Heres to 10 Years of Excellence, Friendship & MAKEUP!

10 years MMA

10 Years of Excellence, Friendship & MAKEUP! 

Are you ready for 2021? We are! This year is a special one because we are celebrating 10 years of excellence, friendship and makeup! This technically was supposed to happen in 2020 but we all know how that went!  That’s why we are calling this our 10 year RESET. Many may not realize that the academy did not just come about out of thin air. The academy was built from the ground up starting with one vision, one dream and a LOT of hard work. 

Any business needs one common denominator: a person willing to actually take the chances necessary to set forth on making their dream a reality. Multimedia Makeup Academy was a dream at the age of 10 for a young girl who would eventually become a thriving, empowering and professional business woman. Her name is Devawn, and she is our founder. 


Devawn Testagrossa

Devawn has always enjoyed teaching and watching people meet their true potential. Throughout her life she experimented with many business ventures. However, one thing became clear, and that was her love and thrill for business and makeup. Devawn noticed that there was a lack of proper makeup education in the Midwest, and Multimedia Makeup Academy was born soon thereafter. 

The company started as Michigan Makeup Academy, and Devawn had no way of knowing that the academy would take off the way it did. It opened with only two available classes offered and only one classroom. Fast forward to today: 5 classrooms, 40 courses, career counseling, community events, career concierge and three comprehensive programs are offered: Scholar Program of Artistry, Professional Program of Artistry and Master Program of Artistry.

It is amazing how much we have evolved and according to Devawn, “The success of MMA has been attributed to our ability to work as a team by using unprecedented problem solving skills, practicing deep gratitude for tribulations, unwillingness to fail and the necessity to thrive.” 

It is clear this establishment has risen to success because of a strong foundation. That foundation started with two other successful, determined women. Brandi and Christina! These ladies played a huge role in building MMA to what it is today. Our instructors and administration staff also played a large role. Who are these two intelligent women you ask? And how did they cross the path of such an amazing establishment? 

Before diving into these two brilliant women in addition to Devawn, It must be said that they all share something. Something you probably have all heard before, “Love what you do, do what you love.” Words that seem so impossible, yet are possible.

Brandi Myree

Brandi Myree


Where She Started & Where She Is Now!

Brandi was an educator and freelance makeup artist looking to combine her passions! She found a Craigslist advertisement looking for instructors as it was a new academy opening up for business. She met for a coffee with the CEO and the rest is history. Brandi started as a beauty instructor, later moving through the company. Brandi ended up becoming MMA’s Admissions Director and Career Concierge. MMA provided to Brandi what we aim to provide to our students. Which is finding a career you LOVE, along with making sure you succeed. 

Why Choose Multimedia Makeup Academy?

If you were to ask Brandi “Why Should I choose MMA?” She would say, “We have the expertise, experience, connections and credibility to help our students achieve their goals. Additionally, we are in it for the long haul. Once a student, always a student. Our local graduates come back frequently to refresh classes, seek career advice in a counseling session, take advantage of job opportunities, pick up products, support other students by modeling for them, to share their successes with us and just to say hi sometimes.” 

Brandi was asked what word she would use to describe MMA and why, her response was “Revolutionary.” Our programs are comprehensive, equipping students with the artistry and business skills to be successful.  Our standards challenge the industry’s standards of status quo. We have an ongoing commitment to innovation. We are always listening, researching and overall staying in the “know” on anything makeup related. Making sure we are advanced in every avenue. Teaching the latest most acceptable industry standard techniques.  

Top Ten Lessons Learned While Working At MMA:

Brandi let’s us in on what she has personally learned from MMA over the years:

  1. Growth is not inevitable. You must pursue it with diligence and desire.
  2. When you know who and what you are, there is no one or no “thing” that can ever stop your vision from becoming reality.
  3. More is great, but just enough is better.  When you have just enough, you can perfect and make it great.
  4. Drive is the only thing that can’t be taught, but must be present to succeed.
  5. Sweat the small stuff.  This is one of our company core values, because the details DO matter.
  6. Celebrate small wins.  Doing so gives you fuel to accomplish the bigger ones.
  7. Who you are in your personal life is who you are in your professional life.  Pay attention to your habits.
  8. Treat people well.  Provide exceptional experiences.  As the quote says:  “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
  9. Community and genuine connection are essential to career longevity.
  10. Have fun!  You have one life.  Enjoy it!

These were perfectly stated by Brandi, and couldn’t be more true! At MMA you learn things everyday from each other no matter your position within the company. Everyone teaches everyone! These top ten items above are valuable both in your personal and professional life.

Christina Newman

Christina Newman

Another employee who made a huge impact on MMA from day one is Christina. More than an employee of the team, but a member of the MMA family. Christina was freelancing in film, working in special effects and teaching makeup for film through a continuing education program, when she came across an “instructor’s wanted” ad. Oddly enough she was already recommended for this role. She met Devawn and immediately knew this academy was going to be a huge success, and that Devawn was the leader to drive them there. 

Christina was happy to know the interest for a special FX program was there! She had the opportunity to create her own program from start to finish. However, they did not have the space or enough staff to make this operation grow. So they started to hire! Once they expanded and hired more staff members, Christina was able to dedicate more time into special FX.

Hard Work + Teamwork = Success!

Now Christina has grown into director of operations that oversees just about everything in the company. Christina manages instructors, the student experience, and still teaches her special FX class which is very near and dear to her. Like Christina, all our instructors are so passionate about what they teach, and are all very active in the professional makeup industry. Hiring instructors that are also active in the makeup industry allows for more opportunities to our students.

“Family,” a word that is said a lot at MMA, and is truly the best way to describe our team! Christina shares this same view and emphasizes how much everyone cares and respects one another. Christina mentions what MMA has done for her, “MMA has enabled me to unlock my true potential as an educator which has fed my passion for helping others grow. A lesson that I’ve learned in these past 10 years is that it’s not enough to want something, in order to be successful, you have to put in the hard work.” 

How Does MMA Stand Out From Other Makeup Academies?

We asked Christina “what sets us apart from other schools?,” her response was this; “Honor and integrity set us apart from many other ‘makeup schools’. We’ve never set out to pump students through the academy. We have always focused on the quality of the education, the classroom experience and learning retention. All graduates are able to retake any of their classes within their programs should they need a refresher. Our goal is to set students up for success, we are the only makeup academy that I know of that offers 4 different business classes.” 

Lastly, we asked Christina this, “If you could describe MMA in one word, what would it be?” Her response was nothing short of inspiring. “Unprecedented. Where else can you learn how to execute beauty, bridal, commercial, editorial and special FX makeup WHILE also learning everything there is to know business-wise about each of those aspects of the industry? Where else can you learn how to photograph your makeup applications and  market yourself? We are unique in what we have to offer. There has never been an institution like MMA and I believe there never will be.” 

A Great Team Needs A Great Leader

Both Brandi and Christina have seen first hand what a strong, determined leader can do for a company starting from nothing and growing into a big success. Hear it from Brandi’s perspective, “Though it takes a village to raise a child (And trust me, MMA is our baby!).  At the core of every village is a leader.  Devawn, our leader, is our secret sauce.  She is the driving force behind all that we do, leading by example.  She exceeds expectations and faces challenges only to then see opportunity.  Her standards for excellence are the highest I have ever witnessed in any person and they influence everything we do.  Without her vision, integrity and fearlessness, MMA would not be what you see today.” Well stated, and we are sure others can relate.

Here at MMA, we all value our leader and all that she has done to assure we succeed both personally and professionally. To further this message Christina also, touches on this topic, ” The biggest lesson I’ve learned has come courtesy of our fearless leader- you can’t afford to be afraid, you have to take risks! It has been a privilege to witness Devawn make fast and tough decisions, as well as take risks. Believing that MMA would benefit from these risks. Personally, it’s easy to be brave when you are witness to bravery creating amazing circumstances.”

So there you have it! MMA is more than a makeup academy. We are a family that care and look out for our own. When joining MMA you join into a special bond; whether you are an employee or a student. We work together to help each other succeed! MMA is here to teach you, guide you and lift you to your truest potential so you can become the most sought after professional makeup artist.

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