Harmony Artist Shauna Magrath shares her story
HEALED BY HELPING
By Shauna Magrath
It’s funny how those who may enter into the beauty industry do so NOT because they want to beautify others, but to make ourselves feel beautiful.
My fascination with cosmetics began when my mother and sister ridiculed me as a child about looking ugly. I became extremely insecure, so I learned to use makeup to cover up not just what I thought to be imperfections, but also the pain I felt. My life efforts to convince myself that I was beautiful continued when I enrolled in a theatre program at a community college. I happened to see a program on TV about special effects (FX) makeup, and knew right away that the film & TV industry was where I wanted to work. I sought out schools that offered this type of program and attended Complexions London School of Makeup (now Complections International Academy of Make-up Artistry) in Toronto, Ontario.
After schooling, I spent almost two decades in the industry, refining my detailed artistic techniques on A-list celebrities in Hollywood from the early 1990’s. I’ve worked on TV shows such as The X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, Men in Trees, Smallville, and Millennium. My film credits include Blade: Trinity, The 6th Day, Reindeer Games, X-Men 2 and Twilight: Eclipse.
At the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards, the sci-fi mini-series Tin Man won Best Make up and I was awarded honours from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or a Movie for my FX work. Our show also received a Leo Award for Best Makeup in a miniseries that same year. This was the culmination of my hard work, dedication and extraordinary life as a makeup artist in the entertainment industry.
In March 2008, I had a divine vision after my grandfather passed away in my arms. The vision was so detailed and strong that something inside compelled me to take the leap in forging a new direction to use my skills to help those who were suffering every day. In 2008, I received my certification in Permanent Cosmetics by the Micro-Pigmentation Centre in Toronto, with the goal of combining my artistic expertise, acute attention to detail, and micro-pigmentation training to help everyone achieve a sense of natural beauty that empowers them from within. I wanted to custom create the look that people desired, so that they could raise their confidence and self-esteem. I wanted everyone to feel the same sense of glamour possessed by the celebrities I’d worked with for so many years.
I then opened up Beauty Ink® Gallery in Vancouver, and began appearing in media like CityTV’s Breakfast Television and the W Network & OWN’s Anna & Kristina’s Beauty Call, not only as a makeup expert, but also as a specialist in permanent procedures and their benefits.
Since opening, I’ve continued to update my skills and train with only the best experts in the world, receiving over 48 class certificates to date and growing. I am now proudly one of 13 certified cosmetic professionals in Canada to have passed the (CPCP) exam from The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP). In 2016, I was awarded a Top Choice Award (TCA) in Canada for Best Permanent Make-Up Clinic in Vancouver, which was voted by the general public. That was a huge honour for which I was completely taken aback.
While my entry into the beauty profession may have started as a painful experience and one that I used to help myself feel beautiful, I have no regrets about where it’s taken me. My home was destroyed by a fire six months after opening my business. I lost four family members, found out I could not have children, and my five-year relationship ended, all in the same year. While my life has been tough and I’ve had to learn a lot of things the hard way, I’ve helped so many people to feel good about themselves. I don’t want anyone to suffer the pain that I’ve felt, which is also why I do so much volunteer work in my community. I'm involved with a group who feed the homeless and I offer complimentary services to those suffering from alopecia or cancer. In 2016 alone, I lost 3 more family members and 10 film colleagues, and every day I still had to get up and go to work without a chance to grieve.
I’ve also grown increasingly tired of the lack of quality education in the Canadian industry, and it makes me so angry. I see botched work from people who have taken one or two-day classes, and it kills me to no end. So when Cynthia Skabar, owner of Future Hair Training Centre, was looking for a new beauty culture class, it was a natural progression for me to collaborate with her to build and create the 5-day intensive brow class that we now offer. It was important to me to offer our students only the very best, and I have been extremely fortunate to have my mentors blessing’s by offering Tina Davies Harmony Blades (the Bentley of Blades), Li Pigments from Girlz Ink, Daria Churpy’s brow tapes, practice blades and pads, client forms by Mary Ritcherson and colour chart by Andrea Darby. If I was going to teach it has to be at the level I learned and giving back the knowledge I have acquired over these 8 years at the safest, highest level.
People may find me a tough cookie – very direct and honest, which many can’t handle, but on the inside, I have a heart of gold. My tough exterior is simply a protection mechanism, so only those willing to make the effort will get a chance to see my sweet side. I’m very loyal, and I will protect, support, and love those who have my back to no end. I guess it comes from going to hell and back so many times in life. Being bullied as a kid all through school made me learn to fight and stand up for myself when no one was there to protect me. I'm always rooting for the underdog and will voice injustice when it crosses my path. Having no voice as a child has made me learn how to yell loud as an adult...lol
My mission is simply to help people in any way I can. I’ll even do what I can to help people who are struggling on the street, whether it’s getting them a sandwich, or a warm coat. If I can make someone’s day, week, month, or life better, I will do it. It’s all about how we can help each other feel better, and live good lives. I believe that God put me on this planet with a very special gift, and a heart full of love. I’m just so incredibly blessed to be able to share it every day and now mentor a new generation of aspiring artists. If I can make one person's life better with my blessings, then I pray it will have a ripple effect and help so many others along the way.
Shauna Magrath, Certified Cosmetic Tattoo Specialist
Beauty Ink Gallery
406-1529 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6J 1R1