Modern Mom – Larissa McLaughlin, MOPA

Modern Mom – Larissa McLaughlin.
Modern Mom :: Larissa McLaughlin.
We heart Larissa! Not only does she have amazing energy, and two SUPER beautiful children; Sean and Sydney, but she’s also the most celebrated make-up artist on the local scene. She has a very loyal following, and it’s easy to see why – she has this way about her that is just brilliant, and then next thing you know, you’re not looking so bad yourself.
Needless to say, we’re thrilled to present Larissa as part of our Modern Mom series. Enjoy & pucker up!
What does a typical day in the life consist of? As of late it consists of A LOT! I wake up at 5 am and get ready for my commute to Worcester. From there, I am in class all day Monday-Friday, and when I am not in class, I am studying. When I return around 6:30 it’s just in time for dinner with my family, homework with my son, and books with my daughter before bed. This is my typical day during the week, which means I truly look forward to the weekend, when I have a little more time, when I am not booked out for bridal make-up sessions.
Tell us about your career as a make-up artist and the inspiration behind it? From the time I was able to wear makeup, I’ve loved it. You wouldn’t catch me without at least blush and eyeliner on. As I got older I wanted to explore and after a visit to a makeup store out on the west coast, I bought my first “blue eyeshadow”. It was then that I started being more creative. My thought was “if I can wear this blue eyeshadow without looking like a clown, I’m good”. While helping a friend pick out makeup for her wedding, I was approached by the manager at a Boston M.A.C. counter. She loved my eye makeup and wanted to know who did it (she thought one of her artists did it). When she learned that I applied it myself she handed me an application, and told me she wanted me to work for her. I was working full time in Pharmaceutical Sales at the time, so trying to fit in a part time job in Boston would have been almost impossible.
I learned that M.A.C. hired freelance makeup artists to help out with events, and after pursuing it more, I went to Jerri Calenda, the M.A.C counter manager, and I would say I owe a lot of my start and love of makeup to her; she gave me my start as a professional artist. She trusted me, taught me, and inspired me.
From there I felt confident enough in my skills to branch out on my own and freelance for weddings. I got involved with a few wedding shows and started to book clients immediately. From that point forward, it never stopped; I went on to open a retail store called Blush Beauty Bar in downtown New Bedford, trained in New York to do airbrush makeup, worked with a makeup artist community organization, The Powder Group, out of NYC as well, and have managed a thriving bridal makeup business to date. Whew!
It has been a blast, and I have met so many incredible people.
Aside of cosmetics and make-up artistry, what are some of the other things you’re passionate about?
I have always felt good and complete when I’ve helped someone. My undergrad is in health sciences and Psychology so I have a very strong science background. I began working in a hospital at the age of 13, and always felt comfortable. I’ve decided to take that love and passion and put it towards earning a second bachelors degree in Nursing. This fall, I started studies at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester, and will graduate next December.
I love rowing; I was on a crew team in college and unfortunately had to quit due to an injury. Two years ago, I was excited to find that there was a rowing organization in New Bedford – I quickly joined! I rowed with them for a few seasons and then started up with a new crew this past summer. Unfortunately rowing is going to take a back seat until I get my degree finished.
What is your favorite mom moment so far? Oh geez, I have so many! I think in general watching how kind and loving my children are to each other, and to others has been my favorite moment. My son has such a big heart and seeing what he does with it makes me feel good. Every year around September 11th, my son makes posters for the firefighters and delivers them to 4 local fire stations. Last year he gave up going to family movie night at school so that he could work on posters. He gave up friends, popcorn, candy, and a movie to make posters… I thought that was pretty incredible for a 5 year old. Another mom moment that I cherish is when Sean learned that he had a new baby sister. I didn’t know the gender of either of my children so when he heard that he had a sister, his reaction was nothing short of beautiful….a real teary moment.
If you could describe your family in three words, what would they be? Loving, hectic, and strong.
How would you describe your personal style? I like to follow the trends to a certain degree whether it be shoes, clothes or jewelry. I love clothes that are comfortable, yet feminine. A feminine top, skinny jeans, and a cute pair of flats is usually my go to for casual. I love color, but on myself, I can’t help it… black is the color of choice. I make sure to pop in color with shoes, jewelry, or makeup.
Who is your favorite style icon? Without a doubt, Coco Chanel.
What’s one activity you love to do with your children? I love going to the beach with them. We are so lucky to have it just a few miles away. We spent most of our summer there together. They made some new friends and I met some incredible women (other moms). Sean also took up surfing this summer. He loves it so it was fun to watch him in surf camp throughout the summer. Nothing is better than seeing the joy in your children.
Being a mother is a big job in itself. How do you balance between career and home life? Do you have advice for other moms? I ask myself that question everyday! Having an understanding, incredible husband has helped me balance it all. Whether it’s picking up the kids from school or making dinner, and putting them to bed so that I can get things done for work or school has been a life saver. It is definitely a balancing act and it is so hard to not feel guilty when I am away from them. My husband and I sit down every weekend and plan out our meals for the week and activities. We go over our schedules and the kid’s schedules and make a plan from there. We get our shopping done for the week according to our menu, have laundry and clothes picked out for the kids ahead of time, and try to make school lunches/our lunches the night before so that we are not stressing out in the morning.
Even though I’m a mom, I’ve tried not to lose my own identity in that role. I am a wife, a mom, a student, and a makeup artist, but most of all I am me. I think finding time for myself whether it be with friends or alone has helped me be a better mother and wife.
Trends are a big part of what you do. What are some key trends you’re loving right now? Bold/dark lips are in right now. I find that a lot of women are afraid to do the red or dark lip – they want to do it, but they are afraid to try it. I say go for it; go big or go home! If you find the right kind of lip color, you can pull it off, no matter what size or shape your lips are. You just have to commit to it and go with it.
My favorite red lip color is M.A.C. red.
Three things we’d find in your handbag right now? 4 lipsticks/glosses (I’m counting them as one thing…what can I say? I’m a make-up artist!
Miss Marisa perfume, Elmo toilet seat covers (yes we’re potty training our 2 year old!)
On date night, we’d find you where? For a special occasion, it’s Capital Grille. On any given Friday or Saturday, we love a simple dinner and movie.
Make-up: Armour lip gloss – any color, they’re all awesome!
Hair: Blow concentrated root lifter, and Living Proof Restore shampoo/conditioner.
Designer: I’ll always love my Francesco Biasia handbag until the day I die!