Preston Meneses is one of the most sought-after celebrity makeup artists working today. His artistry has emerged throughout his 15-year collaboration with the legendary music superstar Janet Jackson, as well as working with celebrities Rihanna, Kelis, Erica Jayne, Brooklyn Decker, Halle Berry, Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian, and Courtney Love, just to name a few. He was showcased on television with appearances in episodes of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and working on “Dance Moms.” His talents have graced the pages of countless magazines, including Vogue, Vogue Italia, Harpers Bazar, Harpers Arabia, Essence, InStyle Magazine, FHM, Maxim and numerous billboards in New York’s Times Square.
Growing up in Hawaii, Preston’s road to success was not an easy one. His interest in makeup was first inspired by his mother as a young child and his affinity for color was evident in his coloring book creations, typically turning G.I. Joe into a vibrant Drag Queen. With a turbulent upbringing and often bullied for his femininity, Preston always believed he was destined for something beyond the shoreline of his youth. By age 16, his self-taught skills were solidified doing makeup for friends heading to the Prom and within two years he was working for the top makeup brand MAC Cosmetics.
During his early years working in cosmetics, Preston also pursued another artistic aspiration as a dancer. When he landed a professional dancing gig for Tokyo Disney, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. He spent a year living, dancing and soaking up the culture of Japan, all the while continuing to do makeup on the side. His dancing led him to audition for the superstar singer Janet Jackson, and although he didn’t book the job, he laid the foundation for what was to come.
Over the next several years, Preston would experience both professional and personal struggles, losing his desire to dance and feeling lost back in Hawaii once again. After being persuaded to fly to Los Angeles to do makeup for a Drag Queen pageant, it was a chance meeting that would change his life. He ran into Janet Jackson’s choreographer, Gil Duldulao, who was a fellow Hawaiian and who remembered his dancing abilities, but was now in need of a makeup artist for Janet’s dancers at the Billboard Music Awards just days later. Preston seized the opportunity and revealed himself a valuable makeup artist to everyone, including Janet Jackson. After several months went by back in Hawaii, Preston got a call again, only this time it was to do Janet’s makeup for a Grammy Awards party. Once again, a job well done, but he was back in Hawaii feeling so close to success but also so far away. It was the next call from Janet’s team that changed his path, delivering an opportunity to travel and train under her then makeup artist, Fran Cooper to take over and become Janet’s exclusive makeup artist. His life would never be the same.
Today, Preston acknowledges his creative viewpoint is to help inspire women to shine their inner truth, outward. His approach always starts by establishing a genuine connection with someone, so he can find their authentic energy and offer his in return.