These Sisters are Redefining the Term “Make-up Pro”

These Sisters are Redefining

the Term “Make-up Pro”

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It’s not often you find two sisters at the helm of a budding makeup empire, but when you do, they are goals.

Cheve and Chika Chan

Having graduated from makeup school, and after accumulating industry accolades, Chika Chan wanted to pass on what she had learned to rising makeup stars. So she founded her school of makeup artistry, Make-Up Pro, and began teaching the masses how to craft a look like a pro.

“Makeup was always something she was super passionate about,” says Cheve, Chika’s sister. “So she wanted to hone in on that interest. We also come from an entrepreneurial family – my dad and my mother were both entrepreneurs.”

Chika’s sister, Cheve, was all the while studying fashion in FIT, and when she graduated she moved in elite fashion circles, including a stint at powerhouse Louis Vuitton, before settling on fashion production.

It was then that she realized that amalgamating her efforts with her sister might serve as the most beneficial way to push their careers forward. With both sisters being creative, driven and entrepreneurial-minded, they were two women who would ultimately work very well alongside each other to further build the brand Chika had started.

“Chicka decided to start a business where she would help students find their dreams and get into the makeup world,” says Cheve. 

Given her background, it was easy to assimilate Cheve into the growing company her sister had created. She would take over the creative direction of the company, and between the pair, their vision has put them on the makeup map. They are creating the makeup artists of the future, tailoring them so they walk out of the Make-Up Pro workshops both industry and customer savvy.

The Make-Up Pro Studios are located in Soho in downtown New York, where the bulk of the teaching happens. The Chan sisters run pro-workshops for aspiring makeup artists, and in order to graduate, the students must complete 80 hours of work in the studios. “We welcome everyone from different walks of life who just want to be a part of the makeup world, so we have workshops that we teach everyday,” says Chika. 

“What’s really great with Make-Up Pro is that we sponsor a lot of shows for NYFW, and we bring our pro artists to be a part of it, so they actually get exposure,” says Chika. “Since Chika is my sister, I was always surrounded by cosmetics, so whenever there are shows I’m always the one executing in the background.”

Make-Up Pro models. Photo by Katie Thompson

One of the workshops essentially acts as a feeder after graduation into high-end makeup counters across NYC and beyond, including Bergdorf Goodman, and with brands like Dior and Estée Lauder. The sisters prepare students for these real-world and high pressure scenarios with interview prep and clothing tutorials.

It’s not just budding #MUAs the Chan ladies are working on. Within the studios and during shows, the Make-Up Pro girls are using their own cosmetics line, sold singularly in the New York studio.

The makeup line was launched in 2012, and Chika has kept it in house until Cheve arrived on board. “We’re working on launching a new line that is not only for the pro, but is also consumer-driven. Eventually the goal is to sell it internationally,” says Cheve, who will no doubt be head of launching a campaign to the wider consumer. 

“We want that product that you would be able to use on your own that would look as fabulous as it would on editorial,” says Chika.

While they work on the launch of the new line, the pair is constantly working on booking events for their rising pro stars. Every year, they add to the amount of runway shows they do, with this year totaling 35 so far, and 10 more to come for women’s NYFW in September.

Make-Up Pro work with Ovadia & Sons
Amy Corcoran

The Associate Editor of SWAAY: Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.

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