Meet Shaina Eve Cintron, NYC Make-Up Artist With a Candy Shop Color Palette [PHOTOS]

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“Before I had makeup, I was an artist” says Shaina Eve Cintron who has made waves posting #selfies on instagram of her daily face pat-downs (read: not the kind by security in a club but blush, eyeshadow, lipstick…that kind). I meet her in the Makeup Forever Studio in Greenwich Village — the site of her upcoming makeup workshop. We find a warm light to sit under amidst all the vanity (read: truth) lighting in the room to compliment a conversation about art, friends, and living in two different worlds.

Originally from Brooklyn’s East Flatbush and born to Puerto Rican immigrant parents, Shaina knew early on that she wanted more than what her immediate surroundings could offer. With a few paintings in tow from an art class in junior high, she set off to impress the admissions team at La Guardia High School for Performing Arts – the place she was really born.

“{La Guardia} high school was a candy shop.” Styles ranged from mohawks and colored hair to punks and people from different countries. In her East Flatbush home, doorknockers and sneakers were the status quo. Discovering new styles at school was “so fascinating…I was inspired by everybody.” With a penchant for visual art and wide eyes to take in all her new inspiration, Shaina painted her way through high school.

Her adventurous spirit took her through experimentation with hair color, piercings, and tattoos (today she has over 60!). The more she explored the more she drifted from old friends: “their priorities were different from mine.”

In Washington Heights, where Shaina currently lives, she feels similar challenges to the ones she faced in Brooklyn as a teen because of her colorful style (she’s been called everything from Skittles to the Mona Lisa). She muffles most of the comments with headphones and sharply points to a lack of exposure as the reason people pass judgements: “Some people stay to their scenes and don’t want to branch out.” Even though downtown is certainly a breath of fresh air, the tourists still do their fair share of pointing and staring.

Late in high school she had a stint as a cashier at a tattoo shop in the East Village where she met even more creative types and was drawn closer to the skin she’s most comfortable in. Following the tattoo shop, her next gig was at MAC – a job she landed after dropping out of her liberal arts college a couple years in. She worked in sales and as a product specialist, training new employees on color and the latest makeup techniques.

Today, Shaina is off the sales floor doing makeup for private clients — many of whom form her cult following on instagram. She is also teaching workshops to aspiring makeup artists and people who just want to add a bit of drama to their makeup routines. Her next class is on liner and contour…I need some pizzazz for summer, who’s coming with?!

Finally, I couldn’t properly profile a makeup artist without asking these 2 things:

1. How do I properly achieve a dewy face?
Shaina says: Use Face & Body by MAC. It’s very sheer but keeps your skin with a healthy glow and slight shimmer. Top it with mineralizing and highlighting powders also by MAC which go on very smoothly.

2. What product must I leave the house with no matter what?
Shaina says: Lipstick, lipgloss or a joyous combination of both 🙂

(…you’re welcome!)

Follow Shaina on instagram @blank_doe