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New York Called Porsche Cooper

When Porsche Cooper moved to New York City from Dallas, Texas 6 years ago she had big dreams of becoming a self employed makeup artist. "I dream really really big so when I say I wanted to be a makeup artist I wanted to be well known in the industry, peers to respect my work, an amazing clientele, celebrities, fashion week--a whole different scale." With fate's helping hand and an unwavering drive, Porsche has turned her dreams into reality.Porsche was born in Dallas with an innate love for glamour and beauty. "I will always attribute my career to my mother. She was so glamourous and I used to get up early so I could watch her do her makeup and put on her beautiful suit and heels," Porsche said as she held up a picture of her mother. In 7th grade Porsche started wearing mascara and lip gloss. By high school she graduated into pink and bright red lipsticks. She became a huge fan of MAC, where she would spend 8 years of her professional career before deciding to work for herself."I always just loved being a woman. I didn't want to be anything else or any other way. I wanted to be just like my mother and, thankfully, I never had any ugly makeup moments to mislead me!"After high school Porsche headed to college at the University of Texas to be a corporate or entertainment lawyer. She was always enthused by education and law and at one point even wanted to be a forensic specialist. It was also during this time she started realizing her love for doing makeup. "I started working for MAC and doing makeup professionally and realized I really loved how I could make women, and sometimes men, feel about themselves," Porsche said. She continued her work with MAC and after graduation took on a second job at a law firm. "It was the most horrible job I've ever had and it was the only job I ever quit," she said. She hated sitting at a desk and the stress and dispassion for her her work led to migraines and began affecting her personal life negatively. It was around then she started having dreams of New York."I was so infatuated with Sex in the City and Carrie and Mr. Big and fashion week and shopping and how you can come to New York and be whoever you want to be. It doesn't matter where you're from, what small town you grew up in, what other major city you came from--you can look how you want to look, live how you want to live, and be who you want to be." It sounds cliche but if you could've heard the passion with which Porsche expressed this statement you would feel as though you could achieve anything you ever dreamed within the tiny island of Manhattan. After graduating, quitting the law firm, and excelling at her employment with MAC, Porsche decided that within the next year she would move to New York City.Porsche transferred to a MAC store back in Dallas to be near family and one evening, while shopping at Wal-mart (one of her favorite stores as she raves about their Cover Girl lipsticks) opened up to her mom about a position posting at MAC in New York City. "I looked at my mom and she told me that all she wanted was for me to be happy, to accomplish big things in life and never look back. So I went home and posted for the job." After a couple interviews Porsche received a phone call from upper management requesting she be in New York for her new position within 2 weeks. "I didn't know what the hell I was going to do but it didn't even matter I just knew I wanted to be there." Porsche said.Thankfully, Porsche's sister had a friend living in Brooklyn who took her in for the first three months of her residency. Just like her mother wished for her--Porsche hasn't looked back. I was very curious if Porsche's initial experience in New York was different then how she had dreamed and perceived the city before moving. While she was aware of New York's reputation for the rude nature of a select few, it is still something she cannot get used to. "You do not have to love or like me or go out of your way to help me but pure respect should come naturally and should not be something you have to work for."There are some negative things New York is known for that really do exist and they have hardened Porsche in certain ways. When she first arrived she was 21 going on 22 and now she is in a totally different part of her life. "I had to learn a lot of those lessons and things that you don't know until you know," said Porsche. I very much admired this honesty and straightforwardness as I am still adapting to life in New York. While she has changed a bit, Porsche explained, "If it ever gets to the point where I notice that the essence of who I am starts to diminish then it would be time for me to leave NYC." She is glad she grew up elsewhere and knows what it's like to grow up with a backyard and do things like chase the ice cream man because it gives her a balance of life and perspective.Porsche's journey as a makeup artist is unlike many others. While working for the MAC studio outside Henri Bendel on 5th Ave., clients quickly started booking her for various projects. At one point soon after she moved she was booked to work backstage on a show for BET. The host was Chris Brown, who she ended up grooming and creating an ongoing relationship with for future bookings for the (at the time) young singer. "When you are onset you have to be the best version of yourself possible because people hire people they want to work with. It doesn't always matter about your talent but if a photographer loves me he might book me over someone else who has better talent," Porsche noted. She likes to make people feel comfortable. "You want a drink?" she'll ask, "...Well let me get you a straw so you don't mess up my lipstick!" Her experience at BET led her to opportunities with Def Jam, along with other big names and helped her gain her confidence to finally part ways with MAC.Just last year Porsche made the important decision to transition out of retail. With a little push from her best friend Jennifer, who is also a makeup artist, she took a chance on herself. "This whole time I had been helping out someone else's dream and I needed to finally focus on mine. I didn't come to New York to be working retail all my life, I came here with a vision and goals and I needed to execute them so, ultimately, I gave notice," Porsche said. She had no plan when she quit but as an artist, she had to free herself of the complacent person she had become. "The moment I quit I felt like I had grown wings. It was this huge accomplishment and I hadn't even done anything yet except for make a major decision."In just a year she has since established relationships with Paper Magazine, worked on many editorials and TV shows, and created close ties with make up line Flirt and Kelly Framel of The Glamourai blog, along with maintaining personal clients, of recent Iggy Azalea. She loves her celebrity clients but for Porsche, a happy client is a happy client regardless of status (as long as they can pay her rate!). "If people want to work with me again that makes me feel good because that means you liked my work and you liked me and those are equally important. The work that I do is not more important than the person I am at work," she said.Just like everyone Porsche has had her moment of doubt. "You have to put on your armor and know that you are good enough. I don't have to step on you to get to where I need to be. There is room for all of us to make it, whether designer, stylist, writer, etc." she said. She expressed that her close friends know she is probably never moving back to Texas. With her strong intuition, work ethic, charisma, positivity and talent, Porsche will only continue to do great things. As for now? "It is part of my mission to get the women of New York City to start embracing make up in a way that is appropriate for their lifestyle and makes them feel comfortable," she challenged herself. She expressed her shock at the NYC woman's lack of a complete look. "These women are impeccably dressed with divine shoes and bags and then you get to the face and BAM...chap-stick," she exclaimed in disbelief. As a recent New York transplant I let Porsche's mission continue on with me as she turned me from sweaty New Yorker into girl ready for a night out on the town. I had a great time with Porsche and can't wait to keep up on her accomplishments in the big city.Follow Porsche on Instagram and Twitter and check out her website for more work by the makeup artist.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Chris Ibezim says:

    Wow!!! Porsche story is amazing. This is the true meaning of hard work turning into success. With her dirve and ambitious nature, the sky is truly the limit. In life there are two kinds of people; the kind that let things happen and the kind that makes things happen. With the God and the support from her mother you can honestly say that Porsche Cooper will not wait around for things to just happen.

  2. Kimmie says:

    Great interview! I learned about Porsche via her work with Kelly Framel and I absolutely LOVE her style. The looks that she creates are very versatile, and I hope that one day she starts doing tutorials. I’d love to know some of her tricks of the trade bc she knows how to make women look beautiful without looking overly done up. THAT is how you know an MUA is truly talented!

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