Michele Mann, Orlando local, head of the M3 Makeup agency and its lead makeup artist, took a break from running around town to talk with us. She ushered us warmly into her “makeup lab” – a bright and cozy corner office high atop downtown Orlando – where we talked makeup and style.
Q: What got you into makeup and how did you start?
I grew up dancing, so I naturally followed it through to college, where I was going for dance. In my senior year, I took a theatrical makeup course. …Everything changed. It just came so natural to me. Even though I had grown up a dancer, I changed my career path and ended up in Orlando as a makeup artist.
Q: What area of makeup is your favorite?
Oh, I have a couple! First, I love doing film and television because of the technical artistry that goes into it. Both males and females, when they are on camera, have to look flawless. Things like flyaways [in hair] can dismantle the look of a character, for example. In film and television, I get to use every trick in the book to create a look or hide flaws – which you have to do especially with HD television.
The other area that I absolutely love is beauty makeup. It’s really the simple pleasure of making a client happy. What I’m doing can help build confidence, and when I can teach or educate the client as well, I feel like I’m giving them more than just doing their face. It’s very, very rewarding.
Q: Do you have a signature style?
Let’s call it natural perfection. It’s a balance between film & television and real life. What you end up with is a high-level natural beauty, a more perfect version of yourself! I also make sure that you leave the makeup chair calm. I pay attention to my demeanor. I want you to be super-comfortable.
Q: So you were pretty busy as an Orlando makeup artist, and now you’ve got a growing business with 7 makeup artists and 6 stylists. How do you like heading your own makeup agency?
I think women as business leaders bring something powerful to the table. I draw power from women. As a solo makeup artist in Orlando from 2005, and then as head of M3 since 2010, I have met all my personal and professional goals. We’ve got great word-of-mouth and a big part of this company is built on repeat customers. It’s been 2 years now since we set out to grow M3. We have yet to fail.