Meet Tammy, Commercial Hair and Makeup Artist

Related career Hair Stylist

Tammy YiTammy Yi's ability to make skin shine and express the natural, glowing beauty of her clients has followed her throughout her prolific career in makeup, hair, and beauty, where she's become a sought-after makeup artist for affluent musicians, actors and top models. Dating back to her youth spent drawing and doing make up for friends and her lifelong pulse on the natural subtleties of beauty she learned from her surroundings. Tammy climbed the ranks of corporate retail cosmetics in Los Angeles to begin teaching Masterclasses, getting celebrity clients, and building a reputation (and star-studded portfolio) for her skill in doing makeup as efficiently as she can do hair, all in a natural style so many in the industry yearn for. Tammy's knack for expressing beauty holistically through her subtle and balanced styling techniques has led to cover shoots for the likes of Harper's Bazaar, Billboard, Vogue Beauty, and Elle (just to name a few), the culmination of her hard work making the daunting leap from retail to a successful freelance career. 

Agency Link:
Instagram: @tammyyi

In your own words, describe your career. 
My career as a hair, makeup and beauty artist has been a journey of experience. Over the years I had the pleasure of working with people from all over the world with different backgrounds. From starting in the retail environment to moving to freelance artistry for film, fashion and commercial production sets, listening and learning about each client has stayed consistent. Being able to understand who and what each client I am working with is a key part of building my career. 

Tammy Yi

Who/what influenced or inspired you?
When I was in high school I used to work at Borders Books. While shelving my section for the day I came across this book called Making Faces by Kevin Aucion. I was in aww of the transformations he was able to do with makeup.

Tammy and So-dam
Tammy getting So-Dam (Parasite) ready for award season

What do you love most about your job?
I love being able to meet new and interesting people and making them feel good. People fascinate me, I love learning about psychology.

My passion for makeup has always been my core. When I was working up the ranks in the corporate world of cosmetics, it became less about the makeup and more about sales or team management. I felt I was getting further and further from what I loved and knew I needed to get back to the artist side of makeup. That is when I decided to quit and move to Los Angeles and start all over. It was hard but much more rewarding.

What are its biggest challenges? 

Getting over the fear of not working enough.

What was your big break? 
I think the best thing someone can do to try and build a career as a freelance artist is get as much content as possible to build their portfolio. One of my big breaks was when I was signed by my agency.

Any words of advice?
There is only one you! So continue to be authentic in your art and try not to compare yourself to anyone else.