Simona: Do you like coming to Croatia?
Shawn: I love it! Because the country is beautiful, and I've said it in other things but the people in Croatia are exceptionally gorgeous and women look like models to me.
Simona: Who is your favorite contemporary artist?
Shawn: I like Joe Monroe and I like that he used colors. I like Jackson Pollock because of what he stood for, and as a make-up artist so much of what I do is about my process and teaching makeup it's about the process also I show people how it starts and let me follow all the way to the finish. Jackson Pollock with that way he didn't want to hide his brush strokes he wanted to show people exactly what he did.
Simona: What do you think of Lady Gaga’s makeup in the new movie, “The star is born”? Do you prefer her movie look or the ones on the red carpet?
Shawn: Well, she is an exceptionall artist. She does some dramatic, beautiful makeup very well that's the one of the first things that attracted to me was watching her videos and seeing the incredible art that she wears on her face, and she has some wonderful makeup artist, but I love the movie, I just saw it, I love her voice and watching her. I think she is gorgeous and I and I like her features a lot. I don’t have a preference.
Simona: Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Shawn: Valentino, but he's retired so I think that the people of that it picked up after him, but I love his work. I like Karl Lagerfeld, still even after decades and decades in the business he's still coming up with extraordinary things and he lets other artists influence him and he takes in the inspiration from the youth and he surround himself by young people and allows that to influence him. That’s great!
Simona: Can you remember the first beauty product that you bought in your teenage years?
Shawn: Well the first makeup artist that I've ever worked with is when I was a model, there was an agency in San Antonio Texas. Not big it was like a model school and the makeup artist that showed up for the shoot had a pallet that was made by a company called True Code, Sebastian cosmetics. It looked like an artist paint palette and I was very inspired by that. I loved watching her work on everybody and I knew I wanted to be in the beauty, but she really pushed me towards makeup. Her name is Susan Ward Brooks and she is still a friend of mine.
I couldn't afford the pallets so I went to the drugstore and I got Revlon eyeshadows, pretty inexpensive and I glued them to a pallet so that I can have a pallet like hers. I used a lot of pigment in the 1980s, this was back when people were wearing blue, green, purple and all the colors.
Simona: What does success mean?
Shawn: It doesn't mean making a billion dollars, it means being true to myself and loving what I do. And that way my career doesn't feel like work to me. One of the things I love about my job is that when I'm doing makeup I lose time and come on somebody and if I don't have a timeline I mean I'm usually I have appointments but if I don't have time if I'm and I'm not having to pay attention to what time it is I'll start doing makeup and I'll look at my watch in 45 minutes has gone by so fast because I was in the zone.
Simona: Most inspiring place you ever been to?
Shawn: Istanbul is extraordinary to me because it's one of the oldest cities in the world, paved with cobblestone streets and old architecture and then thriving young people everywhere. Four major religions existed there harmoniously.
Simona: Do you cook? And what is your favorite dish?
Shawn: I do cook! I love Indian food. It is my favorite food in the world, so I cook with curry. I like korma, masala spices. Funny thing is my fiance is Mexican but he doesn't have a strong tolerance for spices and so I try not to overdo it with the curry.
Simona: What is your favorite kind of music you like to dance to?
Shawn: I like dancing to electronic music. I like house music. Lately I've also been enjoying listening to Daft Punk, I think it sounds a lot like disco, it's not too fast has a good swing to it. When I was younger, I used to go out on the dance floor and just stay there for hours, and I don't drink or smoke or do drugs, I would just be out there dancing completely sober like I was working out.
Simona: What are your three favorite Jane Iredale products?
Shawn: My three favorites… probably Amazing base because I love that it's a powder that will cover like a foundation, you can get them and put them right up under the eye, like a concealer and it makes the skin look airbrushed and smooth. I love our eyeshadows, I love how easy they are for use, how intense you can make them, and they don't crumble or leave any fallout. Enlighten concealer is probably the product I use the most, it is the perfect color for everyone.
Simona: Do you use makeup yourself?
Shawn: I do! I use Pressed face every day. I am wearing a ful face of it right now.
Simona: What is your guilty pleasure?
Shawn: Sugar probably. I'm not supposed to eat it but I love it and I try to avoid it because it's horrible, especially if you travel a lot. It's very dehydrating but nothing better than eating a good piece of cake or pie or ice cream at home.
Simona: What is the most surprising thing about your job?
Shawn: The most surprising thing about my job when I get paid to fly all over the world and spend time with beautiful people. I mean most people love their jobs, but there are elements of their jobs that they really hate, I mean I don't enjoy cleaning my brushes, but I do it because I can't wait to play with make-up again. I love the fact that I get paid to travel all over and meet different people and do makeup on beautiful faces. I've done makeup on women that didn't think that they were attractive, and they look at themselves with makeup on for the first time and I see tears in their eyes… it is very rewarding.
Simona: What would your perfect day include?
Shawn: So, I usually like to get up around 6:30 or 7 AM, I don't sleep late, I like to get up early because I am excited about life. Always eat breakfast, first thing. Spend a little time watching TV and getting ready. I mean today is probably a good example cuz I got up early, had my breakfast at the hotel and it was delicious. Came and started doing makeup on the models to get ready for the presentation this morning and everybody's happy. When i'm done with this, I will do some more make-up on customers. I’ll have dinner, go to my hotel and facetime with my fiancé.
Simona: What are you reading these days?
Shawn: I usually look at pictures, I listen to books on tape or audio books. Last one that I listened to was one of my favorite books, it's called the Gifts of imperfection by Brene Brown. It talks about looking at your imperfections and dealing with the age of media tells you about perfection.
I try to constantly recognize and acknowledge that my value, is inherent value as a precious child of God, saying no matter what I'm wearing or what I look like or where I live or how much money I have and that's what the book talks about.
Simona: What did you Google last?
Shawn: There is this botanical garden here, I googled that probably. I would like to go see it.
Simona: What was your life changing moment?
Shawn: When I was 23 years old, I quit drinking, using drugs and that changed my life completely.
Simona: Do you have a pet?
Shawn: We have four dogs!
I we have a Chihuahua and her name is Missy and she's our little lap dog and we have to pet her all the time. Then we have a pug named Pearl a Jack Russell named Skippy and a Rottweiler German Shepherd mix with a name Ginger and they are our babies. We love them!
Simona: Who is your favorite person?
Shawn: My favorite person my fiancé Nikki. Yeah, I love him. He inspires me to be a better person, he has a huge heart he's the kind of person that if were walking down the street and he sees a little worm on the sidewalk, he picks up the worm and puts it in the grass to make sure no one is stepping on it. He cares about everything.
Photo: Šimun Šitum