Growing up in Chillicothe, Tierney Cheney-Smithers didn’t give much thought to fashion or makeup, but she always had a passion for hair. After graduating from Illinois Valley Central High School in 2002, she headed to cosmetology school to pursue her dream of becoming a hair stylist. But when a classmate introduced her to the artistic world of make-up, she was quickly hooked. Over the next dozen years, she “dabbled” in makeup—for wedding and prom clients, family and friends—before leaving her salon career last year to stay home with her children, while still helping with the occasional wedding. Then she was asked to assist on her first beauty shoot. Joining the creative team behind last year’s Fashion Ignite event was her “aha! moment”—this was what she was meant to do as an artist: the model her canvas for creating a vision through hair and makeup to complement that of the designer and photographer. A member of the Fashion Ignite committee this year, she continues to work closely with Frugoli and other photographers, and her work has now been published in Flawless and Elléments magazines. When she’s not creating art, Cheney-Smithers enjoys spending time with her husband and four kids.

  1. What is your motto?Fake it ‘til you make it! You may not have all your ducks in a row, but at least appear that you do. You have to be confident in yourself for others to confide in you.
  2. What are your quirky habits? Singing while I’m working, talking in different voices, and I don’t really like to be touched or hugged.
  3. What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome? Being a single mom of two children, and my youngest being born with special needs and having a syndrome we knew little about.
  4. What are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the person I am now, versus the person I was eight years ago.
  5. What is your biggest pet peeve? Having a person around me crunching on chips! Oh, that drives me nuts.
  6. What’s on your iPod? I have a little bit of everything! From Metallica to Garth Brooks, musical soundtracks like Rent, Pitch Perfect and Moulin Rouge, to southern Gospel.
  7. What was your first car? A Ford Taurus station wagon.
  8. What is your most marked characteristic? My eyes!
  9. What was the last movie you went to see? The new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.
  10. Who are your heroes in real life? My heroes are the children and adults with disabilities who overcome the trials and tribulations of everyday life. a&s