At some point in life, everyone must face at least one moment when they believe what they are up against is impossible. I don’t know about you, but I have had many. It’s what we do in those moments that defines both our personal and artistic character.
One of my first impossible moments happened relatively early in my career: I was hired as the key artist on a star-studded charity event with a list of stars ranging from A-list to legendary. The talent alone was enough to instill fear, but it was what was required of me that made it feel insurmountable. After I signed my contract, I was informed that there was neither the space, nor budget, for any other artists or assistants, and that I would have a total of ninety minutes to complete eight full faces—all alone. That meant I had eleven minutes each to work on two men and six women of all skin tones, including resetting the station, cleaning my brushes, and chatting with them in between. My jaw hit the floor.
Prior to this event, my record for a full face with lashes was twenty minutes. During my two seasons on Project Runway, that was the time we were allotted, and I adapted very quickly. But this was nearly cutting that record by fifty percent, and even for me this was a tall order. Before panic fully set it, I reminded myself that I had prepared for this… and I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to do to be just as ready.
First, the only thing you can ever really rely on is training and practice. One course in makeup would not have saved me in this instance and it likely will not save you. I was prepared because I had received an extensive education and I had put that knowledge to consistent practice. If you have taken your education seriously, (mastering the materials contained in Skincare, Master Makeup Artistry, Pro Makeup Workshop, and Global Beauty) and put in hundreds of hours of practice (on a variety of faces, ages, and skin tones), you will never have to worry about your skill and expertise in times of trial. That’s what happened for me. But it was the specific way that I practiced that really prepared me first for Project Runway and the eight mega stars in ninety minutes.
Start Doing Time Trials
Working on friends now and then will also do little to aide you. And spending all the time in the mirror working on yourself will teach you even less. You need to learn consistency, practice your consistency, and practice it in the right way.
Here’s what I did to prep myself — and it’s the best practice advice I can offer you. As you learn the techniques properly, start doing what I call “time trials.” For those of you who are QC students, you should begin this immediately after you have completed Unit B of the Master Makeup Artist program. For those that are not, begin as soon as you know the proper techniques to apply full-face corrective makeup. Set a timer for one hour and place it beside your fully set up makeup station. As soon as the practice client enters the room, press start on the timer. The hour includes chatting and hearing them describe what they want, just like it will in the real world. When the hour ends, stop, no matter where you are and take a picture. You can reference these images to see how quickly your speed and agility improves. Keep doing this on a variety of clients until you are able to fully complete the makeup before the alarm sounds.
After you have succeeded at least five times in a row, change the time to forty-five minutes. Repeat the procedure, capturing it with an image at the end of the allotted time, and continue with this time window until you are able to do it five or more times in a row. Once you master that, change it to forty minutes, then thirty-five, and keep deducting five minutes at a time until you reach 20 minutes.
Believe in Yourself
It may seem impossible now, but believe me, if you start working consistently with time trials, you will quickly increase both your speed and precision. Working in this way requires an extraordinary focus and it will transform your artistry. The stars I worked on that evening proved pivotal in opening doors to new opportunities and they raised my profile as an artist. I was able to achieve this feat because I was highly trained and put my training into effective practice.
The habits you set for yourself today will determine your future tomorrow. So get back to learning, get back to practicing, and prepare yourself for the career you’re working toward.
After getting your makeup business up and running, you’re (very likely) going to run into some negative reviews. Of course, it isn’t because your makeup skills are lacking! It could be for any number of reasons. Step-by-step, we’re going to walk you through how to save your makeup business after bad reviews!
If you’re working hard to keep your customers satisfied and making them feel their best, these negative reviews shouldn’t come up often. Even so, be prepared to deal with them so one bad review doesn’t tank your new makeup business! Keep reading for our guide on rescuing your makeup business from bad reviews!
1. Don’t freak out!
So first, off, DON’T FREAK OUT! I can’t emphasize this enough. Receiving your first negative review will hurt your ego. In any hurtful situation, people often want to respond defensively. But this impulse means you likely aren’t thinking clearly.
This is a stressful situation, so take a few deep breaths… then remind yourself that you read this helpful article so you know exactly how to deal with this situation!
2. Consider the review
After you’ve held off freaking out or lashing out at the reviewer, consider where it might be coming from. On most social media websites, people’s names and photos are displayed prominently. Try to recall your experience with that client.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Did they leave seeming satisfied with their look?
Did they say anything or give feedback during or after the session?
Did I listen to what they wanted and try my best to deliver?
The key is to remind yourself of the service you gave them and evaluate the interaction… before jumping into talking to them. Have your “side of the story” down before you ask them for theirs.
3. Respond publicly… and politely
After investigating where you may have gone wrong, it’s time to respond. Assuming the review or comment is public on your social media page, you’re going to want to handle it ASAP. While it’s a private affair, you’re going to want to address it publicly!
People want to be heard, and if you just erase their comment, it might just escalate things! Instead, write back a comment with a positive and understanding tone. Apologize that they are dissatisfied (but not for your actions if the customer is being unfair… more on this shortly!). Acknowledge you’re hearing them out, and mention that you’re going to use their criticism constructively. Remember, your valued past, present, and potential clients are going to see this, too.
4. Discuss Privately
Next, you’ll want to actually speak with them one-to-one. Ultimately, it’s a personal issue, and client-confidentiality needs to be kept! You don’t want to spill the beans about your client’s privacy in a social media comment! Mention that you’ll message them privately in your public response – sometimes they may not see a notification, so let them (and the rest of the public) know that you’ve followed up.
Even though you’re now conversing in a private chat, you still need to remain respectful and understanding – no matter how rude they might be. Remember, screenshots are a thing now! Nothing could be worse than a few damning screenshots of you being rude and unprofessional to a past client.
This is where you can ask for their “side of the story.” Simply request that they explain to you how they saw the situation. Maybe there was a miscommunication of what they wanted or something you did offended them. Hear them out, and don’t criticize them for feeling the way they do!
You might end up going back and forth here, but remember that you want to acknowledge their complaint and your end goal is to solve this issue!
Time for some examples!
If the review was honest and fair…
See what you can do to help! This doesn’t mean throwing refunds at the issue! Show them you really care and value them as a customer. For example, you could offer them another session “on the house.” This can be a great way to earn back their trust, and you might even end up with a loyal client!
Here’s an example:
A client posted on your Facebook page that they were not happy with their final look. They felt like you didn’t listen to what they wanted. Following our steps, you would start out by not freaking out! After that, remind yourself of your interaction with this client. You recall them seeming disappointed, but they didn’t say anything explicitly. You decided to move on, but this clearly has backfired. Now you have a precedent to work on, and know what to do in the future if you see signs of disappointment.
You then would respond to their review publicly, acknowledging their disappointment and apologizing for not reading into their disappointment.
“Hey [Client], Thank you for your feedback. I’m very sorry you were unhappy with your look. I would like to understand your concerns further. Would you mind if I messaged you privately to discuss?”
You could then start the private conversation by saying something like:
“Hi [Client]. Just reaching out about your review. Again, I’m sorry you are unhappy with my services. While I thought your makeup looked amazing, I did notice that you weren’t thrilled when you left my studio. I should have tried a little harder to get a critique from you. I really do care, and I hope that all clients leave my studio happy. I would love to have you come back for another occasion (on me!), and I’ll do my best to work with your feedback!”
Now hopefully she will respond and the issue can be resolved! If they end up coming back for another session, you can even encourage them to change their review.
If it was completely out-of-nowhere…
Remember to tell your side of the story! Maybe you didn’t recall anything you did wrong even after extensive snooping. The client’s review may be completely unfounded – you might even be dealing with a client nightmare. That means you’ll need to come up with a different response…
Here’s an example:
The client has taken to Facebook to criticize your prices; they’re also saying their friend got something similar done by another makeup artist for cheaper. However, you’ve always made sure your prices are consistent from each client to the next – to avoid issues exactly like this! Again, remind yourself of your interaction with this client. You remember that you were clear about your prices from the start, and that didn’t change throughout the consultations or final appointment.
Now it’s time for your public response. Remember, you still need to be respectful even though the review could be really negative or downright rude! Here’s what you could write:
“Hi [Client], I’m sorry you’re unhappy about my prices. However, I do try to price my services competitively. There also could be several reasons why your friend got similar work done for a lower price! I would like to discuss this matter further. Do you mind if I send you a private message to discuss?”
Your private message could be:
“Hi [Client], Just reaching out privately to discuss this issue with you. I’m sorry you were surprised by my prices because of your friend’s experience with another makeup artist. However, there are many reasons why she got similar work done for less. The type of products and tools used by an artist, as well as professional training and experience will affect an artist’s price! I try to be clear about my prices from the start of our interaction, and they’re always highlighted on my client contracts. If you have any further issues or questions, please feel free to contact me directly! Have a great rest of the day.”
Notice how here, you’ve respectfully voiced your side of the story and only apologized for their dissatisfaction rather than your actions! If you didn’t do anything wrong, make sure you explain your side thoroughly. Being open and giving context shows clients you have nothing to hide. You’ll also be able to connect with them honestly and rebuild relationships.
5. Move forward!
Finally, you need to move past this! The key here is that you’re moving forward, not just moving on. That means you need to take this criticism with you! Whether that means adjusting your practices or just learning from dealing with a difficult client. It’s important that you treat this experience as a way to grow. Whether or not the review was fair or unfounded, you can learn a lot from these experiences.
Have you dealt with a difficult review? Let us know how you handled it!
In a Ted Talk viewed by almost 20 million people, best-selling author Susan Cain says, “The key to maximizing our talents is for us to put ourselves in the zone of stimulation that is right for us.”
What does this mean?
Well, it means that everyone is unique! People have different learning styles and their ways of doing things. What works for one may not work for another. Thankfully, in the world of education, there are more options for the antisocial butterfly than ever before.
If you’ve been thinking about a career in makeup artistry, this applies to you. Some people prefer brick-and-mortar institutions for studying makeup. Others, especially those who are introverted or shy, can excel in online learning. As distance education becomes more popular, there truly is something for everyone now. Even though people learn differently, they may still have the same personal, financial, and career goals!
So if you thought you couldn’t be a certified makeup artist as an introvert, think again! It may not seem like a good fit at first, but we’re here to prove you wrong. Find out why an online makeup artist certification can be the perfect fit for you!
The benefits of an online learning environment:
Do you find the traditional school setting too restricting? You have to work in a loud environment at someone else’s pace. And the loudest of voices often dominate discussions. The truth is, the online learning environment is more accessible for students—extroverts and introverts!
Online makeup artistry certifications are often one-on-one programs. You’ll work with your personal tutor and develop a trusting relationship perfect for learning. You’ll have a judgment-free zone from your professional tutor, and a peaceful learning environment. And when you do want to interact with other students completing the course? Well, that door isn’t closed either!
Although it’s mostly one-on-one interaction, you can share as much or as little as you’d like to your fellow students through online forums. You won’t need to be particularly loud to be heard. You just need to type!
Introverts recharge by spending time just with themselves. If you’re exhausted, taking a break from your self-paced course is no biggie! Take as long as you’d like to perfect an answer or a makeup application assignment. The online environment goes hand-in-hand with self-reflection and thinking.
Practice coming out of your shell:
Online learning can be the perfect way to ease into the social aspects of becoming a makeup artist. Use your online course to practice interacting with an industry expert! You’ll communicate with your mentors over the Student Center to save you from the anxieties of face-to-face interaction. You’ll be able to ask for help whenever you need it. The help you receive comes with zero judgment!
You’ll learn how to network using the business units in your course. Then, practice them as you complete your course! The key is to get comfortable talking about makeup. Besides talking to your loved ones, talk to Student Support or ask your tutor questions—starting a conversation is the first step!
The more you use professional terminology, the more effortless it becomes. Once you’re a certified MUA, you’ll be able to talk about your passions freely and with authority!
Most people talk about introvertedness like it’s a problem! It really isn’t! But the reality is that professional makeup artistry is a very social occupation. You can’t get away with zero interpersonal skills. After all, when your client is sitting in front of you for hours on end, how can you get away without saying a single word?
Striking a balance between outgoing and soft-spoken is difficult! But it’s the secret to effective communication and great relationships with clients. When a client sits down in your makeup chair, you’re providing a service to them! If they’re at the center of your efforts, why would you need to dominate the conversation?
You’ll learn about client relationships in the business units of your course. Like hairdressers, most people expect their makeup artist to take on the role of a therapist. We’re not saying you need to diagnose and solve all your client’s problems! But it does mean you’re going to have to chat with your client to make the appointment smoother.
Most introverts know that small talk is easier when you have a strategy. The key is to listen. This comes naturally to introverts! Some people believe that good interpersonal skills mean being outgoing and chatty. But a great communicator is actually one with strong listening skills!
As you go through your course, you’ll practice listening and responding to your tutor. Just like a client, they’ll tell you what they expect. Then, you’re expected to take their ideas and create something that weaves your skills with your creativity. Creativity isn’t just for outgoing people! An online certification course will allow you to hone in on your client relationship-building and technical skills—at a pace best suited for you!
QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Whitney Conn, shares where she finds her makeup inspiration. She’s been through creative ruts too, and she wants to let you in on where you can go to find your own inspiration!
Inspiration can be found anywhere you look. From the menial task to the most creative, it can strike at anytime. As makeup artists, we use inspiration to create masterful designs and looks that can be out of this world. You could also use your inspiration to put color combinations together that you may otherwise not have done. It is all on your perception of the thing you see and how your mind interprets the information.
Where can inspiration be found?
By far, my favorite place to find inspiration is listening to classical music. I see vivid movements, colors and storylines that can inspire looks or to create new characters. I end up in an almost-meditative state to fully let my brain take control of my imagination. I also find watching certain TV shows and movies to be very helpful in my creative process.
For anyone that has taken or is currently taking the Master Makeup Artistry Course, there is an assignment to create a look drawing aspects of a celebrity makeup look. My process with social media is very similar. I look at social media as a source of inspiration to use aspects of a combination of several makeup looks or creations to create my own look. There are other variables like skin tone and face shape that may determine the placement of your makeup or the colors you use on your client. I feel that it is important as makeup artist to create our own ideas instead of copying what everyone else is doing. This will set you apart from everyone else in the industry.
I am by no means a big city girl. I may live near Atlanta, but I don’t go there very often. There is something about being away from the hustle and bustle of the big city that makes my brain see things differently. For example, where I live we have tons of trees lining the roads. The colors during the fall are beautiful. Some of my favorite colors come from that time. I find myself using so many aspects from nature in my work.
In the furthest depths of our mind hides the greatest inspirations. As we grow up were are exposed to so many different things. While we may not know exactly know where the ideas came from, we are able to pull things from our memories to create amazing makeup looks.
You can be inspired by any of your senses. It is up to you to determine the amount of thought that goes into every creation you come up with. Let your imagination be your guide and never stop pushing yourself. As you grow as a makeup artist you will find the ways that work best for you. Sometimes it is just a matter of playing around or trial and error to find your creative inspiration. Remember to always keep pushing yourself to be a better makeup artist than you were yesterday and to continue shooting for the stars.
Every aspiring makeup artist has a different goal she wants to achieve with her makeup artistry course. Some want to become certified makeup artists, while others just want to expand their skills for fun. Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered!
One of our most asked questions is:
What’s the difference between Makeup Artistry and Master Makeup Artistry?
There’s actually a big difference between the two! The one you choose ultimately depends on your goals. But before we get into that, let’s go over what you’ll learn in each course!
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Of the two, Master Makeup Artistry is the more comprehensive course, and the most popular! It starts you off at a beginner’s level, where you’ll learn basic makeup techniques for day, evening, and bridal. You’ll also learn how to start your own makeup business, as well as safety and sanitary practices.
All of these topics are covered in the first 4 units, which it shares with the Makeup Artistry course. But that’s where the similarities end! The Master Makeup Artistry course continues on for two more units. The last two units cover more advanced techniques such as makeup for glamour, fantasy, photography, television, and even a bit of special FX!
Which one’s right for you?
QC Makeup Academy offers 10 different makeup courses that suit every aspiring artist’s needs. As we mentioned before, the course content between the two courses are identical all the way up to Unit D. For makeup hobbyists who just want to get good at doing their own makeup, choose Makeup Artistry. But if you want to do makeup professionally? You’re better off completing the Master Makeup Artistry course.
Those extra two units make a world of a difference! Don’t believe us? Here are just 5 benefits:
Learn advanced skills: These additional skills will expand your career opportunities. Applying makeup for different occasions makes you a more versatile artist. Don’t think that editorial makeup is the same as photography makeup! The techniques and products used are completely different!
Get creative: The first four units in the Master Makeup Artistry Course focuses on everyday makeup and makeup for special occasions. If you want to flex your creative muscles, the final two units go into fantasy makeup and special FX! Combine new techniques with old ones, and you’ll be ready to create any look you want!
Try something new: Don’t write off stage and character makeup before you even try it! You might not know what you’re missing out on. As someone in an artistic field, you should try everything at least once. Not only are they amazing experiences, but you might discover your passion!
More time with your tutor: A longer course means you’ll receive more guidance from your tutor. Your personal tutor is a full-time working professional who has had real industry experience. Continue to practice and improve your skills under someone who really knows their stuff!
Build your portfolio: Showing your versatility will advance your career quickly. The assignments in Units E and F will push you to be creative with your looks. After you receive your tutor’s feedback, go back and polish them up! You’ll graduate with a diverse portfolio to start your career!
So here’s the deal: you’ve spent countless hours practising your makeup skills on your friends and family for free, and now you’re ready to turn it into a profitable makeup business! You’ve got the skills and the passion, now you just need some quick tips to get the cash flowing.
Being your own boss has some great perks. But there’s a lot you need to know about starting your makeup business before really diving in. Keep reading for the best tips for your makeup business!
First things first, you need to check if you need to be a licensed makeup artist! To ensure you’re running a proper business, you need to know if a board exam is required. Don’t know what a makeup license is? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we explain the differences between a certification and a license – and whether you need one to work on clients!
Building your brand may be your biggest challenge when starting your makeup business. But there are some simple rules you should stick to when building your brand. From plagiarism to font choices, you’ll learn how to distinguish yourself from your competition, and give yourself a brand as memorable as your work. And of course, start getting clients and earn money ASAP!
Pricing can be a daunting task, especially when you’re new to the professional makeup industry. Thankfully, QC Makeup Academy graduate, Whitney Conn, provides you with some advice on how to price your services. Figure out what your skills are worth and get yourself out there!
Pro tip from Whitney: Once you decide on a price, stand your ground!
Now that you’ve got your branding and pricing figured out, let’s find you some clients! In this article, Whitney walks you through on how she got her first few clients. Finding new clients, facing challenges, and growing your network, are going to be key to running a successful makeup business.
Not sure what to expect from your clients? We’ve explored five types of clients that you will (probably) run into and how to deal with them. Everyone you work with will be different, and not just in skin tone or style preferences, so why not be prepared by giving this article a quick read?
If you’re nervous about dealing with self-conscious clients, QC tutor, Nathan Johnson teaches you how you can make even the most self-conscious clients feel beautiful inside and out.
On the topic of your makeup clients, you’ll also need to network with these clients and other professionals in order to grow your business. This article gives you some great tips on how you can meet other artists, grow your reputation, and gain more experience.
So now that you’ve learnt everything from branding to meeting professionals, how do you make working with a client official? It’s important that you draw up a contract for your clients to sign – no matter who your client is. In this article, you’ll find information on everything you need to have in a makeup artistry contract!
Hopefully these tips and tricks will give you the tools you need to run a great makeup business. Have you already started a business and have some other tips to share? Let us know!
Your professional makeup kit is your #1 business tool! After all, without your kit, how can you do your job? Building a good kit takes significant investment, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Don’t worry if you’re toting a kit that isn’t blessed with products from Charlotte Tilbury or Tom Ford. Not many MUAs can jump straight into offer luxury makeovers as a new grad. These $$ products cost more than a pretty penny, and likely won’t contribute to versatility in your kit.
Start by building a workable versatile kit before adding in pricier statement products. A drugstore kit can be just as effective as a luxury kit but at half the cost. But how do you know when to make the upgrade? Keep reading for a few tell-tale signs that you’re ready for a kit-upgrade and some suggestions on building the perfect beginner’s kit!
First things first…
You don’t need expensive products to have a good kit! When you’re first establishing yourself as a makeup artist, set your eyes on building versatility. It is true that some expensive products make your job as an artist easier! The likelihood of finding creamy, buttery shadows that blend like a dream increases as you move up in price point. But it’s not always the case!
Your clients may see those Maybelline products in your kit, but they’ll be impressed if you can use drugstore products to create luxury-level makeup looks. The moral of the story? Keep practicing and building your skills. You can have all the Natasha Denona eyeshadows, but if you can’t apply them properly, your clients will notice. Your technical application skills are what warrant a higher salary, not your products!
What should you look for?
Build a kit that focuses on versatility. Becoming a reputable artist in your local industry means being equipped to work with clients from all different backgrounds. Many makeup artists make the mistake of not stocking makeup that suitable for a diverse clientele. Don’t be caught unprepared! Start by investing in palettes—almost every area of makeup has palette options. Foundations, concealers, lip colors, eyeshadows, blush, etc.—there are palettes readily available for them all!
Let’s use foundation palettes as an example. Foundation palettes have a range of shades from fair to deep while also offering a variety of warm, cool, and neutral undertones. Many makeup artists make the mistake of not stocking makeup that suitable for a diverse clientele. But it is possible to be inclusive in your makeup services with a cream foundation palette. An added plus? The lighter and darker shades can be used to create dimension on the face— subtle highlighting and contouring without having to invest in any additional products!
The ultimate perk of having a palette? Once you’ve trained your eye for color, you’ll be able to mix your own custom blend. The 20 some-odd colors in a foundation palette aren’t a catch-all and adjustments need to be made. Beyond color, you can also adjust the coverage. Cream foundations usually offer medium-full coverage. This means you can build on the coverage or sheer it out using moisturizer. When you have so many different ways to play with a single product, it’s up to you to get creative!
Know your clients!
You’ll start to notice a trend in your clients’ application requests. Yes, for special occasions like prom, pack some shimmery shades in your kit. But most clients will request neutral and smoky eye looks. The majority of your shadows should be a spectrum of neutral, matte shades. Sure, you could build a smoky eye using just shimmery shadows, but glitter doesn’t translate well on the crease work!
Good, blendable matte eyeshadows are notoriously difficult to find. Sometimes they’re chalky, other times they go onto the eyes patchy. At this point, you probably think you’ll have to scour the shelves of Sephora to find the best shadows at the lowest price. Here’s where your expert research skills come in.
If you take the time to do your research, you can find some affordable products online from indie brands. Makeup Geek has an impressive collection of matte shadows that sell for just $6 a pop! You won’t have the luxury of swatching them, but you can see how well they perform by watching the reviews of other gurus. This goes for every single product on your kit. There’s always so much more available online than what you would see at your local mall. Plus, if you have access to makeup discounts from your alma mater, you can try out a variety of trusted brands at affordable prices.
Making the upgrade
The great thing about becoming a freelancing makeup artist is that you decide your salary! When you were first starting out and completing your makeup artistry course, you probably did makeup on your models for free. As you gain more experience and master the art of blending, you can start increasing your rates!
When you’ve calculated your budget and carved out the exact amount you can afford to spend on your tools while still making money, you can dive right into luxury products! Ideally, you’ll want to have a good mix between your drugstore and your prestige brands. After all, why waste products that are still good to use?
Although it’s not a route we recommend relying on, many makeup artists grow their makeup collection by working with sponsors. If you’ve made strides in building your online network, makeup brands might see you as a great ambassador for their brand. Learning to leverage your reputation properly, may lead to you securing free press kits to replenish and add to your kit!
As we said, we don’t recommend relying on this avenue! Finding success in such a saturated online beauty community is one-in-a-million. It takes a lot of hard work and it’s hard to fight for exposure when thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. But if you want to try your hand at taking your talents online, here’s how you can use your makeup training to launch a successful YouTube channel!
Got any tips for building an affordable makeup kit? Let us know!