The Inspiring Story Behind The Makeup Artists At Pamella Roland's New York Fashion Week Show

"...there's nothing more attractive on a woman than confidence."

"No one else has this story," Rick DiCecca, the global stylist and makeup artist for Amway and its line of ARTISTRY cosmetics, says. 

Sitting with DiCecca on a round ivory sofa in fashion designer Pamella Roland's New York City showroom, it's clear he's passionate about his craft. On this chilly day in January, he and Roland are testing out makeup looks and dress fittings on models while finalizing every important detail for their upcoming New York Fashion Week (NYFW) show.

This season, Roland's designs are inspired by the modern architecture of Japan, specifically Tokyo, and it is DiCecca's responsibility to create a makeup look reminiscent of a linear, geometric aesthetic.

To do so, DiCecca tested out colors and designs like "deconstructed eyeliner" before landing on the final look.

Courtesy of Amway & Artistry
Courtesy of Amway & Artistry

And a couple weeks later, we're backstage at the Pamella Roland NYFW show at Pier 59 Studios to watch DiCecca get the models ready for the runway. With him was a team of ARTISTRY makeup artists, embracing a unique opportunity.

by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier

All the makeup artists working backstage are members of a New York City distributor group within the Amway North America and ARTISTRY program — and they've all made it through a unique audition process to work at NYFW with DiCecca.

"The audition process was...like an Oscar — it's not just that day, it's the [artists'] whole body of work, and I've been teaching these students for [about] a couple of years now," DiCecca tells A Plus. "And what I look for is the consistency of work ... It has to be perfect. So, we picked [about] 10 of the very best."

DiCecca tells us about one artist, Juliana Fink, who came to New York City from Brazil when she was just 16. "Now, she's the number one makeup artist," he says, "and she is so bloody talented ... And she's the sweetest person you'll ever meet."

Backstage, Fink stood amongst a cluster of photographers, models, artists, beauty products, cameras and mirrors while prepping a model for the show. 

"I love doing makeup because not only do I get to do something that I love, but I also get to impact people in a positive way," Fink says in the crowded room. "Maybe [someone comes] in feeling not-so-well, but after the makeup is done, and they look in the mirror, they get that confidence back and they feel beautiful. So there's a lot that goes into makeup [than] just putting a little powder or eyeshadow on. You can definitely change other people's lives."

Courtesy of Amway & Artistry
Courtesy of Amway & Artistry

"If it wasn't for Amway, and if it wasn't for Artistry, then a lot of these artists wouldn't get to do shows backstage," DiCecca tells A Plus. And it's clear their talent makes them well-deserving of the opportunity.

Moreover, the partnership between the beauty brand and Pamella Roland (Roland married husband Dan DeVos, one of the founders of Amway), means these particular artists can show off their work at Fashion Week, an otherwise exclusive gig.

"No one else has this story. No other cosmetic company can say that we are backstage at Fashion Week and the makeup artists that are doing the actual makeup actually sell it."

Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)
Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)

When asked about the core of his aesthetic, which DiCecca calls "you, only better," the experienced artist says that:

"Some conversations are very timely... There [was] a conversation on Facebook that started with [my friends' daughter] ... Sophia, who's probably 19 now ... She decided she wanted to cut her hair. Well, if you could've read all of the messages people were leaving — and I finally said, you know, in a world where women are judged by their hair, by their breast size, by their skin, by their body size, it's freeing for Sophia to just cut all her hair off. And that's why I think my aesthetic is 'You, only better' because women are told every day that they're not good enough. And if you're comfortable in your own skin, like I always say, there's nothing more attractive on a woman than confidence. And I think now, more than ever, I think women are feeling sort of a freedom that maybe they haven't felt since, maybe, the '70s ... women are incredibly powerful — more powerful now than they have been in a long time."

So behind the glitz and the glam, the eyeliner and the hairspray, there's an aesthetic and a story that women, or anyone with a passion, should never forget.

Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)
Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)

Check out more images from the show below:

Courtesy of Amway & Artistry
Courtesy of Amway & Artistry
Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)
Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)
Courtesy of Amway & Artistry
Courtesy of Amway & Artistry
Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)
Vogue (Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv)
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier
by Claire Peltier