As far back as she can remember, Virginia Bradley Linzee has painted. Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, she was the kind of kid who was always making art projects out of everyday life, a propensity that eventually led her to major in painting at Auburn University. “I loved experimenting with the way different paints could build up textures on the surface,” she remembers. A series of psychologically laden paintings of people shown in extreme close up led the artist to realize by the time she graduated that she was particularly drawn to portraits. Working with a live model not only helped offset the inevitable isolation of the artistic life but offered her the opportunity to focus on what she found the most fascinating subject: the human face.

Although Linzee had plans to pursue a graduate degree in painting in Chicago, a short-term job at a specialized makeup boutique in Birmingham would change her career direction forever. Working with specialty makeup lines created by renowned artists, Linzee found herself painting faces in a literal sense. “It was so much fun to paint textures on living skin,” she remembers. “It’s so intimate.” In a short time, the burgeoning makeup artist began learning from such visiting masters as Julie Hewett and Tina Earnshaw, who immediately invited her to Los Angeles to undergo more intensive training. “Tina taught me everything,” says Linzee. “And when I was done, she said that if I wanted to do film that I should come to LA and if I wanted to do fashion I should go to New York.” A few months later, the young artist relocated to New York.

With extensive connections in the music industry, Linzee started out doing makeup for indie bands like Beirut, the Cold War Kids, and Apes and Androids but realized that to penetrate the fashion world she would need to assist. Word spread about the talented young makeup artist and soon she was working with such names as DickPage, Pep Gay, Sil Bruinsma and Pat McGrath, assisting on high-profile runway shows, editorial shoots and ad campaigns. It wasn’t long before Linzee was recruited by Madeline Leonard of Cloutier Remix in Los Angeles, an agency that has positioned Linzee as a celebrity makeup artist and spokesperson for such brands as Maybelline and Mary Kay, for whom she has appeared regularly on a variety of television talk shows as well as “Project Runway All Stars.”

Virginia is represented globally by CloutierRemix.