VIFW 2022 interview with Marlayna Pincott, Principal Makeup Artist (and more!)


VIFW (Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week) 2022 will be held Nov. 28th - Dec. 2nd at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Links to purchase tix are on the website at

Bio -

Marlayna is an urban Indigenous woman of Quinault <Quileute, Coast Salish + Pascua Yaqui descent + part German European. She is currently reconnecting to her identity & cultures through healing and learning, while mentoring and supporting others to do the same.

As an agency-represented celebrity makeup artist/hair stylist with over 20 years of experience in the fashion and film industry, she brings an extensive amount of knowledge, positive energy, and inspiring leadership to all the fashion shows she is involved with. Marlayna also wears many hats. She is a trauma informed holistic healer, instructor, mentor, advisor, director, graphic designer, and business owner.

Interview -

Please share about your journey to embrace make-up artistry as a career. Did your interest start when you were young or did it come at a later age?

I was first introduced to makeup as a young girl as my mom was a makeup artist. I used to do my relatives and friends makeup and hair but also paint all my dolls lol. At a high school reunion a friend of mine reminded me of our sleepovers where Id do their hair makeup and wardrobe styling, then we’d do photo shoots. So it’s safe to say I’ve always had a passion for doing makeup.


How did you learn your skills? Were you self-taught, learned from a mentor or studied in a professional program?

I started in the industry as an esthetician, makeup artist and nail tech. I was in a small town and I hit what I had perceived as my max capacity with my makeup career, so I took 3D animation, graphic & web design and moved to Vancouver to pursue a career at EA sports. While I waited for an in to get an interview there, I signed with Brenda Wong as an actress and commercial model. Being on set I met some really cool makeup artists (the very first was Lucyanne Botham). I then realized I could go much further with makeup and decided to go to Blanche to become more well rounded with my skills. After that, I took hair dressing, and I’ve now been in the industry for over 20 years.

What part of your work as a makeup artist comes easiest for you, and what part is an area that challenges you?

As a makeup artist I find that fast paced environments, a lot of pressure and even a picky client puts me in my element, I love challenges and thrive in these settings.

I think that reality tv is what I would have to say I struggle the most with. I’ve also made a choice to only work with brands and talent whose values are aligned with mine. The industry can be full of unethical practices. etc. I cannot help but want to raise my voice and opinion about. This has led me to being more selective with what I will work on.

Do you have an interesting story you can share from your years working as a professional makeup artist?

I’ve got so many great stories but have also signed soooo many NDAs lol. So my favourites I’ll have to take to the grave but I will say that the years I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Pamela Anderson are probably some of my favourite days at work. She is a real life earth angel, one of the kindest people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with and of course an icon.

What is the role of a Principal Makeup Artist? Does that role change or expand when taking on a large 4-day event like VIFW?

My role as the principal makeup artist requires a lot of organizing (with my busy schedule this is only going to be possible with the help of my first assist/mentee, Jaylee Seymour). I’m also mentoring other artists because I think mentorship is extremely important. To keep things on track I’m meeting with multiple members in every department to be sure that we have the best plan to execute on every look. This role definitely changes when it’s 4 days as we have more scheduling, organizing, shopping and coordinating to do.


The last few years have been riddled with loss, grief and of course the atrocious legacy of residential schools has been unsettling for every single one of us. Joleen Mitton and our teams‘ hope is to try to create a joyous celebration. Empowering creatives and promoting cultural appreciation is at the forefront of these events.

What is the inspiration for the runway shows at VIFW 2022? Does each designer have different makeup or is there a look for all shows on the same evening?

We will have looks as curated as we can for every designer.

What would you most like readers to know about you, your work as a makeup artist or other ventures you are involved in?

Connecting with Joleen and the community has been an honour for me.

My mother was adopted and I was raised in a non indigenous family. So my grandma did her best to teach me anything she knew about my ancestral lineage and it wasn’t their fault, they weren’t given much information about our history. So I have been doing my best to reconnect with my culture as I slowly discover who I truly am. My mother was also one of the MMIW so Red Dress Night while extremely triggering for me will also be very moving as we come together to not only raise awareness but honour these women, girls & 2SLGBTQ+ .

Other ventures I’m involved in, I run a holistic trauma informed healing practice in Gastown, I’m a co founder of a new chocolate company Hype Chocolate, and teaching & mentoring is extremely important to me. I do as much as I can to help other people who want to pursue any avenue I’m taking but especially the one where I dive deep in to who I am and how we heal together.

I share my story so others who see themselves in me can understand that there is hope and healing. I also share to raise more awareness about the missing and murdered women, girls & 2SLGBTQ+.


Links -
Facebook -
IG Makeup - @pincottmakeup
IG Reiki/Trauma Work/Intuitive Guidance/Coaching - @thereikigaia
IG Hype Chocolate Co. -