Ashley Sievert on Keeping it Simple
What inspired you to become a makeup artist and own your business?
When I was in high school, I would sit in front of the mirror and try to replicate looks I had seen using products I’d find at the drugstore. At 21, I began my first job at a local spa as a makeup artist, and later went to esthetician’s school and began doing freelance makeup on my own for weddings.
I had really bad skin in high school and breakouts. Nothing was oil-free. When I became a makeup artist, everyone had amazing eye makeup, but not the best bases.
You state on your website that your personal makeup style is natural, but glamorous. What are some products or easy ways to achieve this type of look with your products?
My goal is to create the “8 minute face.” The whole point of my line is to allow users to be able to wake up and do their makeup quickly, but still have it look effortless and glamorous.
Our concealer is a game-changer. I apply it after my foundation to give my undereye a beautiful pop of brightness and to make me look more awake. The undereye can make or break your look.
Our foundation is a bestseller. I wanted to create a product that was suitable for all skin types, all skin colors, and ages. The product feels like air. It’s waterproof, chemical-free, and has a chemical-free SPF. It’s a whipped mousse texture that’s good for people with acne breakouts. It also doesn’t have have a flashback in photos, so that’s really important.
How do you like to apply your foundation, typically?
I like to apply a pump and a half to my fingertips and then I press it onto my skin, starting in the middle of the face/ T-zone. Then I take a flat top kabuki brush and start pressing and patting the foundation in. You really don’t want to over blend this foundation, you just want to lightly press the product onto the skin. I usually don’t set concealer with powder because I love a glowy undereye. I think when you use powder to set concealer, it can look too dry and cakey.
What inspired you to become a makeup artist? And then, later, what inspired you to start your own makeup line?
I used to have a hard time finding a good foundation. When I became a makeup artist, everyone had amazing eye makeup products, but not the best bases. My foundations have yellow undertones and there are six shades total - I like to keep it simple.
Why is simplicity important to you?
I want my line to be simple. You go to Sephora and you have endless options. I want to keep it easy for customers to figure out what they need and what works for them.
What are your core values when it comes to skin care/beauty products?
I get satisfaction out of hunting for the best beauty finds, that’s why I like to experiment with everything. But I do get overwhelmed, so I usually end up sticking to things that I’ve been using for years. I use Colourpop a lot for their amazing range of eyeshadows.
I’m an extreme person, though. I will go from not buying makeup for, like, seven months, but then I’ll drop $500 on beauty randomly. I’m okay with experiencing and trying things. Either I’m in sweats with my hair up or I’ll have my makeup done up to the nines.
How has your beauty routine changed over the years?
In the last few years, I’ve tried to become more of a minimalist with my routine. I will say, I’ll never buy high end mascara again. I think drugstores have amazing mascara options.
What are your current beauty staples?
I am obsessed with Pravana - it’s a purple shampoo which helps to tone down brassiness.
As far as skincare, I love Dermaware, it’s a skincare company based here in New Orleans. I love their Pure & Gentle Wash, Bare Fruit 1 + 2 Enzyme Mask. I wear physical sunblock every single day. People don’t realize that the sun is the #1 cause for aging. I also love Skinceuticals B5 Gel + Serum Moisturizer.
I can’t live without Kiss individual lashes, which you can find at the drugstore. I love popping a few onto the outer corners of my eyes. They’re affordable and really natural looking.
Also, eyelash curlers. They makes my eyes look so much more awake. And I always curl my lashes before and after I apply mascara.
I’m loving the Sephora Brow Thickener - it’s like a sponge and a powder. It’s really the only thing I’ve ever used to make my brows look thicker, without feeling overdrawn.
And, of course, the Ashley Sievert Foundation, because the coverage is just flawless and it feels like nothing is on your skin.
What are some of the most challenging skin care issues you've dealt with?
I was oily all of my life, but now that I’ve had my baby, my skin is more dry/combination. I’ve always had large pores and getting hydrafacials and glycolic peels have really helped my skin. I’ve had “ice pick scars” and I got a T.C.A. 90% (drops in the pores and closes them). T.C.A. helps tighten pores.
What are hydrafacials?
Hydrafacials are similar to microdermabrasion in the sense that they have a crystal pick scraping at the skin, but they have a gel that glides on, so it’s much more gentle and it’s great for brightening and texture issues.
What are your swear-by beauty tips?
My #1 beauty tip is when doing your makeup, do your eyes first, then your foundation. If you have any fall-out, you can wipe it away and create a beautiful complexion. If you have the best eye makeup in the world, and a base that doesn’t look as great, it can really bring down your look and limit you.
Also, a lot of people don’t take care of their neck and chest. I’ve been using Dermaware’s End of the Line gel and then a retinol peel on top of that to reduce signs of aging for this area, and it’s really helped me.
What has been some of the best skincare advice someone has given you to date, that really made an impact on your skin?
Always take care of your neck and chest and wear sunblock every single day. Sun is the #1 cause of aging.
Do you have any beauty rituals that you use to unwind or practice self-care?
I’m someone who likes the chaotic life. I always like to have things going on. I don’t mind it, it’s kind of like my comfort space.
I do like trash TV. I love traveling and keeping everything organized. For me, organization is a stress-reliever. It makes me the happiest person in the world. I’m constantly thinking, “what’s my next step?” After a long day, I like to check all my e-mails and plan out my goals for the rest of the week.
I’m like a “stay-at-home” mom with caring for my child, but I’m also constantly tending to social media and e-mails even if I’m not at my studio. I have a list that I constantly add and delete to, so that I can stay on top of everything. Procrastination is the devil to me and I think that helps me be successful. I would rather take care of things instantly. I focus on daily, weekly, and monthly goals. It keeps me sane.
I also treat myself more than I should. My weight fluctuates. it’s always been an up and down.
And I’m not your typical “I go to the gym and run and drink wine” person - I would rather go to Krispy Kreme and treat myself and watch reality TV!
Being a business owner can be stressful. How do you manage stress levels and what keeps you sane?
I do honestly try to be of those people that’s like, “nothing’s gonna stop me.” I always try to learn from everything.
To me, I’m not stressed unless there’s mistakes in the business (communication, financials, anything), but I learn with each mistake how to improve and not make those mistakes again. Businesses don't have to have 70 team members and be continuously growing to be successful. We do a volume of what would typically need to be a team of six people, with just myself and my assistant.
People want a business because of how social media glamorizes it but they don't realize how much hard work goes into running a business. Even with photos for my social media - it doesn’t just happen. I like to tell a story, and a lot of work goes into that.