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Makeup artist searches for a lifestyle makeover

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By Chelsie Toering
Special to the Collegiate

Taylor Drayton sits at the coffee shop table and glances at her reflection in the mirror-bedecked wall. She has classiness down to a science. From her chic purple flats to her perfectly straight eyeliner this woman exudes classiness. Her looks are perfectly coiffed and stream-lined, but her direction in life is not so.

In high school, Drayton loved art. She had an eye and a deep-seated appreciation for it, but she was never able to find a medium that she excelled in and truly loved.

After graduating from high school, she left for the bright city lights of Chicago. She spent two semesters in the northwest corner of Chicago attending North Park University. She speaks fondly of her time there and even says,

“I owe my life to that city.” Here she finally found her artistic medium: makeup.

She simply began experimenting with her own makeup and observing other peoples’ choices for facial art.

“I was surrounded by beautiful people all the time, and I loved their makeup and wanted to do it too.” After her roommate moved out, she had her own space to experiment with crazy makeup and just dabble and learn through experimentation.

She also explored the work of some experts. She would go to the M.A.C. counter frequently and check out the numerous pots of her choice of paint.

Mattie Kropf / Collegiate

She also made friends with some of the shopkeepers at Water Tower Place, the high-end Chicago mall. One such friend, Chris, worked at the M.A.C. counter and let her come and watch him work his magic on some of his clients.

Drayton’s time at North Park University’s urban location provided her the outlet to discover her passion. NPU also gave her the chance to discover herself.

She says that after her roommate moved out she had scads of personal time and through that time was able to discover who she was, outside of what others’ opinions were of who she should be.

After her first year at North Park University, she transferred to Grand Rapids Community College.

She says that this choice was mostly because of the more affordable cost. Over the summer of 2010 she held a lot of inner debate concerning what she would do next.

She decided to attend Grand Rapids Community College and take some time to keep debating. She says that she made this decision as a sort of last resort.

Now she is still attending GRCC as a simple way to continue her education, while still not truly knowing what she is working towards. She is acutely aware of what her dreams and aspirations are, but is not entirely sure how to attain them.

“I want to be accomplished in whatever God wants me to do. And if that’s making art on bodies and using tips to make people feel beautiful in their own bodies, then so be it,” Drayton said.

She knows her goal but says that the cost of investing in something with such a high risk is daunting.

However, this has not kept her from still doing what she loves. Since returning to Grand Rapids she has done a few of her friends’ makeup and also did the styling for the South Christian High School fall theater production.

She is also scheduled to do the makeup for a few weddings coming up in the next year.

Drayton may be classified as lost by some, and even herself. She’s living and working towards an unknown goal, but not quite content with where she is. She says that she doesn’t like feeling lost.

“I’m the kind of person that googles everything. I want to know where I’m going, how to get there, and exactly what to expect when I get there.”

Her life seems to follow that pattern. She seems to be striving for security, not quite ready to risk it all. She seems to be in the “googling” phase of her life quest. “I don’t like not knowing. I don’t like showing up and wondering if I’m in the right place. And in life right now, Google doesn’t have an answer for me, so I don’t feel completely comfortable here.”

A little fear and a lot of financial insecurity may be holding her back from making an extreme move towards her life goal, but neither is keeping her from doing what she loves. She experiments with her own face and continues to share her talent when asked.