Graduate Feature: Courtney Colmery
Name: Courtney Colmery
Location: Northern Virginia/DC
Program: Makeup Artistry
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Courtney Colmery and I am 20 years old! Originally from Brandon, FL I moved to Virginia to attend Liberty University but soon after being there I realized that I wanted to pursue makeup artistry full time. While I was at Liberty I met my husband Josh and we have a beautiful daughter named Jacqueline.
I have always had a passion for makeup artistry and decided to make it a career. I previously did makeup and sometimes hair for my friends for homecoming and prom, and loved every second of it. I have been a professional makeup artist for over a year now, servicing the Northern Virginia and DC area and working with brides, and it has been amazing.
You work for Hair and Makeup Unveiled, a business that specializes in bridal hair and makeup. What made you decide to specialize in bridal work?
Honestly I have always wanted to do bridal makeup! To me, there is something so special about being able to be a part of the most important day of someone’s life. There is nothing more empowering as a woman than to help other women feel beautiful. Being able to provide a bride with that look she’s been envisioning in her head since she was a little girl is so rewarding and nothing can replace the feeling of seeing that client so happy.
Tell us about your favourite job or client so far.
My favorite job I have had to date has to have been the makeup I got to apply for a stylized shoot with 180 Reflections Photography here in Northern Virginia. They told me the colors of the flowers and let me do whatever I wanted with the makeup! It’s always a pleasure to work with other vendors who are so nice and kind, and the model for the shoot was gorgeous and so much fun to work with. And of course to work with Nicole, who is the owner of Hair and Makeup Unveiled. We have been working together for over a year and it is always a pleasure. One of the pictures will be on the cover of Virginia Bride Magazine so I am super excited about that!
What’s up next for you? Where do you see yourself (and your business!) in the next 1, 5, and 10 years?
That’s a good question! In the next couple of years my goal is to have my own freelance makeup business (which I am in the works of setting up! *exciting*) and I want to be taking clients for all types of events, hopefully taking celebrity clients eventually! I aim to one day be the top makeup artist in my area. But for now I am honing my skills and gaining valuable work experience!
Many of our students hope to become freelance makeup artists, just like you! Can you share some business tips?
Trying to set up my own business as a makeup artist has been different than I expected it to be! Each state and city is different when it comes to the things they require for you to legally be allowed to do business. You have to pick a name for your business that is original to you and your brand—I chose Courtney Colmery MUA because it’s relevant to what I do! Plus I am not that great at coming up with names in all honesty. I would recommend looking into the options you have for what kind of business you want and whether or not you need a business license to do so.
Developing a contract of agreement for your clients to sign before a job is also a smart idea. It keeps you and the client safe and makes sure that both parties are legally abiding to their responsibilities. I would also say it is important to get some type of business owner’s policy with an insurance company so you’re covered in case something bad happens on a job. You can get insurance on your kit so if it ever gets stolen or lost you can replace it! Making sure I am legally operating in my state is the most important thing to me right now and I think it should be a top priority to those who are looking to start their own business!
What’s your best advice for a makeup artist just starting their training or career?
One of the best pieces of advice I could give to someone who is starting out as a makeup artist or wants to make it their career is to make sure that this is something you are passionate about. Being a makeup artist can be stressful at times but if doing makeup is your passion you will never work a day in your life! I never feel like I’m going to work and that is a blessing.
And the question everyone wants to know—what makeup product is an absolute essential for you?
My absolute essential makeup product is the Limelight by Alcone Botanical Foundation! It is hands down the best foundation I have ever used. It is wax-based and has at least 50% pigments so you barely need any to achieve a flawless finish. It lasts so long throughout the day and is healthy for the skin. I would recommend it for any makeup artist no matter how long you’ve been practicing. And I’m not just saying that because I am an Independent Founding Beauty Guide!