March 7, 2017
Celebrity Makeup Artist Andrea Fairweather on Her Journey in Beauty and Business
Celebrating more than 25 years as a famed makeup artist and 20 years as the founder and CEO of Fairweather Faces Inc., Andrea Fairweather is an award-winning makeup artist who has created makeovers for women from all spheres, from stay-at-home moms to some of the biggest names in entertainment. On the staff of ABC’s Good Morning America since 1998, Fairweather was the first full-time African American makeup artist assigned to the show. She has worked exclusively with co-anchor Lara Spencer since 2005.
Fairweather has also worked with other ABC Network talent including broadcast journalists Diane Sawyer, Elizabeth Vargas, Cynthia McFadden, Becky Worley, Linsey Davis, and Linzie Janis. As one of the lead artists on the show, she often provides makeup for the celebrity guests on Good Morning America, such as Simone Biles, Elizabeth Berkley, Amber Rose, Nick Vail, and others.
Like most professional makeup artists, Fairweather started her career in New York City behind the cosmetic counters of some of the biggest brands in beauty including EstÃ©e Lauder, Bobbi Brown and Clinique. Early in her career, Fairweather realized something was missing. “There was a wave of working women who were working longer hours and becoming entrepreneurs,â€ says Fairweather. “These women were scheduling appointments and were unable to keep them due to work schedules and other obligations. It was at that time that I started the first-ever mobile beauty business in 1997.â€
Now in its 20th year, Fairweather Faces Traveling Beauty Services was established to service clients on-site at designated locations. The mobile beauty services started in New York, then moved to Los Angeles and later to other U.S. cities. Fairweather Faces Traveling Beauty Services includes makeup, hair, nails, massage therapy, and personal makeup shopping. The company grooms women for business meetings, weddings, photo shoots, television and red carpet appearances, and other special events.
“We were the first team of artists to travel as a unit to provide all of those services on-site to our clients,â€ she explains. “We have the highest caliber of artists within the industry. Members of our team have been with us for years, and it’s not easy to get it, and it’s not easy to stay on because I am a stickler. Our clients receive the same treatment as our celebrity clients. The mobile beauty service made us pioneers and trailblazers. We revolutionized the industry. We worked then and continue to work because, as I predicted, it is very difficult for a woman to keep an appointment, to go to a salon if they are the shot caller. I saw that early on, and was able to create our team to fill that need for them.â€
Fairweather also discovered another client need, which she delayed implementing a response to for many years. Her clients were not able to duplicate the makeup looks she applied. She decided to create the Fairweather Face Charts to give her clients step-by-step instructions designed with a patented color-coded application process. The travel-sized system is designed to make the everyday woman feel like a professional makeup artist. The process is simply to match the color of the makeup brush to the colored dots on the face chart. Now, with the incorporation of the cosmetics system, Fairweather Faces offers a complete line that includes cosmetics, face charts, and brushes.
The daughter of Belizean parents, the Brooklyn-born entrepreneur attended LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, where her graduating class included Jennifer Aniston, Chaz Bono, Dondre Whitfield, Reno Wilson, and Tichina Arnold, the latter of whom is a regular client and friend. Fairweather never anticipated a career behind the cameras; her aspirations were to be in front of the cameras. A former dancer, she attended the State University of New York-Purchase, where she suffered a severe injury that shattered her confidence and deferred her dreams of becoming a dancer.
“I had to think for a long time and pray on it deeply to try and figure out what can I do that will keep me inspired and motivated,â€ she reflects. “I’ve always been a person of service, and I knew whatever I decided to do, I would have to be happy. Suddenly, through deep prayer, the answer came to me, ‘You could do makeup.’ I was doing it all along. I was always fascinated by color. When we had performances, I would do my face and my friends’ faces. I was traveling with them to do their makeup, not realizing that I was laying the groundwork for what would be my business many years later.â€
Fairweather comes from a close-knit family. When she initially started her company, Fairweather Faces was a family-based business. Her father, Harold, now retired, was the company’s main driver. Her brother, Sean, an attorney, was the head counselor and handled all legal matters. Her mother, Gwelda,Â was an accountant for a fashion designer in the city and taught her how to keep basic books. Now actively involved in the company is her husband, Eddie Bailey, a multiple Emmy Award-nominated television producer and filmmaker who produces the company’s videos and tutorials.
With joy, Fairweather says, “I am tremendously blessed, and I’m very proud of what we all have accomplished as a family and as a company.â€
Tomorrow, check back to see Andrea Fairweather’s 7 Tips for Entrepreneurs and Executives on the Go.
Gwendolyn Quinn is an award-winning media consultant with a career spanning more than 25 years. She is a contributor to BlackEnterprise.com and BE Pulse (via Medium.com), Huffington Post and EURWEB.com. Quinn is also a contributor to Souls Revealed and Handle Your Entertainment Business.