Wondering where our grads have gone to after graduating from Chic Studios? Many grads have started as freelancers, who eventually gained popularity with clients. Through word of mouth, they have expanded to have their own businesses or get completely booked as MUAs left and right! We caught up and talked with 3 of our talented Chic graduates: Zoe Ashley-Smith, Erdan Li, and Lindsay Stuart! This would be a 5 year update since we last talked with them in 2013, and their continuing success stories are amazing!

Credits by Zoe Ashley-Smith

Zoe Ashley-Smith

Most recent career highlights

1.Became completely independent in her bridal business, with over 60 weddings booked already for next year!

2.Had the opportunity of being flown out to Cabo San Lucas to work with some of the top wedding industry photographers, planners, and videographers in shooting a bridal campaign.

3.Shot campaigns and content with some great international brands and models, including Jade Swim, Rocky Barnes, and Kamila Hansen.

What made you want to get started in the industry?

Zoe: I always found myself in my spare time online watching videos, doing make up for friends, buried in magazines or scouring makeup and beauty supply stores. I had always heard people say “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” – I just wanted to find a way to do that.

What have you been up to recently?

Zoe: “It’s all been great, mostly having brides search me out over any of the other artists as it’s a very competitive market here, and it feels great to be selected like that.

In general, I’m just working on a mix of weddings and campaigns, getting to travel a lot more on the job, continuing to learn, and improving my kit and my technique. Also, I’m building my brand and gaining wedding partners, so I can keep working with the kind of lovely clients who value and appreciate good make up artistry.”

Who do you admire in the industry?

Zoe:I’m a big Instrgram stalker – @anastasiaberverlyhills – best brows ever, @danieldoesmakeupnotmagic – (Daneil Marrone – does some of the most amazing transformations but still beautiful natural, bridal, makeup) @raenorrismakeup – just amazing creative work, but so clean and brilliantly executed.

What was your favorite experience as a CHIC student?

Zoe: The people, really… Angelique’s classes were always super fun, and she gave such great personal insights in to how to work, network, and organize yourself in order to develop as an artist. Even after I’ve left, it has been so nice to maintain contact with the whole Chic crew and feel their help and support over time.

What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists?!

Zoe: Have faith and confidence in your work, be on time, be nice to everybody, and hustle hard. Always remember its make up not surgery – if something goes wrong, you can always fix it.

Credits by Erdan Li

Erdan Li

Most recent highlights

1.Have been a MUA for Thinx new lace campaign.

2.Did makeup on congresswoman Carolyn Malone.

3.Applied makeup for Facebook TV show “Trading Faces”

4.Did makeup for Fred Leighton jewelry catalog.

5.Was a MUA for Mandee Clothing campaign.

What made you want to get started in the industry?

Erdan: I’ve always been amazed by the art of makeup. The pursuit of beauty and creativity has been my one biggest motivation.

What have you been up to now?

Erdan: I have been working at TV station applying makeup on anchors, reporters, and show guests. Also, I’ve been doing commercial shoots, working with dancers, independent brands, and assisting agency makeup artists.

Who do you admire in the industry?

Erdan: I admire Kevin Aucoin, Sam Fine, Pat Macgrath, and so many more.

What was your favorite experience as a Chic student?

Erdan: My favorite part of Chic is that it makes me feel super connected after I graduated. Chic sends out gigs and event opportunities to graduates on a regular basis, and it has the nicest program coordinators and teachers!

What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists?!

Erdan: Be inspired and stay motivated every day, because at the end of day, passion is what leads your way!

Credits by Lindsay Stuart

Lindsay Stuart

Most recent career highlights

Lindsay: My career has taken a turn. I am fortunate and blessed to be able to fuse my makeup training with other facets of my life and career. My five most recent career highlights include:

1.I opened a store in Dumbo, Brooklyn (@glamexpressway) where I sell women’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories. I very much use my makeup training for model photoshoots and creating content for the store. I often post makeup tutorials that go with the “look of the week.” My store is located at 145 Front Street or can be found online at www.shopglamexpressway.com.

2.Another highlight came earlier this year when I was featured on Geo Marketing – //geomarketing.com/how-dumbo-boutique-glam-expressway-quadrupled-revenue-by-moving-from-clicks-to-bricks.

3.The first item that I designed for the store has sold out.. That moment was another highlight.

4.Applying bridal makeup for a burn victim. This was growth for me. It was experimental and when it turned out successful, this was a major career highlight.

5.Lastly, I was a speaker at Dock Street Middle School’s Career Day. I was able to speak with school-aged children about working hard, valuing their creativity, and embracing the many twists and turns one’s career path may take.

What made you want to get started in the industry?

Lindsay: I know it sounds cliché but I love interacting with people. I love feeling like I gave a client confidence and put a smile on his/her face. Let’s face it, we all do better and are kinder when we feel good about ourselves.

What have you been up to recently?

Lindsay: Recently, I have been preparing my boutique for holiday season and enjoying my co-hosting job at QVC/HSN where I always apply my own makeup! : )

Who do you admire in the industry?

Lindsay: I most admire all of the Youtube Makeup Artists that put their talent on display and post videos of their creative work. I often use them as a reference when I need inspiration. It takes true passion to dedicate time to your craft when the payout may not be immediate, so I applaud all Youtube Artists.

What was your favorite experience as a Chic student?

Lindsay: My favorite experience as a Chic Student was the positive and supportive learning atmosphere. The classes are purposely small so you get individualized attention and the opportunity to focus on things that the students would like to learn. Plus, the ongoing support allows new students to gain much needed working experience.

What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists?!

Lindsay: Keep at it! Don’t get discouraged when things are slow. Slow motion is better than no motion! What will get you nowhere is doing nothing and giving up. Stay positive and keep setting goals for yourself!


They all truly have amazing accomplishments! We couldn’t be any more proud of them! Chic Studios takes pride in providing quality makeup education and hands-on experiences, so that our students can thrive in the real world of professional makeup (or anywhere else that requires their expertise)! Want to shine and make your own name out there with your talents, like our fabulous Chic grads? We’re here to help you through the process with our Chic Studios LA courses! Sign up for courses with us now and we can assist you in getting your professional makeup career started right away!