Matthew Waitesmith was born in the U.S. to an American mother and British father. After attending numerous schools in both the United States and England, he received a B.S. in Business and a M.F.A. in Fine Art. Choosing to “cocoon” a little longer in educational bliss, he remained and taught for 1 1/2 years at university. Finally ready to step into the real world, he moved to Seattle and become an illustrator for a major West Coast department store chain [Nordstrom]. While working for Nordstrom he was approached to serve as a photo stylist for several successful West Coast commercial photography studios, and his contributions to the photographs resulted in several advertising awards. He enjoyed the intense pace of the work and the variety of the demands. On any given day he might be building a 5 foot high sandwich for a restaurant print ad; another day he was making a house and front yard look like it was springtime even though the shoot was being done in the dead of winter; yet another day he was decorating a photo studio to look like a banquet hall of an English castle complete with paintings, tapestries and enough food to feed 50 costumed actors depicting a gothic feast. He loves finding creative solutions to challenges.
He eventually missed his creative outlet of painting canvas, so he started experimenting with a new medium by convincing the models he booked for jobs to let him paint on their faces with cosmetics and sculpt their hair with hair products. After many months of creating photographic images of his makeup concepts/ideas, he knew it was time to take his portfolio and head off to Milano to more fully pursue the makeup and hair creative outlet. Matthew worked in Milano Italy for 1 1/2 years and his work appeared in Italian publications such as Amica, Grazia, Vogue Bellezza, Vogue Italia, and Linea Italianna.
During the next few years he moved to and worked in New York continuing to work in makeup and hair. Later he returned to London, England and worked for 3 1/2 years. He was booked out of London for jobs in Milano, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich. While in London, he was tested and joined Mensa on a dare, and is still a card carrying member. That was when he confirmed that he was wired a little differently than most other people.
He began to develop more sophisticated and creative makeup ideas and wanted his makeup work to be better captured on film, so he took all he had learned from working with great photographers and began to use the camera himself to film his beauty concepts. His beauty photography was noticed by London editors, and he worked for several magazines and publishers in London and other major cities in North America and Europe. His work has been published in Company, Cosmopolitan [US, UK, Italian, Espanol], Fitness, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Harpers Bazaar [US, UK, Italian, Espanol], In Health, Interview, Jardin de Mode, Just Seventeen, Mademoiselle, McCalls, McCalls Patterns, Modern Bride, NY Times, New Yorker Magazine, Pelicce Moda, Parenting, Observer, Options, SF Focus, SF Moda, She, Self, Seventeen, SOMA, Spring, Town and Country, TV Guide, Vogue [US, UK, French, Italian], Vogue Homme, Working Mother, Working Woman, Woman, Womans Day, Womens Wear Daily, W, Woman’s World.
Matthew consulted for several major cosmetic houses and fashion forecasting firms during this time. He was asked to visit M·A·C for an interview by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo, the founders of M·A·C Cosmetics in Toronto. Frank Toskan had noticed and admired Matthew’s work in a Mary Quant book, in which Matthew contributed a third of the book’s makeup looks. Matthew was originally asked to consult on the nature of M·A·C, by researching and reporting his findings back to the founders. He was intrigued at the challenge of analyzing M·A·C, so he traveled to almost every M·A·C counter in North America and met the hundreds of employees at that time. He decided to video tape hundreds of hours of interviews with employees, and three months later he met again with Frank Angelo and gave his assessment of the business. Although he found M·A·C Employees fascinating and creative, one of the things he identified was the need for a more uniform and expanded approach to developing the employee/makeup artists the company was naturally attracting. He proposed the company should expand the role of developing the employees and should create a department named Artist Training and Development. Frank and Frank asked him to join the company, but Matthew had never seriously entertained the thought of working in a corporate office or full time for any one cosmetic firm.
But, nothing about M·A·C seemed conventional. It was small, family-owned and very quirky. So, Matthew saw this as a chance to explore ideas about how the makeup business could be, while avoiding the conventional and staid business practices of the past. He agreed to join the company and was given a green light to expand and develop the training [then called Technical Training] and he began to evolve the role of Trainer for M·A·C and help create a unique learning experience for M·A·C. Drawing on his experience with business management, teaching and makeup artistry, he created and defined the role of Training and Artist Development and the training environment for M·A·C Retail Employees. He built a training workforce that met the challenges of a growth in employees from 400 [when he joined the company over 17 years ago] to now over 15,000 employees. M·A·C Cosmetics grew from an 60 million dollar business to over a billion dollar business during the time he has been with the company. Matthew helped create/define many aspects of M·A·C apart from the Artist Training and Development department. He created the Colour Team which was a team of employees [rather than only senior management] who regularly met to create new products and makeup concepts; defined/created the roles of M·A·C Artist, Resident Trainer, Trainer, Senior Artist, and Regional Director of AT&D; developed the M·A·C Sampling Procedures and demonstration tools to help create a new sanitary standard for demonstrating cosmetics at counters; evolved the M·A·C Face Chart into what it is now; established a Skills Certification program to encourage peer to peer skills recognition; defined the M·A·C Customer-Artist Experience; and created an electronic network of computer users comprised of sales managers and training staff, and now is expanding the concept into the Manager Network which will electronically connect all M·A·C counters and employees worldwide into a vast creative community.
He and his Team authored and produced all M·A·C training experiences internally in order to best serve the unique and constantly evolving needs of M·A·C employees. Under his leadership, the AT&D Team produced over 11 million words woven into documents, videos and experiences which helped define years of unique artistry techniques, product knowledge, and communication connections. As he continued to lead the Artist Training and Development department for M·A·C Retail he expanded the training network from 8 part-time people when he first started to now over 350 full time training staff globally. The number of Employees and counters increased exponentially during the period he lead M·A·C Global Artist Training and Development. After over 19 years with the brand, he retired as Senior Vice President, M•A•C Global AT&D officially in 2008, and now is involved in consulting [recent examples: Apple, Lancôme, GoSmile, Kiehls, Nars] and new ventures in the beauty and design industries.
He then founded Artis in 2014 and introduced his groundbreaking makeup brush designs and accessory products, which have forever changed the makeup brush category.
Sign In to Continue×
You must be signed in as a media user to and interact with hundreds of media-ready brands.