“Say yes to everything!”
– Lora Arellano
MUD: Tell me a little bit about your background. Where are you from? What did you want to be when you grew up? What led you to MUD?
Lora: I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Growing up, I was always very artistic. I took tons of art classes and spent most of my days in school doodling. I always knew I wanted a career in the fashion/beauty industry and I realized out of high school that I loved make-up and it was the only thing I had patience for. I decided to pursue a career in make-up when I came across The book, “Making Faces” by Kevyn Aucoin. I was absolutely obsessed with the way you could transform someone into a completely different character/person. After that, I started looking into make-up schools and MUD was referred to me by a friend in the industry. I checked It out and enrolled. It was a blast!
Rihanna at the Met Gala (Make-up by Lora)
MUD: What are you doing now?
Lora: Now, I am signed to an amazing agency, Cloutier Remix. I’ve had the chance to travel the world with amazing clients. I’ve done makeup for tours, editorials, commercials, music videos, television, fashion shows and red carpet events. Every year surprises me! The possibilities are endless!
You can see some of my clients and work here.
I also own my own cosmetic company, Melt Cosmetics! I started it in 2013 with my friend Dana, whom I met while working at a make-up counter. It’s been a crazy road and it’s crazy balancing all of it, doing all this work, but it’s worth it. We currently have 22 lipsticks and 5 eyeshadow palettes. We are expanding into highlighters, which were just featured on Allure.com! I still live in Los Angeles where I purchased my first home a couple of years ago. Tattooed girl living in the suburbs who would’ve thought?!
Lora at the cosmetics lab
MUD: What did you do RIGHT after you left MUD?
Lora: After I left MUD, I freelanced for about two years. Most of the jobs I did were NOT paid, but everyone has to pay their dues and put in their hours, so don’t give up! Every new job leads to more opportunities.
After those two years, I decided to work at a make-up counter. I worked there for 5 years, getting promoted to management, while at the same time balancing freelance work until I got my big break with an amazing client of mine. I left the counter after those 5 years and pursued freelancing and running Melt Cosmetics full time! Best decision ever!
Rihanna on the cover of Bazaar Magazine (Make-up by Lora)
MUD: What do you remember most vividly about your time at MUD?
Lora: The passion every student had. It was contagious!
MUD: Do you/will you stay in touch with the friends you made at MUD? Why do you think that is important in your line of work?
Lora: I have stayed in touch with a couple friends I made at MUD, but by now, everyone has gone on totally different paths. I do think networking is extremely important and throughout your entire career, you’ll never stop networking!
Iggy Azalea for Elle Canada (Make-up by Lora)
MUD: Tell me about your best day at MUD!
Lora: The best day was when we did blood tubing! I volunteered to be the model and it was extremely fun getting to have blood squirt out of a giant wound that they applied to my head! Hahahaha!
Serena Williams on the cover of Sports Illustrated (Make-up by Lora)
MUD: What are some lessons you learned at MUD that you think will be most beneficial in the “real world?”
Lora: The color wheel! At the time it was completely new to me! Also, I loved the tips on color matching skin.
MUD: Would you have done anything differently?
Lora: I would not have done anything differently because I felt prepared when I left the school and confidence in any job is key.
Lora’s Halloween make-up look
MUD: Do you have any words of encouragement for those considering applying to MUD?
Lora: It will be so fun! Go in excited and give it everything. It will pass by so fast!!!
MUD: Lastly, what advice to you have for today’s MUD students?
Lora: Say yes to everything! Any opportunity, paid or not, can open the door to a new one, so don’t turn anything down!