Quirky and talented: two words that perfectly describe Summer Abdelmottlib. As the youngest certified Make-up artist working for MAC, the 19 year-old Egyptian/American has fought long and hard to make her dreams come true.
She walked into our Prime office with a huge makeup kit and radiated such a positive and uplifting energy as she sat down for her Prime Talk!
Prime Magazine: We know that you’ve reached a very high status as a makeup artist, as you’re the youngest person working at MAC; describe to us your journey to the top.
Summer: Well, it was just something that I’ve always wanted to do, you know, like sit in my room and just play around with eye shadows. At the end of my sophomore year I started doing my friends’ makeup for prom, but I would never charge anyone for it. Then I took a test in cosmetology, I wasn’t accepted and I was in tears. A couple of weeks later I got a phone call, someone had dropped out and they asked if I still wanted in and OF COURSE I DID!
PM: How do you manage to balance between your studies and your career?
S: Cosmetology changed my life. I spent half of the day in high school and 3-4 hours in cosmetology school, every day for 2 years. I barely focused on high school, and instead always on my career.
PM: We saw that you have a YouTube channel. Tell us more about that.
S: Junior year is when I started my YouTube channel, [November 13th 2011], with a friend of mine, but unfortunately she wasn’t putting much in, so I took over. But anyway, I started my channel on YouTube, and that was my push.
PM: You’re only 19 and you’ve already gone so far, but we’re sure you’ve overcome a few battles. Tell us about the obstacles you faced.
S: Well, believe it or not, back in high school when I first started my YouTube channel it wasn’t all glorious, like, I went through a really bad bullying phase, I would go home and cry. When I posted my first video, fellow students were like “Yooo! Look at Summer’s Cosmetics, you wanna go do another YouTube video cake-face?” and they would laugh at me, I was the discussion of the classroom. It was horrible.
PM: So how did you make a name for yourself? How did Summer’s Cosmetics start spreading around?
S: Prom season started and I did a lot of volunteering: doing makeup for prom, and for the Drama Club and I never charged anything then. After that, I started charging $ 25 for a makeover. When senior year came, I started building a clientele, and then I got that job at Chanel, so yeah, that was something. And of course later, Instagram happened, and I just kept growing, winning an international competition with cosmetology school as the Best Makeup Artist in New Jersey, and that was a huge kick-off.
PM: If you could go back and change anything, what would you have done differently?
S: I look back at my journey and I just wouldn’t change anything, I wouldn’t want anything to go differently, and I wouldn’t ask for something more. I would not be half the person that I am today if I hadn’t gone through the mistakes I’ve done, despite all the obstacles. The obstacles are what make you a strong person, because now when someone tells me “You suck,” I’m like “Oh yeah, I suck? Well, there are thousands of other makeup artists, go let them do your makeup.” My work has built me into this really strong character and my mind is on a completely different level. So honestly, I wouldn’t change anything.
PM: Since you’re a professional makeup artist, you must have some makeup essentials you can’t go without. Mention your top 5.
S: MAC’s Face & Body Foundation. It’s really light and is just great for the summer.
Second is, for my eyebrows, I love Anastasia Dip-Brow Pomade, it’s like a wax consistency and thick and you apply a little bit and it stays for so long and it makes your brows look amazing.
MAC’s Studio Fix-Plus Spray, it gives you such a refreshing finish; I apply it before and after my makeup.
Number four is Laura Mercier Foundation Primer; it gives you a nice highlight and makes your makeup stay on all day long.
Number five would have to be Make Up Forever bronzer for contouring.
Part of Prime Talk is a lightning round, where we ask the interviewee 15 questions and see how fast they answer them.
PM: Favorite fashion icon?
S: Michael Castellano
PM: Favorite beauty blogger?
S: Nicole Guerriero
PM: Favorite local makeup artist?
S: My boss, Britney
PM: Dream celebrity-make over?
S: Angelina Jolie
PM: Go-to beauty hack?
S: Winged Eyeliner
PM: Blonde or brunette?
PM: Cat-eye or smoky-eye?
PM: Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé?
PM: Twitter or Instagram?
PM: Vine or YouTube?
PM: Favorite country to visit?
PM: Favorite thing about Egypt?
PM: Egypt or America?
PM: Guilty pleasure?
S: I love video games
Summer finished the lightning round in 1:42 minutes.
PM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
S: I don’t know what my next big move is yet, but 5 years from now I should be done with university, and I’ll go to California. I want to go to this makeup school and do on-set makeup, and I want to start touring around, be international. I want to have my own company; I want to build something for myself.
PM: Everyday on our Prime Instagram/Pinterest account we post a quote. What’s your life motto/favorite quote?
S: “Everything happens for a reason,” that’s my life motto. My favorite quote is “Follow your dreams.”
PM: Do you think you’re an introvert or an extrovert?
S: I’m an extrovert. Like, I can’t be shy; I can try, but I fail miserably.
PM: At Prime we post a “What we’re listening to” playlist for our followers. What’s a song you have on replay?
S: Clean Bandit- “Rather Be”
PM: Our last Prime Hunt involved us searching for Cairo’s best creative Konafa and one of the top 3 was Nino’s Bakery. What do you think of Nino’s brownies?
S: The brownies were delicious! I loved them!
PM: Do you have any ideas on what we could hunt for next?
S: I want you guys to look for the best place that makes smoothies, like “a7la 7etta tegebo menha 3aseer.” [laughs]
Next we had our interactive bit with Summer. We challenged Summer to make over two of the Prime team members. One had to be an everyday look and the other had to be a night out look.
Everyday makeup tips:
- Always start with primer, especially on the eyelids.
- First thing I use on the eyelids after primer is a very light-colored eye shadow, like light beige.
- Then there should be a slightly darker color added to the eyes, like brown.
- Next would be lightly filling in the eyebrows, but you do not need that if you already have rich, thick ones, otherwise it’s going to look too filled up. Remember, natural is always better.
- The base for this look is no different than the base of any other look, just different colors – more natural ones. Choose colors that work well with your skin tone.
- Now we work our way to the eyeliner and mascara. Go for black, always. It looks a lot bolder and more natural.
- Apply a bit of the bronze\brown colored eye shadow on the underline of the lower lashes to enhance the look.
- You can choose any lipstick color, even darker or bolder colors. A bold lip gives the look some edge. Choose a color that suits your lip shape, face, and skin color.
Night out makeup tips:
- Always moisturize the face first. Moisturize as much as you can – it never hurts.
- Then start with primer, under the eyes and just around the face.
- Then we go with the transition color.
- After that we’ll add a bit of purple eye-shadow
- Now we start on the foundation. Lightly apply some of the liquid foundation with a brush on your skin first then transfer onto your face. When it comes to foundation, always apply the liquid rather than the powder first. If you’re in a rush, apply the foundation before anything else, to secure your base.
- Next in line comes the highlighter. Apply it on the cheekbones and underneath the eyes.
- Since anything that’s liquid needs to be set in place with powder, now comes the time for the powder foundation. Start from the hairline and contour all the way down. You can contour with concealer; it’s much lighter and does the trick.
- Now it’s time to use the bronzer now to contour and apply the blusher right above.
- For the mascara, Summer gives you a little tip from heaven: put your finger above your eyelashes before running the mascara brush on them to avoid the stains on your eyelids.
- Last comes the lipstick. Since this is a smoky-eyed look, the lipstick has to be light so that it doesn’t seem like too much. Apply a nude or very light pink color, avoid anything too shiny.
Makeup is supposed to enhance your look, not turn you into a different person. That is exactly what Summer focused on with our makeovers. We learned a lot from Summer and we can’t wait till she visits us again with more amazing news (and another makeover challenge).
Special thanks to Nino’s bakery for catering Summer’s interview with those delicious Snow White Brownies!