Olivia Song is one of the most sought-after celebrity makeup artists, and she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Having been in the industry for over 11 years, the makeup guru, entrepreneur, and mother is a walking testimony of someone who stepped out on the limb and took that leap of faith—turning her wildest dreams into a reality. To date, she’s done makeup for everyone from Kash Doll to Asian Doll to Mulatto.
When she’s not on set, you can find Olivia in Atlanta working on her own cosmetic retail brand titled SPRNTRL, which stands for Super Natural Cosmetics. Coming as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company showcases Olivia’s newfound purpose to break barriers and never stay complacent.
Olivia is currently spreading wisdom and knowledge on her own 6-city Masterclass tour, the second of its kind. Flaunt caught up with Olivia at Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles, with Erica Mena as her special guest. Read below as we discuss how she got her start, creating SPRNTRL and the challenges, working with Lil Kim, expired makeup trends, her Master Class tour, motherhood, and more!
How did you get your start in the beauty industry?
I’ve been in the industry for 11 years, I started in cosmetic retail. I was in school for fashion design, and makeup was a job to earn money while I was in college. Once I started doing it, I fell in love.
Were you making good money in college?
For back then, yeah. Cosmetic retail paid more than your average retail. For example if you worked at Macy’s in the Cosmetics department, you’re making more than someone who’s doing women’s clothes. That was appealing to me.
How was it starting your company SPRNTRL, during the Covid-19 pandemic?
I’d literally moved to Atlanta 5 months before quarantine. I was already trying to work my way into the scene of Atlanta. Not a lot of people know who I was so when the shutdown happened, I was panicking. People weren’t going to events, there’s no concerts or weddings. How am I going to continue to make money without providing my service? I had always wanted my own product line. It was a longer-term goal, a 10-year goal. When that happened, it inspired me to go for it.
What were the biggest challenges?
Navigating a product-based business for the first time with no knowledge. I had to figure out how to contact the manufacturers of the lashes and sample which ones I wanted to use. It was a long process. I had models come in, I’d do their make up and try on each lash. I had to narrow down my favorite lashes, what I think people would love to buy.
What’s next with the line?
We added lip glosses. Eventually I do want it a full, complete line. This year after this tour, that’s what I’m going to focus on.
Why did you name It SPRNTRL?
That’s been my LLC for years. SPRNTRL for me is double entendre. I call myself the cosmetic magician. Supernatural in a way that’s magical, but also my style of makeup is very natural.
Everyone saw the amazing work that you did with Lil Kim for her PLT campaign, how was that?
Girl, unreal! That’s one of the points in my career, I’ll never forget that day. I’m a huge fan of Lil Kim. I honestly didn’t think she called me, I thought it was a joke. It’s Lil Kim, I thought I was being punked. I was checking to make sure, I was nervous to be on the plane. “This can’t be real.” When I got there, it was amazing. She’s literally the sweetest person I’ve ever met. The team was so accommodating. They had a driver, I was at the Ritz Carlton. We’re shooting in the desert, crazy. It was the craziest photoshoot over ever done.
Was It hard in the desert, being that it’s so hot?
Yes, but she was killing It. She did this. I mean she’s Lilm, she’s been doing it for years. She was getting it in the desert, wow. Crazy.
What’re some makeup trends that we should leave in 2021?
I’m straying away from highlighting on the cheeks, especially for textured skin. A very matte look, like I don’t have any highlight on.
Who’s been your most memorable person working with?
Every single model on my tour, we have a really good relationship and dynamic which is why I chose them. Mulatto and I are really growing our relationship. We’ve been doing a lot of work together, I can see myself working with her consistently moving forward.
Did you guys link prior to her blow up?
No! She’d already blown up and I was a big celebrity makeup artist, but we’d never connected before then. I was doing Family Hustle for T.I and Tiny and they connected me with Mulatto. I was doing Tiny’s makeup 3 days a week for the show and they still connected me.
How do you prepare for the celebrity clients?
I go through all of their Instagram photos to see their makeup preference. I try to prepare my kit for what skintone I think they’re going to be. I do my research.
Where do you feel the future of the beauty industry is headed?
The industry changed so much. Definitely there’s going to be makeup artists representing companies. Makeup artists don’t want to work for companies in the stores anymore. A lot of these brands are online. We’re getting away from physical locations. How there are brand ambassadors for fashion, there will be freelance makeup artists that are representing these companies. That’s what I think.
Who do you want do you want to glam up to receive the Olivia Song experience?
Saweetie. She hasn’t read my DM but it’s okay, she will one day. [laughs]
What’re you most excited for with this Master Class tour?
I’m excited to meet all of the students from this year. I’ll still keep in touch with some people and to see the elevation of their work, even things they took from this class and applied it to their own technique is the best part. That’s the most satisfying thing to me. Crazy, 6 cities and I’m bringing my 4-year-old.
How is it balancing motherhood and your career?
I take things day by day. I don’t try to be too hard on myself. I try to be relaxed, it’s very difficult. I’ve had to travel with my son a lot and bring him to appointments. I’m grateful all of my clients are open to that. They’ve been very great. Everyone treats him like family. It’s day by day, we make it happen.
Any goals for yourself at this point of your career?
Expand SPRNTRL cosmetics. I definitely want to do 2 more virtual classes.
Anything else you’d like to let the people know?
Follow me @oliviasong. Expect the unexpected, stay tuned!
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