Written by Jessica Egbu
Edited by Emily Claeys
Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Ashley Gomila established her passion for make-up at age 16. A lover of fashion and discovering new hot spots around town, Ashley uses her current city of Los Angeles as inspiration for her artistry. She aspires to live her dream in the world of cosmetology and soak in as much of the sunny LA weather as she can.
ASTONISH: Give us a little bit of your background. Where are you from?
ASHLEY: I’m 29, from New Orleans, Louisiana. [I was] exposed to an overwhelming amount of music and art since I was a toddler. I’ve always had a passion for beauty and cosmetology; I started a cosmetology apprenticeship at age 16.
ASTONISH: How did you get started in make-up artistry?
ASHLEY: I got started in the make-up industry in New Orleans. I took the plunge and called an extremely notable photographer in New Orleans and he hired me the next day. Within the first year I was fortunate enough to work on major campaigns for Old Milwaukee and even on Jessica Simpson’s music video for “Angels.” After a couple years I decided to move to New York where I submerged myself into fashion and editorial work.
ASTONISH: What have been some influences and inspirations for you as a make-up artist?
ASHLEY: My main influence and inspiration to become a make-up artist was another Louisiana native artist, Kevyn Aucoin. I actually had the pleasure to meet him; his presence and knowledge of the business were insanely inspiring. He helped me realize that all of my professional goals could not only be achieved, but also exceeded.
ASTONISH: When you start the process of putting make-up on someone’s face, what are some of the things you think about initially? Do you have a set creative process, or do you just go with the flow?
ASHLEY: In the initial stages of applying make-up on a new client, I always feel for hidden bone structure. This helps an artist understand the proper spots to contour and highlight. Also, I check for dry spots, oily zones, and discoloration. All three of these areas should be addressed before anything is applied to the skin. It’s very important to even out the skin before applying moisturizer or primer.
ASTONISH: Tell us about your experience living in Los Angeles.
ASHLEY: Los Angeles has taught me to be fiercely independent. It has allowed me to push myself creatively and professionally. Everyday living in LA is a true test of how much you really want to achieve your goals. Sometimes when it gets tough I just think about how hard all of my clients work; I humble myself and keep going. Everyone in this industry is really working and sacrificing. Nothing good comes easily.
ASTONISH: How does living in LA stack up when it comes to learning about the newest trends and styles in make-up?
ASHLEY: I think living in LA does have its advantages to being aware of new trends in make-up. Make-up should depend on current fashion more than anything else. Since I am fortunate enough to live here I am hugely inspired by friends who have their own clothing lines or who are stylists. I always work very closely with my team to create looks; we are all visionaries and at the top of our fields. It’s a blessing to get input from my team; they inspire me greatly.
ASTONISH: … how about the weather?
ASHLEY: The weather in Los Angeles is another blessing! I love shooting on the beach, even in the winter. Also, shoots hardly ever get rescheduled due to rain.
ASTONISH: Do you have any favorite mediums or brands?
ASHLEY: I have a deep love for mineral shadows. My favorite eye shadow palette is “Capri” from Cattiva Cosmetics. My go-to foundations are Nars Tinted Moisturizer and Cattiva Mineral Powder, both anti-aging products. My favorite blush for spring/summer is Smashbox “O” Glow. Also, what girl doesn’t love Dior Show Mascara? These are all must-have products for make-up lovers.
ASTONISH: Who is next on your “would love to work with” list?
ASHLEY: Wow. Great question. I’m already so honored to have the clients that I do, but I would love to work with Jessica Biel. She’s effortlessly beautiful and always exudes class – but still seems real. She’s a great Hollywood role model.
ASTONISH: Besides being a fabulous make-up artist, what else are you passionate about?
ASHLEY: I love learning about fashion. I am enamored by the fashion stylists, designers, and fashion photographers that I work with. I am obsessed with fashion magazines as well. Being interviewed by Astonish is an overwhelming honor! I’m also a foodie; I love dining out at all of the amazing LA hot spots.