I just hunted rainbows for two days; sunsets and rainbows those were my events, that’s all I did.

Galore Mag - Aileen Quintana

Who’s your dream collaboration with?
Miles Aldridge. He is one of my favorite photographers. He produces all the covers for Vogue Beauty, and they’re so amazing. His story concepts, I just enjoy them so much. A little bit more of a shock value, a little bit more of a different approach to how we interpret beauty shots; I like his perspective on it.

You’ve been featured in some pretty big magazines, including Vogue; how did that come about?
People just get to know who you are, your credibility, and your level of work. My work speaks for itself. But, at the end of the day I’m still like everyone else. I’m just here to do it, I don’t even care, and I still test with people just because if I like it I’ll do it. It’s the hardest thing not to develop an ego in this industry; my number one forte is to not have an ego or just to have it more in the creative aspect.

How would you classify your style?
Currently, I’m obsessed with anything sci-fi/ futuristic/ another domain. I really love dressing up in concept theories. Man, I really don’t know how to describe it myself because it’s like I wake up everyday, put something on and everyone’s like oh that looks awesome and I’m like alright, sure. But it’s fun, you know it’s hard to describe it in the sense that it’s just an emotion that I feel. But people seem to enjoy my fashion sense and if I can inspire them I’m like sure. I’m just a shimmering mermaid flying through the heavens, I don’t know bro, my head is really up in the clouds and my feet are really planted, so I’m walking pretty tall right now.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
I’m so blessed, I just had an extremely successful fashion art installation at iii Points Festival which was amazing, and I just got off working a month in Tokyo, that was pretty amazing. I’m like tomorrows probably going to be really amazing, too. Honestly, I feel like there have been so many milestones and so many things that have happened so frequently as of recently. I just got hired right now to be a U.S. correspondent for a Tokyo television station, so were going be filming here at the end of next week and I’ll be doing another segment with them in New York a couple of days after that, and that’s different you know; I’m now a Tokyo personality in their market. So it’s just such extremes from the different avenues that I’ve been blessed with so it’s kind of cool.

Galore Mag - Aileen Quintana

Makeup: Aileen Quintana /
Stylist: Monica grajeda
Hair: Junior and hatter /

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