How Did you Get Started Doing Makeup? I got my start doing makeup in the Fall of 1999. I started working at The Body Shop & none of the other girls who worked there wanted to do makeup applications on the customers. I started doing it because, there was clearly a need & it wasn't being met. I kind of just did it. LOL
Did you work at any makeup counters? Was this a benefit to you? If so, how? I worked for Prescriptives in 2002-2003. It was definitely a benefit to me, as I got to learn about lots of different brands (working in a department store). I also was able to apply makeup to a much more diverse clientele that I hadn't necessarily been exposed to before.
Do you do bridal work? If so, give us details. Yes, I actually started doing more bridal work this year. It's not necessarily my favorite thing to do, as there is a LOT of personalities in the wedding day pot. However, I do have a good time and enjoy seeing the brides happy when they're all "jacked up" (a term I learned on, "Say Yes to the Dress") and ready to walk down the aisle.
Rates! This is the question people ask about most. How do you deal? This is always a hard thing to deal with. I tend to go case by case. I have set half day & full day rates, however depending on what type of project it is I will negotiate - sometimes up, sometimes down (depending on the budget).
People always have crazy stories about doing makeup in the worst places! Where's the most unfitting place you've worked? MAN! I once had to do makeup in a bathroom of a halfway house in DUMBO, Brooklyn. There were ex-cons all over the place, hitting on me and the rest of the team. ALL BAD. (jesus take the wheel)
What are the things you wish you knew before becoming an MUA? Just how long it takes to build your brand and establish yourself in this industry. Had I known that years ago, I would've started long ago... Then again, everything is as it should be - God makes no mistakes. :o)
How do you market yourself? SOCIAL MEDIA! WORD OF MOUTH! NETWORKING! These three components have really helped me quite a bit with regard to marketing myself.
Do you have any makeup artist role models? If so, who? Absolutely! Romero Jennings! Billy Brasfield! Vanessa Evelyn! Sam Fine! Roshar! and lastly, I LOVE Pat McGrath. She's really come through and created a path by being a trailblazer in the industry! She's a black woman, who happens to be the most sought after makeup artist in the world. She's definitely an inspiration for me with regard to my business. All of the people I named are very out of the box thinkers, as far as how they approach their craft. They are amazing and all have very different styles, some (if not all) very unconventional - even if it's to acheive a simple, natural look. I really respect them all as they represent what I always aim to be - an authentic artist.
What motivates you to continue as a makeup artist? Makeup & the art behind my skill is the one thing that allows me to fully focus. I am able to direct 100% (well maybe 90%) of my attention to the canvas and create. I'm still shocked that I can complete a face in a timely manner. I'm just glad I figured out what it takes to get me to pay full attention to one thing. This is how I know that God intended for me to do this, I feel as if it's my gift from him. Something to bring me peace and a sense of calm/tranquility in my spirit. :o)
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