This month I had the opportunity to work with celebrity makeup artist, Yoko Nobushi. Yoko was born in Japan and came to the US when she was 25 to pursue her dream of learning special effects makeup. Financially strapped, she worked day and night to save enough money to move to America. She is currently working on the NBC show, “OUTLAW” and is also the subject of a new documentary, “Gutto! Chikyubin”. I spoke to Yoko about her new projects and celebrity status as a makeup artist here in Los Angeles.
ASIANCE: What year did you come to the US? And did you have any prior special effects makeup experience in Japan?
Yoko: I came to the United States in March 2001. I had no makeup or special effects makeup experience at all when I was living in Japan.
Asian skin is so beautiful. That’s why we all look young! Skin care is the most important thing. Wash your face day and night, don’t leave any makeup when you are going to bed. After washing apply a toner and moisturizer. These are a must.
ASIANCE: Did you speak English before you came to the States? And have you experienced any difficulties coming from another country to pursue your goals?
Yoko: No. I took English classes for two months and I also started to work at a sushi restaurant to learn more English.
ASIANCE: Moving from Japan to become a special effects makeup artist in America is a bold move. How did your family feel about you doing this?
Yoko: I didn’t tell anybody that I was going to Los Angeles to learn makeup until one month before my departure. When I told my parents, they had to accept it because I had already booked a ticket. I already enrolled in English classes as well. However, at the time, I was planning to stay in Los Angeles only one year. I told all my friends and family that I was coming back a year later when I finished makeup school.
ASIANCE: Did you have any particular female role models while growing up that helped you achieve your goals?
Yoko: Not really. I wanted to be a flight attendant! Unfortunately I’m too short for that! I was always creative. I loved painting, drawing and making stuff.
ASIANCE: You are the subject of a documentary that is filming right now. I remember when you were dropped off to our set last week; a documentary film crew was recording your every move. What is this documentary about and how did you become the subject of it?
Yoko: This is a Japanese TV show called “Gutto! Chikyubin” which is on the air every Sunday morning. They read my blog and contacted me. This TV show is very interesting and great. I thought they were going to film me and show the video to my parents so they would know what I am doing in LA. But as it turned out, they brought gifts that my parents wanted to give me from Japan and handed them to me. I didn’t know about gifts when they were following me. There was a nice pearl necklace and earrings from my mom. Also, letters from mom and dad, and a little painting which I painted when I was in the 5th grade. When I saw those gifts I cried on camera…
ASIANCE: You’re also a makeup artist on a new show for NBC, can you tell us a little about this project?
Yoko: I am day playing on this show so I don’t work every day. It’s called “Outlaw” and it is about a lawyer.
ASIANCE: If people want to learn more about your career, how can they find you?
Yoko: Please visit my website: www.yokomakeup.com I don’t use facebook and twitter. My blog (all Japanese!); http://www.fanblogs.jp/lalifestyle
ASIANCE: What would you like to tell other young aspiring makeup artists who are reading this article now?
Yoko: Set your goals each year and believe in yourself. Listen to your heart, feel good and be happy. Of course don’t give up!
ASIANCE: And lastly, do you have any quick makeup and beauty tips for Asian skin to share with our readers?
Yoko: Asian skin is so beautiful. That’s why we all look young! Skin care is the most important thing. Wash your face day and night, don’t leave any makeup when you are going to bed. After washing apply a toner and moisturizer. These are a must. I use Squalane oil too, its soften your skin and wrinkles. ‘Evian water spray’ or ‘Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rose water’, spray on to your face when you feel dry even over the makeup. Use HD foundation for flawless look on top of your beautiful skin!
An actor and women’s safety advocate, Candace Kita is the author of “The Hottie Handbook: A Girl’s Guide to Safety.” As a safety specialist, Candace has been interviewed by People, Good Morning America, the Jay Leno Show, Inside Edition, the Los Angeles Times, 48 Hours, the LOGO Network and WHO Australia.