We had the good fortune of connecting with Carol (Jae Eun) Choi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carol (Jae Eun), what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factors for me are reliability and integrity. Having those two character traits ingrained in me throughout my career has been vital to the growing success of my business. I truly believe in the saying “you are as good as your last job” and do my absolute best to come to every job well equipped and prepared to make sure the client’s wants and needs are fulfilled to my best ability. When I make mistakes, I always reflect on it and figure out what I can adjust to do better and bounce back. Understanding the importance of being reliable and having integrity in my work have been the best lessons I have learned from my parents and my mentors.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Before I decided to become a makeup/hair artist, I was attending university to major in Communications. During my three years there, I experienced a lot of distress in my family/personal life and it eventually interfered with everything that had to do with school. Inevitably I was failing and needed to make some major decisions to change my life around. Luckily, I had amazing support from my friends who strongly encouraged me to go to makeup school and pursue being a makeup artist. It was a daunting decision at the time going from college to trade school but I took the leap of faith and ended up attending Blanche MacDonald in Vancouver for Global Artistry. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made. It gave me the opportunities to work at makeup counters for NARS Cosmetics and Charlotte Tilbury Beauty. Eventually opening several locations for Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in Vancouver, Canada and Los Angeles, California with the team and becoming one of their Lead Artists. Fast forward to today, I have been running my own business as a Freelance Makeup and Hair Artist in Los Angeles for the last two years. The most challenging part about growing my business has been networking and building connections that are right for me. I pushed myself to put myself out there. What I learned was that the more people you meet and work with, the greater possibility you will find the people who are meant for you. I slowly began to grow my network and eventually saw growth in my clientele and found a team of people I love working with.
I am proud and grateful for all of the jobs I have done so far, but one of the biggest achievements for me has been working on the music video “Going Bad” by Meek Mills featuring Drake as the Makeup Department Head. Special shout out to Maxine Christians for trusting me to take on the job!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My version of a perfect day with my best friend (shout out to my bestie Sarah) begins with an outdoor brunch of course. We would go to Ingo’s in Santa Monica and order pain perdu with fresh mixed berries and house made whipped cream. Then we would ride our bikes around the Santa Monica Pier towards Venice. Go for a leisurely stroll along Abbot Kinney and window shop (or just shop) at all of the beautiful boutiques there. Order a couple of fresh smoothies from Kreations along the way. For dinner I would take Sarah to a restaurant called Majordomo in Little Tokyo to indulge on some delicious noodles and dreamy cocktails. Once we come back to my place feeling wonderfully exhausted, we would get into our comfy clothes, watch some fun reality tv, and reminisce about the day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
No success whether big or small is ever achieved alone and I feel extremely lucky to have friends, family, colleagues and a gem of a boyfriend who have always taken the time to support me along the way. The two amazing creatives I would like to give a shout out to are Maxine Christians who is an incredible makeup artist and Anastasiya Sazhina who is one of the best photographers I know. I also have been very fortunate to have mentors who constantly encourage me to keep elevating my work. They give me the feedback that I need and it comes from their belief that I can achieve great heights. Having that honest support system is truly a blessing to me. Some of my incredible mentors include Amy Oresman, Fiona Stiles and Kirin Bhatty.
Austin Nelson, Anastasiya Sazhina, Shari Hoffman, Eunji Kim