Rokael Lizama started his career grooming men like Drake and Kanye West. And now, he’s an in-demand makeup artist for A-list celebrities like Beyoncé, the Kardashians, Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey.
He moved from Mexico to the United States around the age of 5. Growing up, he always loved anything that had to do with transformation. He loved seeing people come to life by just changing their hairstyle or their makeup. Lizama also used to love those makeover television shows where he first saw the power of makeup, hair, and wardrobe, and he just knew that he wanted to do something with that.
His parents didn’t accept his career choice at the beginning. Most Latinx parents want you to have a stable career, like becoming a lawyer or a doctor, but he felt he was going to make much more of an impact creating makeup or hair looks. He knew it was a calling that he had to fulfill, regardless of what his parents thought.
At the time, he was living in a car in L.A and his mom offered to pay for him to go back to a different college and pick another path because makeup was not working out for him but he just knew he had it in him, that he was meant to be doing that. He knew that in the long run his parents would have appreciated the work that he was putting in.
When he started working around the age of 19, he was applying to jobs as a hairstylist, and he got his license in hair grooming. He groomed Drake when he came out with his first album; he was also grooming Kanye West, Diddy, and Ray J. Hair was something that he was passionate about at first. Then he ended up leaving hair completely and switched to makeup.
He felt like he had more of an impact on the person in front of him with makeup, in comparison to hair. He would see clients morph into another person, and he loved having something to do with that. He saw it as more powerful.
His break came when he was working with Lilly Ghalichi. Lilly knew his situation—at the time he was living in his car—and she suggested him to stay with her while working, so they became roommates and they did a trade-off: he would pay her in makeup services, and in return, he lived with her in her apartment. He went from living in a Mazda to a beautiful penthouse in West Hollywood.
In doing Lilly’s makeup, they were going so over the top, and people were noticing that. He started to get calls from celebrities like former Spice Girl Mel B, and he worked with her a lot. Then, she introduced him to Kim Kardashian—so he was in with the Kardashians. And soon, he started working with La La Anthony. She happened to be with Kelly Rowland one time while preparing for a red carpet event, and Kelly asked him to do her mom’s makeup and it was actually Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles. From there, Knowles suggested him to work with her daughter and the next thing he knew, he was getting calls from Beyoncé’s team.
He has been working with Beyoncé on and off since 2015, being brought on to things where she needed him. Then came a time when she felt like he should come on tour and he did Beyoncé’s makeup for On The Run II.
Since 2017, Rokael has been developing and testing his new line of lashes on his A-list clients and he is now selling them on his website.