Celebrity Beauty According to Glam Masters' Bryan Mendez
You may know Bryan Mendez as the contestant on Lifetime’s Glam Masters who was never short of creative ideas. From bejeweled brows to butterfly eyes that actually “fluttered,” he always seemed to amaze the star-studded panel of judges. But what you may not know is that before he achieved stardom, Mendez worked as a cashier at a department store, with clients constantly requesting him for makeup applications. Fast forward a few years, Mendez now works exclusively with celebrities for their red carpet beauty looks, appearances, and photo shoots. He has collaborated with Amber Rose, Meghan Rienks, Mila J, Lily Marston, and Joslyn Davis, transforming their desires into innovative, ultra-glam looks. In our interview, he answered some of my questions about his multiple accomplishments thus far--trust me, this beauty impresario’s career is just getting started. (Note: The hairstyling in all images of celebrities in this article was done by Mendez.)
How did you first become interested in doing hair and makeup?
I first fell in love with makeup in high school because I became obsessed with seeing a person’s confidence transform. I started doing hair mainly because I need to be well-rounded in my work. It was a requirement, so I figured why not have that under my belt?
What about doing hair and makeup is so special to you?
Tying back to how I got into glam, I just love seeing a confidence boost in people after I do their hair and makeup. Anyone can wear concealer or lip gloss and feel so much better about themselves because their beauty is enhanced.
How would you describe your beauty aesthetic?
If I had to describe my beauty aesthetic, it would be feminine and soft. I never make my clients look overly done.
Do you have a preference for doing hair or makeup?
If I had to choose between hair and makeup, I would definitely have to go with makeup! I understand it more and I feel like I can be my most creative self when I’m doing it.
Are there any particular beauty influencers who inspire your work?
Mario Dedivanovic, of course, because he always gets it right! I’m also obsessed with Anthony H. Nguyen--he’s a makeup artist who is always pushing boundaries and I love that.
You are also constantly experimenting with your makeup looks, especially when you’re working with celebrities. What’s your favorite beauty look you’ve ever done on a celeb?
That’s so tough because I love all my clients. That being said, my two favorites both involve Amber Rose! The first one was her red carpet look for the 2017 VMA's. It was my first time doing makeup for a major carpet, and she looked divine. The pictures of her beauty look were posted everywhere. My second favorite was my work for the Kandypens campaign. It was my first time seeing my hair and makeup blown up on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard! Both were major experiences that I will never forget.
You were also a contestant on Lifetime’s Glam Masters, produced by Kim Kardashian West. Why did you decide to submit to be on the show?
I actually was not planning on submitting for Glam Masters at first! Everything ended up being so last minute. I was bored in my hotel room in Philadelphia at 4 am so I just decided to apply to be on the show. I didn’t think my application was actually going to be accepted, but I’m so glad it was!
What was your favorite part about being on the show?
The whole experience was so exciting in general! It was very humbling and it made me grow as an artist.
What was your biggest challenge as a contestant?
My biggest challenge was having to be animated while applying makeup. When I’m doing glam, I’m usually so quiet and in my own world!
What was the best piece of advice you received from the panel of judges (Laverne Cox, Mario Dedivanovic, Kandee Johnson, Zanna Roberts Rassi) during your time on Glam Masters?
The best advice I received from judges was to never give up and always push forward in my career! It’s so easy to get sidetracked, but just have a goal in mind and work your hardest to achieve it.
What was your main takeaway from the show?
To always trust your instincts. If you want to do something, just go for it. Don’t apologize for stepping outside of the box!
Besides making it far on Glam Masters, you also had the opportunity this past summer to do Erin Robinson’s makeup for the Teen Choice Awards--how exciting! What was the collaboration process with Erin like?
Working at Teen Choice this year was amazing! Erin was hosting a segment for Fox’s Facebook Live, and I loved working with her. It felt like I was doing my BFF’s glam and not working! We collaborated on a fun, glowy look that turned out great in the end. I always ask my clients what they want to feel like, whether that’s sexy, fun, or pretty. They always show me pics or ideas and I tweak them to put my own “Bryan flair” to it!
What are your future plans at the moment?
To keep on working extremely hard and hopefully land a new celeb face I can play with!
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