Today I’m going to share with you my personal journey on the path to becoming a professional makeup artist. You can learn more about how to jumpstart your own makeup career with courses from QC by clicking on the button below.
I’ve loved everything to do with makeup for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I would do full applications for my friends for dances and proms. However, I felt as though my future was uncertain. I found that it was difficult to listen to my own dreams. After I graduated high school, I attended the University of Ottawa for a degree unrelated to makeup artistry. I began taking makeup even more seriously and started freelancing between classes. I had no professional training or certification and was charging below industry standard rates merely to gain experience and build my portfolio.
After completing two years of my three year program, I decided to switch my focus to Makeup Artistry and Cosmetology. My family wasn’t exactly thrilled about my decision, but supported me nonetheless. It was at this point that I began blogging, which played an integral part in my success. Many friends and family followed and read my blog, and they passed it along to their own friends and family and spread the word.
From there, I attended the Ottawa Academy. My makeup artistry teacher was amazing. She had worked for Stila cosmetics as a professional artist and had many other professional credentials. When she taught me, she was retired from full-time makeup artistry, pregnant, and teaching her passion to young hopefuls. I looked up to her and saw myself doing similar things. I was able to see the many opportunities the industry offers. I could see this career helping me achieve the goals I had for the future: success in both my professional and family life.
After graduating, I moved home to London where I was hired at Sephora as a Colour Cast member. Sephora gave me so much experience. I learned how different textures and finishes work, lighting and wearability techniques, application techniques, and so much more. I was constantly doing makeup applications. I soon became the Beauty Studio Captain and I, with a few other important artists, took over the majority of applications. As a makeup artist, the best way to improve your skills is to practice applications!
Starting my own business had always a goal of mine, but I wasn’t sure how to get started. I still continued to blog and freelance when I could. Eventually, I decided to look for a job with a little more flexibility to work in my freelance clients. I wasn’t ready to be fully self-employed, but I knew that I was getting close. After I left Sephora, I began to promote myself via my blog and social media platforms. Things quickly began to take off and I was getting requests for weddings and events well in advance. I then got a job at Cake Beauty (a Canadian product sold within Sephora) as their National Educator. I traveled across Canada training all the Sephora locations regarding the Cake product. Because I made my own schedule, I was able to accommodate more freelance clients.
After working for Cake from January to May (a slower time for makeup), my freelance work started to thrive. I could see that I no longer needed an additional income so I left my position with Cake. I started to book up into the following year during that same “slow period” and I could see that I was finally where I wanted to be.
Realizing My Goals
I left my job at Cake over a year and a half ago, and I have been self-employed ever since. I make my own hours, decide my own income, and design the life I want. This journey was by no means easy, but it taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I learned so much about the industry I love so dearly and I can’t wait to continue on. I am now booking into 2016, blogging for multiple outlets, and running a successful social-media-present business and blog of my own.
In my opinion, being self-employed is where it’s at, especially in this industry. But that is not to say that there aren’t a ton of amazingly cool and fun positions available If you are a person who needs more structure and stability. If you love to travel and live out of a suitcase, keeping busy and being on the go—there are many job options out there. I prefer to make my own rules.
That being said, you need to do what is right for you and your personality, goals, ambitions and happiness! That’s what it’s all about.