Though necessity is typically the mother of invention, for makeup artist Ashlee Miller—a mother of three boys—creating a makeup line was simply a smarter solution. “Here I am selling makeup for all the other lines,” she recalls thinking. “Why don’t I start my own?” As the co-owner of Something Beautiful, a salon in Scottsdale dedicated to transforming brides-to-be, Miller was constantly creating and selling kits comprising her favorite name-brand products to clients and her freelance makeup artists. Last spring, she began contacting manufacturers in search of FDA-approved formulators. After what she calls, “a year of torture,” Miller was able to launch her eponymous brand, starting with Velvet Lips. “It’s like a liquid lipstick that wears all day long,” she explains. “I wanted to do a line that suited the average woman. Initially, it was a bride, but I had to get that out of my mindset.” Coming soon are long-wear mascaras, followed by powders, blushes, lipliners, eye shadow palettes, eyebrow pots, highlighters and bronzers, all available on ashleemillerartistry.com and ranging from $18 to $34. Miller promises her colorations will focus on the basics (“I don’t have anything crazy”), and her core product lines will not change color offerings (“I hate when you found your favorite lip color and it’s gone, or they change your foundation,” she says). The native Scottsdale resident, who swears she was a tomboy until her cosmetologist mom “forced” her to do pageants, is also working on a curriculum for a future beauty academy. “I want to do more than just teach makeup,” she explains. “I want to teach students how to brand themselves and become entrepreneurs.” Miller knows, more than most, the importance of having the right foundation.
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