Today we’d like to introduce you to Meagan D’Von Funk.
Meagan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After graduating high school in 2008, I began studying genetics – a subject that has always intrigued me. For the sake of having a paycheck, I also started working at a makeup counter. I had a few years of retail experience, so the manager at Bare Escentuals (now Bare Minerals) took a chance on me. The only knowledge and ‘practice’ I had of makeup application came from my frequent stints of being grounded, years prior, when I had nothing but what I needed to get ready for school in the morning. You can imagine that got pretty creative. In the early months, that was just another retail job with sales goals and holiday hours. The longer I stayed there, and invested in my position as a brand ambassador, I realized that it was much more. Women came in with questions about hyper-pigmentation or how to cover scarring, etc. While the concerns all varied, the result was the same – I was helping women to leave feeling more confident than when they walked in. And it was written all over their faces! Those same women would come back, time and time again, and we formed bonds through makeup. These experiences stirred up a passion inside of me!
Meanwhile, in school, I changed my major and focused more on a general business degree. I loved biology, I understood it well, but something was not quite right. Around my third year in college, and with Bare Escentuals, I was offered another opportunity to launch a prestige makeup counter where multiple brands were sold – and I leaped! Sparing the details, that was not all it promised to be, but after ten long months, I was recruited to work for Stila Cosmetics. I took on seven different retail locations that I maintained all over the metroplex, hosting events, educating staff members, and when we were lucky – handing out free product! On the side, I was doing makeup for photo shoots, runway shows, and getting a taste for what the industry had to offer – and I felt like I was actually good at what I was doing.
Back at school, I was on my third major change, studying interior design, trying to find myself and failing algebra. This is when the lightbulb finally went off. The new plan was to take one semester off from school, just to see where this makeup thing went. If it leads to nowhere, I would pick up where I left off in my degree plan. It was right around this same time that I had an opportunity to live abroad for six months – in London. I may have been crazy, but that felt like the stars were aligning just for me. I leaped again, this time across the pond, on my own. A 22-year-old in the UK. I worked a remote job that paid almost nothing, studied at a makeup academy and walked most places. It was hard, and it was exhilarating. When I returned home, I was offered the makeup department head for my first indie feature film, 8 Days. Looking back, that position was bigger than I could comprehend at the time, but what I learned was invaluable. Now, I have more than ten films under my belt. I have secured television gigs and many other exciting jobs that have taken me across the United States, and even to South Africa! I have worked with A-listers and politicians, famous authors and truly intriguing people that contribute great things to our world. Today, I am ten years into my career and have not returned to college. My latest feature film called, Never Goin’ Back, starring Maia Mitchell and Cami Morrone premieres in theaters nationwide on August 3. I recently had a collaboration with TENOVERSIX published in Darling magazine which is a huge highlight for me. I work with brands like Estee Lauder, Traffic LA, and Breda for product shots and lookbooks. I continue to work on television broadcasts, film and commercials.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This journey has felt anything but smooth. Many times, I found myself wondering if I made the wrong choice. Because I never finished college, I carried a black cloud of guilt with me for quite a while. For a few years, I worked multiple part-time jobs just to have a steady income, which ended up only getting in the way of opportunities that meant more to my career. I was living with my dad until I was 25 or so, and that felt like a giant failure in itself. Looking back, it was the cushion I needed to follow my heart, without the fear of not making rent. It only occurred to me recently, that most people choose their careers based on how much money they will make. I chose makeup because it made me feel alive, not because I thought I would earn loads of money. You definitely do not become an artist to strike it rich! With that came real struggle, and having to miss out on plenty of experiences, over-drafting my bank account, having to ask for help when I felt like I was supposed to have it all together. I was working on films, seeing my work online and in magazines, feeling successful in that way, but having to get creative with the product, because I couldn’t afford to replenish my kit.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I love people. I am a heavy feeler, so when someone sits in my chair, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on in their heart. I use that time with them to show them appreciation, get to know them or allow them time to themselves as I work, quietly. Something that is so important to me, and should be to anyone working this closely with other humans, is respecting another person’s space, time and perspective. Makeup was never solely about the artistry for me. I saw this as a chance to connect with others and take care of them. I know that’s what sets me apart. Solely based on skills, I am known and recognized for my realism. I excel in creating believable looks, whether that is in fresh, clean beauty or lived-in, flushed cheeks, dripping sweat. In an interview with the writer of a new HBO series last month, I was congratulated on my ability to produce realistic makeup. That was flattering beyond words. This person has seen a lot, and he called out the work that I did on Never Goin’ Back. As much as I would love to be known for artistic, out-of-this-world looks, embracing what is naturally in front of me, and enhancing the best parts, is what I specialize in. In an industry that is quite shallow and superficial, I am very proud of that.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Random question answer:
Perhaps being grounded is the most important quality. With that, you are confident, intuitive, faithful, diligent, flexible, receptive, transparent. All that is necessary to continue growing and thriving in this life.
- Website: www.meagandvon.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Clayton Browning, Photo by Morgan Chidsey-Brosnan with A Sea of Love, Wardrobe Evin DeShawn, Model Brittney Robinson, Photo by Max Kütz, Model Mary Tish Phillips, Photo by Diabe Sale, Wardrobe, Sally Stegall, Photo by Clay Grier, Film Directed by Augustine Frizzell, Photo by Kalan Briggs, Wardrobe Kendall Falcon, Wardrobe Assistant Sidney Stevens, Talent Tanner Birdwell and Briana Bohn, Photo Nick Glover, Wardrobe Even DeShawn, Model Ty Joseph