CHRISTIAN MCNALLY: Make-up Made Easy
I think all of us wish we had our very own make-up artist at our beck-and-call when we’ve hit rock bottom of what to do with our look. We’re not always sure what colors and trends treat us best. Some might know, but be damned if they can pull it off. That is when celebrity make-up artist and photographer, Christian McNally, becomes an unassuming knight in shining armor with his Make-Up Made Easy DVDs, which most certainly can be your beck and call solution upon needing a new look. McNally is surely a secret weapon for women as he is able to demystify make-up application, and the trends found on celebrities and magazine covers —making YOU your own make-up artist.
If you were to meet Christian you would indeed find him unassuming for a make-up artist, being that he is a straight man in a predominately gay man’s field. But he securely marches to the beat of his own drummer, and is really quite the guy’s guy. Like that popular kid in high school that you hoped would include you, with of course a bit of prankster in his stories. He is easy going, able to make lemonade out of lemons, but still has this underlying drive to be the best and take the bull by the horns. And the thing that will take you most by surprise is the way he really looks at you with a genuine, soft eye and concern with wanting you--and every woman--find the look that works best. His Make-Up Made Easy DVDs and classes were born out of wanting women to feel more empowered with their own beauty and how to accentuate it. “Highlight the highlights and lowlight the lowlights,” is what he preaches off the bat. He thinks women should throw out the concept of being a “summer, or a fall” and being stuck in one color palette. “You don’t know a color works [on you] until you actually just try it and sit with it a couple of hours. The worst that’ll happen is you wash it off.” He humorously says, “You should match your make-up to your underwear.” And it is that sense of humor and flexibility that he attributes to his success.
To say the least, Christian McNally is an interesting amalgam of a self-made man, who probably didn’t realize an after school job in a department store at 17 would be the beginnings of his career, taking him from perfume sprayer to training in every high-end make-up line from Chanel to Borghese; and ultimately finding his passion—all whilst being able to meet cute girls. I guess that old adage, “You don’t find your passion; your passion finds you…” rings very true for McNally. He loves what he does, but doesn’t take his success lightly. He is humbled in knowing how hard he has worked, the dues he has had to pay, and the sacrifices he has had to make, like being away from his two children. He will be the first to tell you, “I never said ‘No.’ [I] never said I couldn’t do the job….and if I didn’t know how to do the job, I would figure it out.” He invested himself from day one, at 17 years old, picking up techniques left and right from working in salons, to Aveda, to high fashion and then organically finding his own style while climbing the industry’s ladder. He has faced unexpected discrimination for being the straight man in an overwhelmingly gay industry, where his skills were in question because he didn’t swing for the proper team, and ultimately overlooked for some jobs. Luckily, Christian is a quick wit, talented, and able to outshine his adversaries--and like I said, able to make lemonade out of lemons.
At 40 and recently divorced, Christian McNally is coming into a new evolution of himself, as well as new successes for which he has worked hard. Whether it is the Make-Up Made Easy line of DVDs, his classes, the celebrities like Beyoncé and Steve Martin calling for his services, or his reality television show that is in development, Christian has established a credible name for himself. He chooses Knoxville, Tennessee as his home base, though visits Los Angeles monthly to spend time with his kids, who bring him back to a centered calm, and whose purity and free-spirit inspire and rejuvenate him creatively. He is ready for the next evolution of himself and the work to come, just as we want more of that knight and shining armor that will guide us to beauty safety--that secret weapon for make-up and color trends. Because even though it can be constructive to get a blunt gay man’s severely honest opinion of what doesn’t work for you, there is a confidence and glow that comes about when you get a straight man’s opinion of what does work for you—which is what Christian McNally does best.
Originally published in DStripped Magazine
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