The world of beauty blogging is a crowded one. In the past few years with the help of social media channels like Youtube and now Instagram, the path to becoming a makeup guru has become both easier and harder at once. In one sense, traditional barriers to entry have been removed, but on the flip side it can be harder to stand out and build a bonafide business in such a crowded landscape.

In an endless world of lip dupes and smokey eye tutorials, it’s difficult to find a blogger that goes against the grain when it comes to beauty and makeup. That’s why once I discovered Camille Collazo, a Puerto Rican-born, Chicago-based makeup artist, I was blown away by her effortless artistry—along with the fact she’s only been doing makeup professionally for just over six months.

Rather than being inspired by common trends, Collazo is inspired by colors and photo editorials. Her goal as a beauty influencer is to bridge the gap between high fashion artistry and the everyday woman’s beauty bag.

“I feel people fall into these trends and things get so repetitive,” said Collazo. “I think a lot of people are afraid to see makeup as art and embrace that themselves. They might think ‘Oh I can never wear that’ or ‘How can I wear an orange eye shadow? How can I incorporate that in my own look?’ And that’s the direction I want to go into [as an artist.]”

When she’s not shooting or editing her latest video for her Youtube channel, prepping a model for an 8 hour photo shoot, or writing her latest script (she’s finishing up her degree in television writing!) Collazo enjoys neighborhood hopping around Chicago. We talked about some of her favorite places to eat, relax and work in the Windy City.


 

Favorite brunch spot?
As of late The 3 Arts Club Cafe—and I know right now it’s so trendy and every time I go there’s so many people there. It’s at this place called Restoration Hardware and it’s this little cafe in the middle of this massive furniture showroom and it’s really nice with a fountain in the middle and it reminds me of being outdoors. It’s really amazing. I went for brunch last weekend and I had roasted carrots with pistachios and yogurt and that’s normally something I would not be into but it was really amazing. It’s really good gourmet cuisine and it’s a very good spot to go with your girlfriends.

Shaved vegetable salad from 3 Arts Club Cafe

Favorite place to shop?
Online or vintage shops. I live in Edgewater now and there’s a ton of vintage shops on Andersonville and the Clark street strip, but usually I am for online. Unique Thrift is great, but in terms of vintage shops they’re all great to go to.

Favorite venue?
I’m not that big of a concert girl, I’m embarrassed to admit, but my husband is. So I go wherever he drags me to! Last week we went to The Metro to see Junior Boys but I thought it was a really cool venue.

How do you feel about Chicago’s art scene?
To be completely honest I always shy away from anything “scene” so I wouldn’t consider myself knowledgeable of the art scene here. Wherever my friends invite me I’ll go, but I’m not actively seeking to be a part of it.

Favorite Museum?
I always go to the Museum of Contemporary Photography on Michigan Avenue. I always check it out because it’s close to my school, but it’s always my sort of compensation for working hard during the day.

Do you have a favorite cafe to chill and do work?
I do! But it’s not a cafe. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant [called Little Vietnam] right by where I live off the red line. It’s always so quiet and they have amazing fresh lemonade. It’s so relaxing and it’s not the type of place where a lot of people go to work so it’s perfect.

Favorite bar?
Links Taproom in Bucktown! They have over 200 beers on tap and they have a digital display on the wall where you can see what’s on tap and there’s always changing it. It’s a really good place to go if you want to try new beers.

Links Taproom

Reading anything lately?
Meghan Daum’s The Unspeakable: And other Subjects of Discussion. It’s this book of little short essays. I was recently in Mexico and I took that with me and it was the perfect little read. Maybe also Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling American Style. It’s a very witty and humorous book about fashion and the subcultures that fashion has built—similar to the aesthetics of a city. This book is really well written and informative.

Is there anywhere is the city you go to for a slice of home away from home?
That’s the one thing I won’t do. I’ve given up on finding a good Puerto Rican restaurant here. I’ll go for Cuban or anything Latin but not Puerto Rican food. There’s a place I go to for my birthday every year. It’s called Mariscos El Veneno, it’s very small, always busy, it’s not really meant for urbanites or that crowd but it’s the best Nayarit style seafood and they have amazing crab legs in this creole sauce and to me it’s one of my top five favorite restaurants in the city.