Fashion & Apparel

Fashion & Apparel

Interview with M’chel Bauxal-Gleason – Celebrity Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist

Artists don’t always use what is considered the ‘typical’ canvas to create their masterpieces, and some students aren’t even aware of the exciting possibilities of pursuing a career in the beauty and entertainment industry. M’chel Bauxal-Gleason is an accomplished celebrity make-up artist and hair stylist who has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Dr. Oz, Lou Ferrigno, Henry Winkler, Ty Pennington, Alicia Silverstone, and the Presidential family.

At the age of 18, Bauxel-Gleason says she ventured down to L.A.’s American College of the Applied Arts and later transferred to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Fashion Design in 1996. One of her first gigs out of school was in the special effects makeup department at Six Flags Magic Mountain during their Fright Fest.

“I taught myself all the basics about beauty, airbrushing, special effects and hair designing,” says Bauxel-Gleason. “I then utilized my degree in fashion and glamour applying my knowledge to market myself in the entertainment industry.”


After more than 10 years in L.A., Bauxel-Gleason relocated back to her home state of Oregon, where she landed a position as the department head hair stylist on the Emmy award-winning TV show Portlandia. It was here thatshe rounded out her skills, learning different ways to cut and color hair. In 2011, she enrolled into Phagan’s School of Hair Design just south of Portland, and graduated in 2012.

Bauxel-Gleason also had the privilege to do hair and makeup for Michelle and Barack Obama for a Good Morning America appearance while freelancing for Debbie Armend of Fisher Pathways.

“It was an experience like no other and one that I will remember for quite some time,” says Bauxel-Gleason. “I was greeted by several police officers who asked for my credentials, city streets were blocked off and I had to go through several checks by German Shepherds.”

She says her makeup, hair cases, and vehicle were all searched, and she was escorted by several police officers to a “room” where she would set up. “I have worked with a lot of senators and governors in the past, but I have never seen anything like it before,” she recalls of walking down a hallway with Secret Service agents.

However, Bauxel-Gleason says that her most memorable client was Ernest Borgnine, who she worked with just two months before he passed away in 2012. “He was so inspirational to talk with,” she says. “He spoke very highly of his wife…the experiences he went through after he won the Oscar for the movie Marty in the 1950’s.” Afterwards, she attended a screening for the film and walked away with a McHale’s Navy hat for her father – signed by one of his favorite actors [Borgnine].

Today, Bauxel-Gleason leads a wide-ranging artistic career, and she’s been pretty busy in April – supplying hair and makeup for a new TV show on the A&E network this summer called Rodeo Girls. She’s judged The Fresh Faces pageant alongside her husband, Dennis Gleason earlier in the month. She will also serve as a speaker for the Hillsboro, Oregon Chamber School to Work Program on April 23rd. In May, Bauxel-Gleason is scheduled to beautify two celebrities for the TV show AM Northwest – Julia Sweeney and Chris Hardwick.

M’Chel gives the following advice to aspiring makeup artists and hair stylists: 

Make sure you go into it because you love to do it. Unlike many careers, if you don’t like it, you won’t ever be great at it. Second, take the time to learn how to do it right. Short cuts might work now and then, but the real successful artists take their career serious enough to get formally trained. I can’t tell you how much more I learned in getting my degree.

M’Chel can be also found on @bauxal on Twitter, Facebook, and IMDB.



  • Anna Ortiz
    Anna Ortiz

    Mural Hunter, Photographer, & Writer | Anna is a writer and lover of urban street art who attended San Francisco State University. She is self-taught in digital and film photography, and spends most of her free time fueling her photography obsession by researching vintage cameras.