Paula Alleyne, Author at QC Makeup Academy
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Paula Alleyne

How I’ve Been Building My Makeup Business

By Career Advice, QC Student Ambassador 2 Comments

Want to start your very own makeup business, but not sure where (or how) to begin? QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Paula Alleyne, is here to share her journey! Join her today as she reveals how she’s been finding clients and successfully building her business!

Paula is a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula directly in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook! 

Makeup business article, July 28 2021, Paula Alleyne headshot

A Little About Me

Hi, everyone, my name is Paula Alleyne. I’m a Student Ambassador with QC Makeup Academy and I’m here to tell you about my journey so far as a certified makeup artist. The first question you may have is, “How will I know when I’m ready to start my own makeup business?” I’ll be honest, this answer varies for everyone. But for me, it started when I knew I wanted to earn an income from what was, at the time, just a hobby.

4 Things I Needed to Do BEFORE Starting a Makeup Business

In an industry such as this one, it’s extremely important to go into things fully prepared. Before I decided to start my own makeup business, for example, there were a few things I wanted to achieve first:

1. Gain a professional makeup education.

From the time I realized I liked makeup artistry, I practiced on friends and family members. I believed, however, that if I started charging a fee for my service, I shouldn’t be taking any chances. I wanted to be truly knowledgeable about what I was doing. The only way I knew I’d get to that level was through proper training. That’s when I began my search for different makeup schools and enrolled at QC Makeup Academy!

2. Purchase a camera.

These days, so many mobile phones are capable of taking beautiful, high-quality images. For this reason, it’s not uncommon to use them to snap a picture of our work. However, I quickly realized that my mobile phone (at the time) was not capturing – and thus, accurately reflecting – the quality of work I was doing on my friends and family.

It became frustrating that after all my efforts, the photos didn’t nearly do justice to what I was seeing in real life. Fortunately for me, my husband decided to take his photography skills more seriously and purchased a professional camera. I soon used his photography skills to capture the work I did on others, and the difference was like night and day!

Want to learn more about how to take amazing photos for your makeup business’s portfolio? Here are 5 more tips!

Portrait of fashionable young photographer with vintage film camera.

3. Develop a strong portfolio, to be used for my makeup business.

In my recent blog article, Breaking Down My Makeup Portfolio, I provided tips in developing your very own portfolio. With my husband developing his photography, and my decision to start a campaign of bridal shoots and network with service providers, I was able to start my portfolio development. How were potential clients to know what I was offering, if I didn’t SHOW them some of my work? As I continued to share my work, I got more queries, referrals, and clients!

4. Set myself a timeframe.

Personally, I set a particular year that I wanted to start my makeup business and begin earning an income by. Thus, my focus was to achieve these goals by that given timeframe. Now, I’ll be honest: my first paid job didn’t happen in the same year I’d set my deadline by. It did, however, quickly come in the following year.

My point is, it’s very important to remember that life isn’t set in stone. You may set goals for yourself and your makeup business that don’t necessarily come to fruition right away. However, creating milestones for yourself is still beneficial. It’ll help you stay on track with all of the sways and demands on life. Just try to be realistic with your goals – and don’t become overly frustrated when it doesn’t exactly happen as you plan. As long as you at least have a plan, you’re on then right track!

4 Tips for Building Your Makeup Business

Once I started earning an income, there were additional steps which I created for myself in order to increase my makeup business’s chances for success. If you keep these steps in mind as you pursue your own journey, I guarantee you’ll set yourself up for a lucrative, long-term career!

Makeup artist working on happy client, both women smiling

1. Develop your brand.

Developing the brand for your makeup business is such an important part of your journey. Starting off in professional makeup artistry can be intimidating. Initially, you might feel the sway to follow what everyone else is doing. However, I chose to remain true to my style, which was clean, classic, and natural.

In time, people will recognize the consistency of your style and begin to identify you as an artist within that specific type of artistry. Just keep in mind that branding does not only incorporate style alone. Rather, it represents the entire package, as well as how potential clients will identify you.

2. Develop your makeup business logo.

The creation of my logo was another part of my branding. When people saw the image, it was to represent me as an artiste and my services. I wanted the image to portray cleanness and elegance, while also having a hint of modernity. I ran through some ideas I had with a graphic designer, and the final image was one I was pleased with.

3. Always maintain professionalism.

Once I started the process of brand development for my makeup business, everything had to be in alignment with it. As such, this included the standard of service I was offering to my clients. I wanted to ensure that I always maintained professionalism. Importantly, this applied even if the clients were my friends, as well as if my services were complimentary.

From the beginning, I knew the service they received from me was their only real experience. The impression I made was what would determine whether or not they’d ever want to recommend me to others. And, of course, this is vital, since word-of-mouth is huge in the beauty community!

For me, professionalism also included:

  • Communication. This involved early discussions regarding clients’ thoughts and ideas of the makeup look for the event. It needed to be inclusive of attire and jewelry, in order to ensure the makeup application was cohesive with the entire image.
  • Scheduling. Knowing where your makeup application fits within the overall plan of the event is important. It allows the client to realistically think of the time needed to arrive at a venue, or be prepared for the service. Based on the time, the client can determine if he or she will dress before the makeup service or afterwards. It also allows you as the artiste to plan your day accordingly.
  • Punctuality. Discussing the tentative schedule allows you to be on time for your client. Should unexpected instances occur and you foresee a delay in your arrival, inform the client as soon as possible.
Makeup business article, July 28 2021, in-post image

4. Maintain a pleasant personality.

Depending on the event, the client may be flustered or anxious. You, however, are the professional. As such, you should always stay calm and pleasant. There was a time when one of my clients arrived late. As a result, our plans of shooting at one of the locations needed to be changed. The client was flustered and apologetic. On top of that, their hair was yet to be done.

But I remained calm and coordinated with the photographer on the new plans. Moreover, I ensure that my client remained the center of attention for her special occasion and reassured her that she was going to look great. And she did!

How did YOU grow your makeup business? Let us know in the comments below and share your top tips! And don’t forget to connect with me in QC Makeup Academy’s free Virtual Classroom on Facebook. I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading!

Start YOUR professional makeup business in as little as 2-6 months by getting professionally trained and certified with QC Makeup Academy. Begin your dream career today!

Best online makeup course article, June 25 2021, Feature Image

How to Find the Best Online Makeup Course for YOU!

By Career Advice, Education, QC Student Ambassador, Your Makeup Career No Comments

Dream of becoming a certified makeup artist, but not sure which online makeup course is the best fit for you? Today, QC Makeup Academy‘s Student Ambassador, Paula Alleyne, is here to help guide you on the right path!

Paula is a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula directly in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook! 

Best online makeup course article, June 25 2021, Paula Alleyne headshot

A Little About Me

Hi, everyone! My name is Paula Alleyne. Some of you may be aware who I am from previous blog articles. But for those of you who are new to the QC family, I am a Student Ambassador for the school. I completed my training in the Master Makeup Artistry Course and enjoyed every minute of it!  I’m also from the lovely Caribbean island of Barbados.

In this article, I’ll be providing insight as to how you can go about finding the best online makeup course for YOU. Together, we’ll compare online vs. in-person training, as well as review 3 red flags to watch out for when searching for an online institution. Lastly, I’ll also highlight some of the reasons why QC Makeup Academy worked for me – and why their online training will be the right fit for you, too!

In-Person vs. Online Makeup Courses

If you’re brand-new to online training, I totally understand the initial reservations you might have about enrolling in an online makeup course. I’ll be honest: at first, I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea of learning professional makeup artistry online either. It actually took me quite some time to finally take the step and register in the Master Makeup Artistry Course with QC Makeup Academy.

To me, truly learning makeup had to be a hands-on experience! It couldn’t just be about reading tips, seeing makeup looks, and then mimicking them. At the end of the day, that sort of training would make me feel as though I didn’t get my money’s worth.

Before I decided to register for an online makeup course, I looked around for a brick-and-mortar school. But honestly, I found it challenging to find consistent evening classes. Furthermore, I couldn’t find a local, in-person program that offered in-depth information on makeup artistry.

(And yes, I said evening classes, because I also have a full-time job. Chances are, many of you looking for a makeup course are in the exact same boat.)

As such, I knew from the very beginning that whatever course I signed up for had to be flexible. It needed to be at a pace I could actually manage. After looking for in-person training, I started looking online to see what was available instead.

Makeup products for woman and laptop on table

Finding the Best Online Makeup Course: 3 Red Flags to Watch Out For

Sometimes, the easiest way to know what to look for in an online makeup course is to know what you need to be avoiding. With that in mind, I found quite a number of 3 shady red flags while doing my own research. If you encounter any of the following 3 scenarios, my biggest piece of advice is: RUN AWAY!

This will not be the best online makeup course for you if…

1. The online makeup school has mostly negative reviews – or no reviews at all.

This is a big one! Because you haven’t yet experienced what it’s like to be a student of the given institution, reviews of other people’s experiences can tell you all you need to know. When I was researching online makeup schools, I specifically made sure to look for each school’s reviews.

As I searched, I discovered that there were some course reviews from organizations where students were disappointed with the lack of depth of information. They’d paid hundreds – sometimes thousands – of dollars to only get basic knowledge. As a result, this left them feeling cheated.

So, if you’re looking into an online makeup course and find that the majority of its reviews are negative, it’s probably something you should consider before enrolling in it. Similarly, if you find an online school and can’t seem to find authentic, real reviews anywhere, this is also a sign that their makeup courses aren’t very legit.

Want to hear why people are raving about QC Makeup Academy’s online makeup courses? Click here to read over 200 5-star reviews on Facebook!

Best online makeup course article, June 25 2021, in-post article

2. The school has little to no online presence.

Ask yourself: does the organization appear legit? Does this online makeup school have a solid website? Moreover, does this website clearly provide their tuition fees, payment plans, course curriculum, contact info, etc.? Do they proudly showcase a strong student presence and offer a reliable Support Team?

Or do you have to go all “detective” in order to track all of this information down?

If a school’s website seems vague and lacks information on course content, this is a bad sign. If the information they DO provide is vague, don’t be surprised if the content you receive once you pay is also vague and unprofessional. Additionally, do a bit of digging to see if this school is active on social media. The more active they are, the more legit the institution is!

3. The online makeup school isn’t properly accredited or recognized.

Does the institution appear to be well known? This recognition can come either from its courses being accredited, other organizations and brands acknowledging the institution, or reviewing the staff/tutors associated with the institution.

Fun Fact: QC Makeup Academy holds a solid A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, all of their online courses and certifications are internationally-recognized!

Happy woman holding up makeup brushes and giving thumbs up

Finding The Best Online Makeup Course: Why You Should Enroll with QC Makeup Academy

Speaking from experience, QC Makeup Academy passes ALL of these areas of concern! It was easy for me to see student reviews of the institution. These reviews covered everything from course experiences, to student and graduate success stories, to positive feedback on social media. I even found unboxing videos where students proudly showed off the makeup kits they received as part of their training!

On top of this, QC’s website is solid; providing great information on course content, tutors, payment options, and user support. I spent time reviewing video extracts of their course content and topics offered within the course manuals. Furthermore, I was comforted to see the school networking with established makeup brands. As a QC student, you’re actually entitled to a LOT of different makeup discounts!

Another awesome perk is that once you enroll in one course, all of QC’s other courses are available to you at 50% off. Add on top of that the fact that this school offers monthly promotional discounts, competitive pricing, and low monthly payments plans, and it’s clear that this is a school who cares about giving students the best education at the most affordable price.

In addition to all the above, all of QC’s tutors are highly recognized and established in their fields. If you’d like to read more about them (and I highly recommend doing so), you can read all of the tutor profiles here!

Knowing Your Career Goals

The single most effective way to find the best online makeup course for YOU is to first understand what your career goals are. What kind of makeup artist do you want to be? Which areas of the beauty industry do you want to focus on and/or specialize in? Do you want this to be a full-time career, a part-time job, a passion project, etc.?

Only once you know the answers to all of these questions can you then find the training that can best help you achieve your goals!

As you embark upon the online makeup courses offered by QC Makeup Academy, you’re inspired to think about these future goals. You’re encouraged to start the process of turning them from mere dreams to an actual plan of action. Furthermore, QC’s training makes you ponder the type(s) of makeup application you gravitate to most – whether it be special effects, bridal, theatrical, etc.

I found that the Master Makeup Artistry Course offered foundational education in bridal, television, and editorial makeup. At the same time, it also included areas such as SFX and theater makeup. So, if you’re relatively new to this journey and want to get trained in all of these fields, the MMA Course is the best way to go! Personally, being exposed to these various specialties provided a great platform on which I could build upon and specialize my skill-set on a long-term basis.

The Journey of Self-Discovery

As you complete your assignments, you’ll begin to know which areas come naturally to you. You’ll discover which you enjoy most, and which ones are a bit trickier for you to master. In addition to learning your natural style, you may also find interest in unexpected areas, too.

For example, I love to do more clean, classic looks. This type of makeup works well within the bridal and editorial areas of the industry. However, I also thoroughly enjoyed creating fake bruises and fantasy characters. These were areas I would not have typically engaged in – but I’m certainly glad I did!

Makeup artist applying eyeshadow on model's eyelids

How to Find the Best Online Makeup Course: My Final Thoughts

To sum it up, taking the leap to pursue an online education with QC Makeup Academy was great for me. Having completed my training, I can say with confidence that QC offered the best online makeup course to align with my career goals… and it’ll offer the same for you, too!

To those of you out there who are looking for online makeup education, take your time. There’s no rush! In fact, it’s better to be patience and certain, then impatient and disappointed. Remember to find as much information as you can, from student/graduate reviews to social media investigating. Whichever school you decide to enroll in, make sure it’s as legitimate and professional as QC Makeup Academy is.

Ultimately, only YOU can truly know which online makeup course is the best one for you. So long as you follow your heart and trust your instincts, everything will be just fine! 💕

Countless students and grads have claimed that QC Makeup Academy offers the BEST online makeup courses around. Want to see what all the fuss is about? Click here to enroll today!

Breaking Down My Makeup Portfolio

By Career Advice, QC Student Ambassador 6 Comments

Building your makeup portfolio for the first time and need some tips for getting started? QC Makeup Academy‘s Student Ambassador, Paula Alleyne, is here to help!

Paula is a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula directly in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook! 

Makeup portfolio Paula Alleyne headshot black and white

The Importance of Your Makeup Portfolio

A makeup portfolio is a snapshot of some of your greatest work. It should represent you and allow potential clients to see your capabilities. Portfolios can typically come in 2 forms:

  1. A physical portfolio,
  2. Or an online one.

Physical vs. Online Portfolios

Before the world went digital, having a great physical portfolio book was essential. An MUA’s physical makeup portfolio contained tear sheets of any magazine publications of their work. It also contained high-quality printed images of their artistry in photoshoots. It wasn’t uncommon for a physical portfolio to have a section with business cards, too. This way, you could easily distribute them when you met with possible clients.

In today’s age, however, physical portfolios are not the only thing that’s required. You also need to have an online presence! With the click of mouse, potential clients from all across the world can access and view your work. Online makeup portfolios can typically be seen on an MUA’s social media pages and/or business website.

While we absolutely urge you to post your original work on social media platforms, remember that having a professional business website is always recommend! After all, a polished website will give off that professional edge you’re looking for when portraying your work.

Demonstrating Your Skills

Your makeup portfolio is also a great way to demonstrate your versatility as an artist. This is because the shots you showcase will display varying styles and techniques you’ve mastered. Just keep in mind that showcasing too much variety can be a recipe for disaster. You never want to lose your identity! Similarly, you never want to mask a dominant style that best represents you.

Your portfolio images should not confuse potential clients. When they look at your portfolio, they should quickly become aware of what distinguishes YOU from the competition. A makeup portfolio is one of the major factors that’ll draw in potential clients. Once drawn in, they’ll be more likely to book with you. In turn, they’ll likely share your work (and their positive experience with you) with people they know.

Thus, a solid makeup portfolio ensures that a chain of employment opportunities is created!

Model having photo taken during photoshoot

4 Tips for Your Makeup Portfolio

When building your makeup portfolio, there are a few tips you can follow:

1 – Only use high-quality professional images.

During your certification training with QC Makeup Academy, you’ll discover the difference between professional and unprofessional photos. For example, a candid picture taken with your mobile device is often times not a photo you’ll want to place within your makeup portfolio. Such photos may be appropriate for a social media account. If the photo – in any way – gives viewers a more personal and/or daily work-life experience of you as the makeup artist, it’s NOT the type of imagery that should be displayed in your portfolio selection.

Want some more tips for taking/choosing the BEST photos for your makeup portfolio? Keep reading here!

2 – Be patient.

Building a portfolio with quality imagery takes time. Some professional artists state that a minimum of three years is what took for them to build a solid professional makeup portfolio. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perfect your portfolio too quickly. Otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for unnecessary disappointment.

3 – Network with other industry professionals.

One really smart way to build your portfolio is to network with other professionals in your area. Just as you’re an upcoming makeup artist, there are plenty of upcoming photographers who are looking to develop their own portfolios. Collaborations are a great way for you to gain professionally-captured images, while also meeting and forging relationships with other people within your industry. Such collaborations may even transform into long-term partnerships and/or employment as the vendor develops his or her career.

Photographer, makeup artist, and model on set of photoshoot

4 – Reflect who you are in your makeup portfolio.

If you’re a makeup artist who loves clean beauty, let that shine through in your portfolio! If you gravitate more towards avant-garde looks, then when people view your makeup portfolio, they should clearly be able to see you as an artist who loves bold, colorful creations.

A Look Into My Makeup Portfolio

As a makeup artist, my personal style is natural beauty. I love naturally enhanced creations for bridal and editorial shoots. The following are some of the images which best represent me as an artist…

Paula Alleyne makeup portfolio wedding image 1
PHOTO CREDIT – Photographer: Rommel Alleyne / Makeup Artist: Paula Alleyne / Model: Bethany Pile of Casting Barbados / Bridal Designer: Jaye Applewaite / Hair Stylist: Tina Burrow of Déjà vu Salon / Diamond Distributor: Diamonds International Barbados / Jewelry Designer: Sonia King of SRK Designs / Lighting Assist: Akinwole Jordan / Venue: Barbados St. James Parish Church

As you can see, this wedding photo is elegant and soft (which ties back in with the overall theme). My model’s dress, hairstyle, and location are very much princess-themed. Moreover, the goal was for her makeup application to be enhanced enough that it defines her features, while remaining soft for the theme.

Paula wedding photo 2
PHOTO CREDIT – Photographer: Rommel Alleyne / Makeup Artist: Paula Alleyne / Model: Tiye Kelly of Casting Barbados / Bridal Designer: Jaye Applewaite / Lighting Assist: Akinwole Jordan / Venue: The Crane Resort Barbados

Now take a look at this wedding photo, which has a more defined smoky eye. The aim of this application was to utilize the smoky eye technique in a manner which defined the client’s eyes. However, the look still needed to remained soft enough to be suitable for a wedding.

Paula Alleyne makeup portfolio image 3 editorial
PHOTO CREDIT – Photographer: Rommell Alleyne / Makeup Artist: Paula Alleyne

I particularly love this editorial photo! It enhances the talent’s rich, brown tones. Creating natural beauty images for editorial work requires a level of technical ability, as well as a fine balance.

On the one hand, you must apply enough makeup for the camera to pick up on it. But on the other hand, you also need to make sure there’s not too much product buildup. Otherwise, the look won’t appear natural. Furthermore, an application of various shades of brown can easily look like one wash of color, rather than creating slight definitions around the eye.

Age-appropriate makeup application for photoshoot
PHOTO CREDIT – Photographer: Rommell Alleyne / Makeup Artist: Paula Alleyne

Finally, this last photo is a great age-appropriate shot. My client had turned 16. As a minor, her makeup application had to ensure that she was still recognizable, while not appearing overly mature. At the same time, the makeup still needed to be prominent enough to enhance her beautiful features.

Why Professional Training Makes for a Better Makeup Portfolio

Getting professionally trained in makeup artistry is a guaranteed way to enhance your skill level. By extension, it’ll also elevate the creation of your makeup portfolio. Remember: anyone who looks at your portfolio should be able to easily notice your level of skill and technique. By enrolling in QC Makeup Academy’s online certification courses, you’ll gain all the knowledge and mastery needed to reflect this advanced skill-set in your work!

QC offers great advice on building your makeup portfolio. This is particularly the case in their Portfolio Development Workshop. In this 2-unit program, you’ll learn the difference between a professional versus an unprofessional image. Moreover, you’ll learn the ins and outs of building your professional network. As we touched on earlier, establishing your network will only benefit your portfolio development in the long run.

If you dream of becoming a professional makeup artist, I strongly recommend checking out this online school. QC’s education will not only develop your technical ability; it’ll teach you all about industry practices and standards, too. In addition to this, you’ll get regular constructive critiques from your tutor(s). Plus, your course materials will provide you a wealth of knowledge on:

  • Dealing with facial corrections;
  • Learning eye and facial shapes;
  • Color theory;
  • Identifying skin types;
  • Starting (and running) a successful business;
  • And so much more!

If you’d like more information, feel free to contact QC Makeup Academy’s Student Support Team anytime! You can also connect with me directly in the Virtual Classroom on Facebook. Thanks for reading!

Learn the technical skills needed to create a stunning makeup portfolio by enrolling with QC Makeup Academy today!

learn how to do makeup by practicing on another person

3 Ways to Learn How to Do Makeup if You Have No Experience

By Education, Makeup Tips and Tricks, Student Ambassador No Comments

Want to learn how to do makeup but don’t have any prior experience? Paula Alleyne is here to help! A QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Paula is also a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her professional makeup business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook! 

Why NOW Is the Perfect Time to Follow Your Dreams

How can we maximize our time during the pandemic? The onset of COVID-19 has caused many of us to rethink the way we conduct our lives, both personally and professionally. During this time, as makeup artists, it forces us to reflect on how we do business, how we interact with clients, how we protect ourselves, and the costs associated with doing business in the new normal.

I therefore encourage everyone to take this time to be reflective and improve for the better. Maybe you can use this opportunity to better your existing business. Perhaps you can maximize this time to learn how to do makeup. The important thing is that you use your time productively, so that you can continue pushing yourself forward.

In case you need some ideas, here a few ways you can make the best of a bad situation…

Hygiene and health care are of utmost importance.

If you’re an aspiring or established MUA with some experience under your belt, think of the practices that you had prior to the pandemic. Consider the ways in which you handled and sanitized your products and tools. Ask yourself: is there room for you to be doing better and keeping things cleaner?

Take this time to undo any bad practices you may have had before. Instead, dedicate yourself now to becoming a makeup artist with improved hygiene standards. By being as sanitized as possible at all times, your clients will feel (and be) safer.

Embrace online learning.

Prior to COVID-19, there was a pretty heavy debate regarding whether online making courses were just as beneficial as brick-and-mortar makeup schools. But since the pandemic started, everyone and everything has now moved to the online platform.

I have seen such an increase of makeup courses being offered virtually. Not only does it provide a way to continue learning in the comfort and safety of your own home, it’s proven to be just as effective as its in-person counterpart.

It’s important to understand, though, that online learning requires serious discipline. If you enroll in an online course assuming it’ll be easy, you’ll be in for a major awakening. We all have hectic lives, which is why many online makeup courses are self-paced. But with this freedom comes a certain level of responsibility on our end. Discipline is therefore required to ensure that you learn, complete assignments, and keep progressing.

Take advantage of “free” time.

Some of us may still be on lockdown. For those of us who aren’t, there are still major social distancing rules in effect. As such, a bunch of activities that required physical attendance are now rescheduled or cancelled.

This means that that extra time might suddenly turn into open availability within your schedule. Still, try to use it productively (at least once in a while)! Develop a new makeup technique, or strengthen areas where you may be weak. This is time that can also be used to review your business plans, finances, and budget for the future.

Time waits for no one. Every effort you can make counts!

3 Ways to Learn How to Do Makeup If You Have No Experience

1. Research it!

Look at blogs, read books or magazines, and watch videos. I realized I had an interest in makeup years ago, when I saw a makeup brochure from AVON. It had sketches of where to apply makeup products, such as blush, as well as ideas for eyeshadow application.

I asked my older sister questions about makeup. I looked at magazines and paid attention to how makeup was applied on models. Reading books like Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin or Bobbi Brown’s Makeup Manual was also extremely eye-opening. I watched YouTube videos by makeup artists like Wayne Goss and Angie Di Battista, as well as videos on the history of makeup throughout various era and historical periods.

When it comes to makeup, there’s a whole world of information out there. A little research will go a VERY long way!

2. Practice it!

Practice on yourself and practice on others. After learning about makeup, I decided to start practicing it on myself. I attempted costume designs to go with the looks I was creating. I tried the smoky eye, red lips, nude lips – you name it!

I also began practicing on friends and family members. Applying your knowledge by working on other people’s faces is one of the single best ways to improve your skills and hone your craft. For me, these were times of trial and error. There were definitely mistakes made in the beginning – so, a big round of applause goes out to my sisters, my mother and my friends. They bore with me along the way, and put up with my technique when my hand was less than gentle.

The point is, eventually I got better! Even my sisters started to appreciate the torture of waiting in the chair while I finished. One big lesson I learned as I practiced was adjusting my facial expression. When working on clients, you need to know how to wear a good poker face. We’ve all had that experience when applying makeup; that internal freak-out when it seems like the look isn’t going as intended.

Over time, as I became familiar with different products and colors, I knew not to freak out. For the sake of your client, it’s important to always remain calm. Because at the end of the day, it is ALWAYS going to work out and be okay. It just might take a bit of patience.

learn how to do makeup by practicing on another person 2

3. Learn it professionally!

Being self-taught is great, but being trained by a legitimate expert is even better. There are tons of industry pros and instructors out there who are happy to offer their knowledge on makeup artistry. Learning with them and discovering the theory behind makeup application is wonderful. It gives you the confidence to form your own type of artistry, rather than simply relying on the replication of other people’s looks.

Why I Chose to Be Professionally Trained

I chose to be professionally trained because I started to notice a trend on social media regarding an increasingly popular type of makeup application. Much of the application did not reflect the looks I saw in magazines – and these magazine editorials were what I began to fall in love with. I personally felt like I wanted to learn more.

One of the biggest lessons I chose to get professional makeup training was so I could learn about the business attitude behind the artistry. The art of makeup is important, but the need to conduct yourself as a professional is just as important. So, I enrolled with QC Makeup Academy!

If you’d like to learn more about my journey in starting an online makeup education with QC, you can read my other blog article here.

One of the biggest perks about being a QC Makeup Academy student is the community it’s developed over the years. In the Virtual Classroom on Facebook, for example, you get to meet other artists within the industry. It’s nice because these are fellow students and graduates who are on the same journey as you! It’s also a place where we encourage each other, offer constructive criticism, and ultimately help one another grow.

During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, having this online community has helped many people to stay connected and motivated. Being a part of an educational institution encourages you to think about your business, maintaining high standards, and how you can continuously improve. It’s an all-win situation!

3 Must-Have Items in My Bridal Makeup Kit

By Makeup Careers, QC Student Ambassador No Comments

Paula Alleyne is back to reveal the top 3 items in her bridal makeup kit! A QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Paula is also a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her professional makeup business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook! 

My Interest in Bridal Makeup

Bridal makeup artistry is a great way to serve, enhance a person’s life, and earn money. But it can also be a stressful time if you are not prepared, and do not have a calm demeanor. Despite these possible stresses, I love bridal makeup artistry. What better way to serve than to help a beaming bride look gorgeous for one of the most important days in her life?

makeup kit article, Paula Alleyne portfolio image 1
Makeup: Paula Alleyne. Photographer: Rommel Alleyne. Bridal designer: Jaye Applewhaite. Lighting assist: Akinwole Jordan. Model: Tiye Kelly. Venue: The Crane.

I entered into bridal makeup artistry because it was a natural progression from my style of natural beauty. My love for clean, classic looks augured well with bridal.

It was actually my tutor, Nathan Johnson, who unknowingly encouraged me to pursue bridal! In his feedback for one of my assignments, he indicated that I was certainly “doing bridal by now”. But at that time, I actually wasn’t. Nathan’s comments boosted my confidence to step out and enter bridal artistry… and I’m glad I did!

One of the major impacts that bridal artistry has had in my budding career is the wonderful networking opportunities gained. Whether I’m meeting bridal designers and models for collaborations, or meeting photographers at weddings – becoming familiar with professionals within the industry is always a great way to develop your business!

The Components of Bridal Makeup Artistry

When entering into bridal artistry, there are a few main components to consider:

  1. The initial contact;
  2. The consultation, or trial day;
  3. And application on the day of the wedding.

The Initial Contact

During the initial contact, it’s great to get an idea of the wedding date, as well as the time, style, and theme of the wedding. Keep in mind that at first, the bride may not always have all the details of their wedding sorted out yet. However, once she has indicated an interest to continue with you, understand that at that moment, you will be connected with her for months before the big day. You’ll be taking the journey with her!

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Makeup: Paula Alleyne. Photographer: Rommel Alleyne. Bridal designer: Jaye Applewhaite. Lighting assist: Akinwole Jordan. Model: Tiye Kelly. Venue: The Crane.

The Consultation

The consultation is the next major juncture. Here, you want to create the replica of what the bride would look like for her wedding. The consultation – also known as the ‘trial’ – is the time for the bride to freely express her ideas and concerns of makeup for that day.

Invite her to bring her ideas, along with photos of the dress, hairstyle, and jewelry. You should also discuss:

  • Any skin issues
  • Schedules for facials
  • The length of the ceremony and reception
  • Possible changes in attire during the wedding, etc.

Addressing these points will allow you to begin to gain a good sense of what the big day will look like!

While it’s ideal for the bride to have the hairstyle, dress, and attire known by the time of consultation, the reality is that some brides may still be undecided. What they are certain about, though, is what they want their makeup to look like for their special day. Use that one surety, and assist them in creating that perfect look.

The Day of the Wedding

When the big day finally arrives, it’ll be time for your makeup application. It’s vital that you remain calm. The bride may be in a state of nervousness. After all, things planned for that day may have gone off-track, and there is a lot of activity happening.

Arrive on time to setup your station. Confirm times for photography arrival and transportation departure. By this point, months will have passed between you and the bride; from the initial contact to this day. When facilitating the timely execution of your services, do not use a forceful approach. Instead, a natural, encouraging tone is the way to go!

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Makeup: Paula Alleyne. Photographer: Rommel Alleyne. Bridal designer: Jaye Applewhaite. Lighting assist: Akinwole Jordan. Model: Tiye Kelly. Venue: The Crane.

Learning Bridal Makeup in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course

I was excited to get to the bridal makeup unit in QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. I knew that looks associated with bridal were ‘up my alley’, and I was looking forward to learning whatever I could.

Prior to taking the Master Makeup Artistry Course, I had no professional training in this specific area of makeup artistry. As a student, I was delighted to find that this program also offered extensive business training as part of its curriculum. I was given insight into bridal contracts and invoices. I was taught what my role with the bride would be, and the professional attitude I’d need to have to be successful.

The most valuable take-away for me was QC’s promotion of your soft skills as the makeup artist. Yes, your artistry has to be great to help the bride look beautiful. But what bride wants to be around an artist who makes them feel nervous, is disorganized, and feels burdensome on their big day?!

Bridal Makeup Kit

One of the questions I get asked is: “What are the must-haves for your bridal makeup kit?”

Well, there are several great brands of makeup products that can be used for a bride. Regardless of the brand I use, they must be broken down into 3 main categories within my makeup kit:

  1. Skin preparation
  2. Makeup application 
  3. Setting powder
bridal makeup kit

1 – Skin Preparation

Skin preparation is essential to facilitating smooth makeup application and creating the appearance of a flawless face. For this reason, one of the key ingredients in my makeup kit is moisturizer.

Once the face has been cleansed, you must ensure the bride’s skin is moisturized. This will help it to remain supple, and reduce the appearance of lines. It’s also just as critical to ensure the moisturizer used is appropriate to the bride’s skin type.

Sweat control is another key ingredient in my makeup kit. If it’s an outside wedding, the bride can get hot. In other cases, the anxiety of the day can cause her to sweat more than usual. This product helps to keep the sweat at bay. In the end, this assists the makeup’s longevity.

Primer is another must-have in my kit. Primers serve as a great base for the smooth application of foundation. Similar to moisturizers, primers should be appropriate to the bride’s skin type.

2 – Makeup Application

Once the skin has been prepped, the makeup application covers four (4) main areas:

  1. Eyes
  2. Face
  3. Cheeks
  4. Lips

The variety of colors for eyeshadows are endless! However, for bridal makeup, I have found that most brides want natural, cool shades that are elegant and not overpowering. My makeup kit must have eyeshadows that are highly pigmented, in colors similar to champagne, browns, bronze, and taupe. Colors which have a bit of shimmer are also great for adding highlights under the brow bone.

When it comes to the eyes, my makeup kit also includes a brow powder or brow pencil. I’ll make sure to stock up on varying shades of brown, so that I can create a natural shape and definition to the eyebrow. Waterproof mascara on this emotional day is also essential!

bridal makeup application

Next up is the face! We want our brides to have a flawless, even complexion. That means that you need a foundation that’s accurate to their skin color. My makeup kit must not only have a foundation palette that offers a variety of shades; it should also have a primary color palette as well.

My foundation palette cannot cover every single skin tone out there. Therefore, to be efficient on space and finances, my primary color palette allows me to make a foundation color that’s exactly to the bride’s complexion. This eliminates the need to spend unnecessary money on several different foundation palettes!

Another must-have for face makeup is cream blush. I am in love with cream blush! This product allows the face to have a flush of color that appears to radiate from the bride’s natural skin. Cream blush is buildable, and can subsequently be enhanced with powder blush.

3 – Setting Power

After creating that gorgeous, lovely face, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. The first step is setting the foundation with no-color powder. No-color powder is critical in my bridal makeup kit! After all, once you’ve applied that perfect foundation shade, you don’t want to mess it up by putting on a powder that changes the bride’s skin complexion at the last minute.

In addition to setting powder is setting spray. Setting spray not only gives the bride a great, fresh finish – it provides staying power to ensure the bride’s makeup application lasts even longer!

Did you know that when you enroll in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course, you’ll receive a FREE makeup kit to help you train? Add to your makeup kit and get started today!

makeup artistry professional putting makeup on model

Makeup Artistry Career Spotlight: A Day on Set as an Editorial MUA

By Graduate Feature, Makeup Careers No Comments

Paula Alleyne is QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, as well as a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her professional makeup business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula on Instagram or in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook!

What is Editorial Makeup?

Editorial makeup is a type of makeup artistry that can be summed up as the work you would see in print. This can be for beauty campaigns, fashion magazines, etc. Typically, editorial makeup is either simple, clean beauty looks, or extravagant creations that are not typically used in every-day wear.

Working as an editorial makeup artist is a different environment from being hired to provide services for a special occasion, such as for a live wedding or a client’s special event. In editorial shoots, the makeup artist is but one of the many players behind the scenes. Everyone works together to prepare the talent for a determined image.

A makeup artistry career for an editorial MUA spans various areas. One can work work in stylized shoots, be featured in magazine spreads for beauty and/or avant-garde fashion, or work for a company in their advertisement campaigns.

close up of makeup artistry products

Why Editorial Makeup?

My love for natural beauty and clean, classic looks – which are often seen within beauty and fashion magazines, or in portraits of celebrities – drew me towards editorial makeup artistry. To me, there is an appeal in looking at an image, seeing the person highlighted, and not having the beauty of his or her face being overpowered by makeup.

However, when you take a closer look at the image, you also see all the tiny details that build up and make the final image what it is. For example, it may be a soft smoke of a bronze color that effortlessly ties back in with the bronze jewelry being advertised, or the attire being worn.

My husband, Rommel Alleyne, is a photographer. He and I have been working together on several shoots. Over time, we have learned each other’s styles in makeup artistry and photography, and I have learned how makeup application translates on camera.

There is no substitute for the experience gained working on photoshoots! Even when I am not the makeup artist, and work instead as the lighting assistant, I’m still learning. I’ve become more appreciative of the time of day, lighting, and talent positioning – which all play a vital role in the final image.

Working as a makeup artist for editorials also creates networking opportunities with photographers and models alike. One of my favorite editorial shoots was on set with a Barbadian photographer, Joel Brooks, and a Barbadian jazz singer, Kellie Cadogan. Prior to the shoot, we played around with different attire and jewelry, and concluded with two pieces we would with.

Time was limited. By the end of shooting the first look, the crunch was on for the second shooting. The makeup application for the first look was with neutral brown tones, which were transferrable to the second photo session. However, I knew that a slight smoke and hint of grey would add to the second piece.

So, I got permission to proceed with the color transition. I felt the time squeeze and needed to work extremely quickly. I did the transition, and looking at the final photos, I’m glad I made that intuitive suggestion. As you’ll see below, the end product was good!

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Jazz Singer/Model: Kellie Cadagon. Makeup by Paula Alleyne. Photography by Joel Brooks. Lighting Assist: Rommel Alleyne

A Day on Set

In the world of editorial makeup artistry, working on set can be summed up into one word: “ATTITUDE”. The attitude you have can either make you or break you.

Always have a heart to serve! As the makeup artist, you are but one person within the team.

Time matters! Get to set early to prep your station and be ready for the talent.

Talk! Have an open dialogue with the team, especially with the photographer prior to shooting. As the shooting unfolds, speak with the photographer to ensure the desired look is being achieved.

Include the talent in your discussions. Let the talent inform you of his or her skin type, allergic reactions, and any prior negative experiences with makeup applications.

Understand the overall image to be achieved. Even if adjustments have to be made during the set, and your input is required, ensure that your suggestions are in keeping with the desired look.

Do be professional. Always!

Enjoy the process! Use the experience to meet other professionals, develop your strengths, and identify areas for improvement.

makeup artistry professional on set with model and photographer

The Benefits of Training with QC Makeup Academy

One of the main benefits of obtaining my professional makeup artistry certification with QC Makeup Academy is the mental preparation the school instills in its students. In one of my Business Units, QC spoke about the importance of networking. This can be in the in the form of:

  • Volunteering
  • Assisting
  • Interning
  • Job shadowing
  • And much more!

When starting out as a makeup artist, providing editorial work will often begin through volunteering. As within any profession, volunteering should never be frowned upon. In the right place, you’ll find that you’ll receive the same positive attitude, energy, and professionalism that would be given to any paid employee.

In addition to the mental preparation encouraged by QC, you’re also taught all of the practical skills needed to thrive as a professional makeup artist. For example, you’ll learn about accurate foundation application, skin and color correction, blending, and understanding the basics of skincare. All of these factors play a crucial role in creating flawless skin, as well as the natural beauty often associated with editorial makeup.

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Yoga Instructor/Model: Jo Hamilton. Makeup by Paula Alleyne. Photography by Rommel Alleyne. Lighting Assist: Akinwole Jordan.

I am currently enrolled within QC Makeup Academy’s updated Master Makeup Artistry Course, and am eager to see how they’ve improved upon an already great program. One of my goals is to have my work published within a well-established magazine. I’d also like to work with celebrities.

As you know, one of my most important stances is: “Never stop learning!” I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences in this program with you guys!

Much love,


Earn YOUR professional makeup artistry certification in as little as 3-6 months by enrolling today in QC Makeup Academy’s wide variety of internationally-leading courses!