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Sarah-Lynn Seguin

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Building Your Makeup Portfolio During COVID-19

By Your Makeup Career No Comments

As a professional makeup artist who’s new to the game, building your makeup portfolio is critical. This portfolio must reflect high-quality work that accurately represents who you are and which services you can provide to clients.

But while there are tons of tips and tricks out there to help you develop your makeup portfolio under normal circumstances, what happens once a global pandemic has been thrown into the mix?

With in-person contact at a minimum, it might seem impossible to build a high-quality makeup portfolio. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! The fact is, there are still ways to gather the material you need. It’ll just be a matter of getting a bit craftier and staying on the safe side.

Here are just 3 examples of what I’m talking about…

3 Ways You Can Build Your Makeup Portfolio During the Pandemic

1. Utilize Your Virtual Beauty Clients

Virtual makeup and skincare services became quite the hot commodity over the course of 2020. After all, many people didn’t want to leave the safety of their homes (or straight up couldn’t). So, beauty professionals needed to find a new way to offer their expertise in a way that works for everybody.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, there are plenty of online services you can offer instead of in-person ones. For instance, you can provide online consultations. Another option is to teach virtual makeup lessons, or even develop personalized skincare regimens for clients.

The best part? These can all be done from the comfort of your couch!

What better way to illustrate to prospective clients that you’re capable of providing them with beneficial virtual services than to prove it in your online makeup portfolio?

Whenever you work with a client, ask them to take a high-quality photo of their full face prior to getting started with you. Then, once your work with them is complete, ask them to take a second photo of their full face. This second image should clearly show the difference your services has made, when compared to the first picture.

Tips for Taking Photos

Most people use some sort of smart phone these days, and the majority of them have excellent cameras capable of taking high-quality photos. When requesting these photos, provide a few tips/requirements for the images, such as:

  • The photo is taken in front of a white or neutral background. There should be no clutter or anything else to distract the eye from the focus of the photo.
  • The photo is an up-close shot of their full face. From the top of their head to the bottom of their chin should all be within the frame.
  • The photo should not be a selfie. Advise your client to rest their phone or camera on a sturdy surface and set a timer. Selfies are never recommended within a makeup portfolio, as they aren’t very professional-looking.
  • There should be good lighting. Prompt your client to take a photo in a brightly lit room, or during a relatively sunny day, in front of a window. They don’t need fancy ring lights to get the job done. But the picture shouldn’t be taken in a dark or dim space either.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to request – in writing – for your client’s expressed consent to use their image on your website’s makeup portfolio, social media pages, etc. Ensure that the permission provided by the client is likewise given to you in writing so you can keep it in your records.

virtual consultation for makeup portfolio

2. Ask Members of Your Household to Be Your Models

If you live with someone else, you might have the perfect model sitting right there! So long as they agree to it, you can easily do a few different makeup looks on their face, take some nice pictures, and add them to your makeup portfolio.

If you have more than one member of your household who would be willing to be your model, take advantage of this! Remember: variety is key in your portfolio. In order to demonstrate to potential clients that you’re a makeup artist of many skills, you’ll want to highlight the different techniques, looks, and specializations in your repertoire.

For example, if you live with people of different ages and/or skin tones, this alone can give you plenty to work with! Additionally, if you happen to live with a man and he’d be willing to let you put makeup on him, this could be an amazing contribution to your portfolio, too.

makeup artist putting makeup on male model's face

3. Take Part in a (Safe) Stylized Photoshoot

There are countless reasons to take part in a stylized photoshoot, especially as you’re building your career. Not only can they help you grow your network and gain hands-on experience in the field; they’re also a great way to receive professional-quality images for your makeup portfolio, in exchange for your services.

Depending on the severity of the COVID-19 risks in your area, or physical distancing regulations, paying clients might be in shorter supply right now. By volunteering your expertise for a stylized photoshoot, however, you can continue doing what you love while also getting more material that showcases your work!

Tips for Working Together Safely

Just make sure to keep in mind the safety measures that you and everyone else participating in the shoot will need to abide by. Enforcing these protocols and sticking to them is very important, since it’s the only way to make sure everyone is truly staying safe.

Everyone should be wearing a mask whenever possible and washing/sanitizing their hands regularly. On top of maintaining a minimum distance of at least 6 feet apart from one another, there should also be a limited number of people working in one space at a given time.

For more tips about working safely with others during COVID-19, keep reading here!

model wearing face mask for makeup portfolio

Even though 2020 is now a thing of the past, we’re not out of the woods yet. While the bright light that is the end of COVID-19 is finally starting to be seen on the horizon, we all need to work together and do our part to get there. But so long as we do that, the world will one day return to normal.

All that to be said, in the meantime, there’s no reason why you still can’t continue to grow your business, develop your makeup portfolio, and gain real-world experience. You simply need to explore the options available to you and always ensure that you (and everyone around you) is making health and safety the top priority!

Want to learn even more tips and tricks for creating an impressive makeup portfolio? Enroll in QC’s Portfolio Development Workshop to learn everything you need to know!

QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Luzaan De Bruyn, feature image

Ambassador Feature: Luzaan de Bruyn

By Graduate Feature, Student Ambassador No Comments


Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Luzaan, and I am a mother of three beautifully naughty children. I was born in South Africa but have been residing in New Zealand for four years now. I am also graduate (and current student) of the AMAZING QC Makeup Academy!

Fun fact about me: I continually have to study because if I don’t, I get depressed. This has resulted in me having more than 9 qualifications – and I’ve only been speaking English for 4 years now!

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

As a child, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. This resulted in chronic Major Depressive Disorder. I followed one career after the other; always yearning for more, yearning to belong, and yearning to find my passion.

It wasn’t until I accidentally stumbled upon QC Makeup Academy and their online makeup classes that I felt a strong sense of belonging and passion. I immediately knew that being a professional makeup artist is what I am supposed to be doing with my life!

Why did you decide to take online makeup classes, rather than enroll in a brick-and-mortar school? Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll with QC Makeup Academy?

To be completely raw and honest, I was skeptical at first. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about skincare, makeup, or the beauty industry in general. I found it hard to believe that you could learn everything you needed to become a successful, working professional – entirely online.

I researched QC Makeup Academy and their online makeup courses day and night for more than a week before I took the “leap of faith” and enrolled. Thinking back, it was the scariest decision I ever made. But now, it’s the BEST decision I’ve ever made!

My personal reasons for pursuing my makeup training online include:

  • As a mother, I need to be able to study at my own pace and in the comfort of my own home. This was very important to me.
  • QC Makeup Academy gives you 2 years to complete a course, which was a huge selling point for me.
  • They are an internationally-recognized, accredited school. On its own, this speaks volumes.
  • QC is more than just a school – it’s like its own little family. The staff, tutors, and access to the Virtual Classroom on Facebook all provide you with the kind of support that only a true makeup family can give.
  • A lot of QC’s programs will provide you with a free makeup kit as part of the course materials. This ensures that you can jump straight in without worrying about having to first build your kit before you can start the course.

You’ve graduated from QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. How was your experience with this program, and how would you say it helped you grow as an MUA?

Oh, goodness – if only you could see what my makeup skills were like before I enrolled in the MMA Course. Let’s just say, they were NON-EXISTENT!

As soon as I received my enrollment details, I immediately jumped into the course. Boy, was I left in complete amazement! The beautifully-made, interactive videos explain every single ‘why’, ‘why not’, and ‘how to’ you could possibly think of. Not to mention, the hands-on assignments are absolutely astonishing!

The magnificent, legendary Nathan Johnson was my tutor during my course. He left me in awe! His feedback constantly pushed me when I needed it. He was honest, raw, and most importantly, real. Being tutored by one of the most amazing celebrity makeup artists in the business was something no brick-and-mortar school could ever replace.

Before my professional training, I was a mother who applied her foundation with her hands, didn’t know blending existed, and thought eyeshadow should be tapped on. Thanks to QC Makeup Academy, I finished my training a professional master makeup artist. I am now is a freelancer who is well-known in our community.

I’ll ALWAYS be forever grateful to QC, their online makeup courses, and Nathan Johnson!

You’ve also graduated from QC Makeup Academy’s Airbrush Makeup Workshop and Special FX Makeup Course. Why do you feel these additional qualifications are beneficial to your career, and how have you incorporated them into your business services?

The Airbrush Makeup Workshop was extremely important to me because I wanted to be able to offer my clients the choice between hand-applied and airbrushed makeup services. I wanted to be a flexible artist; able to provide my brides with different options.  especially seeing as I am the only certified Airbrush makeup artist in my area.

QC Makeup Academy’s airbrush training opened doors which I never knew existed. In fact, now that I have this specialized skill, I’m actually the only certified airbrush MUA in my area!

Soon after completing that program, I decided after to enroll in the Special FX Makeup Course as well, due to my fascination for Halloween and all things gory. Since becoming an International Special FX Makeup Professional, I have been able to offer Halloween SFX makeup to many clients. I’ve also been contracted as the primary SFX artist for a special effects makeup magazine, as well as a medical magazine.

You’re currently working on completing the Virtual Makeup Training mini course. Why do you feel that being able to provide virtual services to clients is so valuable, especially during a global pandemic?

Being able to offer my services during a global pandemic is truly invaluable. COVID-19 has caused a financial loss for so many people. Sadly, there are countless professions that can no longer sustain themselves, since they rely solely on in-person services.

As a makeup artist, being able to offer virtual services as part of my business allows me to open a completely different door and utilize different opportunities. Even looking beyond the pandemic, we live in a day and age where people prefer doing things digitally. The rush of life lately doesn’t always allow people to take time out of their day to attend in-person appointments. Businesses need to be able to adapt to this and offer alternate solutions and services.

I’m now able to offer virtual makeup services in the comfort of my client’s home, at a time they prefer. A complete lockdown won’t affect my service. This wouldn’t have been the case without my virtual makeup training from QC Makeup Academy!

How useful have the various materials, assignments, and tutor feedback been for your courses with QC Makeup Academy?

Where do I start? Let me just say, QC Makeup Academy is – hands-down – the best of the best!

The materials alone are so invaluable. I truly don’t believe I would have become half the makeup artist I am today without my course materials. Although they were informative, they were never overwhelming. Even though English isn’t my first language, and I only started learning English 4 years ago, I still found the texts and videos easy to understand.

Even now, I still regularly go through my materials to ensure I always stay on top of every and any situation I find myself in. The assignments you’re given are really hands-on, and presented in a way that betters you as both a makeup artist and a person. Personally, I enjoyed every single minute of every single assignment!

Nathan Johnson has been my tutor in every course so far. He is such an incredible human being, mentor, and makeup artist. His feedback has pushed me to better my skills, to keep learning, and to keep growing. Nathan truly is the salt of this earth!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far from your makeup classes?

This question actually made me chuckle because I heard Nathan’s voice in my head as soon as I read it. Practice, practice, practice! Makeup is an art that can only be achieved by practice.

You’ve recently joined QC Makeup Academy’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what’s the #1 thing you want aspiring makeup artists to know about QC?

QC Makeup Academy goes beyond simply teaching you what you need to know. Through the friendships I’ve made with my fellow peers, I’ve gained a family I never knew I needed. Taking that leap of faith and enrolling in QC’s online makeup courses was the best decision I ever made. Now it’s your turn to make the best decision of your life!

How has your career as a makeup artist been affected by COVID-19? In what ways have you adjusted to this ‘new normal’?

When the pandemic reached us, my freelance makeup career was still pretty new. I had bookings that got cancelled (understandably). My three-year-old is immunocompromised, so it was incredibly important to keep her safe. Unfortunately, a few weeks later, I tested positive for COVID-19 and had to indefinitely postpone the little bookings I had left.

Fortunately, after 28 days of being sick, I tested negative and was able to be released from home isolation. It was then that I decided to offer virtual tips and tricks to my clients, family, and friends. Not long after, I got flooded with virtual bookings – and I’ve been busy ever since! I still freelance and often go to clients directly. Only now, I wear a mask and ensure that my clients are 100% healthy before accepting a booking.

What are your top career goals as a makeup artist?

I thought long and hard about my answers for this question. Then I realized that my biggest top goal is to keep growing with QC Makeup Academy! My passion for the beauty industry and for QC is what drives me. My only wish is to be a makeup artist that makes QC Makeup Academy proud!

(Oh, and I also want to work in the film industry eventually!)

In your opinion, what is the secret to success as a makeup artist?

Never ever stop learning. The makeup industry is continually evolving and you can never be too good to learn. Reach for the top because that is what you deserve!

Inspired by Luzaan’s journey? Start your OWN by enrolling with QC Makeup Academy today!

QC Makeup Academy lipstick and coffee on table with laptop

QC Makeup Academy’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

By Your Makeup Career No Comments

Let’s be real: a lot of us are relieved to see 2020 come to an end. To say the least, 2020 was a challenging year across the globe. But it wasn’t all bad. We’ve learned how to adapt to the world’s new normal, and we’ve rediscovered the importance of human connection. 2020 was a year of change. We at QC Makeup Academy are optimistic that 2021 will provide a chance for things to turn around and bring good luck back to us all.

For QC Makeup Academy’s students and grads, 2020 was also a year devoted to pursuing their dream careers in the beauty industry by earning professional certifications and launching new businesses!

We are so proud of how hard our students and alumni have been working and wish them nothing but the absolute best in the New Year.

In light of 2021 being right around the corner, we thought we’d take a moment to look back and count down your top 10 favorite Beauty Buzz articles over the last 12 months…


Your Favorite QC Makeup Academy Blog Articles of 2020

It takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work to build a successful career as a makeup artist. Unfortunately, it takes only seconds to ruin everything and destroy your professional reputation!

If you want to build a successful business in the beauty industry, you’d better make sure you don’t commit any of the 5 mistakes mentioned in this article!

We at QC Makeup Academy cannot overstate how important it is for you, as a makeup artist, to keep your products clean and sanitized. In this shocking article, we reveal the beauty products that are most prone to superbugs, the most common types of beauty bacteria, the causes of contamination, and what YOU should be doing to avoid it!

Keep reading so you can keep your makeup kit clean!

A lot of makeup artists see hair styling as an entirely separate field entirely from makeup. But if you play your cards right, hair styling can actually be your business’s secret weapon! In this delightfully satirical article, QC Makeup Academy explores 4 awesome benefits of adding hair styling to your services – and why you shouldn’t take advantage of them. 😉

Although you always strive to do you best, not every client will be pleased with your work. That’s just a part of life! As long as you know how to handle the situation, you can still turn a dissatisfied client back into a happy one. If you’re looking for advice on how to handle these difficult situations, read on! We take a look at 5 regular client complaints and what you should do in the face of them.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in hair styling, you should know that hair styling is NOT the same thing as hair dressing. So, what exactly differentiates these two professions?

In this article, QC Makeup Academy discusses the answer to that very question (and so much more)! Discover their similarities, their differences, and the types of training and qualifications you need for both.

As an MUA, you might aspire to start to become your very own boss. The best way to do this is to start your own freelance business! Before you jump into anything, though, you should know exactly what to expect from this pursuit.

Join us as we explore the pros and cons of being a freelance makeup artist. This way, you’ll know for sure if this career path is the right fit for YOU!

You might have heard the misconception that you can’t truly learn makeup online. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! In fact, we’ve got FIVE myths about online learning that we’re ready to debunk here and now. If you’re considering earning your makeup certification online (such as with QC Makeup Academy), read on to learn what the experience will really be like!

Do you have a passion for SFX makeup but no prior experience? No problem! QC Makeup Academy graduate, Gabrielle Rivera, has 5 suggestions to help you get started. Gabrielle will share her tips to help you gain experience and become a professional!

close up of makeup products

Not only can you make a livable wage as a makeup artist– you can make a killing! In this article, we reveal the top 4 highest-paying makeup professions and discuss what each one entails. You’ll discover the different salaries associated with each profession and learn about 4 external factors that can impact your income.

Have you heard of a “choosing beggar”? If not, working as a makeup artist means you probably will. Unfortunately, you’ll likely encounter your fair share of them throughout your career.

In this amusingly satirical article, we give you a behind-the-scenes look at the common strategies a Choosing Beggar might use to get free services from you. Discover their thought processes, their motives and their moves… so you can avoid them entirely!

cosmetics and laptop on blanket

The entire QC Makeup Academy team would like to thank each and every person who has taken the time to read The Beauty Buzz this past year. We hope our articles have been insightful, informative and fun! Stay tuned for even more awesome content in 2021!

Kick off the New Year by pursuing the career you’ve always wanted! Enroll with QC Makeup Academy today and become a certified MUA in as little as 3-6 months!

Ambassador Feature: Krystle Clarkson

By Student Ambassador No Comments

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hey guys and gals! I’m a 33-year-old mother of five. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I just love makeup! I’m a qualified hairdresser and nail technician, and I’ve been in the beauty industry for over 10 years. I just love creating everything and anything! Aside from makeup, my other greatest love is for my family.

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

I fell in love with makeup while watching my mum do hers growing up. I was hypnotized by it! I think I was about 10 years old when my mum started letting me play with her makeup. After that, I never stopped!

I was also drawn to the special effects you see in movies and on TV. When I found out it was a form of makeup, I was sold on becoming a professional MUA.

Why did you decide to take online makeup classes, rather than enroll in a brick-and-mortar school?

Honestly, face-to-face schooling from Monday to Friday just isn’t for me. I seem to lose my drive and passion in this kind of environment. Not to mention, because I’m a full-time mother of 5 young children, online schooling is the only way I could have gotten to where I am today.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to learn makeup from the comfort of my own home and in my own time.

Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll with QC Makeup Academy?

When I found QC Makeup Academy, my eyes lit up!

I read all of the reviews and looked thoroughly into how the school operated. I was amazed at the dedication the tutors and staff put forward. Also, QC Makeup Academy was the only online school I could find that was accredited here in Australia. They offer everything you need to get started with your online classes and become a certified professional.

You’ve graduated from QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. How was your experience with this program, and how would you say it helped you grow as an artist?

The Master Makeup Artistry Course is amazing! It taught me everything I know. I’m glad I started with this course, really. It gave me the knowledge and courage to get where I am today. Plus, it was the most amazing experience learning from my tutor, Nathan Johnson. He is so passionate and driven!

In what ways would you say the Pro Makeup Workshop built upon the knowledge learned in the MMA Course and refined your skill-set further?

The Pro Makeup Workshop took everything I learned in the Master Makeup Artistry Class and brought it to the next level! Nathan Johnson was my tutor for this course, too. He really helped me reach my potential by pushing me to think bigger than I was used to. All of the different assignments really get your creative thinking flowing.

You’re also currently enrolled in QC Makeup Academy’s Special FX Makeup Course. Why do you want to add SFX training to your repertoire? How do you intend to incorporate this advanced training into your makeup career?

I’ve always loved blood and gore in horror movies. I dreamed of being able to create the things I’ve seen in my favorite horror movies. The Special FX Makeup Course is teaching me everything I need to know to pursue my ultimate goal, which is to have a successful career as an SFX makeup artist in film and TV.

How useful have QC Makeup Academy’s course materials and assignments been for your training? How valuable has the feedback been from your tutor, Nathan Johnson?

One of the many reasons I chose to take online classes with QC Makeup Academy was the number of amazing resources the school provides. You receive textbooks, DVDs, online videos, and even incredible makeup kits!

Nathan Johnson is hands-down the most amazing teacher! The feedback and support I receive from him drives me to be great! You know he loves and supports each and every one of his students. You can hear it in his beautiful voice!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far from your makeup classes?


Also, in this industry, you never stop learning. Thankfully, QC Makeup Academy has so many online classes to keep me learning for years to come.

“Trust the process” is one of my favorite sayings in makeup. You need to trust in yourself, your education, and that your client is going to love what you’ve created.

You’ve recently joined QC’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what’s the #1 thing you want brand new students to know about QC Makeup Academy?

I’m so excited and thankful to be a Student Ambassador for QC Makeup Academy. I want brand-new students to know that the love and support they’ll receive at QC is above and beyond the best!

How has your career as a makeup artist been affected by COVID-19? In what ways have you adjusted to this ‘new normal’?

Thankfully, I haven’t been affected too badly. I’m more focused on my studies, rather than starting my business just yet. I want to learn as much as I can before I jump in. COVID-19 has been the best excuse to focus on studying and learning as much as possible.

What sort of services do you want to offer your future makeup clients?

I want to be able to provide as many services as possible to my future clients. That’s why I’ve taken (and will continue to take) so many courses with QC Makeup Academy.

I want to learn as much as I can, and would love to teach online masterclasses one day. It’d be great to go full circle and eventually teach others the procedures and techniques I’ve learned here at QC Makeup Academy

What are your top career goals as a makeup artist?

As I mentioned, I ultimately want to work in film and TV, or even the theater industry as an MUA. I love the idea of creating my interpretation of a character from a brief or the director/writer’s vision. I can’t wait for that day!

2020 has been a difficult year, but beauty professionals have found innovative ways to adjust to the new normal and continue providing their services. Are virtual services something you’re interested in offering clients? Why or why not?

Virtual services are the way of the future! I absolutely plan to add them to my business when I finally get started. I want to create my own online classes tutoring men and women in special effects makeup through Zoom or Skype. Additionally, I intend to write my own online procedure for clients to read and follow during virtual lessons.

With the way the world is today, it is SO important to be able to keep working any way we can!

Finally: in your opinion, what is the TRUE secret to success as a makeup artist?

Never stop learning and never give up. This industry is always growing, changing, adding, and adapting. We should be the same.

Ready to begin your journey? Become a certified makeup artist in 2021 by enrolling with QC Makeup Academy today!

QC Fam Friday: Top Tips for a Stunning Makeup Portfolio

By QC Makeup Fam Friday No Comments

Welcome back to another installment of QC Makeup Fam Friday! In this ongoing series, we explore the thoughts, stories, and opinions of real QC students and grads. Each month, they’ll weigh in on topics surrounding makeup training, finding work in the professional world, and being an MUA in the beauty industry!

Today, they’re here to answer one very insightful question: What is your #1 tip for a stunning makeup portfolio?

Let’s see what the QC makeup fam has to say!

makeup portfio QC 1

Sara Carvalho

Master Makeup Artistry

“Clear photos, no filters!"

makeup portfolio QC 2

Savanna Rae Howell

Master Makeup Artistry / Virtual Makeup

"Originality! You want to show people how you're different. So, make yourself stand out. You can't do that by showing people what they've seen countless others do."

Melissa McDonald Burley

Master Makeup Artistry / Special FX Makeup / Airbrush Makeup Workshop

"Be aware of your background! If it's too messy or too busy, it takes away from your work."

Bek Kapfer

Master Makeup Artistry / Airbrush Makeup Workshop

"Think about the background, clothing, hairstyle, etc.! Make the client imagine how they’ll look and feel with the makeup looks you provide."

Rochelle Perignon

Master Makeup Artistry / Skincare

"You DON'T need to go out and buy a $2k camera to get perfect photos! There are mini lenses you can buy for $20 on Amazon that help create clear photos."

Jacqui Hodges

Master Makeup Artistry / Pro Makeup Workshop / Skincare / Airbrush Makeup Workshop / Special FX Makeup / Virtual Makeup

"You do NOT need to buy all the most expensive brands to create a stunning makeup look. Plus, these days, the best pictures can be captured with your phone."

Evelyn Czaja

Master Makeup Artistry / Pro Makeup Workshop / Airbrush Makeup Workshop

"Make sure the makeup look works with the client, the outfit they’re wearing, and the occasion."

Kayla Birgitta Hellstrom

Master Makeup Artistry / Hair Styling Essentials

"Originality and practice! The only way to get better at anything is to practice."

Norma Rayner

Master Makeup Artistry / Hair Styling Essentials

"Find the best lighting - even if you have to move around to get it!"

Vanessa-Paul Hernandez

Master Makeup Artistry / Pro Makeup Workshop / Global Beauty Workshop / Virtual Makeup

"How do I choose just one?! Okay... Do NOT put pictures of yourself in your portfolio!"

Michelle Lannon

Master Makeup Artistry / Airbrush Makeup Workshop / Skincare / Hair Styling Essentials

"Lighting! Lighting is your best friend when it comes to taking proper pictures. I have struggled with it sometimes, as I have lived in places where it is difficult to get great lighting. Also, ensure that your background looks professional and that you have captured your model at the right angle."

Luzaan de Bruyn

Master Makeup Artistry / Airbrush Makeup Workshop / Special FX Makeup / Virtual Makeup

"Never be afraid to ask your client for a beautiful pose somewhere outdoors."

Veronika Kelle

Master Makeup Artistry / Pro Makeup Workshop / Special FX Makeup

"My #1 tip is to build a makeup portfolio with high-quality pictures, preferably taken by professional photographers. A portfolio that contains clear images of your work helps to attract new clients, as well as showcases your skills and the diversity in your projects."

Learn everything you need to know to create the perfect makeup portfolio by enrolling in QC’s Portfolio Development Workshop today!

Makeup certification grad, Katie Stegeman

Graduate Feature: Katie Stegeman

By Graduate Feature No Comments

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Katie Stegeman and I am from Oshkosh, WI. I have 5 beautiful babies and have been married to my husband for almost 9 years.

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

Makeup artistry is something that has been on my mind since I was in high school. I was almost going to go to cosmetology school, but then I found out that I was expecting my oldest. So, I decided not to go and instead got my BS in Business Management. In April of 2020, I decided to switch paths when quarantine started. That’s when I found QC Makeup Academy!

How would you describe your makeup style? What is your favorite makeup style?

My favorite makeup to do is natural beauty and bridal. I love enhancing a person’s natural features to make them glow. For bridal, I love being able to help that person’s beauty shine on their biggest day. Natural glam is my favorite style, though; adding just that little bit extra in the lashes or lips to really make a person’s features POP!

Why did you choose to pursue your makeup certification online instead of in-person?

For me, in-person training is not an option for me right now. I stay at home with my 5 babies. Caring for the youngest ones does not allow time for me to go to a physical school – not if I still wanted to sleep, haha! For me and my life right now, an online makeup certification was my only option.

Why did you choose to enroll with QC Makeup Academy, when compared to other makeup schools offered online?

I looked at schools for probably 6 months before I chose QC Makeup Academy. What drew me to QC was their:

They wanted me to succeed, and I felt that from day one. QC truly cares about their students! I knew I was not going to sign up and be left alone. In particular, the tutor feedback is invaluable! It really helps me to grow and become the best I can be.

What sort of makeup services does your business currently offer clients?

Currently, I offer a wide variety of makeup services and hair styling. So far, I have done makeup and hair for wedding showers, family photography shoots, senior portraits, and bridal / wedding day makeup.

As you mentioned, you also offer hair styling services. Why did you choose to add this additional skill-set to your makeup certification, and how has it been beneficial to your career in the beauty industry so far?

So far, it’s really helped with photography shoots! Being able to add some curls to my models’ and clients’ makeup services helps give them a more complete look for their photos.

You’ve graduated from QC’s Skincare Course. In your opinion, how has proper skincare knowledge improved your skills as a makeup artist?

Proper skincare knowledge has immensely helped my makeup skills! Understanding how a person’s skin will react to certain formulas, as well as what to use (and not use) for their desired looked, has been invaluable. Not to mention, this course has helped me better understand my own skin! Now I can really repair my own skin and switch my makeup, so that my face looks and feels better.

You’ve also completed QC’s Virtual Makeup program. Why did you choose to take this course, and why do you feel the training provided is valuable (especially during a global pandemic)?

I signed up almost immediately after the Virtual Makeup Course was launched. Especially now, our world is moving more and more towards digital platforms. I wanted to make sure that I could add this to my knowledge base. I wanted to maintain a high level of professionalism; truly understand what I could be doing to the best of my ability. Going through a live virtual consultation has really helped. I have already booked virtual consultations with some of my clients!

Your Global Beauty Workshop training has already come in handy for you! Tell us a little about how this special skill-set helped you stand out from the competition and book a new client!

I was recently scrolling through Facebook, and I saw a post open to ANY makeup artist in the area that had experience doing makeup on dark skin. Not a single other artist in our area had worked with dark and deep skin before! So, being the only MUA with that kind of training, I wound up booking the job on the spot!

We do not live in a very diverse area. But I feel like this training has made it possible for me to work on any single person that sits in my chair! Knowing how to work on ALL skin tones is necessary for every single makeup artist. Having this skill has been amazing – I’ve booked jobs I definitely would not have had otherwise!

You definitely believe in the value of education. In your opinion, why is professional training (and obtaining reputable makeup certifications) a smart move for aspiring makeup artists?

Doing someone else’s makeup was NOT something I wanted to guess at. It was not something I was just going to wing or figure out on the fly. Rather, it was something I wanted to KNOW how to do.

I did not want it to be a secondary skill. I didn’t want to simply watch social media and replicate what I saw on there. I wanted to have the best training behind me so that I could be AMAZING at it. Any makeup artist that I have really looked up to has had professional training. I knew I wanted to have that education behind me as well.

What is the #1 reason you recommend QC Makeup Academy?

The TOP reason why I recommend QC Makeup Academy is because of the tutors and their feedback. They will not let you fail, and they will not let you settle for less than your full potential. If you put in the work, do the assignments, really listen to all of the feedback, and genuinely try to improve, you cannot fail with QC Makeup Academy!

Finally: you have a crystal ball that lets you see 5 years into the future. Where do you see yourself and your makeup career?

If I could imagine where I would be in 5 years, I would have my calendar full of wedding clients! I’d also be highly recommended in my area for print ads and commercials for local businesses!

online makeup classes student and graduate, Sara Nielsen headshot

Graduate Feature: Sara Nielsen

By Graduate Feature No Comments

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a qualified beautician. I love every kind of beauty, as well as everything pink! I’m currently employed as a day spa. I’m also building my own studio, so I can spend the rest of my days doing makeup.

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

Makeup had me at “hello”! I was always geared to make people feel pretty.

online makeup classes graduate studio outside
online makeup classes graduate studio inside

How would you describe your makeup style? Do you have a favorite makeup style?

My favorite style would be pinup. But I do love the ‘no makeup’ look, where the natural beauty is enhanced.

Tell us the origin behind the name of your business, Bella D’s Beauty.

I named my business after my kids, Bella and Daniel!

You offer clients a wide range of MUA services, such as bridal, special occasion, and photoshoot makeup. Do you have a particular area of makeup artistry that you gravitate to most? If so, why?

I definitely prefer bridal makeup. Being part of someone’s special day is very rewarding!

You recently submitted your work into a “Spring Bride” makeup competition (for which, your photo above was the submission). Why do you enjoy taking part in photoshoots?

Photoshoots are always great fun! The images you can achieve when working with the right photographers are amazing!

Your business has a lot of fantastic reviews! In your opinion, what is the #1 secret to providing excellent customer service as a makeup artist?

There’s only one secret to excellent customer service: do what you love and love what you do!

What is the proudest moment in your makeup career so far?

I did the makeup for the singer, Jonny Taylor. I did the makeup for the music video, “You’ll Never Break Me“.

Why did you choose to enroll in QC’s online makeup classes?

I chose QC based on the course outlines. Plus, a proper certification goes a LONG way in this industry!

Overall, how has your experience been in your online makeup classes?

My experience has been fantastic! The course outlines, materials, and assignments were all easy to understand and follow. The feedback I received from my tutor in the Master Makeup Artistry Course was essential to moving forward. For me, symmetry is the goal!

Why do you feel that continued education and additional skill-sets are critical to any working makeup artist? How do you expect your growing qualifications will strengthen your career?

The industry moves at such a fast speed. We must always stay on top of trends! Building on your qualifications will provide you with extra validation and earn even more of your clients’ trust.

Why would you recommend QC Makeup Academy’s online makeup classes to aspiring MUAs who wish to turn their passion into a successful career?

There are many reasons, but my top reason would be that all of QC’s online makeup classes are self-paced and extremely easy to follow!

What’s on the horizon for Bella D’s Beauty in 2021 and beyond?

As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently building my business’s studio. I plan to bring 2021 in with style! #BossLady

Finally: what is your absolute FAVORITE makeup product?

I have so many – but definitely Huda Beauty’s Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Palette!

Inspired by Sara’s story? Start your online makeup classes today!

Your Makeup Artist Training: Nathan’s Tuesday Tips (Part 4)

By From the Experts, Makeup Tips and Tricks No Comments

If you want to take your makeup artist training to the next level, there are few in this industry better capable of guiding you than Nathan Johnson. While there are many amazing things that set QC Makeup Academy apart from other makeup schools (both online and in-person), Nathan’s expertise and genuine love of the craft definitely rank near the top of the list!

He is an industry professional who not only knows his stuff, but also truly cares about each and every one of QC’s students and graduates!

makeup artist training by Nathan Johnson

From the incredible instruction he provides throughout QC’s online makeup classes, to the support he gives in the Virtual Classroom and the amazing monthly webinars he hosts – Nathan is the embodiment of a true beauty expert, whose makeup knowledge is only outmatched by the size of his heart!

Another way he goes above and beyond in his mission to enhance our students’ makeup artist training is through his Tuesday Tips! Each week, Nathan films a short clip, in which he reveals useful tricks to help you better your makeup artistry skills. On Facebook especially, this segment – aptly called “Nathan’s Tuesday Tips” – had grown wildly popular!

In this monthly blog series, we gather these Tuesday Tips so we can share them with you here! Missed our previous installments? No worries! You can find them here:

Today, we’ll take a look at another 6 of Nathan’s most valuable beauty hacks. Want to add to the knowledge gained in your classes and take your makeup artist training to the next level? Then you don’t want to miss out on these gems!

Tip #1: The secret to getting a more natural blush!

“Want a more natural blush? Try cream! It gives a beautiful glow from within – and it’s also an awesome way to tint the lips.”

Tip #2: The right way to highlight!

“Use highlight only on the bones you want to accent. Putting it everywhere, or in too many places, will take dimension out of the face – not add it.”

Tip #3: Achieving crisp, clean foundation!

“Want to keep that foundation crisp and clean? Try applying eye makeup first! No fall-away means perfect, crisp complexion.”

Tip #4: What “full coverage makeup” really means!

“Full coverage does NOT mean heavy makeup. It means more pigment in the makeup. Foundation, when perfectly applied, should always be invisible. You should see the results of it – but you shouldn’t see the product! Heavy makeup is nothing more than heavy makeup.”

Tip #5: How to transform your lashes!

“Are you dealing with scrawny lashes? Try dusting the lashes with a little translucent powder between the coats of mascara! The mascara will grab the translucent powder, resulting in lush, thick, and beautiful lashes.”

Tip #6: Creating your own, custom lip gloss!

“Want to try out your own, custom lip gloss? Try mixing your favorite loose pigment with some petroleum jelly! Voila!”

Build even more on your makeup artist training with QC’s Advanced and Specialty Courses!

makeup classes graduate, Elly Nunns

Ambassador Feature: Elly Nunns

By Student Ambassador One Comment

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Elly and I am a proud student here at QC Makeup Academy. I’m 22 years old, Maltese and Australian, and am incredibly passionate about both makeup and skincare.

A fun fact about me: I’m so tall that if my hair is in a bun, I’m too tall to sit up straight in my car!  

You actually started your journey with an interest in skincare services. What is it about skincare consulting that appeals to you?

I developed adult acne after high school and quickly realized that I didn’t know how to take care of my skin. Acne can be painful mentally and physically. So, for the past 5 years, I’ve been researching as much as I can about healing the skin, and have been working in the retail beauty industry.

Once lockdown began and I realized that I would have to postpone going to beauty school, I saw that QC offered a full course on skincare consulting. Now, here I am!

Why did you decide to build upon this and add professional makeup artistry to your skill-set?

Despite the amazing support from friends and family to always follow my dreams, I never believed I was good enough to work in the beauty industry. After losing my full-time job due to COVID-19, I knew that I needed to grab the bull by the horns and have some confidence in myself.

After seeing the A-grade quality of QC’s makeup classes, I knew that I wanted to express my creative side through makeup, as well as my research side through skincare consulting. I also realized the joy I had in making people feel beautiful, and how much that fueled my passion.

Why did you decide to pursue your training online instead of in-person?

Many people think that I decided to study online because of the pandemic. However, I wanted to be assured that I wasn’t under a strict time limit, and that I could study from home while I go to work.

I have a tendency to multi-task, and I thoroughly enjoy having a hobby to do after work and on the weekends. So, why not become qualified in something I love? The flexibility of studying online has also been amazing for me because I care for my family members, which often occupies my time.

Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll in QC Makeup Academy’s online skincare and makeup classes?

The first quality I noticed about QC was the quality of the skincare and makeup classes. Not only are you provided with textbooks, but you also have access to:

  • In-depth videos by experienced makeup artists;
  • Personal and professional feedback;
  • Help by staff, whenever you need it;
  • An incredible community of students;
  • And so much more!

I was also incredibly impressed with the payment options. If quality skincare and makeup classes weren’t enough, you also receive a free makeup kit when you enroll in the Master Makeup Artistry Course. This way, anyone can complete the assignments, no matter the amount of makeup they own. Amazing!

You’ve since graduated from the Skincare Course. What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned from this training?

The Skincare Course was so fun and interesting that I am actually sad it’s over! As much as I already knew about skincare ingredients and techniques, QC presented the information in such a clear and exciting way. I felt like I finally had the confidence to relay the information onto my future clients.

The best thing about this course are the client scenarios provided through the assignments. Not only were they challenging; they prepared me with techniques for face-to-face work with clients, which I still use to this day.

Now a certified International Skincare Consulting Professional (ISCP), you have your own business, Shining Light Skincare Consulting. What has the experience been like so far, being an entrepreneur?

Just reading this question is so surreal to me! I never thought that I would be able to not only be qualified, but have the confidence to start my own business.

Despite only being in the early days, I feel so blessed to be able to have worked with amazing clients and be a part of their skincare journey. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with social media presence and being current with skincare trends. However, I love being able to share my passion with others and lead them to healthier skin. The confidence my clients end up having in themselves is what motivates me every day!

You’re also nearly finished QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Do you have plans to add makeup services to your business in the future?

Originally, I had no plans to add makeup services to my resume. However, with the confidence I’ve gained from QC’s makeup classes, as well as the support of my fellow students, I’ve decided that I will offer bridal, commercial and formal makeup services.

I can’t wait! The resources that QC provides (to help you learn how to start a makeup business) have me feeling fully equipped and ready to jump right in!

makeup classes graduate, Elly Nunns, doing makeup on herself

You had celebrity makeup artist and international skincare expert, Nathan Johnson, as your tutor in both of your courses. How valuable was his feedback along the way and why?

I am BEYOND grateful to have Nathan as my tutor. This man is a genius! The feedback I received (and continue to receive) from him has stuck in my mind. It’s really enriched my makeup and skincare skills, to the point where I can see the changes in my work throughout my assignments.

Nathan has years of experience under his belt and it shows in the way he gives feedback. He always makes a point of celebrating the amazing skills we all have and the techniques that we’ve mastered along the way, whilst educating us on what we can improve on.

You’ve recently joined QC’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what’s the #1 thing you want brand new students to know about QC Makeup Academy?

I want our new students to know that they are welcome and accepted for who they are and what their style of makeup is. Every single student has their own incredible style, and it’s been so amazing and inspiring to see this expressed in the Virtual Classroom every day.

If you are unsure, lacking confidence, or need advice, know that QC’s staff and students are right there to help and chat! Aside from the knowledge and qualifications QC has provided me, the friends and support I’ve gained are priceless.

Ready to begin your makeup classes and earn your professional certification? Check out the wide variety of courses offered by QC Makeup Academy and get started today!

makeup certification student, Cheri Stevens

Ambassador Feature: Cheri Stevens

By Student Ambassador No Comments

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am a 52-year-old mom of 2 amazing kids, who are grown and long gone. I’m an avid gardener and baker, and I love messing around with my Shih Tzu, Feta. I have always had a fascination with form and function. I was an avid artist for many years.  I also have a passion for interior design!

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

When I was a teen in school, I was not what you would call “cute”. I did try, but I wasn’t the kind to be very girly. It wasn’t until I was older (and after reading countless magazines) that I really became interested in how makeup can transform a blank canvas – without transforming the person inside.

When I decided to enroll, honestly, it stemmed from a desire to take my makeup knowledge to the next level. I also want to be able to educate other mature women who may not have the same kind of knowledge about makeup that I do.

Why did you decide to pursue your makeup certification online, rather than in-person?

When choosing whether to attend school online or in-person, that was a no-brainer. I was already working when I enrolled. I also have a puppy to attend to (as well as a hubby). So, being offered the chance to do schooling online was perfect for me. Plus, who doesn’t want to learn in their pajamas?!

Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll and get your makeup certification with QC Makeup Academy?

After taking a good year to research what was out there, QC Makeup Academy seemed like the logical choice!

They offered me real a makeup certification, and their Master Makeup Artistry Course offers informative videos, a very substantial makeup kit, and all the printed materials I could need. They also have a Virtual Classroom on Facebook where we can help each other. I find this type of lifetime support incredibly valuable. Enrolling with QC is a win-win!

As you’ve mentioned, you are currently taking our Master Makeup Artistry Course. How has your experience in this program been so far?

This course has been incredible! I’ve realized that so many things that I thought were correct (prior to getting training) actually weren’t. The feedback has also been tremendous. I get to move at my own pace, which is great. Not to mention, there is always SO much support in the Virtual Classroom. They’re like a second family to me now.

How useful have the course materials and assignments been, and how valuable has the feedback been from your tutor?

The materials in this course are first-rate, for sure! There is literally TONS of information, and it’s presented in an easy-to-follow way. The videos by Nathan Johnson are super fun to watch. He’s very educational in the way he works. My tutor, Pat Armstrong, always has encouraging things to say. She’s been MOST helpful in her critiquing!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far from your training?

Practice, practice,  practice! Also, how to train your eye to look differently at what you previously thought was correct.

You’ve recently joined QCs team of Student Ambassadors.  As an Ambassador, what is the #1 thing you want brand new students to know about QC Makeup Academy?

Besides having a ton of fun, the #1 thing is that you will receive a reputable makeup certification while learning at your own pace! With QC, you’re guided by amazing, talented tutors who are there for you for life – even after you graduate!

How has your career as a makeup artist been affected by COVID-19.  In what ways have you adjusted to this new normal?

While working on models and bridal parties has been put on hold (we’ve been put back to Stage 2 where I live), I have been working on doing online consultations and also virtual makeovers.

Plus, I will be updating my YouTube soon to include more looks for mature women. I also have a potential wedding next year, if all goes well. So, I’m pretty okay so far!

You’re passionate about shedding light on makeup artistry for mature skin.  In your opinion, why is this kind of representation so important?

In the makeup world, I think it’s extremely important to include those of us who are, let’s just say, no longer in our 20s. Just look at all of the stunning mature actresses out there, like Jane Fonda or Helen Mirren!

They all need a makeup artist! After researching, I found that there’s not a whole lot out there that’s really geared towards mature skin (or those of us with mature skin). I also find it very important that someone with a makeup certification be available to their clients for educational purposes as well. We can show mature clients what makes them shine, and that knowledge is power!

What are your top career goals as a makeup artist?

Ultimately, my goal is to work in the TV and film industry. But I’d also like to get a mature makeup line out there that’s easy, beautiful, and doable for anyone – even if they are younger. Mature women need AFFORDABLE products that do what they say. I’m hoping that I can be that person to make this happen!

If you could see into the future, which makeup or beauty trend do you foresee gaining popularity in 2021?

Heading into 2021, I predict – or can hope – that we will be keeping with the fresh, natural, glowing skin and makeup trends. That does not mean we can’t be creative. But I predict there will be looks focused around:

  • Soft, glowing skin
  • Wide-awake, soft, and beautiful eye looks
  • Powdery, soft focus lips

At least, I hope so anyway!

Finally, in your opinion, what is the TRUE secret to success?

Never stop learning, and put the work in. 

If you don’t work hard, it won’t happen. You should also love what you do. If you don’t love it then it’s not for you!

Ready to earn YOUR makeup certification? Check out the wide variety of courses offered by QC Makeup Academy and get started today!