Former Mansfield resident Mayvis Payne was married, raised two children, and worked as an administrative assistant in Washington, DC, when she decided to change careers and become a makeup artist.
She then developed her own line of cosmetics and worked with celebrities such as Kerry Washington, Nick Cannon, Jennifer Holliday and Mo Rocca, who wrote the introduction to her new memoir, “Lipgloss Chronicles”.
The book began last year when the entertainment industry shut down and Payne had some free time. The brief was published in April.
Payne will sign copies, sell other merchandise and offer makeup tips from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Mansfield.
Payne, 56, spoke of New York, where she worked. She lives in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, near New York.
Q: Did you move from Mississippi to Mansfield when you were in high school?
Payne: In the middle of the 19th year. I think I had two months to finish 10th grade. Well done to my mother for uprooting my life! It was total culture shock, from the weather, to the culture, to the people, all completely different. My mother still lives in Mansfield, I have an uncle who is a pastor there, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. I still have roots there.
Q: You’ve made the jump from working in a company to freelance makeup work, which is a big leap. What attracted you so much about makeup?
Payne: I have always loved fashion. Growing up, I loved colors and beautiful clothes. On my commute from Maryland to DC for work, women would come to me on the train to compliment my makeup. I found a school in Annapolis, MD, and left my corporate job early on Tuesdays and Thursdays and went to night school. I landed my first job at MAC Cosmetics, and that’s how my career began.
Q: You offer a lot of advice to people considering the area in your book. What do you think makes a good makeup artist?
Payne: I think what makes a good makeup artist is being flexible and paying attention to detail. You have to think of each customer as an individual. Two people can look alike but have totally different personalities. If a client isn’t comfortable with her makeup, she won’t be at her best. One of the things I love to do is when I get a request for a specific client, I like to research them for a week. I don’t always have this opportunity, because sometimes it’s at the last minute. But I still like to browse through their photos, see what they look like, see if they look comfortable with makeup, what kind of clothes they are wearing.
Q: You are very discreet about your clients in the book, but it is clear that some of them are easier to work with than others. What makes a client want you to work with them more than once?
Payne: Being kind goes a long way. Sometimes you see people whose personality you think you know from the way they are on TV, and you think, oh my gosh i gotta work with him? And then you work with them, and they’re so nice. Piers Morgan was one of them. I didn’t know he was as kind and gracious as he was.
Q: It was obviously memorable for you to work with Maya Angelou.
Payne: It was such an honor and a blessing to be selected to work with her. I was the junior makeup artist for this particular show. The producer asked me to make up Dr Maya Angelou. I was shaking because the gravity of his name was so great. When I walked into her suite, there were all these people around her, but when I walked in to introduce myself, and to let her know that I was going to do her makeup, I felt like I was there. only person in the room. She asked me how long you have been doing your makeup. While chatting with her, I felt like I was talking to my grandmother or my aunt. I think she ended up passing away the following year. She was so regal, yet so down to earth and genuine. It was my highlight. I could have died the next day and be happy.
In one look
Mayvis Payne will be signing books and offering makeup tips at a free 2 pm to 5 pm Saturday event at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 2220 S. Main St., Mansfield.
For more information visit www.mayvispayne.com.