A Day in the Life of Makeup Artist Rachel Toledo


One of the amazing parts about my job is that I get to work with some very talented people. I first met (formerly , as she was recently married) over a decade ago and we worked together on numerous projects from catwalk shows to celebrities. Rachel was always easy to work with, she brought a positive energy and strong vision to the shoots. She’s now based in New York and has work on numerous magazines and celebrities including Mariah Carey, , Chris Noth, Jared Leto & 30 Seconds to Mars, Rosie Huntington Whiteley,

A Day in the Life of Rachel Toledo

I always find it very interesting of what people think I do compared to what I actually do.  Besides applying makeup for shoots, I work as a freelance beauty journalist (I am a contributor for www.two-magazine.com) and I often get hired to work on the production side of things as well.  No 2 days are ever the same and depending upon what time of year it is the type of jobs I do change. During the months of September and February my life is all consumed with fashion week.  Besides making up my regular celebrity clients like TV presenter Louise Roe who come to NYC for shows and events, I am the creative director of hair and makeup for www.amconyc.com. AMCONYC is a fashion and event’s company that also produces catwalk shows for emerging designers in NYC. I coordinate the backstage glam teams for hair, makeup and nails. I design the looks, key the teams, work with product sponsors and organise the assistants… something I am currently working on the lead up to Septembers upcoming season.

My days can often start at 4 or 5am if I am getting up for a celebrity in town for a press junket- where they are promoting a new TV show or book etc. I have been working with Cindi Leive the editor in chief of USA’s Glamour magazine for about 6 years and she often will need her makeup done at 6am for the morning news. The good thing is with such an early job is that I can be done early for the day, grab a nap, go to yoga, have an afternoon of coffee meetings. But sometimes I might have to head straight to a shoot- which then can be exhausting and becomes a day in need of strong coffee!  There is a physical side of being a makeup artist that not many people are aware of, early mornings and long hours standing on your feet can be exhausting.

My makeup kit can weigh over 50lbs and I don’t always take taxis. Living in NYC the subway stairs and a heavy bag can really strain my back. I try my best to stay strong with a mobile app weight- training program run by NYC trainer Matt Townsend. www.townsendfitnesssystems.com .  His programs totally helped me strengthen my back to perform my job without pain.  Trying to eat healthily too can be tricky as usually there are always healthy options on set but there is also a lot of catered food, craft services and junk- it’s a battle when I’ve been working a lot and I’m exhausted- its so easy to reach for the carbs and sugar for a boost.

Other weeks work can be a little slower and I may only be booked for a job or two, then some weeks I may work 15 days straight- freelance is always feast or famine. My agents at www.raybrownpro.com do their best to always keep me very busy.  I spent a lot of years living out of a suitcase working more in the TV and celebrity market. I recently got married at the beginning of the year and have been wanting to travel less so have been working on a lot of advertising projects in NYC- less “glam” but great money which in todays market is a bonus.



I love working and collaborating on editorials- I just finished a gorgeous one that will be out in the fall issue of Spirit and Flesh magazine but the budget on an editorial is small compared to doing a job in say e-com or the commercial market.  So for me it’s important to be able to do both- one to feed my artistic side and the other well just to feed me!  I’ve worked in the industry almost 20 years and I’ve seen how much the industry has changed. How much the importance of social media is now and how the role of being a mua means so much more now then carrying the latest lipstick colors.  I feel very blessed and lucky that I have made a strong career for myself during this time in such a competitive industry.

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