Monika Preteroti has been doing make-up professionally for almost 6 years. From being the friend in high school that everyone asked, “can you do my make-up?”, to working in beauty shops, with theatre groups, and now running her own successful business, Monika says, “it’s kind of been something I’ve always done.” Like most artists with a passion, her interest actually stems from a much younger age. “When I was little, I used to dig around in my grandma’s make-up closet and lock myself in the bathroom a lot of the time and play with her make-up, so that’s where it really first started.”
Monika was able to eventually find work that allowed her to really learn about the trade. “I was working in New York…and I was able to get a holiday gig at Sephora, and that’s where I finally started to learn for real what make-up was all about and how to apply it properly and what I was doing wrong”. After laying the foundation, Monika says it wasn’t until she moved to Windsor and began working at the Sephora in Devonshire Mall that she fully realized how much she wanted to be a make-up artist.
“I actually failed my first test and I was absolutely devastated when that happened. So, I worked extra hard afterwards to really learn as much as I could because I finally had that lightbulb moment where I was like, “this is what I have been wanting to do it – allows me my own freedom, it allows creativity, it allows me to play with colour. I booked another exam and I passed the second time.”
Monika has a wide range of influences that reach beyond the make-up industry alone: “my two favorite visual artists actually are Jackson Pollock and Salvador Dali and they don’t do anything inside the box, right, so it brings out my creativity because there are really no boundaries when it comes to make-up. You literally can do anything with any product.” Within the make-up industry, Monika cites Kevyn Aucoin as a meaningful influence. “He was one of the first big make-up artists to actually make a name for himself before social media was even a thing.” Monika recommends his books as containing basic information every make-up artist should know, and count them as life-changing for her.
Monika has worked extensively with theatre companies here in Essex County: Windsor Light, Bravo Ballet, Leamington Little Tomatoes, among them. “I’ve had a lot of fun doing make-up for the theatre community. It’s a completely different approach, you over-exaggerate everything because you have to be able to see it from the audience.” Among the shows that Monika has to her credit are: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical The Musical, The Little Mermaid, Jesus Christ Superstar and several others. “It allows me to play and have fun and learn more because honestly when it comes to make-up you just never stop learning, there is always something new to grasp when it comes to knowledge or technique or application.” Monika is currently working with ACT, they are putting on The Wiz in March at the Capitol Theatre.
Monika is just one example of the ambitious artists that are available to the burgeoning movie industry in Windsor. “I’m always looking for a new challenge and a new experience. I’ve always been curious about movies, and would love to be involved with them.”
There is a stigma in our culture that the beauty industry is vain or materialistic. Monika will hear none of that: “make-up is enhancing someone’s already present beauty. It’s something to make someone feel a little more confident to step out of their comfort zone and feel like they have that superhero cape on. I’ve seen people go from a shy little girl to a confident queen, just from having their make-up done. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings knowing that I made someone feel beautiful and confident. It is so many things, but it’s not the vain industry that people perceive it to be.”
Monika has lived all over including Toronto and New York. She has lived in Windsor for a total of 12-13 years, and for the last 7 and a half years straight. What draws artists to Windsor? “The local arts scene in this city is just blooming. There is always something new to see and always something new to experience. It always helps to see someone else’s creativity for you to want to build on your own. We have so many talented musicians, artists, and make-up artists, hair stylists, and so many people in the Art community. The talent is absolutely endless here, and it’s such a close-knit community and everyone vibes so well off one another.”
Now that Monika is settled in Windsor, and with so much experience, and success starting to flood in, what’s next? She has several short terms goals including to have her name become very well-known within the bridal community. As for long-term goals, she’d love to own her own make-up line. “It would be a dream come true to be able to create my own make-up and to be able to put my name on something that I love and believe in, and have put all of my favorite touches on it.”
Monika is a mobile artist who looks forward to having a home studio in the near future. “Having a home studio in general is so important for what I do because that way you get to create that personal space for your clients that makes them feel extra pampered. I want to give them a place where they want to go.”
The process of opening this business has been a lengthy one. “It has taken a lot of patience. Building the clientele has really been the challenge: Getting your name out there, making sure you’re putting things out there that people actually want to see, making sure that you are up to date on all of your social media, making sure that you are putting out enough content that people will stay interested. That’s a big challenge for someone who’s not a huge online person; I do think that I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I am getting better at my content and posting things that people want to see, I’m also getting better at my craft the more that I work at it. I’ve set a high standard for myself, I want people to ask you, ‘who did your make-up?’
At MMBeauty, you can receive bridal service packages for brides and bridesmaids, full facial make-up application services including eye lash strips. “I use a lot of Sephora products, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced, Make Up Forever, Urban Decay, I especially love learning about new brands and supporting indie and smaller brands.”
Visit Monika Preteroti for professional make-up application, an inviting atmosphere and a bubbly personality for that one of a kind and personal experience. Her busy time is the summer wedding season, with Halloween being extremely busy and Christmas as well. Trust that when you leave her studio, you will feel like the best version of yourself. To Windsor, Monika would like to say, “the best make-up you can wear is a smile.”
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