Makeup Madhouse – Carrie Esser

By Marissa Nichol

The craft of makeup is constantly evolving. From simple mascara and eyeshadow to contouring and painting on your eyelid, the once plain beauty routine is now an art form.

Much like the paintings on eyelids trending on Twitter, Kent State sophomore Carrie Esser takes makeup beyond the eyelid and to the whole body. Known as MakeupMadhouse to more than 8,000 followers on Instagram, Esser continues to grow her brand as a self-taught makeup artist.

“The inspiration for my paintings comes from my surroundings,” Esser said. “The weather can make me do something or the places I go; it all really just depends.”

According to, “body painting is a form of art that followed us from the ancient prehistoric times when human race was born, to the modern times where artist use human body as a innovative canvas that can showcase human beauty like no art style before it.”

Finding her love for makeup during her junior year of high school, Esser has been body painting for about three and a half years.

“I did a half sugar skull makeup look for Halloween at my high school, and everyone loved it,” Esser said. “That was the first thing that made me start doing different kinds of makeup, like all the body paintings and things like that.”

Esser says body painting usually take up to three hours, but it varies depending on the painting. On a full body painting she did on her friend, the process took about seven hours – her longest one yet.

“I’m still learning how to do the full paints, so I could’ve got that done in about five hours,” she said. “I map it out first in a solid color, and then I’ll do the base colors, the shading and then the details last.”

When it comes to promoting herself, Esser says the main platform she uses is Instagram. The makeup artist and body painter has her own website as well.

“In high school, I took an economics class and I had to start a product/business, and that’s where I started MakeupMadhouse,” she said. “The name just stuck.”

Esser’s website, which she built herself, has a gallery of all her paintings. A blog page for each painting describes what inspired her and provides more details about each look.

Majoring in entrepreneurship, Esser plans to make a career doing what she loves: starting her own MakeupMadhouse company.

“I could’ve just gone to cosmetology school and worked in a salon, but I wanted to do more than that,” Esser said. “I want to bring the creative aspect of what I do into cosmetology, rather than just doing hair and makeup.”

The makeup artist also is a part of the Makeup Artists of Kent State, a club that brings makeup lovers together to discuss and do makeup. She belongs to the freelance team of the club and recently was asked to be the freelance representative for the team.

As for the future, Esser says as much as she’s nervous, she can’t help but to be excited.

“My dad always told me – if you choose a job you love, you’re never going to have to work a day in your life,” Esser said. “I’d rather not make as much money but be happy than do a job I don’t like and have a lot of money; that’s not going to make me happy.”

For a more in depth look at her paintings, as well as to get in contact, you can visit her website and Instagram here:

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