How To Be Taken Seriously as a Young Makeup Artist

I’ve had my business card thrown out in front of me. I’ve had salon/ spa owners laugh at me making it clear that they were not taking anything I said seriously simply because I was young. It’s true, I was 19 and new to it all. It is hard going to an industry where you have to prove yourself and people have decades more experiences than you, but everyone has to start somewhere. I toughed it out and now that I’m a bit older and have been doing it for longer I want to give advice to those who are starting out as young or younger than I was.

1. Do not cheapen yourself or let someone else do it. People will try to convince you that you should take less money because you are young, but keep in mind that there is a difference between young and inexperienced. Sometimes they overlap, you can be both young and inexperienced, or you could be young but have a lot of experience and talent. While there is something to be said about the amount training and years into something you have the more you can charge, if you have come up with your price and you confident with it do not settle for less. If you charge something at one place or with someone know that that number may follow you. Makeup artistry is a lot of word of mouth and you can’t have people comparing vastly different numbers in a short amount of time. It’s a fast way to lose customers and clients. Another reason this is bad is because you’ll get in the habit of changing your prices because someone older than you told you to. If they are telling you that you are overcharging because of a legitimate reason, then it might be good to listen and do your own research, but keep in mind that if people sense you are young they may try to pull a fast one.

2. Get experience, but not always for free. I’ve done a lot of free gigs, but sprinkle them in with paid gigs. You will be taken more seriously when you get paid for your service, it’s just the way it is. Another way to look at this is to get experience through training, go to free classes and take any free advice you can get, but sometimes it is good to invest in a class and pay for a certificate or class.

3. Team up with someone else. It’s good to get together with someone else who is new and combine your skills. It’s also good if you can have someone take you on like an apprentice. This will most likely increase your chances of getting projects and clients. Don’t feel like you always have to find another makeup artist, team up with a hairstylist or a photographer.

4. Observe what others do. Do other people utilize social media? Do they carry around a pocket hand sanitzer while they work? Check out little details and see if any of them work for you. It will save you time from having to figure everything out yourself.

Show up on time, be as professional as you can be and know what you can bring to the table no matter how old you are.


Money Saving Tricks: Beauty Products

Why spend when you don’t have to? Over time I’ve found a couple shortcuts to save money here and there. If possible, I like saving money. I find it’s getting more and more difficult to find bargains so you kind of have to create them for yourself. In this post I’ve listed a few of my tricks.


  1. Order directly from the brand itself. This one I only started doing recently, but it has made quite a difference. The benefit to this is being exposed to sales that only happen online, free samples and not having use any gas. There are however some downsides that I feel necessary to mention, you’ll have to sign up with each brand if you want to take advantage of this, for example, if you use Sugarpill, Bare Minerals and Tarte, you’ll be receiving e-mails from each of them as compared to only receiving an email from Ulta or Sephora. Secondly, there is shipping and handling, so if you want to get free shipping you’ll have to spend a certain amount, without that I guess you could say that the gas argument is off the table.

    2. Use what you need and nothing more. It’s easy to grab a big handful of something out of a jar and waste half of it, but if you’re more conscious of what you use versus what you need you’ll extend the product. If you normally use 3 swipes of something try 2 and see if you notice a difference. I know we are getting down to the nitty gritty with this one, but that’s what saving is sometimes.

3. Check your kitchen first. If you can make it from things you already own why wouldn’t you. If it’s a make-it-yourself beauty treatment or remedy from the kitchen I’ve made it. From egg masks, to sugar scrubs to coconut oil deodorant (do not recommend that one, too messy)

4Don’t rule out what’s already cheap. If you’re faithful to expensive brands, once, just once try a drugstore dupe. You may be missing out. Some things can be uncomplicated if you let them be.

5. Buy in bulk. This is not always possible, but if the opportunity presents itself, jump on it.

6. Try before you buy. It’s always worth asking for a sample or tester to see if you like it.

7. Look for reusable products/ multitasking products . Towels vs. paper towels, brushes vs. cosmetic sponges, makeup removing wipes for the entire face vs. wipes for eyes and wipes for face (that is if you can tolerate that), you get the picture. You want something that can be used again and again, things that will last as compared to things you have to throw away after one or a few uses. Please do not apply this if you are doing makeup on someone else, use disposable wands, brushes if they are cleaned and everyone gets their own lashes.



Tips For Freelancing

Freelancing is like swimming in the ocean by yourself for the first time. There’s fear, constant waves and much bigger fish surrounding you. I can’t say that those things go away even after time passes, but you get your footing, you know your brand (yourself) and you gain confidence.

If you are considering going it on your own here’s a few things to think about:

Let’s start from the beginning, let’s say as of a few days ago you are officially up and running, what now?

  1. Get out there. Spread the news. Tell anyone and everyone. Neighbors, Facebook friends, nearby businesses. It can be uncomfortable because there’s no team or boss you will refer to as for the reason for your visit, but keep in mind most people can appreciate the excitement of the formation of something new. It’s not to push yourself on them, just inform them that “Hey I’m here and this is what I do now.” Exchange information if appropriate and they’ll call you if they need you.
  2. Go to Networking Events. These can be a little overwhelming as you’ll be meeting a lot of new people in a short amount of time, but you never know if you stick in someone’s head. If nothing comes of it nothing lost.
  3. Consider pairing up with another freelancer. This doesn’t make you a “tag-team” and if it does it may only be for a short time, experience is always good and sometimes people prefer hiring more people to get the job done.
  4. Know your product, then sell it. This is really important. What can you provide?What’s your style? How much will you charge? What makes you different? All important to establish. Once you know that sell it. Showcase the best of your work and who you are. Luckily these days you don’t need to pay someone to do that, social media is convenient and inexpensive if it costs anything. After all who knows you better than you?
  5. Keep yourself updated and current. Update your business with the times. You may not run it the same way you did last year or even last month.
  6. Strike up conversations anywhere and everywhere. Unless you’re walking around with a sign on no one will really know what you do. If you’re working out of your house or traveling all the time there’s no place established for people to walk in and know what you offer. You never know who you’re sitting next to or what they need. This is also a good way to learn more. It’s the little tips that you pick up along the way that can sometimes make a difference.
  7. It’s harder than most other jobs. This is more of an opinion, however from what I’ve seen it’s a popular one. Your success is in your hands. Positive as that may be, it can be overwhelming at times.


Keeping Hair Healthy, Not Greasy

Is it possible to go a few days without washing your hair and have it look healthy? Yes. Are there other ways than dry shampoo? Yes.

I don’t know about you, but it seems 95% of advice about oily hair or hair that gets greasy involves dry shampoo. Don’t get me wrong, it works, but it’s just putting a mask on what can be improved. In the end I found that I was just loading my hair up with dry shampoo which created a film by the end of the day and left my hair looking dull. I still like dry shampoo, I use it occasionally, but it’s not your only option. In fact, since integrating these few rituals I barely have to use it anymore.

Sometimes you don’t have time to wash your hair everyday, or others choose not to add to the health of their hair. An easy solution is to wash your hair everyday, but sometimes that’s not even enough, I’ve seen hair that greases up within 30 minutes of taking a shower. I generally wash my hair every other day or every 2 days. If it is better for your hair not to wash it everyday I don’t want to be left out, but most of the time it’s just for lack of time.

Wherever you fall in the debate, here’s what I’ve been doing:

Styling Hair ASAP-I’ve found that the sooner I curl or straighten my hair the more it will last through the next few days. I’m not saying fry your hair by curling it everyday, but even giving it a few heatless waves will lift your hair off the scalp, your neck and face. Let your hair have the least amount of time resting on skin or contact with skin.

Sleeping with Hair Up- It’s a long night, tossing turning, resting on pillows, your hair on your face- all this + heat= hair that sticks to you. As mentioned above keep your hair off your skin, plus sleeping in a loose bun will add volume for the next day.

Hands Off During the Day- This is the last I’ll mention about the skin and hair, but it is important to be mindful of running your fingers through your hair/scalp during the day. The more you touch, the more oil will find its way to your hair.

Using A Balancing Shampoo- Everyone can use a shampoo that balances whatever it is that is out of order causing the oiliness.

3 days without washing

Distributing Oils- You may have heard that your hair actually needs a little greasiness to be healthy. “It’s your hair’s natural oils!” That’s true, however they aren’t just going to magically gravitate to drier parts of your hair (especially the ends.) Even if you go a decent amount of time without washing your hair the majority of it would accumulate at the scalp. Every night I’ve been brushing through my hair top to bottom, manually distributing the oils. I’ll add that my hair has gotten stronger, shinier and in better condition through this practice. I find it easiest to do at night, but you can do it whenever works best for you.

Conditioning Selectively- I believe this is common knowledge, but just in case you need a reminder: use conditioner as needed and never on the scalp.

Incorporating DIY Hair Masks- Most of the time these are one ingredient conditioning masks such as a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil- and for this I do go up to the scalp. As saturated as it looks, it will come out with shampoo in the shower. It’s good every now and then to condition your hair and add back moisture and balance. It doesn’t get any easier than 20-30 minutes and an oil of your choice.


*Personal note* I apologize for not writing for a while. I will be returning to college in the fall and  I’m in the ever-daunting process of deciding what school to go to and what to major in. It’s been all consuming, but I appreciate your patience.



Freelancing VS Makeup Counter

If you’re a die-hard freelancer or a person who wouldn’t leave the makeup counter for anything I’d say don’t be afraid to do both.

Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the experience of working at a makeup counter. For the past three years I’ve just done freelancing and it was a surprise to me how different, yet refreshing it is to do something new. A lot of people flip flop between freelance work and working at a counter and I really believe that’s how the best makeup artists are born. During this time of doing both I really feel I’ve improved my skills.

Here are my findings after having done both:

Imagine having an entire line of cosmetics/skincare at your disposal. Every brush you could ever need, every color of every form of every product-it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a place you can really shine. When you start out freelancing like I did sometimes you can feel held back from not being properly prepared. Starting out getting all your own everything can be very expensive and you still may run into being short on something. You can really learn and explore the line you work with and find what you love. This will also help when it comes to investing when you freelance you can even narrow down formulations of certain items. Did you like using foundation in the form of a powder,stick, liquid or, do you like bb creams?

In freelancing you will find your own style. It’s you and only you. There’s no format or protocol, no one way to tackle a face. This is something I like and I appreciate having found my own way to do makeup before doing it the way that the brand suggests. You have no limitations, with anything, you can work your own hours, drop in as you please and only have yourself to worry about. Freelancing is attractive, there’s no doubt about that. I definitely struggled with getting on my feet in the beginning. If you have a large group of family and friends you won’t feel it as much, but if that isn’t the case for you it can be harder.

When it comes to getting experience fast working at a makeup counter trumps freelancing. You’ll get to do multiple faces every time you come into work. I am now able to match a foundation to someone faster than ever. You learn to have someone walk up to you, ask for makeup and just go with your gut. I think not knowing who’s coming or what they’re looking for until the moment you have to do their makeup is where you really expand.

I didn’t think that working at a makeup counter would make that big of a difference. I thought freelancing was the ultimate. It is, it definitely is something you’ll want to work towards, but I understand now why companies prefer people with counter experience. You’ll gain confidence quickly, you’ll learn to sell and the business end of the counter. Small things like cleaning around the counter and keeping organized will allow you to create standards for your own business. No matter where you are in your makeup career make sure you take time out to work at a counter.



How To Have The Best Year Possible

More than a week in to the new year, has the novelty worn off yet? The last two years I’ve done something different than years past. I planned to have a good year. It might sound hard to believe, but it’s changed something. It’s the number one tip I can think of for improving a new year. It’s safe to say you’ll never have 100 percent control of how your year goes, but these are tips to make it the best you can.

Planning to have a good year. As I mentioned above this is the most important. It will kill any fear of it not being what you want or expect. If you do whatever you can to make it a good year, then it’s settled. It takes away the “I hope it’ll be a good year.” Sure, we all have that hope, but by doing whatever it takes to make it the best you can everything becomes a lot simpler. Your year is already good and it will continue to be that way because you make it that way.

Accepting the past year or years. Whatever unfolded last year or in years past, here’s a new year to wipe the slate clean. Anything left up in the air realize that you may not get the answer, and be okay with that. Not everything shows itself. Sometimes you won’t know the reason why or how, but accept it and keep going for your own sake. Take it down to a smaller level and even things in your day that you didn’t like or understand take it in and accept it. Don’t let it drive you nuts for following weeks, just watch as it solves itself or takes a new form.

Learning new things. There’s no way to know what you like if you haven’t tried it all. If there’s something that has been hanging around your head for a while, just go out and do it. Do things that you think you’ll enjoy. Learn something you don’t think you’ll need. Oddly enough the stuff you don’t think you need initially will somehow come up in conversation and suddenly it’ll be a moment. You might surprise yourself with finding a new hobby or adding a new skill. Who knows where that will go. That’s the point of it. You don’t know, so try it!

Taking better care of yourself.To get the most out of your year you need to feel okay. Don’t be sluggish. Don’t go halfway. This year do what you need to in order to be more rested and healthier. Don’t go vegan just because your friend did. Don’t cut out gluten because you read it in a magazine. Everyone is different. Find what’s right for you and prepare to feel better.

If you don’t feel it’s right, don’t do it. Trust yourself and go with your instincts, you have them for a reason. If in the past you were a real people-pleaser maybe it’s time to stand firm with what you think. Not to say that you should be cold or never do favors, or have the mindset that everyone is out to get you, but if something makes you uncomfortable and you feel in your gut it’s not right for you don’t do it. End of story. Don’t second guess yourself. If a career move doesn’t sit well with you, or a relationship of any kind, don’t let it slide.


What do you do to have a good year? Do you plan it?