Professional Makeup Artist Kendra Richards continues to be inspired by and love the transformation power of makeup and its intimate, creative and collaborative process as she prepares someone for the camera, red carpet or stage. Her initial start in the business began as a costume designer and stylist, following in the footsteps of her mother who worked as a fashion designer in NYC. She changed careers as it became evident that her real passion was makeup. Kendra has said that “Helping people to feel confident about their appearance is at the heart of what I love to do”. Her work from timeless to edgy or clean and minimal have been seen in publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and InStyle to advertisers Olay and Paul Mitchell and Target to name a few. Some of her many clients includes Cindy Crawford, Hilary Duff, Anna Paquin, Justin Timberlake, James Franco, Martina McBride and Bella Thorne.
In addition to her clients, Kendra frequently shares her professional expertise on camera for E! EntertainmentE! Entertainment, Lancome, PopSugar, CocoPerez and Total Beauty to name a few. Sharing beauty insider techniques is her favorite aspect of reaching people thru the media.
In 2012, Kendra took her love of finding solutions for her clients and hands on knowledge of what truly works for both skin and make up, to develop and launch Heir Atelier Ultimate Make Up Prep, a facial serum that creates the perfect canvas for makeup. Kendra researched ingredients and initially creating her unique multi-tasking serum in her kitchen to meet her own needs as a makeup artist. After gaining a loyal beauty insider following and many requests to purchase from celebrities and other makeup artists, her company HEIR ATELIER was born.
Kendra is represented by CloutierRemix.
BB411~ When did you know you wanted to be a Makeup Artist and how did it all unfold?
KR~ I began as a costume designer and wardrobe stylist but eventually realized that what I really wanted to do was makeup. So I went to makeup school and began testing and doing headshots, anything to gain experience. Six months later I started working with one of the top hair/makeup and styling agencies in LA and my career took off.
BB411~ What do you love most about doing your clients makeup?
KR~ Meeting and collaborating with some of the most creative, accomplished and interesting people is a part of what I love about doing makeup. I learn something from everyone that I work with and that is personally rewarding. A huge part of what I love is empowering people, helping them feel that they look their best.
BB411~ Who in your industry inspires you and why?
KR~ Creative people in all areas of the industry inspire me from stylists and hairdressers to photographer or art directors with an amazing vision. Other makeup artists inspire me and the model or talent sitting in my chair inspire me.
BB411~ Where does your drive and focus come from?
KR~ I think it comes from loving what I do.
BB411~ If you weren’t in the career you are today and you could be anything in the world what would it be?
KR~ A few years ago I added entrepreneur to my resume when I launched my beauty brand Heir Atelier. I love where that is taking me as it grows and I expand the business making it necessary to balance both the makeup jobs and running my company. But to the spirit of your question I would say probably if I was not a makeup artist and entrepreneur I might want to work with endangered species in Africa or doing work being a voice for those in need in some way.
BB411~ How do you stay balanced with life’s daily stresses that come up?
KR~ Gratitude- that is huge. Perspective helps. Few things in life deserve the amount of stress we heap on ourselves, so perspective and gratitude for all I have. Also breathing and Yoga are very helpful. I am learning lately to be tuned in to how I feel and when I need it, take a little time for myself. Honestly it’s something that I am not great at yet but want to be.
BB411~ What charities are you involved with and why is it important to you to give back
KR~ My mother suffered from Parkinsons before she passed so research to end Parkinsons is important to me. I have cousins who suffer from Fragile X syndrome, that is important to me as well. I’m always all about defending victims and those without a voice – so animals, children, women in countries that don’t value them as much as men and the elderly are of great concern to me and supporting. Mercy For Animals, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, PCRM, ALDF, HDL and St. Vincents Meals for Wheels are some of the organization.
BB411~ If you could tell your younger self something you have learned and know now what would it be?
KR~ Be bold, have confidence, dream big and believe. Also enjoy the ride! Enjoy the moments.
BB411~ 3 words that best describe you?
KR~ Hmmm, you might have to ask the people closest to me for that. Brave, hard working, reliable, big hearted are some first thoughts. Optimistic, impatient and tough might be some others.
BB411~ Do any certain scents remind you of your childhood?
KR~ My mothers perfume Arpege by Lanvin
BB411~ Fun fact that people may not know about you?
KR~ I am 5’2” which even people who know me are surprised by and I am really pretty shy.
BB411~ Describe your style?
KR~ That’s a tough one – not sure how to describe. My aim is hip/comfortable and stylish. Basically I like having a smallish wardrobe that gets a lot of wear. It is important to me to wear clothes that are cruelty free so I have chosen to no longer buy wool, leather, silk, etc. The clothing that I put together is very important to me, it always has been. I feel that style empowers us and when we feel great about how we look we stand taller and carry ourselves differently.
BB411~ What does healthy mean to you and how do you stay active?
KR~ Healthy to me is about mind, body and spirit. It’s about the thoughts you feed yourself, people you surround yourself with, how you treat yourself as well as others. It’s about having patience with yourself and others. I eat a plant based diet which I believe is healthy for me and the planet, as well as respecting the lives of animals.
As for active – walking my dog every day and as my schedule allows; yoga, hikes or whatever I am into at the time like HIIT, etc. I just joined Equinox gym to give myself more options and motivation to integrate fitness into my daily schedule.
BB411~ Favorite quote?
KR~ I have many but here’s one of my favourites: “The universe rewards action”.
BB411~ What are the 3 sites you check out to keep you updated on the world?
BB411~ When you look back at the life you lived, what do u want to be remembered for?
KR~ For being a do-er not a talker. That someone somewhere has been positively impacted by knowing me. That I have been a good daughter, friend, confidant, boss, mentor, etc. I want to know that my time on the planet has been spent making it and people that I touch better in some way.
BB411~ Kendra, Let me be one of many I’m sure to say that you are an incredible role model and I am inspired by you. You have impacted me more than I could ever express just from this interview alone. Thank you for living such an authentic life with such kindness and grace. Your voice and compassion encourages me to love greater and live better by being an example of the goodness in this world. The world needs more “Kendra’s”.
BB411~ What has been your biggest Aha Moment so far in life?
KR~ That I don’t have to be perfect, I am fine as I am. And that nobody else is perfect either.
BB411~ What is the top quality that entrepreneurs should have?
KR~ Confidence, persistence, the ability to truly listen and see. It’s also helpful to be flexible, make changes when necessary – markets change, trends change and you have to adapt.
BB411~ Tell us about Heir Atelier and what inspired its creation?
KR~ I am obsessed with skin and creating the look of flawless looking skin which starts with the right prep of the skin. That is why I have chosen to create makeup primers only. Makeup only looks as good as the skin it is applied to.
BB411~ Who has been your most memorable celebrity/company to work with?
KR~ There are honestly too many to mention. I have had so many memorable experiences from doing makeup on a nominee in a limo on the way to the Golden Globes, to working regularly with the editor of a major fashion magazines while she was in town during awards season. Working with the women who inspired the term supermodel and A-list actors and musicians each experience is memorable in some way and I am grateful for all of them. It has been an amazing priviledge.
BB411~ You are a Dog Momma, what has been the greatest gift your pup has taught you?
KR~ Ella just asks for what she wants: a treat, to be pet, to approach someone she doesn’t know. She never judges herself and she generally gets what she wants. So I would say she has taught me to ask for what I want!
BB411~ Favourite Cocktail?
BB411~ When I say “love this”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
You Heard It First Here!
Much Love, BB411