When Glam Masters arrived on Lifetime, my interest was piqued: Laverne Cox as a host, a reality competition show about MUAs and major backing, produced by Kim K. West. More exciting was that Alexx Mayo, someone I met through a mutual friend two years ago in LA, was a contestant.
Alexx Mayo’s artistry left me awestruck again and again. I was absolutely astonished with his performance and precision, an artful restraint focused on clean, presentable looks with an accessible edge, looking stunning on all skin tones and face shapes.
Working with so many amazing stars, including one of my favorite musical artists, Tinashe, his fashion-forward, couture chic on Glam Masters has further propelled his career. I caught up with this talented runner-up about his MUA journey.
Congrats on your success! How was the experience on “Glam Masters” for you?
Alexx: Being on TV is almost an out-of-body experience. It’s interesting to see your behavior and movement outside of yourself. I enjoyed my time on the show. It was like a huge therapy session to be able to talk things out; I had so many realizations during the show. I have been fortunate enough in my career to always keep growing. After the show, I got a much bigger audience and people who really cheer me on and want me to succeed, which is such an amazing feeling.
What were some of your favorite MUA moments outside of the “Glam Masters” season?
Alexx: As an artist, being able to have your work seen on a platform is always so incredible to see. Some of my career highlights have been having my work in Times Square and having an national campaign and instore setup with Urban Outfitters.
Who has been the most exciting individual to work with thus far?
Alexx: I love and adore all my clients but I would have to say working with Mariah Carey was definitely a dream come true. She is so sweet and so welcoming!
What are some of your favorite products at the moment?
Alexx: I love finding unique products from different countries. I’m really obsessed with Korean beauty products at the moment.
What were some of your earliest beauty and fashion inspirations while growing up in rural New Mexico?
Alexx: Living in a small town, I really only had TV and magazines as a source to the fashion and beauty world, a world I always wanted to be a part of. Music videos were always an inspiration to me. And also discovering my cousin’s Kevyn Aucoin books really set my imagination to new heights.
What practices do you feel informed you before you knew you wanted to work with makeup?
Alexx: Growing up I was surrounded by art. At the toy store I always gravitated toward the art kits versus the action figures. I got into charcoal and pastel work early in teenage years, which I found to be the first stages of the feeling I get when I do makeup. I also feel this was the first time I learned dimension and shading.
What is your connection to the queer community in your practice as a MUA and in your personal life?
Alexx: I really developed a passion for makeup while I rebelled through my teenage years and found myself living in a house with drag queens. Watching them transform and become their characters was so fascinating to me. Glitter and rhinestones everywhere! Personally, makeup helped me have the confidence to be myself. I definitely explored a lot with makeup on myself as a young gay teen.