Gabbie McGuire packed her bags at the age of 17 years old, and moved to Montreal to pursue her dreams of becoming a make up artist. Now six years later, her work has been featured in magazine editorials such as Marriage Quebec, Mint Mag, Elegant Magazine, just to name a few. She gives make up tutorials at Wonder Glam, and is just at the beginning of building her career. I caught up with Gabbie to discuss what brought her to Montreal and her future plans for Wonder Glam.
I knew I wanted to do make up since I was 13 years old. I always love colours, make up, expressing myself through art. I was drawn to colours. It was this weird obsession that I had, I always wore black but I always loved to play with colours, I was always putting make up on people. Whether it was face paint, my mother, my dad I always playing with someone else's face. I didn't quite get it at first, and then I started demanding make up, as birthday presents, gifts, etc. I was always into nails, hair, high heels, the girly stuff. and then the second I found out make up artist was a job, that I could wake up in the morning and do it - I was like that's it! That's what I got to do.
Photo credit - Elie Josie Photographie
Since the age of five years old, I knew I wanted to get out of Ottawa. I was always really really independent so I left fresh out of high school, the minute I graduated. My family jokes that I still had my prom dress on and I was running to Montreal.
I chose Montreal because there are more opportunities in terms of fashion, design and I knew this city would be a challenge for me to adapt to. [Because] I was so young at the time [17 years old] I couldn't get any of my accounts open. I couldn't get Hydro, Videotron, so I had to wait until I turned 18.
I wanted to be inspired by the city as much as I could. And then I found a job, no matter what I did I kept going back to the fashion industry, and it didn't even take me 3 months and I knew next year I'm going to sign up to make up school.
I was suppose to "find myself" and find what I wanted to do, but it took a couple days and I knew.
So I signed up to Edith Serei Beauty Academy. I have a base as aesthetician : I learned everything from skin care, face shape, skin types, skin textures, skin conditions, how to take care of what, how to apply make up on everyone, so it doesn't matter the shades I can take care of any client. I learned every types of occasions, so whether it's bridal to television to special effects.
Photo credit - Eric Daoust
[When you graduate the program], its like "okay your diploma's in the mail.. you can leave now", they don't tell you what to do. So you kind of fall on your back again, which was a great character building experience as well, I was basically naked holding nothing but my diploma, that's all you got. No work experience, no job. Everything I did, I built by myself: my Facebook page, my following on social medias, I had to learn how to do that all by myself, it taught me a lot. It was just trial and error after that.
Even when I knew nothing, I just googled business school for adults. I went out, and found a business school that wasn't too far from my house. I walked in and everyone was either in start ups or tech companies and I was like "I'm a make up artist" and they didnt even know how to deal with me, and I just sat there and took in the information I needed. I wanted to learn everything from accounting to marketing to customer relationships to how to set my prices, etc.
I like knowing that I'm perpetually learning. I like the fact hat I'm never going to know everything, there's always going to be something new to discover until the day that I quit and retire, there's always going to be something new, that's the best part about it.
I love doing bridal make up, it's very special. I like the connection I build with the bride, and being there on her special day. It's a special moment. I'll do fashion shows, special occasions, events.
Photo credit - Tsikimamy Onimbola
I would love to develop the more artistic side of my work. Do editorials, fashion, experiment with colours.
Don't ever stop learning. Don't EVER stop learning. I think that's really important to know, any artist at any level.
Photo credit - Christine Turek
I would really like to help reach the gap between make up industry and every day women. Because I feel like there's a lot of misunderstandings between what's seen one fashion billboards and in commercials and what real women at home are feeling when it comes to buying products and applying them.
That's why I teach, why I do Wonder Glam, I want people to understand how to apply make up, how to enjoy the process, what to buy what not to buy, without feeling like they have to fit a certain standard. That was one of the hardest things for me in high school, because I loved make up so much, and when I got to understand more of it I realized it was a tool to enhance yourself the more you enjoyed the process of applying it the better you felt about yourself.
My goal is to convey that message to women and young girls.
Youtube tutorials. I have a new website platform coming soon!
My future step is building a cool team around me, which is starting pretty well. Collaborating with cool people, and definitely bringing my mobile services to a new level.
Cover photo credit - Lana Nimmons