Painting faces: Sophomore develops respect for makeup

November 23, 2015 — by Daphne Liu and Michelle Koo

Sophomore Ania Kranz delves into her talent of makeup.

Rushing to junior Julie Cai during tutorial on Oct. 30, sophomore Ania Kranz quickly gathered her makeup to fulfill her friend request of becoming a comic girl for Halloween, a look involving dark makeup and precise skill.

When began working on Cai, she laid out her brushes and eyeshadow palettes and began to define lines and dots on her human canvas.

Kranz has become known as a skilled makeup artist, working for drama productions and providing informal help to friends.

She first gained an interest in makeup two years ago when she “decided to start being creative and see what [she] could do.” She started realizing her talent when she participated in the musicals and plays at school. Since the actors and actresses had limited time to do their own makeup, they asked her to be their unofficial makeup artist.

After one makeup job was finished, other performers would request that she help darken up their eyebrows or contour the features on their faces.

“Under stage lights, everything has to be darker and more intense than it would be every day, so I basically began as an actor and transitioned into helping a bunch of people backstage,” Kranz said.

As others noticed her talent, she soon began receiving requests to do Halloween and prom makeup.

“I think she’s very talented. She draws in her spare time and that corresponds to how well she draws on people’s faces,” Cai said.

Kranz often gains inspiration for her makeup from outside sources, whether print or electronic. For example, in doing Cai’s look, which relied on outlining facial features and adding the harsh lines, Kranz based her designs on comics she saw in an illustration.  

“[While] working with people with different face [types], eye shapes and skin colors, you have to adjust how you approach makeup,” Kranz said. “The same technique doesn't work out the same on every person.”

Kranz mastered such techniques and developed her own style of makeup by watching online tutorials.

Because Kranz’s makeup style involves creativity, she gets inspiration and tips from famous YouTuber Samantha Ravndahl, who, like Kranz, got interested in makeup in high school.

By watching Ravndahl’s videos on makeup techniques, Kranz ventured further into the beauty world. She found that makeup had countless aspects and gained more respect for cosmetics as a whole.

“Makeup is an art, and the amount of precision that is required is insane,” she said.

By practicing for three to four hours a week on herself, Kranz learned how to perfect difficult techniques, such as winged eyeliner and contouring. Her hard work paid off when she qualified for the 2015 national competition in stage makeup at the International Thespian Society (ITS) theater conference.

“There were so many people from all over California that had a passion for theater, and the makeup division was great,” Kranz said. “I got to see so many amazing artists that liked makeup as much as I did, and it was really inspiring.”

After attending the conference, Kranz realized that makeup had become more than a hobby and that her goal was to make people feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin.   Although she says that “nobody needs makeup,” Kranz thinks it’s “great to be able to change someone's face to fit a time period or style of theater.”

Kranz finds that the most rewarding part of the process to be seeing her friends’ reactions to the transformations. One memorable moment occurred during a summer camp trip this past summer in France, when she was asked by her roommate to do her makeup for the night.  

“When she saw herself in the mirror, she almost started crying and said she had never felt so beautiful,” Kranz said. “It’s just a really good feeling to be able to make somebody happy and to help them feel beautiful.”

This experience has inspired her to pursue a career with her talent and study cosmetology in the future. She also hopes to attend some professional classes during high school.  

While she continues practicing makeup application and improving her skills, Kranz remembers why she first fell in love with this passion.

“Makeup makes me more confident,” Kranz said. “It's like putting on a cute dress — you are still yourself without it, but it makes you feel confident and pretty.”