My inbox has seen its fair share of emails from inquiring minds wanting to know the ‘secret to my success’. While this is a loaded question and my reply could easily take on the look of a novella - let me make it simple: Here are my 7 recommendations to breaking into the beautiful world of beauty.
1. Be a Beauty Bookworm: Read and collect as much knowledge as you can from books, magazines and online resources. I have 3 ring binders overflowing with inspirational tear sheets (pages from a magazine) of makeup I love, tips and tricks Iuse and products I can’t wait to get my hands on.
2. Practice makes Perfect Makeup: Put your knowledge to the test! Get your brushes on all the pretty faces you can. I would practice on my sisters and friends all the time to increase my confidence and skill. (I still do!) This is possibly the most empowering step. Honestly, you can't practice enough! Never stop learning, never stop playing, never think you know it all, never stop desiring to grow as an artist and as a person!
3. The Bold and the Beautiful: This is a career in which you have to display confidence if you wish to have your clients put their confidence in you. Believe in yourself and in your work! Steps 1 & 2 will get you to step 3! Words of life & inspirational images taped to your mirror at home will help you along this journey. If God has called you to this, he will equip you for this! “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
4. Gift with Purchase: Immerse yourself in the Beauty Industry. Get a job as a makeup artist or around makeup artists! Learn from doing and also watching. Put yourself in an environment where you can see and do makeup. Sephora and Cosmetic Counters are a great way to begin. You also have the opportunity to own your own cosmetic business; Artisty is a trusted brand that will allow you to start making retail profit right away. In fact, I have a team of makeup artists who are reaping the benefits of working from home and painting faces at the same time! Internships are educational and can be exciting - seeing first hand from seasoned professionals. I have an intern and makeup assistants whom I love having around- not only do they lighten my load, I get to help them jump start their careers too. I started my makeup career at Glamour Shots (a photo studio), then went to a makeup counter (Prescriptives & MAC), all along I was working with photographers and collecting images for my book! Which leads me to my next tip...
5. Testing- 1,2,3... : It is vitally important to work with photographers... and gooooood ones at that! My first fashion photographer I worked with, was celebrity photographer, Dominic Petruzzi (DominicPetruzzi.com) He taught me a wealth of knowledge and continually pushed me to up my game. I’m so thankful for him. That was over 10 years ago, and counting. You’ll be working on TEST shoots to initially build your portfolio. Testing is done when you need pictures to build your portfolio- there is no client- just you, the model and the photographer (possibly Hair and Wardrobe stylists too) Expect to do work for free, especially when first starting out, later you can charge for tests- ‘paid tests’. I started working with modeling agencies, doing hair and makeup for the new models. This helped me create my portfolio, which acts as a visual resume. It gets you work, so work to get it right!
6. Tools of the Trade: Build your kit - you can't do makeup without it! If you can purchase at least one product per week, your kit will grow. Do expect to put some money into it, this is your start up cost for running your own business. Make sure to keep track of everything you do and spend for your resume and taxes. Working in the industry will provide you with discounts. MAC offers a discount too. You'll need a business card and one other proof of work to get a 40% card for MAC. Becoming a rep for Artistry allows you to recieve up to 40% off as well. Email me for more info. Most major cosmetic companies offer an industry discount, you just have to go through corporate and they require tear sheets, credits and agency representation.
7. “Hello World!”: Now that you have the tools, technique and confidence.... let the world know you’re ready to start as a Makeup Artist. Make simple business cards and print them cost effectively online (overnightprints.com or vistaprint.com). Create a ModelMayhem.com page, a Facebook page and twitter. Use the social networks in your favor. Spread the word to family and friends and create a referral incentive (“refer 2 clients to me, recieve a free makeover” for example) Make sure you only upload and use clean, beautiful images to showcase your work. Always have great makeup, hair, styling, l ighting in your pictures, and always use a model or someone equally as photogenic. You have one shot at making a first impression. And finally, make sure you as an artist, have time to pamper yourself and put a little effort into getting ready before a meeting or shoot. Don't leave home without lip gloss and a welcoming smile.... after all, it is your job to put your best face forward.