An Interview with D’angelo Thompson, Makeup Artist and Author
D’angelo Thompson is grateful for all he’s accomplished—and he’s come a long way since his family uprooted their southern life and moved to Chicago when he was in his early teens. He is now the author of A 100 Days of Gratitude, Enhanced Beauty, Enhanced Beauty for Teens, and Enhanced Beauty: Men’s Grooming. He is also a Daytime Emmy Award-Winning Hairstylist (2010-2011) and Daytime Emmy-Nominated for Hair and Make-Up (2009-2010/2010-2011). Recently, we had a chance to ask the accomplished entrepreneur a few questions. Let’s dive in!
You’re a make-up artist and groomer. Can you talk about how you got started in your career?
I always dabbled with and practiced makeup and hair on my younger sister, Robin and friends growing up. I honestly started pursuing makeup artistry while in art school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. It was a way to make extra money for school and unbeknownst to me, becoming a beauty advisor for a cosmetic company at age 19 would turn into a 30-years plus career as a makeup artist and groomer in beauty, commercial, fashion, film, red carpet, and television.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? What obstacles have you faced in your path?
Thankfully, I have had many accomplishments thus far, from three Daytime Emmy nominations for the Wendy Williams Show, and I won one Daytime Emmy in 2010-2011. I have worked with top models and celebrities I thought I would never meet or work with and authored three beauty books and one personal growth book to date.
I view very little as obstacles in life anymore, I see my NO(s) as blessings, because each time I’ve had adversity, better opportunities appeared.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a makeup artist?
The most rewarding part of being a makeup artist is all the beautiful souls and interesting people I meet.
In the past, you’ve done some volunteer work with the NYC Dept. of Justice for Domestic Violence and other charity organizations. Can you talk about why you feel it’s so important as a makeup artist to give back in this way?
I think personally as a human being, it’s important to give back whether you are a makeup artist or C.E.O of a major hedge fund. As Marianne Williamson is quoted saying often, “our work is our ministry.”
You wrote A 100 Days of Gratitude – can you talk about your book and what inspired you to write it?
Well, gratitude is an integral part of my daily practice. The more I practiced it, the more dynamic shifts and blessings I became more aware of. As I was transitioning in many aspects of my life, I sat down in 2018 and wrote A 100 Days Of Gratitude. It is my love letter to humanity.
How do you embrace gratitude every day in your life?
I embrace gratitude as a daily practice, it’s one of the first things I do when I wake up… I write down 10-20 things I am grateful for, and I often think about it throughout my day.
You also authored the Enhanced Beauty books. Can you talk a bit about those?
Yes, my Enhanced Beauty book series is mainly about self-care, enhancements that you can do, and little tricks I have learned through the decades. Basically, it’s about enhancing your natural beauty, not hiding it.
What challenges have you faced in your profession due to the pandemic?
That’s a very loaded question and I could write a three-page answer, but I won’t (smile). Like many around the world, I had very little income coming in from mid-March 2020-November 2020, but somehow, I was able to thrive/survive. What I found and observed, I leaned more into my other passions, like writing, cooking, studying, and growing. So, in a strange way through all the chaos there were many blessings.
What do you think is the most important thing for our readers to know about make-up and make-up artistry?
Makeup and makeup artistry has many points of view and you have to find what works best for you. Remain open to learning and trying new products and techniques, keep it fresh, always.
Follow D’angelo on Twitter and Instagram here and here, and be sure to check out all four of his books, all of which are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.