(ABC4) – For many of us, it takes a lifetime to discover our passions. Andy Truong, however, is one of the lucky ones. The West Valley City native discovered his love for makeup at only 14.
“I started really young. Around that time, makeup tutorials were coming out on YouTube,” Truong remembers. “Every day I would just watch them religiously. I just love how they can transform someone.”
And after many hours spent poring over makeup how-to’s, he got to work learning to do it himself. Because Truong – who is one of four children of Vietnamese immigrants – grew up in what he describes as a “traditional Asian household,” he didn’t practice makeup on himself for the first few years. However, his mom and sister became more-than-willing canvases for his growing talent.
“My mom’s like, a total glamazon,” Truong laughs. “She loves her hair, and her makeup, and her bags, so she would let me practice on her. I would grab the skills that I would learn from just watching a million videos to then transfer it to my mom’s face.”
Truong says, despite the orthodox nature of his family culture, his parents were pretty quick to accept and support his passion.
“[I grew up] in a traditional household, where being gay or liking feminine things was wrong,” Truong says. “To my family, I don’t know why they didn’t see it as an issue, because [makeup] is definitely a feminine thing, but I think they cared more that I found a passion early on.”
Now, the Weber State senior is a burgeoning makeup artist for the stars. Not only has he worked at New York Fashion Week, he also counts several of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City as repeat clients.
Initially, Truong was supposed to work with the Housewives when the first season the reality TV series started filming in 2019. But, because of his commitments with school and his role on the Weber State University Spirit Squad, he was unable to make it work.
But it wouldn’t be his last chance.
“So fast forward a whole year, and September of 2020 was when Jennifer Shah reached out to see if I could glam for a lot of the press stuff that they were doing,”
And when fellow Housewives Lisa Barlow and Jennie Nguyen saw Troung’s makeup skills, they too decided to book the young artist.
Even though he’s now been working with them for several years, Truong says it’s surreal each time the Housewives come back for another booking.
“It’s a pinch-me moment, where I feel like I’m just so grateful my life has taken me this far,” he says.
In the future, he hopes of working with the Kardashians, or celebrities in the Hollywood film or music industries. Right now, he told ABC4.com that he sees this goal as somewhat of a pipe dream, but at one point, working with the Real Housewives was probably a pipe dream, too.
And even though many would say he’s “made it,” Truong says the whole experience hasn’t built up his ego to towering heights, if anything, it’s humbled him.
“I guess to others, I’m very successful,” he says. “When things like booking the Housewives happen, I still feel like I’m very humble about it all. I don’t talk about it too much unless I’m asked about it. I love to live in the moment, and when stuff like this happens, it makes me really happy.”