• Airbrush Makeup • Hairstyling • Lash Extensions • Spray Tanning
• Special Effects • Waterproof Tattoo Cover
• Private Makeup & Hairstyling Lessons • Group Classes

• Celebrity • Television • Film • Live Performances
• Executive Head Shots & Interviews • Commercials
• Wedding • Engagement • Boudoir
• Special Events • Halloween




Q: How did you get into doing makeup?

It's always been a dream of mine to become a make-up artist. Ever since I was little I've been drawing and coloring with different mediums. My hand-written letters to my friends were often covered in drawings. My sketch books were filled with strangers chillin' on the train, classmates sleeping in class, and teachers wearing mermaid costumes.

While working as a hostess in a restaurant I frequently got into trouble for drawing all over the seating chart. When family and friends got married and they asked me to do their makeup I was more than happy to. After graduating college with a degree in Illustration, I worked in graphic design for several years until I got burned out from sitting behind a computer all day. I decided it was time for a career change.

With my background in art and enthusiastic attitude, I landed a job working behind the Laura Mercier counter at Macy's in Union Square, San Francisco. It was there that I first learned proper beauty makeup application. I then freelanced for other high end lines such as Armani Cosmetics at Saks Fifth Ave., then Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Shu Uemura, MAC, NARS, and a few other lines at department stores all over the Bay Area.

At one point 5 different companies were booking me whenever I could fit them into my schedule. I gained a lot of experience using a wide array of make-up on many different ethnicities and started acquiring my own clients. Finally after several years, I was able to happily leave the world of retail.

Q: What make-up products do you use?

On my clients, I use the best products from all the high-end cosmetic lines I have worked for plus other professional grade brands I have personally tried. These include Laura Mercier, Dior, Armani, NARS, Yves Saint Laurent, Shu Uemura, Make Up For Ever, Temptu, Senna, RCMA, Anastasia Beverly Hills and more. Hair products I use include Sebastian, Kerastase, L'anza, KMS, and Kenra. I am constantly doing research and I love trying out new products! I'm kind of a product junkie. ;) I know which products 1) look the best in various lighting, 2) feel the best on, and 3) will last all day / all night -- which is very important for people wanting minimal touch-ups.

In addition to traditional makeup, I use professional airbrush for bridal parties and HD (High Definition) makeup for television/film when needed. I also use rub and waterproof airbrush makeup to camouflage tattoos, scars, birthmarks, and any other imperfection clients want to conceal. Also, If someone is feeling a little pale, I provide airbrush spray tanning for an amazing, natural-looking, sun-kissed glow.

Q: Did you go to school to learn how to do makeup, hair and special effects?

I studied color theory, painting and drawing in college so I just learned proper steps, beauty techniques and tricks while working for the various cosmetic lines. I was formally trained in Los Angeles for hairstyling which enabled me to do BOTH makeup and hair for any client's special event and commercial shoots. I wanted to broaden my skills so I became paramedical camouflage certified by Kryolan and then I took special makeup effects classes in NYC and LA to learn how to create injuries, different characters, as well as custom prosthetics.  I also enrolled in an "Ethnic Hairstyling Class" taught by an African American celebrity hairstylist based in LA. I have clients from all races who book me for special events, theater, television, film, live performances and Halloween, too.

Not only do I truly enjoy enhancing people's natural beauty by listening carefully and staying close to their personal style but I also love transforming clients into different characters for whatever the occasion calls for. Color and makeup continue to fascinate me because they can make a positive and significant difference in how a person looks and feels. During my career, have worked on literally thousands of young and mature people from all different ethnicities, from three to ninety-five years old.

Q: Since you've worked with so many different lines, which one is your favorite?

That's a tough one because so many lines have their great products and their so-so products. If you ask me what is my favorite eye shadow, lipstick or mascara from high-end or drugstore lines, I can tell you! I am able to create a custom blend of products and colors from different cosmetic lines depending on the person's specific needs. I offer thorough make-up lessons for those seeking to learn how to properly apply makeup that lasts all day in the workplace or all night for a fun night out on the town. I love sharing knowledge of my favorite products from all the different high end cosmetic brands I used to work for. I am not stuck to any one brand!

Q: How do I book an artist from the Artistry Team and also how do I know they are just as competent?

Just contact me and let me know who you'd like to book or if you'd like a recommendation based on your needs. All the members of the Artistry Team have gone through a major screening process in order to work with Maria Lee Makeup & Hair. They are extremely talented, friendly, and dependable. It was only natural for me to create their own sections on my site in order to help with the work overflow and promote their amazing talent! A 50% deposit and signed contract reserves your date with a Team Artist. I will handle all the business transactions, contracts and email/phone correspondence. Enjoy browsing their beautiful work and feel free to contact me with questions anytime. We are committed to our clients and their utmost satisfaction!

Q: What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, PayPal and all major credit cards. We do not accept personal checks except for wedding payments at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding date.

Maria @
SF: 415.902.0625 | LA: 213.357.2206
Please CONTACT for availability.
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