Erika La Pearls talks working with Cardi B and funny makeup moments!
DANA OLIVER: I know. I've learned a hack from you. I know to put my my cell phone.
ERIKA LA' PEARL: Just put the phone right here and just do makeup.
DANA OLIVER: Hi beauties. I'm Dana Oliver and on this episode of My Beauty My Way, I'm talking makeup kit must-haves, celebrity glam and quarantine life with Erika La' Pearl. Erika is famously known as Cardi B's makeup artists, but she's built quite an impressive portfolio working in the entertainment biz.
Many people know you for being Cardi B's makeup artist, but can you talk a bit about how you actually got your start in the industry.
ERIKA LA' PEARL: I've been doing makeup for about 11 years now, before Instagram, before Facebook, when Myspace was around. So it wasn't easy to get recognized on social media. I moved to Atlanta about six years ago, so once I moved there, I met Tammy Rivera. She's on Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta. She loved the way I did her makeup, and she's like, girl, I'm going to hire you to do my makeup full-time on set.
That was literally are my first major gig with her. That's how I start working on "Housewives of Atlanta," T.I. and Tiny's show. And I think that's where Cardi's PR found me, and then I started working for her ever since.
DANA OLIVER: What's one of the most wildest environments or experiences that you've been in where you've had to get Cardi B's makeup done?
ERIKA LA' PEARL: I'm so used to it now. Even when there's no lights, I could do her makeup now. I just take out my cell phone light, I just put it right between my boobs, and just put her makeup on.
The first time when she was doing fashion week, my flight was delayed. But once I got there, remember that first car she got? The Bentley, the orange car?
DANA OLIVER: Yes. The orange Bentley.
ERIKA LA' PEARL: So we all squeezed in there, and I had to do her makeup like full face while the car was speeding. And it actually looked good. And that was so surprising. I think she liked the fact that I didn't complain or panic. I just went straight for it.
DANA OLIVER: Well, let's talk more about working in quarantine. You've created Cardi B's makeup looks for her "WAP" music video, ad campaigns, and magazine covers. What is the experience like working as a makeup artist, especially during these times?
ERIKA LA' PEARL: It was really a closed, closed set because of course, we didn't want no leaks for her. The cheetah look, I had this idea where I was going to do a sickening brown, smokey eye, real cat-eye, I wanted her eyes to be like long [INAUDIBLE].
DANA OLIVER: What were the lashes that you used?
ERIKA LA' PEARL: The lashes were from Ardell. Ardell is this very natural eye. There's like two sets of wispies in their brand. There's a longer wispy and the shorter wispies. So I stacked four, with two of the long ones and the medium ones. So it just make it look so full, and I'd be cutting them, so I could make them like a month longer eye look.
DANA OLIVER: What about the gloss? I love her glossy lips. Can you tell me what gloss did you use?
ERIKA LA' PEARL: I use the Pat McGrath. It has a very nice, neutral, pink shimmer to it. It's so pretty. And for the snake look, I used that same gloss, I put on her eyes. Then I did a black, smoky eye, then I added some gloss on top of her eye.
DANA OLIVER: Any new brands or products you use that you're obsessed with?
ERIKA LA' PEARL: My best friend got me into Benefit tints.
DANA OLIVER: Oh yeah. Benefit, yeah.
ERIKA LA' PEARL: It's amazing. And Anastasia Beverly Hills for the brows. There's this brow book I love using. And Nikita Dragun, I love her color correctors and her [INAUDIBLE] powders. She's this transgender just like me, so I really support her brand.
DANA OLIVER: You mentioned as, being a trans woman I've read recently that that was something that you actually concealed that part about your identity. How do you feel being accepted or not accepted in the industry?
ERIKA LA' PEARL: I feel like it's getting better, but I still see people still go through transphobia still. I still read horrible comments. I always tell people, just don't give up, and just be strong. Create your own lane.
DANA OLIVER: My last question for you, Erika. Can you complete this sentence for me? My beauty is.
ERIKA LA' PEARL: My beauty is unique. I am a transgender woman. I am very happy with my natural face, and I feel like I'm just beautiful and in confident. So I'm just happy with how I look.