If you’re sitting in a chair in front of Emmy Award-winning Nyssa Green, you know you’re going to turn into the most glamorous version of yourself … and she delights in waving her makeup brush like a magic wand. Nyssa’s the artist-of-choice for publications and productions all over the city, and beyond — from 11Alive‘s “Atlanta & Company” to CNN, from Jezebel to “Southern Living,” from movie sets to celebrity red carpet. She founded The Green Room Agency in 1998, bringing together a talented team dedicated to creative expression and growing her business into one of the entertainment community’s most trusted resources. We met up with Nyssa at one of her favorite playgrounds, The Cosmetic Market at Avalon, for girlie fun with makeup.
Where are you from and how did you make your way to Atlanta?
I’m originally from Leesville, LA, but we traveled because my Dad was in the army. I went to high school in Ozark, AL, and from there I moved to the big city!
What brought you into the beauty industry? Has this been a lifelong passion and pursuit?
I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS loved hair, makeup and fashion, and I’ve always wanted to be in the industry. I started out as a hairstylist, then added makeup to my repertoire.
As you’ve built your career, what’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself?
Probably not something I would share.
Who have been your mentors?
Gwynnis Mosby. She’s one of the best makeup artists I know, and I learned all the basics from her. I’ve learned so much from her, and still do.
What advice do you share with aspiring stylists and makeup artists?
These days, it’s “You can’t learn everything you need to know about makeup from Instagram.”
Our grandmothers taught us “pretty is as pretty does.” In that sense, what do you find pretty?
Really, I see pretty everywhere. I am inspired by so many different things. I see beauty everywhere, and right now the prettiest thing I know is my little niece, Kaydan.
You’ve tried countless beauty products and techniques. Can you tell us a favorite splurge item, a steal and an old-school beauty trick?
- Splurge: SK-II skin care products … so FAB and fabulously expensive!
- Steal: NYX lip and eyeliner … amazing quality and great range of colors
- Trick: I’m old school for real, so I still do this — sharpen, then run the tip of a Maybelline eyeliner through a lighter, then (after it cools, but still soft) line inside the bottom rim of eye.
Now it’s time for some fun questions. For the lightning round, give us your:
- Junk food splurge — My mom’s pralines
- Guilty pleasure song — “Jesse’s Girl“
- Tearjerker movie — The Bodyguard (Huge Whitney fan, so now I can’t watch without crying)
- Rainy day activity — Baking
- Cartoon alter ego — Wilma Flintstone
Where’s your fantasy vacation spot?
My own island
What are some of your favorite places around town for shopping, dining or hanging out?
Name three things you just cannot live without — other than faith, family and friends.
- My phone. It’s the only way I can see Kaydan because she lives in Alabama.
- My makeup kit
- My KitchenAid mixer
Nyssa, thanks for such a fun afternoon. (And the Sprinkles cupcakes were an extra special touch of yum!) Check out more of Nyssa’s work and learn about services of The Green Room Agency online at www.thegreenroomagency.com. She’s got some great new things in the works, including more TV projects and an upcoming series of classes for burgeoning artists.