Hello! I am thrilled to introduce my YouBeauty column, Color Theory, where I will dish about makeup, share my favorite tips, and help you find the best makeup look for you.

Courtesy of Fiona Stiles
Fiona Stiles

I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. Many childhood memories may be foggy, but I remember the sheen and sparkle of an insanely metallic silver eye shadow my best friend in 3rd grade had, just as clearly as I remember the perfect yellow nail polish I had around the same time. The color was called “Maize.”Can I tell you the 20th president of the United States? No. But can I tell you the name of a nail polish I had 30 years ago? You bet.It amuses me that these products are so indelibly seared into my memory, and it should have made sense to friends and family that makeup would end up being my path. I swear I could categorize all of my favorite pieces of makeup from grade school through high school, then through college and my early adult years maneuvering Manhattan. Makeup has always been there for me, even when I didn’t know that it could (or would) be a career.I actually had no idea you could make a living doing makeup. It just never dawned on me that you could actually support yourself by doing something so amazing and fun. My focus in high school was art (drawing and photography) but something sensible in me said to focus on photography so that maybe I could actually make a living. I went to the Rhode Island School of Design and studied photography, and while I was in school I would do makeup for friends’ films or fashion projects, but I never really gave it much thought.After moving to New York after college I decided that makeup was what I wanted to do. There was no Internet, and hair and makeup agencies weren’t listed in the phone book so it took a little ingenuity. I would go through magazines, read credits, and then go through the phone book and call makeup artists to see if they needed an assistant. It took patience, perseverance and guts, but those are all great qualities for this industry, and it all worked out. After things took off and I realized that I could support myself by making up faces, I never, ever looked back.For me, being a makeup artist is incredibly satisfying. I have traveled the world, met the most fascinating people (Madonna and Nelson Mandela to name two very different examples!) and seen wonderful things. I love being around new people every day, and even though on the tough days I wish I could be a clerk somewhere filing papers, minding my own business, the feeling always passes when I touch a new product, work on a new face, meet a new inspiring person, or travel somewhere I’ve never been before.I cherish having a job where I am surrounded by beautiful colors and products all day long. I love being able to make women feel beautiful and confident. I love getting to work with the same faces over and over again, getting to play with their image and looks, and styles. It’s fun to see all the different things you can do with the same features! Everyone has the same basic components, but the results from makeup can be so varied! What a fun challenge to have on a daily basis!Nothing gives me greater pleasure than sharing my knowledge and techniques that I have honed, gleaned and learned over the years.  There are a million different ways to do the same thing, but when one way clicks with the right person, it’s very satisfying. For some reason, even though we adore makeup and many of us wear it every single day of our lives, we still ask the same questions over and over again.  What colors look good on my skintone? How do I pick the right foundation? How do I interpret trends without looking like a clown/teenager/streetwalker?In this column I will guide you to the right products, the right techniques and the right frame of mind to try something new, take a tiny step outside of your comfort zone, and embrace the unfamiliar. I always say, ”It’s just makeup; it washes off.  You’re the same person that you were before, so be free and playful and enjoy!”I’m looking forward to hearing all sorts of feedback, questions and comments from you, dear reader, so fire away.  And I hope to address your concerns and questions in the columns to come. I’m here for you, so let’s do this together!