Kansas City Makeup Artist Kelsey Shannon

kansas city makeup artist kelsey shannon mind and muse

Kansas City makeup artist and owner of Mind and Muse, Kelsey has been WMNKND’s #1 go-to MUA since before we even moved into our Leavenworth, KS boudoir studio. I’ve had the honor of watching her collaborate with women to create beautiful makeup looks that highlight their natural beauty.

From stunning, glamorous makeup looks to creative new trends, she’s empowered literally hundreds of women to feel comfortable and confident in their skin. As a licensed esthetician, she goes above and beyond most Kansas City makeup artists in skills and knowledge of what’s best for you AND your skin.

I got to ask her a few questions about boudoir makeup + skincare, self care, and her own self love journey. Get to know our favorite esthetician and makeup artist a little better by reading her responses below!

kansas city makeup artist kelsey shannon

Who is Kelsey, the Kansas City makeup artist and esthetician?

I took my first client as a bridal makeup artist in Kansas City in November of 2016, so I have been an artist for about 6 years, and a licensed esthetician for about 3 years. I own a spa called Mind & Muse, located close to the River Market in Downtown Kansas City. We are the self-proclaimed “coziest spa in KC”, where you can come in, relax, and feel right at home. 🙂

Tell me more about your journey in creating Mind + Muse, as a Kansas City makeup artist.

My business started as a bridal makeup artist in Kansas City under then name Radiate Beauty back in November of 2016. I took my first client as a makeup artist, and that set me on the trajectory of the next 7 years! After 3 years as an artist, I finally made the decision to take a break and go to esthetics school to get my license.

I remember when I went, all I wanted was the license. I had no desire to do any other services. I wanted to get in, get out, and get back to being a bridal makeup artist. But while there, I learned about the skin and I learned about people.

I started to think that maybe Radiate Beauty could represent more. 

kansas city esthetician

I spent HOURS in school on my laptop, researching different skincare products and different facial machines, to determine what would be best for me going forward.

So when I got out, I got right back to it. Taking weddings on the weekends, and clients during the week.. As well as working for WMNKND :). The name change came in 2022, when I moved into my current space. I had felt that Radiate Beauty needed to shift, both emotionally and physically. I wanted to represent something different, I wanted to rebrand myself AND my brand, so that’s what I did. 

It took months of brainstorming, late nights working on my new website, talking with friends and family and clients.. It was a full overhaul to create what it is today. But so, so, so, so worth it. 

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What do you wish more people knew about skin/skincare?

That it’s normal. And I mean that sentence as general as possible. Whatever you are doing with your skincare routine, whatever breakouts you’re having, whatever insecurities around your skin you may have.. It’s normal.

It’s so important to me to help you wherever I can, as far as skincare is concerned, but I also feel that I have a duty to help remind you of grace. You deserve to be given grace.

I probably have this conversation a few times a week, where I have women sit in front of me, tell me about their skin, and I can tell that they’re embarrassed. But in reality, when I’m able to really see their skin up close, it is the most normal skin ever!! They had just gotten so in their heads, thinking they should be the most perfect, clear skinned, no-peach-fuzz, woman. 

So, again, to remind you, give yourself grace and take a deep breath.

It’s normal, I promise.

mind and muse kansas city spa owner kelsey shannon

How have you been taking care of yourself lately?

I’ve definitely been trying harder than I ever have in the past. I’m loving the Somatic Journaling once a month, plus I’ve been signing up for more dance classes and yoga classes. I also had a habit of only doing these activities if I had a friend who was available to do it with me, but now I’m on my journey to being okay doing it by myself and enjoying my own company.

boudoir makeup artist

mind and muse owner and esthetician

What’s it like to enjoy your own company?

I have to be honest. As someone who deals with anxiety and depression on a regular basis, enjoying my own company can be a toss up.

Sometimes my brain is nice to me, and sometimes it isn’t. I don’t always want to be in my own company, you know? 

But, over the past year or two, I’ve been taking major steps of creating awareness around this exact issue. I’ve become even just a STEP better at recognizing when I’m in a spiral, and learning ways to get out of it.

This takes so much time. So much time. But I’m at the point that I’m ready to do it. I want to do it.

So, when I do enjoy being on my own, I feel at home with myself. I can feel my body and my mind recharging from the work day or from social interaction. It feels like I can really take some deep breaths and reconnect.

skincare with kelsey shannon

I get that. I love that you are taking dance classes- that sounds like so fun! How did you get into that? What are you getting out of it? 

I danced a bit as a little kid, and then got back into it in 6th grade, and never stopped! I loved being on the dance team in high school as well. After high school, I had a 6 year period where I didn’t dance at all. I got so in my head that I wasn’t good enough to do it, that I convinced myself that I just didn’t like it anymore. I felt so embarrassed to show up at the classes, and I felt like everyone was watching me..

Then it took one class to snap me out of it. A client invited me to a heels class by Tina Rojas, that she hosts monthly at the Crossroads Hotel.

It was such a warm and welcoming environment, not only from Tina, but by the other people attending. That moment was where I realized how deeply I missed expressing myself in this way. It makes me emotional even thinking about it, about how long I had pushed my own wants and needs down. 

But, I’m back baby!! And loving it!!

kansas city esthetician kelsey shannon

How have you embodied WMNKND’s mission of empowering women to love and accept themselves as they are (in your professional and personal life)?

Since I’ve been a boudoir and bridal makeup artist in Kansas City for 6 years, I’ve come in contact with so many women, but in reality, I felt so disconnected from them for so long. Starting to work for WMNKND and exiting a toxic relationship came around the same time in my life, which then sparked self awareness in me.

I had never really bothered to look inward and take accountability for myself, or look outward to recognize what others are going through. Watching the way Mikaela works with women and the ability she has to empower them and emphasize with them, was fascinating, exhilarating, and awe-inspiring to me. I wanted that for my clients as well.

kansas city makeup artist kelsey shannon

So, since learning this lesson, watching Mikaela work, and being more aware of my actions and behavior around the women in my life, I’ve been able to be more empathetic and caring towards them, because they absolutely deserve it.

Every woman, no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or where they are at in their journey, deserves five-star treatment from their (Kansas City) makeup artist, and that’s what I aim for. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with others on a self love journey?

It takes time, but every small decision you make counts. Taking that yoga class on one day still means something, even if you miss the next few weeks. Give grace to yourself that growth and self love, for some, is a slow journey, but a worthy one.

kelsey shannon branding photos

What does showing yourself grace look like to you?

It’s a constant, everyday thing in my life. There is no giving yourself grace once and it just.. sticking. It is a CONSTANT reminder in my mind. That I am enough, that it will be okay, and that I am human and flawed and beautiful, all at the same time. 

Giving myself grace is soothing, comforting, and when I’m more adamant about it, it makes me feel at home in myself. It’s almost like a parent in my mind, telling me that it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to change my mind. It’s okay to make a mistake. And it’s ALWAYS okay to grow from that mistake and move forward.

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