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December 08. 2013 4:18PM

Londonderry makeup artist turns heads

Salem native Ella Schwotzer, a freelance makeup artist, was recently honored in The Knot’s Best of Weddings listings as one of the Granite State’s top-rated makeup artists for the third consecutive year. Schwotzer has worked with countless area brides to add a bit of glamour to their special days. (COURTESY)

LONDONDERRY — Growing up in Salem, a young Ella Schwotzer was often asked to do her friends’ makeup and dreamed of one day making a career out of her favorite pastime.

After graduating from Salem High School in 2001, Schwotzer was given the chance to follow her dream when she was accepted into the Complections International Academy of Makeup Artistry in Toronto, Ontario.

During her time in Canada, Schwotzer studied under celebrity makeup artists like Dino Dilio and learned firsthand the fine art of fashion photography makeup, runway makeup and black-and-white photography makeup.

After receiving her certification in 2004, Schwotzer has steadily made a name for herself in the local wedding and media industries.

This month, Schwotzer’s hard work has once again paid off. For the third year in a row, Schwotzer, a licensed esthetician who now lives in Londonderry, was given the highest possible rating for The Knot’s Best of Weddings.

The Knot, an interactive wedding-planning website, lists recommended wedding vendors for each state, with vendors rated based on positive user feedback.

“It’s always very meaningful to be part of someone’s wedding day, but it’s truly an honor to get such positive feedback from clients that continue to make my job so rewarding each year,” she said.

Schwotzer was first featured on the site five years ago and is now the highest-reviewed makeup artist in the Granite State.

For Bedford resident Anna Talbot Kleeman, Schwotzer’s talents prove an asset not only during Kleeman’s daughter’s May 2013 wedding, but also during the recent filming of Kleeman’s new workout video, “The Doctor’s Workout.”

A registered nurse, Kleeman produced and released the video with her husband, orthopedic surgeon Tom Kleeman, this past summer.

“I wanted to keep things real on film, while knowing we’d need to have makeup that could hold up for hours while we were working out and sweating,” Kleeman said. “Ella rose to the challenge without batting an eyelash.”

Over the years, Schwotzer’s freelance makeup career had led to some pretty memorable experiences.

“New Hampshire is such a political state and the last campaign season was certainly a busy one for me,” she said.During the 2012 campaign season, Schwotzer served as Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter’s personal makeup artist, and she also did makeup for commentators from Eurovision, a division of the European Broadcasting Union, during their coverage of the Granite State primaries that year.

She also provided makeup services for MSNBC personalities Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

These days, Schwotzer continues to work her day job as the administrative services coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association of New Hampshire, though her outside life is kept busy with new bridal consults.

She’s gotten many calls from potential clients in the days following Thanksgiving.

“The holidays are now upon us and that means lots of people are getting engaged,” she said. “They’re excited, and they’re eager to start making their plans.”

Manchester resident Kathleen McCarthy said she was initially hesitant to hire a makeup artist for her October 2013 wedding.

“I don’t normally wear makeup, so I was a bit nervous about it,” McCarthy said, noting that she eventually decided to contact Schwotzer at the recommendation of two co-workers who’d previously used her services.

“Everything turned out just perfect,” McCarthy said. “Ella knew exactly what I needed.”

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