My first experience working on-location and on a team was for a beauty pagaent, Miss Vietnam Global 2007. It was an amazing week-long experience which happened to fall on my birthday. It was perfect!! My client flew me and 3 of my friends out to help her do hair and makeup for the pageant contestants. I learned so much, and realized there was way more to the industry that doing makeup at a store. I wanted more!
Just after, I enrolled in the San Jose City College Cosmetology Program. MAC wouldn't accept my part-time employment. So I kept afloat freelancing and doing weddings on weekends. I had the privilege to work very closely with a star in the industry. My cousin, Armando Sarabia of, Get Your Do Up. Over 10 years later, I'm also proud to have him on my team today!
After completing school it was important for me to enter a salon that believed in continued education. I found JoJo Hair Studio where I assisted JoJo for a year and a half and completed his Vidal Sassoon ABC haircut course before entering the floor as a hairstylist. This was one of the best decisions I made at that point in my career, as I learned to polish my skills and work as a team in a salon environment. Three years in I studied and practiced hard. I flew to New York City and tested to become a Redken Certified Colorist.
I enjoyed working in the salon but I was hungry to get out again. I opened my first makeup studio in downtown Campbell while still working at JoJo Hair Studio. I found traveling and makeup and styling outside of the salon was my passion. From doing fashion shows locally to beauty pageants nationally and weddings internationally; who could blame me? I loved what I was doing!
People used to tell me I needed to move to Los Angeles if I wanted to make it as a makeup artist. I've learned that though there is work down there, opportunity lays everywhere! I continued on and got to work with some of the most important people, today including the COO of Instagram, Marne Lavine and even Sheryl Sandberg! I've worked with many CEO's, COO's and executives of many startups and large corporations. As respect to them, I've never asked to take a photo with them or post the work I've done with them. This was probably my biggest mistake. But everything happens for a reason.
Hair and makeup has given me the opportunity to see the world and I am eternally grateful for this industry! I offer my services locally in The Bay Area, nationally and internationally. I'm currently represented by RAE Agency in San Francisco, which gets me cool gigs, so cool I can't even tell you about them! But my latest and most exciting ongoing gig since 2017 has been in ballroom, doing makeup and sometimes hair Snow Hair & Makeup, for Arthur Murray competitions nationally and internationally. I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing people in the industry. And I'll never forget when I got that call from my friend saying, "Can you go to Cancun next weekend with me, to be part of the hair and makeup team for Snow Urbin, from So You Think You Can Dance?" What?! Yes please!!!
When I'm not traveling, I take my client's for hair AND makeup at my studio along with my team in San Jose, CA. I'm proud to have a team that I love and respect with all my heart. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today. Together we continue to learn, grow and love life passionately.
Hi, I'm Christopher, @tophertime on Instagram.
I was born, raised and grown in sunny San Jose, California! As a little kid I loved being an adventurer. I would be out all day and come home with scrapes and bruises as souvenirs. Hiking, camping and traveling were the highlights of my childhood memories.
I was an A student at a young age and found myself gravitate towards the performing arts during high school. Being in band since first grade, it made sense to continue throughout high school as I loved it! Marching band, jazz band were also a huge part of my high school career. My senior year, I elected to join choir instead of go home early and even participated as a cheerleader!
After high school I enrolled in a junior college as I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do for my future. I was accepted to San Jose State and CSU Monterey but I decided I didn't want to waste my parents money on schooling I wasn't sure I wanted.
I found that I was more creative than studious and I found myself in the beauty industry. I've always loved to travel and this industry has given me to opportunity to do so. Both for work and on my own time.
People ask me all the time, which do I like better, hair or makeup?
The answer is both! My job is done when my client starts glowing from the inside. I didn't aspire to be a makeup artist but that changed in 2004.
I didn't realize, my life would be changed forever. My friend wanted to have her makeup done at the MAC Cosmetics counter. Being the daring 19 year old I was, I decided to upgrade her makeup myself and applied some eyeliner on her.
I royally messed her up!!! I asked the lady working if she had anything to clean up the mess I made. And to my luck, the nice lady working the counter was Lorraine, the manager (Lorraine is on my team today!). Believe it or not, she asked me to audition for a makeup artist position, that day! I knew nothing and denied the opportunity at first. But my friend kicked me and said, "Go for it!". I did. I fell in love with what I did and I found myself at the MAC Store at Valley Fair shortly after. Which happened to be the West Coast flagship store at the time!