Hannah Dorion: “Be a sponge and absorb any and everything you can from others in the industry”

Be a sponge and absorb any and everything you can from others in the industry. Try starting a library of information that you may refer to for inspiration, guidance, and tips. Subscribing to a magazine of your choice is a great way to get your library started! As a part of my interview series with popular […]

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Be a sponge and absorb any and everything you can from others in the industry. Try starting a library of information that you may refer to for inspiration, guidance, and tips. Subscribing to a magazine of your choice is a great way to get your library started!

As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hannah Dorion. Hannah is a 23 year old freelance Makeup Artist currently located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Along with freelancing, she works with Open Sign Productions as their Key Makeup Artist. She began her education at Makeup First School of Makeup Artistry in Chicago, Illinois and has studied with established artists such as Roy Wooley, Nicole Faulkner, Mathias Alan, and Jordan Liberty.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve had a passion for makeup starting at a young age, my first true experience with makeup was when I began ballet at the age of five and needed to apply makeup for the stage. From that point forward I was constantly experimenting with any makeup I could get my hands on! During my teen years I discovered YouTube tutorials by Michelle Phan and Alexys Fleming that inspired me to recreate their looks with my own twist on them. I then began to test the waters of body paint and special effects makeup by teaching myself via their tutorials. My passion for art, creativity, and transformation has led me to where I am now. Whether I am applying bridal makeup to enhance the bride’s natural beauty or character makeup to aid in visualizing a story, I am truly happy doing what I was born to do!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Being in the early phase of my career and the majority of my work being displayed online and on social media, my stories mainly stem from moments of recognition. My father works for Billy Idol and in an interesting chain of events, Billy’s makeup artist showed Billy some of my work. I was beyond humbled and in shock when Billy then shared one of my looks on his Instagram story! I will never forget the minute when I saw the notification and was so floored that I put my phone down and didn’t look at it for a few moments. I have never been more grateful and appreciative!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was in highschool, while getting ready for a sweet sixteen birthday party with my best friend, I experimented with a smokey eye on her. Turns out that my use of black and blue eyeshadows left her with a black eye look instead of the desired smoky results. I have since learned from my early mistake and haven’t given anyone black eyes again, unless that’s the look we are going for of course!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have a few projects in the works and am also continuously working on my YouTube channel. I record speed tutorials on myself or a model, set it to original music by family and friends, and post every Friday! One of the projects I am looking forward to being released is the original TV show ‘Disconnected’ presented by Open Sign Productions where I had the pleasure of being named the Key Makeup Artist. We held a red carpet event for the premiere of the first three episodes and the most surreal moment was seeing my name in the opening credits while surrounded by my loved ones and the incredible cast and crew that worked night and day to create something we are very proud of! ‘Disconnected’ will be released on July 18th, 2019 on Amazon Prime.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I have been fortunate enough to study with makeup artists that I respect and adore. An experience that stands out in my mind is the workshop I attended where I worked hands on with Roy Wooley, of Sy-Fy’s Face-Off Season 3. We created our custom prosthetics on life casts of our faces while Roy instructed every step. During lunch breaks we had the pleasure of being able to sit and talk with him, I found out we both have been inspired by the classic horror movie, “An American Werewolf In London”. I thought that was pretty cool!

Another incredible artist I recently studied with was Jordan Liberty. I had the opportunity to observe his work both in makeup and photography, then take what I had learned and apply it to my techniques while working on models under Jordan’s direction. Being able to discuss topics such as the industry, techniques, and products was inspiring and exciting! I am forever grateful for the interactions I have had and the relationships I have built while beginning my career.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

First and foremost you must love what you do! Secondly, always strive for more. More education, more practice, more experience, etc. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and do not be afraid to explore new territory! If you love what you do and constantly expand your horizons, then you will evolve and thrive rather than feel burnt out and stuck in a creative rut.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see a safe place develop where makeup is used to enhance a struggling individual’s natural beauty to boost their confidence so that they feel their best, hopefully then that will help them make positive changes and choices in their life. Whether that be going to a job interview, applying for further education, going to an important meeting, or any other difficult obstacle that may arise. Think similarly to the places that donate dress clothes to those in need. It would be amazing to have a safe environment for those individuals to come and feel beautiful through the art of makeup to help them get back on their feet. Makeup when utilized for the right reason is a way of self exploration and expression, not a mask or way to hide. You are always the most beautiful when you are being your true self.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Confidence is key! Be secure with your abilities and let your work speak for itself. Do not let anyone (your client, an actor, director, photographer, model, etc.) catch you doubting yourself or stumbling, you are in control and will do great things. All you have to do is believe in yourself and your skill set!
  2. Be a sponge and absorb any and everything you can from others in the industry. Try starting a library of information that you may refer to for inspiration, guidance, and tips. Subscribing to a magazine of your choice is a great way to get your library started!
  3. Time is money! Push yourself to be quick yet correct in your application. The quicker you are the more valuable you become. P.S. Early is on time and on time is late, so always arrive at least twenty-minutes early wherever you are setting up!
  4. Become as portable as possible and never rely on the unpredictable. Having your own light source, chair, and table top or counter will ensure that no matter your location you will be able to perform your best. Careful, try to make sure you do not take up much space though!
  5. You do not need a huge kit with tons of products. Remove all bulky, non-kit friendly items and replace them with multi-use/universal products and palettes. Also, de-potting products will save you space, money, and time.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There are two quotes from the movie “What About Bob?” that have helped me through life since I first heard them;

“I’m fine, I’m great, I’m wonderful.”

This has been my mantra in any stressful situation where I feel myself becoming overwhelmed. Whether I am challenged with a picky client or am struggling with mastering a new technique, I repeat this quote in my head until I believe it!

“Baby Steps.”

Sometimes you may find yourself becoming impatient, frustrated, or discouraged with the pace of your career. In those instances, remind yourself that success does not happen over night. As long as you are moving forward, regardless of pace, you will get to where you want to be. Just keep taking baby steps in the right direction and you will make it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I would not be where I am today without the help of three very special people. First, my mother — She has been encouraging, patient, and supportive ever since the beginning. She is always there to bounce ideas off of, vent to, or even model for me. I could not have been more lucky to have her as my mother! Next, my father — He is the coolest father anyone could as for! His creative and unique point of view has helped me come up with and refine some of my favorite looks. I deeply value his opinion and input with everything I do. Not to mention his crazy connections through his line of work! Lastly, I owe a huge thank you to Scott Tam. He has taken me under his wing throughout the past few years, shared his knowledge with me, generously given me product to jump start my kit, and is always there to lend a helping hand and give constructive criticism. He has been a mentor to me and I cannot thank him enough! I am so thankful to have these three in my life, I love you all so much!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

If I could have the opportunity to sit down with RuPaul Charles, Bobbi Brown, and Mario Dedivanovic I would not be able to contain myself! They all have created admirable careers for themselves in different ways with astonishing portfolios of work. I would love to hear them speak on their experiences and any tips or tricks they may offer.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @hannahdorion

Facebook: @HannahLeighDorion

Twitter: @doriondesigns

YouTube: HannahLeighDorion


Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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