Firsts is a series of conversations where women share moments that aren’t always talked about, in the hope that they inspire, encourage, and comfort. This week we’re sharing a conversation with NYC-based makeup artist Yacine Diallo.
Meet Yacine Diallo
Yacine Diallo is a makeup artist living and working in New York. She’s worked with the likes of Clinique, made-up faces such as the beautiful Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), and she’s also gained that ‘cool girl’ status, appearing on intothegloss.com and leaving her social followers constantly asking her to give up her skincare tips. Perhaps it’s her Parisien upbringing but Yacine definitely has that super chilled, seemingly low maintenance glow. Read on to find out how Yacine got to grips with living in NYC, and how she got her start in the beauty biz.
First thing I do when I wake up in the morning is… I try to take a bit of time for myself, listening to music or trying to meditate for 10 minutes before preparing some tea – I like to slowly wake up before getting ready.
First time I did something that I felt was daring was… when I moved to New York. It was pretty unexpected and risky, to be honest. Oh and – it might sound silly – but swimming with whale sharks in Mexico a couple of years ago was a massive challenge – I was so scared of deep open water but I did it! There is nothing that compares to the feeling of overcoming your fears.
First time I arrived in NYC from Paris I felt… excited!
First thing I did when I arrived in NYC was… I went out for dinner in the West Village, which is where I got my first apartment too.
First friend I made in NYC was… Actually, I already knew a bunch of people from Paris that had moved here before me but I’ve met some amazing people through my work, including people who gave me work when I had just arrived and didn’t know anyone.
First place I go when I need new makeup pieces for my kit is… Well, because of my job I get a lot of products gifted and get to work with a lot of products from different brands! I also know several beauty PRs who keep me up to date with what’s new on the market. I love to test and try out what I have been sent, but my guilty pleasure is drugstore shopping – I love a good drugstore find!
First place I go when I’m looking for inspiration is… I travel. It always helps me reset and come back with fresh ideas and a new point of view.
First thing I do when I get home from a long day’s work is… take a shower, light a candle, take some time to literally cleanse from the day and reconnect with myself. I touch and take care of people all day, so this moment is very important to me.
First makeup job I ever did was… working part-time at a MAC store while going to makeup school – I learned a lot there.
First time I played with makeup was… when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. I was very into my mom’s skincare and loved the makeup packaging from high-end beauty brands like Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Guerlain… My mom only wears lipstick and is big on skincare, so she didn’t have many makeup items, but I remember she had the most beautiful products that I would love to look at and play with.
First makeup muse who inspired me… I am a big fan of the 90’s supermodels; their individuality and beauty were fascinating to me. I think it was around that time that my love and interest in fashion, beauty, and photography began to grow and I became more interested in the art of makeup. I had no idea I would become a makeup artist at the time but I was into fashion and watching fashion shows – all the documentaries and TV programs that showed backstage… I think the first book I bought about makeup was Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces; I bought it when it first came out and fell in love with the art of makeup for good.