Brianna Fogden isn't a professionally trained makeup artist, but you wouldn't exactly know that from her Instagram. And in fact, most of Fogden's makeup skills were learned somewhere far more unique — during her time working at Disney. Having worked at Disney's Tokyo and Florida locations for four years total, Fogden found herself putting up a full face of makeup every day when dressed as different characters. So while her passion for makeup started out as a sometimes hobby and an everyday part of her job, it turned into something much more — something that eventually lead to a spot on makeup competition show Race 2 Face.
"I walked into Disney with what I thought was a good understanding of makeup and my skill has improved a thousand times over," Fogden tells Bustle. "I used to go into work early and just sit in front of a mirror for hours doing my makeup.... sometimes I’d be there at 4 a.m. for a 6 a.m. shift."
All the hard work and practice paid off, and over time Fogden noticed the compliments from guests and co-workers were increasing. She was even complimented by the women who designs every single makeup look for Disney. Fogden knew she was getting good at makeup. But then came Instagram.
"I already had a pretty decent following [on Instagram] because of Disney and I started thinking, 'Well maybe I could incorporate makeup into this.'" Fogden tells Bustle. "I started doing Stories on Instagram of putting makeup on, products I recommended, my skin care routine, etc., and it opened up the floodgates for people to connect with me. I would get so many messages asking about my thoughts on this product or that color."
While at Tokyo Disneyland, Fogden experimented more with makeup. She was becoming comfortable with cream contouring, and at the same time trying more over-the-top trends like green lipstick or snake skin. Her followers were becoming more engaged on Instagram, so a YouTube channel naturally followed. The rest is history. With almost 15,000 followers on Instagram and a few YouTube videos under her belt, Fogden has created quite the following for herself. But while makeup has become part of Fogden's career and brand — leading her to opportunities like Race 2 Face — for her, makeup is something much bigger.
"The most inspiring thing about makeup is how much we learn about ourselves. When you're sitting in front of a mirror, just you and your reflection, doing your makeup for an hour, two hours, you almost have no choice but to learn every inch of your face and, if you allow, your soul. I almost use that time as a meditation," Fogden tells Bustle. "I'll sometimes sit in complete silence and just focus on what I'm doing, focus on improving my skill, and, most importantly, focus on my thoughts. And when you take that calm, focused, concentrated energy pouring out and you put it back into yourself, I think you can only benefit from it greatly."
You can see how happy makeup makes Fogden from her Instagram. Whether donning Disney gear or not, Fogden always looks joyful — beaming, even. When you read Fogden's thoughts on makeup, this isn't surprising. For Fogden, makeup is her meditation, her path to self-awareness.
Fogden tells Bustle the that, of course, the immediate effects of makeup are obvious — your eyeliner is sharper, your colors better blended. But what's happening under the skin? That's the good stuff.
"Just imagine the effects on our soul we can’t immediately see...Once those effects start shining through the surface, you’ll start empowering other people (and yourself) without even realizing it."
Check out Brianna's episode of Race 2 Face below, and follow Race 2 Face on Facebook for more!