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I've been in the beauty business for 35 years. Over that time I've stumbled into many different opportunities. A lot of salons, beauty venues, shows, etc. Some things good, some not so good. I love when people ask me how I learned makeup. Did I go to a fancy school? Did I study under any great artists? Which celebrities have I done makeup on? I could lie and say I went here, was mentored by this one or that one, But I always love the truth. I love to see the look on their faces when I tell them I started doing makeup in the strip clubs in Orlando, Florida.

I worked at a very posh salon by day, the clubs at night. The girls were great. Wonderful teachers about life, and the art of allusion. Sometimes I would need to have 5 or 6 girls hair and makeup ready in a matter of minutes. Speed was easy for me with hair. I had entered and won my share of timed hair competitions by then. But applying makeup, that was new to me.

Now, those girls really knew a thing or two about makeup. They took me under their wing and showed me how to quickly apply a stage-ready face in seconds. Over the years, I have taken those tips and used them for shoots, on clients and even taught them to other makeup artists.

One of the best things I learned from the girls was how to create a fresh, natural look. Always start with clean skin. Then, a quick application of foundation or powder. Lashes, blush and lipstick. Eye liner, if you have another few seconds.

Mineral makeup was not around all those years ago. Today, we're fortunate to have a great array to chose from. A few years ago I would watch the commercials for loose powder minerals and think “OK, sounds good but what a mess they must be.” My thoughts about the mess were confirmed over and over through my own trials, as well as from the stories from my clients that had used them. I even tried to apply them using a wet sponge, thinking it may help and even give me better coverage, but that only made the mess worse.

Then it happened. I discovered Barelle's Mineral Dual Wet/Dry Foundation. OMG! Not only could you use it with a brush or sponge, you could use the products wet! I started using the six shade pallets. With six shades ranging from light to dark, the pallets gave me the perfect tool to customize the face in seconds. You can use the shades to contour, highlight and even conceal. This foundation is a fantastic option for someone who perspires, because this stuff does not budge. Since it's water-activated, the skin takes on a soft glow that still looks natural. Not caky.

If only I had Barelle all those years ago in the strip clubs. I would have been the one showing the girls.

Rick Lesser has been a respected hairdresser and makeup artist for 35 years. Experienced in print, television, film, commercials, and stage. Rick is also available for personal services and special events. You can view Rick's work and resume at or