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Hollywood makeup artist Dee Dee Kelly may make it look easy to dress up the faces of stars like Mo’Nique, Nia Long and Naturi Naughton, but the secret to her success isn’t just her effortless talent. It’s also her dedication and passion for her craft.

Her journey to Hollywood began unconventionally, when Oscar-winner Mo’Nique hosted a contest to search for a plus size model, which Dee Dee entered and won. Later, she got a call from Mo’Nique herself asking if she knew a makeup artist in Chicago. Dee Dee dropped everything and flew herself out to do the job for free, much to the delight of Mo’Nique. She eventually became the comedienne’s full-time artist and the rest is history.

Dee Dee is the first to admit that while the work can be time-consuming and competitive, it’s important to always keep a smile on your face.

“I try to make it a point of mine to talk to everybody, to speak, smile, because you never know when you’re gonna see them again and you never know where your next job is gonna come from.”

That positive attitude is helping her carve out a path all her own. She’s thriving in her passion, which #TeamBeautiful definitely celebrates her for.

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