Westminster student combines makeup with science, proving makeup has no gender

Christian Diaz applies his makeup in the dressing room in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts. Diaz, a junior biology major and chemistry minor, said he has been interested in the beauty industry since he was young, and his friends say he has grown into a makeup artist with good taste and an eye for detail. Photo by Dariia Miroshnikova

Christian Diaz applies his makeup in the dressing room in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts. Diaz, a junior biology major and chemistry minor, said he has been interested in the beauty industry since he was young, and his friends say he has grown into a makeup artist with good taste and an eye for detail. Photo by Dariia Miroshnikova

For those who think makeup is only for women, Christian Diaz may prove them wrong. Diaz, a junior biology major and chemistry minor at Westminster College, said he studies inner beauty in class and outer beauty outside of school. 

Diaz said he has been interested in beauty industry since he was young. Though he started off watching tutorials online and practicing for hours, his friends say he has now grown into a makeup artist with good taste and an eye for detail. 

Luisa Rusta, a junior biology major and chemistry minor, met Diaz during her first year in college and said most of the tips she's learned about makeup came from him. 

"He is very intelligent," Rusta said. "I think it is awesome that he combines glamor and science. He is the ultimate combination of [the two]. I think when Christian does his makeup, he looks better than a lot of girls." 

Diaz is currently a makeup artist at Nordstrom but said he wants to pursue a career in plastic surgery. He sat down with The Forum to talk about how his interests in biology and makeup converge.   

Q: Science and makeup art are two different fields. Tell me about these different interests of yours. 

A:  They are actually pretty related. Without science, there is not [going to] be any innovation. Science is intriguing to me. I think it started in high school. I had amazing science teachers and they saw potential in me and really invested a lot of time and energy into me, which I’m really grateful for. That’s kind of what sparked it. I feel like science is really creative. [Also], I’ve always been into symmetry and beauty and I was always watching makeup tutorials, and that’s what sparked my interest in makeup. I’m an artist, too, outside of work, so it kind of became my new medium. 

Q: Is being a makeup artist your hobby or do you want to incorporate it into your future career? 

A: I would say it’s a mixture between a hobby and work [because] I travel a lot for certain gigs and I work with a lot of different brands just for their models. I feel like I could incorporate it somehow into my future. It’s such a huge industry. [The] cosmetics industry [makes] billions of dollars a year, so it’s possible. Maybe I’ll make my own line. I’m pretty businessey, too, so we'll see how it goes. 

Q: How did you learn how to apply makeup? 

A: Tutorials is where it all started, and then through Nordstrom I’ve had amazing opportunities to work with a lot of makeup artists and [then] through just meeting new people. I’ve worked with tons of different makeup artists and learned something new every day just from repeating, working on people [and] meeting new artists. There are some people that take you from being an average to being like Charlotte Tilbury [a British makeup artist]. There is always something new in this industry, and that’s what makes it exciting.  

Q: How did you get a job as a makeup artist? 

A: Connections. Nordstrom, really. I’ve met so many people that were like “Oh my gosh, can you do this for me?” and so I ended up in Park City doing makeup for people that are going to galas. 

Q: As a male makeup artist, what do you think about gender stereotypes in the beauty industry? 

A: The CEOs of almost every single company in makeup are all men. It’s a market that’s made for women but the people who are leading it are men. It’s very interesting. Women love guys—specifically gay guys that work in makeup. I feel like they feel more comfortable when they are getting their makeup done by a guy instead of a girl because they feel like the girl is really beautiful or just like intimidating. I haven’t had bad responses. I have had people walk up when I had a full-face makeup on—I mean, it’s Utah—that were like, “Thanks, ma'am,” and I’m just like, “Dude, I’m a guy.” 

Q: Why do you wear makeup? 

A: I feel more confident. I don’t wear makeup every day, but some days when I’m feeling the worst that’s my do because it makes [me] feel more confident and more pretty.