VAMP Alumni Spotlight: Megan Rathbun

Tell the world a bit about yourself and where can we find you?

I’m Megan, I work as a freelance makeup artist and was born and raised here in Florida. I’ve been an artist since I could hold a pencil and creating art is my favorite hobby. When I’m not doing makeup, I enjoy painting, photography, playing guitar, and playing with my dogs. I’m also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ and autism community! My Instagram and Facebook is @makeupbymuamegan and my website is makeupbymuamegan.com

What programs did you take and when did you graduate VAMP?

I graduated from the Beauty Professional Makeup Artistry program in November of 2019, and the Modern Effects Makeup Artistry program in August of 2020.

What was your favorite thing to learn about from both programs while attending VAMP and why?

In the beauty program, I loved learning about editorial makeup. There’s an endless amount of looks you can come up with! For me, editorial makeup combines my traditional artistic side with my makeup loving side.

During modern effects, learning dentures was definitely my favorite. It was such an intricate and tricky process, but the end product was so worth it. Designing and painting the teeth was really fun. But being able to wear the custom fit dentures that I created is the best part!!

Special effects zombie airbrush applications for Sea World’s Howl-O-Scream 2021

What drew you to this industry and to choose your profession?

I grew up a fan of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy movies, and I LOVE Halloween. As a kid, I was drawn to the awesome creatures and characters in movies like Star Wars, Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal. I always wanted to know how they made it. I watched a lot of the SyFy show “Face-Off” in my teens and it inspired me to get involved in makeup and film. When I finished high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, but I always wanted to work in a creative industry. After touring VAMP, I knew it was meant to be!

Megan wearing her custom creature dentures alongside classmate Hannah Cota.

Do you like to create looks that blend both special effects with beauty or do you prefer to keep them separate?

BLEND THE TWO!! You get the best of both worlds that way!

How would you describe your signature beauty artistry style?

Soft glam! I love perfected, natural-looking skin with neutral tones for both eyes and lips.

Glowy-glam makeup application by Megan

What is your favorite makeup product in your kit and why do you love it?

In my beauty kit, it’s the Natasha Denona Glam Palette! It’s got the perfect neutral colors for literally ANY kind of look! So versatile and I use it all the time. The shimmers are gorgeous as well!

In my SFX kit, it’s the PPI Skin Illustrator Alcohol Palette. It’s another versatile product that you can use to make so many different effects! I love the colors and the ability to mix them right in the palette.

What is something in your kit that you didn’t think you would need, but you end up using all the time?

My RCMA cream foundation palettes come in handy very often- there’s so many shades with the undertones I need to make the perfect shade match!

What is your most memorable moment from working on a client, and why is it so memorable?

A client treated herself to makeup on Valentine’s Day. It was her first time getting professional makeup done ever! As I did her makeup, I asked if she had any plans for the night, and she said no. I convinced her to get some girlfriends together and go out to dinner and take pictures together since she was all glammed up. When she was done with her makeup, she asked me to take some photos of her, and of course I did. When she looked in the mirror she said “I’ve never felt so beautiful in all 46 years of my life!!” and later said “I’m calling my ex tonight!!” LOL.

The client ended up calling me a few weeks later to tell me that my makeup had completely changed her life. She said how she’d never felt so confident, she had a great night and got a ton of compliments on how gorgeous she looked. Then she told me how she’s been on a dating app for almost a year without any success, until she posted the photos I took of her. Now she’s getting 10 messages a day- and even met someone! She told me she had never felt so beautiful and thanked me for changing her life! I was so happy knowing that I helped her feel good and made her smile. I truly love my job!

What makeup look is most often requested from your clients?

Soft, natural glam with a modern smoky eye!

Bridal makeup applications by Megan

What is your favorite type of makeup to apply and why?

Editorial- Although I love doing bridal as well- Nothing compares to not having to follow the “rules” of traditional makeup for an editorial look. Especially when getting to design makeup based on an outfit or theme- the more creativity, the better!

What advice would you have given yourself 3 years ago when first starting your career?

Start de-potting as often as you can to save your back and space in your kit. It will make your job easier!! Don’t forget to massage your hands and wrists often. AND GET YOURSELF A TALL CHAIR AND RING LIGHT!!

Edited for grammar, content, and clarity.  APRIL 2022.