Meet Kylie, Professional Makeup Artist

October 3, 2019 11:04 pm Published by 3 Comments

It’s eight in the morning, and with barely an hour allotted to prep the model before the shoot starts at nine, Kylie lays out her entire makeup kit, chugs her homemade dirty oat milk chai latte, and sanitizes her hands to signal that it’s time to start working.  She prepares the talent’s face with Olio E Osso finishing oil before she uses her MDNA face roller tool to massage the face. She follows with a rose quartz Gua Sha face massaging stone to energize the skin and drain any excess fluid from the lymph nodes. Then the magic really happens. After applying a dollop of Keys Luminos facial moisturizer, Kylie creates a gorgeous smoky eye using Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina eyeshadow pallete, and adds a perfect winged black liner in a flash with her Kat Von D Tattoo eyeliner. Using her Beauty Blender, she applies RMS foundation flawlessly on the talent’s skin while contouring in all the right places. Lastly, she adds the perfect amount of highlight using Becca Champagne Pop powder, creating the dewiest, and most radiant skin you’ve ever seen. She curls the hair, finishes the hair with Saints and Sinners hairspray and texture spray, spritzes Skindinavia setting spray on the face, and in a flash the talent is on set wowing the clients with the hair and makeup created by Kylie.

This is me on my wedding day with hair and makeup done by Kylie! She doesn’t normally do Bridal makeup but I begged her to do it for me!

Kylie Sallee is a professional makeup artist based out of Portland, OR. Originally from Melstone, Montana, a town of 400 people, Kylie moved to New York the day before her 21st birthday to follow her dream of becoming a makeup artist. She started working in Sephora Times Square before being asked to join the Rock n Republic makeup counter at Bloomingdale’s Soho.

Kylie originally planned on attending makeup designory school, but when introduced to a makeup artist through a mutual friend, Kylie was told she should assist other makeup artists in order to learn instead of wasting money going to school. That same artist took Kylie under his wing and showed her how to successfully assist and built her a small makeup kit to get her started.

After working at the Bloomingdale’s makeup counter and continuing to assist, she was hired to full time assist world-famous makeup artist Romy Soleimani. Kylie assisted Soleimani for just over a year before parting ways and continuing her career solo.

Kylie spent most of her twenties in New York City, meeting best friends, figuring out how to be an adult, and hustling nonstop.

“I swear I didn’t sleep in my twenties,” Kylie said. “But just because I didn’t want to miss a moment of how much I loved every door both opening and closing!”

After 8 years, Kylie realized she was ready for the next chapter, but knew that chapter probably wouldn’t take place in New York. After visiting her family for a month in Portland, Oregon, Kylie packed up her New York City life and moved to the Northwest a month later.

Kylie created this look of perfectly filled in brows, a dusting of champagne highlighter, and bright red orange lips.

When asked which jobs have been her favorite over the years, Kylie’s face lit up. “[it sounds] super cliché, but almost every job is a new favorite job, I’m just thankful I get to do what I dreamed of doing as a little girl,” she said.

Kylie’s first New York Fashion Week booking was the Prabal Gurung Spring show of 2009. Recently, Kylie booked the makeup for an Apple print shoot for the new Iphone 11.

In 2017, Kylie was the key artist for an Adidas fashion show, meaning she got to create the look for the makeup and hair for all of the models, and she got to hire the team of artists to do so.

Kylie’s years of experience have taught her several random beauty tidbits, like to get your Beauty Blender wet before using it. When she started assisting, she didn’t ever wet them, but then she realized her lead artist always got them wet. Kylie also learned that using a concealer pencil in the waterline reduces the look of red, tired eyes.

Kylie’s schedule is always unpredictable and changing, which can make life raising two children along with her husband interesting. Photo shoots typically are booked anywhere from a day to a couple weeks in advance, with the details like shoot location and call time not being sent out until the evening before the shoot. Last month, Kylie only had 7 days off, but this month, she has barely booked 7 days of work.

“It’s unpredictable and I try to plan for it as best I can. As busy as it can be I think the randomness of my schedule makes it easier to balance my family life,” Kylie said.

This is my model friend Kyla, with hair and makeup done by Kylie. Swoon.

Kylie gave a few beauty tips based on her experience. The first tip involves concealer.

“Most people don’t need concealer. Instead, use 2 foundations, one lighter than your skin tone and one darker, and mix the perfect shade. Layer the foundation on needed spots instead of using concealer, and highlight and contour with these 2 colors. Even if you just have your one shade you use, most foundations are meant to be layered. Apply a thin layer then go back over troubled areas and pat in for a concealer affect,” Kylie said.

Kylie also suggested, “for the ultimate clean, use a face wipe followed by your face wash.”

Finally, “Coconut oil and sugar in the raw is the way I fight winter dry lips,” Kylie said. Just combine the two ingredients and gently scrub any dead skin from the lips.

Kylie wishes everyone knew more about facial oils. “So many of my friends, family, and models are afraid to put oil on their face, but you’ll thank me later if you start using it now,” Kylie said. Her recommendations are Herbivore Emerald CBD facial oil, which is more affordable than her favorite- Lord Jones Royal Oil.

“I have really been into CBD facial oils lately, there’s antibacterial properties in CBD that really help with adult acne,” Kylie said.

If Kylie is the hired makeup artist for a shoot, it’s well known that the hair and makeup will look flawless, therefore boosting confidence and making an all around better shoot- when the model feels good, the photos look good!

Want to see more of Kylie’s work? Follow Kylie Sallee on Instagram at @kyliesallee.

Kylie’s makeup trademarks are wispy brows and a glowy bronze finish on natural looking skin.


  • Elyssa Kuik says:

    Great feature story!! I loved how you set the scene with the detailed description of a typical “day in the life of” the makeup artist. She is obviously a very talented individual and I felt like I really got to know her through your piece.
    Awesome work.
    – Elyssa

  • Jennie Foglia-Jones says:

    Once again, great piece.
    I especially enjoyed your use of links for products, Kylie’s tips and her real life makeup model photos.
    Great job.

  • Kylie Rasmussen says:

    Great piece! I appreciate your use of links to the product in the beginning and throughout your article! It was a very enjoyable read!

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