Rea Ann Silva’s experience spans a 20-year journey as one of the most sought-after Hollywood makeup artists in the industry. As the creative force behind beautyblender, she single-handedly changed the beauty game. The one-of-a-kind edgeless makeup sponge ensured her clients looked impeccable on camera in high-definition.
Speaking on her upbringing, she says:
“My mother is Mexican, and my dad was Portuguese and Irish. I was brought up in Los Angeles with my mom’s family. I identify 100 percent as being Latina. My mother never wore makeup. She thought I would be good in fashion, so she enrolled me into the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.” There, Silva says she quickly realized it was the sketching and drawing she loved the most, so she got herself a job at a makeup counter.
That’s where it all began for her. She met the right people and started working on music video sets with singers like Rod Stewart, then made the jump into television and film, working with Vivica A. Fox in Set It Off.
Speaking on how the the innovation came to be, she says:
“At the time, artists were categorised into film and television artists or editorial artists. I made a niche working with WOC and, specifically, honing in on an airbrush effect. I was Department Head of a show called Girlfriends that featured four female lead actresses, including Tracee Ellis Ross. This was also one of the first shows shot in high definition, which posed a problem: Makeup will quickly look “cakey.” With four female leads, I couldn’t roll out an airbrush machine, nor could I pull anyone off set to touch up their makeup.”
“I had experience with special effects makeup and knew three things: When you needed makeup to look skin-like, you would bounce a sponge onto the skin with makeup to add dimension. I also knew that by adding a bit of water, it would set the makeup and give it a more natural, luminous finish. Lastly, I couldn’t have any lines of demarcation because they would appear on camera. I needed a tool that would seamlessly blend makeup. I would sit in my trailer and cut up wedge sponges into little tear drop shapes and wet them before use. They were my secret weapon on set. “
Speaking on why the kit is egg shaped, she says: “It is egg shaped so that you can use each side of the blender and never have a line of demarcation. It’s essential for the flawless finish. It also is perfect for applying makeup to hard to reach areas like around the nose and eyes. Some sponges out there have a flat surface — that is completely counterproductive if you are looking for a seamless blend.”
Speaking on why she decided on the color pink for the kit, she says:
“When these little foam eggs started disappearing from my kit, I decided that it may be worth looking into starting a little side business. When I finally found a manufacturer, they would send me prototypes of difference sponges in different colors so I could easily keep track of the ones I liked and the ones I did not. The final prototype came in hot pink, and while the manufacturer told me to ignore the color, I saw it and smiled. I knew I wanted beauty blender to be this cheery pink hue.”
Today, seventeen sponges are sold every minute, and over 325,000 YouTube videos have been created around the makeup tool.
The kit has won countless beauty awards and is now beloved by both makeup aficionados and newbies as the go-to tool for achieving a perfectly blended complexion. Today, Rea continues to drive innovation with products that require minimal effort yet offer maximum results.
Culled from Instyle