Inspired By Raychel Wade: Put Your Best Face Forward

Getty Villa, Malibu, CA. Photo taken May 2007. ©
Getty Villa, Malibu, CA. Photo taken May 2007. ©

I learned about Raychel Wade’s Cheek to Chic make up makeovers via an article in Allure Magazine. Early in 2013 I took the plunge and booked a personal consultation with Raychel and it changed my (make up) life forever! Raychel takes a personalized approach to the art of makeup by removing the the overwhelm and mystery out of a visit to the makeup counter, and showing me a streamlined approach to make up application for the Office, for a Night out, and a dewy, fresh look for the weekend. The result – after plenty of practice – is confidence in myself to put my best face forward, and the ability to let that inner bliss radiate outwardly. Recently Raychel was kind enough to share her insights with the community.

1) What inspired you to follow your calling with makeup via Cheek To Chic?
For the longest time I’ve been aware of how the esthetics and color I’m surrounded by has a positive impact on me: this inspiration could be found in interior design, clothing. Applying this approach to makeup application has allowed me to be creative, and share my passion putting my client’s best face forward by giving them the skills to purchase suitable products and apply those products with confidence.

Early in my career I worked behind a department store makeup counter helping women. I started observing that many of my customers were overwhelmed by the number of choices available, vulnerable to the pressure of pushy (often commission-based) sales associates, and insecure about making ‘the wrong’ product choice. I had an idea: If I could help the women navigate the beauty industry, and make them feel more confident, I’d enjoy my job more by doing something I love and be able to work for myself. By combining my makeup counter experience and the unique personalized service I provide my clients, with a passion for aesthetics and make up, I’ve slowly but surely built my business since 2002.

I began developing my media presence long before you tube and the social media phenomena. When I was starting off, typically a beauty editor would read or hear about me and this would generate an article, a quote, or a TV appearance. That would trigger more buzz, and more publicity. Being in New York City, I was able to connect with beauty editors, publicists, and others starting their own business such as the wedding industry, that would complement my services.

My appointment as the Global Color Ambassador to La Prairie was a huge step in my career. The Global Color Ambassador role was developed for me: as a spokesperson to promote brand awareness, and a platform for me to develop 2 color collections which were sold at over 200 stores in North America.

2) How do you re-connect to that original calling on a daily basis?
My clients remind me why I love what I do: When I feel like I made a visceral difference to their life by teaching them a skill or fine-tuning a technique they wanted to perfect. I believe that the role of a makeup artist is an intimate one. I’m literally face to face with my client and during the time we work together, I get to know who they are as a person. My clients seek me out to help them solve a problem. When I feel like I’ve made a difference, it’s both professionally and personally rewarding.

3) Where do you look for new inspiration?
I’m surrounded by inspiration. When I see a beautiful color palette, my sense of my aesthetic beauty is inspired: That could be via a harmonious interior design in a Restaurant I am dining in, a beautifully composed photograph I’m looking at, or a striking piece of art on display.

As it relates to make up trends that come and go with each season, for an everyday woman (who is not being paid to wear makeup such as a model), it comes down to identifying what they feel comfortable doing and the image they feel comfortable projecting to the world. So many practical factors can come into play when we decide to purchase and apply makeup: your lifestyle, your job, your climate, your budget are just a few considerations. At the end of the day my goal is to help women curate a practical collection of makeup which they will feel comfortable to apply and confident to wear as they put their best face forward.

Be practical… be comfortable… be confident.”
Raychel Wade

4) How can beauty and makeup positively impact a woman’s inner bliss and outer radiance?
As Audrey Hepburn once said, “I believe that happy girls and the prettiest girls.” Throughout life, we literally ‘face’ forward for all the world to see us. When you feel pretty you carry yourself with confidence: that little extra spring in your step, or perfect posture after you treat yourself to a facial, have a great haircut, or have confidence in how your makeup looks. The difference is, your face is one of the most important aspects of how the world sees you so there’s a pressure to get it ‘perfect’. Consequently, makeup may also become a point of vulnerability for women.

Somehow makeup – in a consumer capacity – plays into people’s insecurities in a different way than some of those other things that form our outward appearance. You don’t feel insecure if you buy the wrong style of cashmere sweater or pair of shoes… but god forbid if you purchase the wrong shade or formula of foundation! You can really feel like you’re messing up! We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to weed through and research everything that’s available and find ‘the perfect’ product. Or you place your trust in the person behind the beauty counter or online store to help you make an informed decision. Then there might be that unspoken loop playing through your mind: if I don’t wear my make up this particular trendy way…, or if I don’t buy this certain product…, or if I don’t use this primer with its matching foundation my products “won’t work” (that’s a real life anecdote from one of my client’s recent department store experiences!)… might somehow translate to silently prey on other insecurities such as “I’m doing it wrong”, or “I don’t look pretty”.

There’s also the element of pressure to find the holy grail of makeup: The never-ending search for the perfect shade of lipstick or just the right mascara. Or perfect that magical (formulaic) approach to application. We end up overwhelming ourselves! And then the next season’s colors and trends come out and the search starts all over again with the new season’s choices thrown in!

In light of this, I hope to un-complicate and de-mystify this whole topic: from product selection, to makeup application. If we’re all less stressed out about our makeup, then that inner glow has a better chance of radiating out! My advice is for us all to take a deep breath, and don’t take this so seriously. Remember: Make up washes off at the end of the day, revealing the essence of you. That’s the happiness that Audrey was referring too!

5) What does the phrase ‘inner bliss and outer radiance’ mean to you?
When you’re calm on the inside and whatever you are battling ‘between your ears’ quietens down, you find inner bliss. When you feel at peace it radiates on the outside: You carry yourself differently in the way that you project yourself to the world.

Raychel is the founder of Cheek To Chic, which was created to help women conquer the vast selection of makeup that’s available. Raychel is available by appointment for personal consultation to help you curate your make up collection, provide guidance on make up application, and can help you personally navigate the beauty counter – now that’s my kind of field trip! Raychel also hosts master classes for small groups of women who want to learn more about makeup application for their own personal use and bootcamps for women seeking to start a career as a professional makeup artist. Her signature services and passion for the profession has provided Raychel and Cheek to Chic with a great deal of accolades as a makeup expert for countless magazines and television shows.

Raychel Wade ©
Raychel Wade ©