We got a chance to chat with Maureen – she modeled this month’s design!
It was so much fun to learn a bit more about her. She’s been in so many of our issues!
What got you interested in modeling?
I have always loved photography. One of the first Christmas presents I remember receiving was a real camera. Before that, I used disposable cameras and mailed the film to get developed, sometimes entering my work in photo contests.
My little sisters, dogs, and guinea pigs were my unwitting subjects for countless “photoshoots” around the house and yard (my sisters were good sports, the animals not so much when they were put in costumes), and I took enough photos of family vacations to fill many albums.
I experimented with trick photography, landscapes, portraits, still life, nature, etc. and I was taking photos of my food before it was cool. At some point, I realized I liked being in front of the camera, too.
How long have you been modeling?
Officially, for about two years. I got a late start to doing it professionally. It’s an intimidating industry to break into and unfortunately there are some shady opportunistic people in it, and they are always looking to prey on newcomers. That being said, I’ve met some truly wonderful people through modeling- other models, photographers, makeup artists, etc. and it has taught me a lot about myself and life in general.
A lot of people ask me for advice on how to get their modeling careers going. That’s tricky because the industry has really changed in the last few years. With social media, anyone can pose as a photographer or model these days. Agencies are becoming obsolete, studios are going out of business, and freelance models with large follower counts now book high-paying jobs through Instagram. Many legitimate clients and models book through social media, and it is a great tool that empowers models to find work. Models have to do their homework about the reliability and legitimacy of photographers and clients, though.
Anyone can buy a camera and post their photos, which on one hand is a great way for creatives to get their name and work out, but it also opens the door to “creeps with cameras” posing as professional photographers.
So if you want to try modeling but are new to it, I suggest not doing it alone. Have a partner, parent, or friend go to shoots with you and weigh in on any decisions you make. At the very least, always give a friend the address of a photoshoot before you go, and check in with them afterwards.
If you do find an agency, don’t sign an exclusive contract, and never pay to work. A legitimate agency will offer you a nonexclusive contract, and will never make you pay for “model training” or photos. That being said, it’s wise to hire a good professional photographer of your choice for some decent headshots when you’re first starting out. That’s different from an agency sending you to their photographer and making you pay- they are the ones who should be investing in you!
How did you learn to do your own makeup?
My mom taught me the basics when I was a teenager, and I never looked back. I loved drawing, coloring, and art class as a kid, and I realized makeup was another way to express myself artistically. I used to spend hours in my bathroom creating different looks in front of the mirror. Then I started watching YouTube tutorials, and that sent me down a rabbit hole. One of the coolest things about makeup is that looks, products, and trends are always changing, and I’m always learning something new. I did a half cut crease on myself for the first time last month after watching a YouTube video.
Do you have aspirations beyond modeling?
Anything that gets my creative juices flowing. One of my biggest passions in life has always been music. I have been in a few all female bands over the years, forming my first band in high school, another in college, and later joining an all-female punk band called Tricounty Terror.
I played bass in my last few bands, but have also played guitar and trumpet in other groups. I also love storytelling, whether it’s through word or film.
I love to read and write and wrote a novella called Into the Darkness. I have done some acting as well, and have been an extra in movies and television shows.
What are some other things you enjoy doing?
Before the pandemic, I used to love going to concerts and music festivals. Rock is my favorite genre, but I enjoy any and all live music. Being active is also really important to me, and I enjoy doing yoga, spinning, hiking, walking, and weight training on a regular basis.
Since the pandemic started, my daily walks have kept me sane. One of the few positive outcomes of all this is that I’ve seen more people than ever spending time outdoors, moving and enjoying nature again.
Are you married/kids?
Can you give us some self-care tips?
My newest skincare obsession is chia seed oil. It’s anti-inflammatory so it helps prevent and heal acne while also being moisturizing, so unlike other anti-acne products it doesn’t dry your skin out. I use Maya Chia oil, which you can buy online. It is also anti-aging.
My other secret weapon is the Hydrafacial. You have to go to a doctor’s office or medical grade spa to get one, but your skin will thank you.
Last but not least, I swear by always using sun protection, even on cloudy days. I apply sunscreen to my face every morning, wear sunglasses when I am outside, and use lip balm with SPF. I also take a supplement called Heliocare. It contains a powerful antioxidant that actually helps your skin heal and protect itself from UV damage from the inside out.
What about makeup tips?
One of my favorite tricks is to heat my eyelash curler by blowing on it with the hairdryer. It’s like a curling iron for your lashes. I have to warn anyone who tries this to make sure you don’t overheat your lash curler, though. It only takes a few seconds of heating before it gets hot enough to burn the delicate skin around your eyes! But done properly, it’s a great trick for lasting curl. After curling, apply mascara to “set” it, like a hairspray. A little mascara on the lower lashes also creates a nice defining effect. I use waterproof mascara on the lower ones to prevent smudging.
Speaking of smudging, a trick that Jody got me into is applying setting powder to my eyelids as well as under my eyes before putting on eyeliner and mascara. This really helps prevent the makeup from bleeding.
A friend of mine is a professional makeup artist and advised me that the most important cosmetic item to invest in is brushes. She said she can work with the cheapest makeup as long as she has professional brushes, but she can’t even make expensive makeup look good with bad brushes. Good makeup brushes are expensive but worth the investment. I like Mac brushes and brushes by Senna Cosmetics.
Another tip is to always start by applying a very small amount of product and then build it up. You can always add more eyeshadow or blush, but it is much harder to remove some from your face without completely ruining your handiwork. I like to take a “less is more” approach when it comes to any kind of pigment. Better to have a softer, smudged look than imitate Mimi from the Drew Carey show (not that bold looks can’t be fun sometimes too). After applying your product, blend, blend, blend! Just go back and forth over it with the brush in a windshield wiper motion until the edges aren’t sharp. Sometimes stepping a few feet back from the mirror or looking at your makeup in different lighting can help you decide if you want to blend or apply more.
If there is ever a new look I want to try or just something I want to brush up on, I look it up on YouTube. There are so many great makeup and style tutorials on there. It’s a wealth of DIY information.
Do you knit or crochet?
Unfortunately I never learned how, but my mom taught me counted cross-stitch when I was a kid and I used to love doing that. I ought to get back into it during my winter quarantine, or learn how to knit! It would certainly help with my holiday gift giving. A friend of mine crocheted a winter hat for me several years ago for Christmas, and to this day it is still my favorite cold weather accessory.
How many outfits do you bring to a shoot?
I cram as many into my small suitcase as I can fit! I prefer to have too many options over not enough. But that’s me, always overpacking!
How do you stay on top of trends?
I live in the city, and when I’m out walking or driving I often notice other women’s outfits and make mental notes about different looks that I like. I love when people try new, bold looks.
This summer I saw a lot of fun rompers and jumpsuits, and this winter I love buffalo plaid. In the midst of all my online scrolling, I’ll also screenshot looks that catch my eye.
I have several wardrobe staples that will never go out of style, or at least if they do I’ll refuse to stop wearing them! Knee high black boots are a favorite during winter, as well as faux leather leggings (Spanx make my favorite ones). Sheath dresses are also a classic look that I’ll always love. I wear them during the winter with tights and blazers or cardigans.
Do you have a “thing” (ie shoes or handbags)? Have you seen an Increase in your wardrobe because of modeling?
I definitely have a massive shoe collection that seems to be growing exponentially. I have always loved shoes, but they’re the one part of my wardrobe that has really grown because of modeling. I am 5’ 10” and almost always wore flats in the past. The highest heel I would wear was a kitten heel. I felt “too tall” otherwise. But with modeling, I am expected to wear high heels.
Doing runway with other models, I found myself eye-to-eye with other women who were over six feet tall in heels. As a result, I find myself wearing heels more often in my “normal” life. I may tower over most of the men in the room, but that just means they have to look up to me! And a confident man has no problem doing that.
Any tips for Knotions designs?
I try different looks in the mirror before going out. One of the many cool things about the Knotions pieces is there are so many different ways they can be worn, so there is no “right” way to wear a piece.
Even if you want to wear it in a way that no one else does, that doesn’t make you wrong. With all the wild looks I’ve come across in the modeling world, I’ve realized that it’s all about confidence. You can walk around in a lampshade and shower curtain and make it look like high fashion (I believe some designers have attempted this on the runway).
That’s the beauty of fashion- there are no rules! I think we look best when we’re being true to ourselves.