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.

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La Bella Donna Makeup Line Review

Recently I had the pleasure of working using the natural makeup line La Bella Donna. While working I thought that I had to share this gem.

This is the only makeup line that I had seen claim that wearing their makeup was better than wearing nothing. Now that’s a first!

First a quick few facts about La Bella Donna before I get into the review.

  • LBD is safe for pregnant women and those with immune deficiency diseases
  • LBD has no chemicals, parabens or additives
  • The minerals in LBD have the ability to heal a number of skin conditions such as acne, melasma, eczema
  • LBD will not clog pores and is suitable for all ages

What impressed me the most was the way people’s skin seemed to like the foundation (both powder and liquid) it complimented a variety of skin types and textures. I could put it over acne, dry skin, oily skin, sagging skin and it transformed the skin into an airbrushed canvas for me to continue on. The only negative was the limited shades the liquid foundation came in, which I have to admit is not something unique to La Bella Donna. The coverage that you can achieve through their foundation alone or with concealer is remarkable. The best part was many people said they felt like they didn’t have anything on and they didn’t look it either. It gives you that look of having just been on vacation or getting the perfect amount of sleep.

Most of the palettes can be used interchangeably. For example the contouring palette does not limit you to only using it for contouring. I know most contouring palettes “could” double as an eyeshadow palette, but LBD actually encourages this and intends for you to do this.

The pigments in all the products in the line are incredible. If you ever get to play around with any of the makeup you’ll experience that moment where you are able to swipe one finger over an eyeshadow or blush and get such an intense color. Something else nice is that it’s common for mineral makeup to come up powdery, but thankfully not with La Bella Donna.

Would you expect this kind of line to offer a liquid eyeliner? Well, they do and it has a beautifully shaped felt tip, another surprise! The pencil eyeliners won’t have you pushing hard or pulling on your eyelid to get the desired intensity. The mascara that LBD developed nourishes your lashes and it went on smoothly.

If you like variety with lip products you won’t be disappointed. There’s their version of a standard lipstick, “Baci Baci” which is a moisturizing lip sheer, the regular lip sheer which is like a lipgloss, lip pencils and duo lip crayons.

Screenshot_20180117-182726.jpgAnyone with any sort of skin condition or allergic reaction to standard cosmetics should definitely consider LBD. If that doesn’t describe you and just want to find a more natural makeup line I would highly recommend La Bella Donna.

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How To Test New Products Safely and Effectively

The holidays are approaching quickly and there’s a good chance you’ll receive some new beauty products. If your family and friends have been good they’ve been attentively listening to what you’ve been hoping for. There’s nothing better than getting to try out something new that could possibly be the miracle product you’ve been searching for. However, when you test out all your new goodies all at once and a mystery rash shows up a few days later you don’t know where to point to. Take these few tips along with you into the new year and any time you try something new to pinpoint what’s giving you trouble.

 

  1. Do a test patch. A reaction on half your face or part of your face isn’t good, but that reaction on your entire face and décolléte is even worse. A test patch is a way to put your toe in the water before going all the way in. I suggest doing the test patch where you intend on using the product. For example testing a face serum on your wrist isn’t going to give you the best results. Your face handles things a lot different than the rest of your body. Especially when we are talking about products that are supposed to have a dramatic effect in a short amount of time, like an acne treatment. If you’re concerned about having a serious allergic reaction a test patch on another part of your body will most likely rule that out, but that’s about it. For the most accuracy it’s good to put it to work where it needs to.
  2. One at a time. If you want to test an eyeshadow, lipstick and brow pencil out all on the same day that’s more than fine, but if you’re testing that all goes in the same place it may make things harder. For example if you test an eyeliner and mascara on the same day and something is irritating you it’s going to be difficult to figure out which is the culprit.
  3. Do not layer. This piggybacks off of the the previous thought, but is important enough to mention on its own. How can you tell which new product is  If you use a liquid foundation and primer use them both separately in the beginning for the purpose of testing them out. Try the primer out with an old foundation that you know doesn’t bother you and vice versa.
  4. At least skim the ingredients. It’s a pain, yes, but it’s always good to get an idea of what’s in the product you’ll be wearing. You know what works for you and what ingredients to watch out for. A product’s hype or popularity won’t negate the aggravating ingredients.

Happy Holidays and Happy Testing!

Making The Switch: Cruelty Free

There are so many little signs and stickers on products that the “Cruelty Free” mark usually goes unnoticed. Before I begin I’ll say that I didn’t know how bad animal testing really was. The phrase “animal testing” is said frequent enough, but very few know what it really entails. You might be thinking, “Okay they test on animals for products that are being developed to see if they are dangerous, it needs to be done and it’s better than having a person!” That coupled with companies ability to make it seem like it’s not that big of a deal will have you not considering what’s really going on. The truth is there’s absolutely nothing humane about the tests conducted and there are alternatives to animal testing.

At this point if you have a weak stomach or are sensitive I encourage you to please not  continue reading, as the details it is extremely heart-wrenching and graphic.

As many as 200,000 animals are killed due to animal testing every year.  It is a painful death that is not guaranteed to be accompanied with injections or being euthanized. Chemicals are applied topically and orally documenting reactions both long term and short term and the “lethal dose” would be.  No method can take away the pain experienced during life, but there are options that would minimize the transition to death. Unfortunately those are not always used and it is cheaper and faster to let the animal die from extreme illness, any number of organs failing or breaking their neck among a few other terrible realities.

A lot of brands try to sweep under the rug that their products are sold in China. Really, this is as bad as testing on animals anywhere else, only it’s done overseas where it’s easier to keep quiet. In China they are required by law to test the toxicity of products using animals, so by agreeing to sell in China a company DOES comply with harming animals.

After doing some research and reading into company policies I have made the switch to only buying Cruelty Free products. There is no way to enjoy an eye shadow, toothpaste, lipstick, skin cream, etc. knowing what was done to get approved. It may sound silly, but I actually feel guilty in wearing it, not that I had anything to do with it, but by buying those products you are indirectly (some might say directly) supporting animal cruelty. Once you see it that way I’m sure you’ll also find it difficult to view things the same way.

There’s no doubt you’ll be giving up some good brands. That is without question. To name a few:

  • Benefit
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Clinique
  • MAC
  • YSL
  • Makeup Forever
  • Dior

 

Thankfully there are a lot of makeup brands that are on board with sparing animals from pain. Such as:

  • NYX
  • Pacifica
  • Urban Decay
  • Too Faced
  • Tarte
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills
  • Sugarpill

I’m grateful that in 2017 more people are becoming aware of their power and the part they play in bettering the situation. I hope that I have inspired you to consider choosing Cruelty Free instead. Animals deserve better.

More info on Animal Testing in Beauty Brands

 

 

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.

 

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: 90s Dark Lips

If you were born in the 90s like me, the last thing you probably thought would happen would be growing up and taking cues on makeup from then. I don’t really know if I even thought about what makeup would be like when I got older, but I kind of like this throwback. It’s simple and bold at the same time. If you’re not sure how to pair a dark brown shade of lipstick then keep reading.

I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t until recently that I got on the bandwagon with this makeup trend. I didn’t want to go the whole Kylie Lip Kit route and the idea of getting a brown lip color didn’t excite me at all. It was almost like those colors you used to scan over because they were “boring.” Now I’d venture to say that those colors are interesting, they are deep and uncommon. It’s not the classic red, pink or nude. After experimenting I’ve come to realize two very key elements in being able to pull of this look:

  1. Choice of blush
  2. Keeping things matte

 

  • What you choose to put on your cheeks can either bring the look together or tear it apart. I don’t think I’ve come across a family of lip colors that require the amount of care as with these grungey browns. Keep it neutral. Keep it in the same group of earthy reds or terracotta you can also substitute the blush for a chocolatey brown bronzer. Now’s not the time for bright pinks.

 

  • Keeping the rest of your makeup matte is kind of a shortcut to making the look appear authentic. If you were embellish anywhere, use a little highlighter just on the cheekbones.

 

Thankfully matte lip glosses and creams exist, in my opinion these last really well and don’t dry your lips out as much as you might imagine.

Now it’s up to you! Go out and try it, you never know you might like it. There’s lots of inspiration from celebrities of past and present if you get stuck.

Some of my favorite looks :

Elaine-Benes-Blakc
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Drew Barrymore10
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