Interview with Celebrity Makeup Artist Merrell Hollis

The career of Celebrity Makeup Artist Merrell Hollis has  been nothing short of a dream come true. From his beginnings working on video shoots in  Atlanta, to now flying all over the world as  personal MUA to Wendy Williams, I can truly say Merrell has the career Makeup Artist dream of.

With an  infectious smile and incredible makeup  skills  I consider  Merrell  royalty in the Makeup industry.  I’m excited  to  bring to you my  interview  with him off the wings of this years The Makeup Show Orlando  hosted by the Powder group.

What inspired you to become a Makeup Artist/Groomer?

I’ve always known that I wanted to work with women in some capacity and wanted to do some sort of makeup. I wasn’t sure if it was hair or fashion so I went to school for design and marketing. I also went aesthetic school, got my cosmetology license and barbering license because I wanted to know everything about the field. The art of transformation still ‘til this day wows me.

What do you love most about what you do?

What I enjoy most is transformation and pushing my limits. I’m always trying something new and going outside the box. There’s always a new technique with makeup. I love that there is always something to learn. This is the only job that I’ve really set my heart and mind to so I must give my all and most importantly love it.


Who/What has inspired you so far throughout your career?

I get my inspiration from the change of the seasons, change in beliefs and all of the extraordinary NYC women walking by. Some people who inspired me are: Pat McGrath, Sam Fine, Reggie Wells, and Roshar – amongst others.

Black Opal is one of my favorite makeup brands and I recently learned that you became their Artistic Director earlier this year; walk us through a typical day at the office.

Working with Black Opal, a trusted and international beauty brand, allows me to interact with consumers in a different way from special appearances to working on photoshoots for ad campaigns to giving input on the latest trends based off of my celebrity and industry experience. I also work closely with Black Opal’s Sr. Marketing Director, Maya Brown, on the visual aspects on the products and what goes into the products. So it truly is fun to get feedback from consumers via social world of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and take it into the brand world.

What tips/suggestions can you share for prepping the skin before applying color cosmetics? What are some of the best Black Opal products to achieve this?

My tips for prepping the skin before applying cosmetics is to use Black Opal’s Even True Oil-free Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15 – having an excellent primer treatment under the makeup will treat while covering up a problem spot.

When it comes to favorites what (brand/type) brushes  do you keep in your kit? What {brushes/brand} would you suggest for the everyday woman who likes to apply a full face a few times a week?

The brushes I keep in my kit are the 3DHD Sigma Beauty Foundation Brushes. If you are a woman who likes to apply a full face of makeup, I also recommend Make Up Forever brushes – they are amazing.

What is your favorite Fall makeup trend?

The top trends in the makeup artistry for Fall that caught my eye are eye play and jewel tones. I am using jewel tones – sapphire blue, teal, yellow etc.- to create fun looks from updated smoky eyes, playful uses of liner and  colorful mascara looks.                                                              

What does the future hold for Merrell Hollis?

Lots of exciting projects are on the horizon  – but I can’t share them all just yet! For now, I’m thankful that people tune in to see my work on The Wendy Williams Show and to see me at my classes with The Makeup Show.