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Sloane Seguin

How to Start a Beauty Blog

By Tutorials & Tips, Your Makeup Career No Comments

With 2020 only a couple more weeks away, this is the time of year where your motivation rears its head and you suddenly find yourself wanting to take on the world. You’ve been putting in the time and effort to hone your makeup skills, and you feel like the next logical step to expand your MUA career and gain more of a following is to start a beauty blog.

What an excellent New Year’s Resolution! You feel good about it. In fact, you’re confident; you’re focused! You’re going to give this beauty blog maximum effort, and slay it without even smudging your lipstick!

Aaaaaaand then you’ll probably lose that drive and give up on your goal before January’s even over. Just like most of us are guilty of doing every year.

You’re not going to let that happen to you THIS year, right? You’ve been putting in way too much time and effort into your passion. You can’t give up that easily. The roaring 20s are back, baby, and this is going to be not just your year, but your decade!

So put on your best (and most glamorous) war paint, get ready and brace yourself for the life-changing journey you’re about to go on. We’re going to show you exactly how to get the ball rolling and start your very own beauty blog!

tattooed girl surrounded by cosmetics testing lipstick on hand

Step One: What’s Your Brand?

Before you can start building your blog, you need to have a clear idea of what sort of vibe you want it to give off:

  • Do you have any favorite colors that you’d always want to use as your aesthetic?
  • Are you a naturally sarcastic person and want that to show through?
  • Is there perhaps a particular angle you want to approach your beauty blog from? Etc.

In short: when people think of your beauty blog, how do you want them to perceive you? If they were to describe what you and your blog are all about to someone else, what would you want to say?

Figuring out the answers to all of these questions will help you discover what you want your brand to be and how you’ll achieve it. Even if you can’t think of a unique angle for your blog, that’s fine! Maybe the angle you’ll be known for is that your writing is always rock-star solid. Who knows!

Point is, don’t hesitate to think outside the box! Whether it’s beauty mogul, Huda Kattan, or the hilarious makeup tutorials done by the queen of weed, Brandi Fernandez, you’ll very rarely find a niche incapable of becoming popular.

If you do it well and do it persistently, any brand can have an audience.

Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, you also won’t need millions of subscribers within that audience in order to make money off of your beauty blog, become an influencer, etc. You can just as easily achieve these goals with several hundred to several thousand fans, by becoming a micro-influencer. The more you know!

Step Two: What’s in a Name?

You’re also not going to be able to actually get started on your beauty blog until you decide what to call it. This step is obviously important since, for a lot of your audience, your name will be his or her first impression of you. A bad name can turn a potential follower away in seconds. It’s no surprise then that because this step is so crucial, it’s also the one that scares people away from starting a beauty blog the most.

scared woman hiding face with hands

While you absolutely need to give this step the proper time and consideration, it also doesn’t have to be as difficult as you’ll make it out to be. There are tons of popular cosmetic keywords you can choose to target in your name. You can get help from third-party generators, like the Business Name Generator. You can even get inspiration from the different trends of today’s generation (hint: millennials always go bananas over puns and memes).

If you already have a website for your makeup business, you should host your blog on that same site. It’ll help you with SEO! But if you’re starting a beauty blog from scratch, make sure that whatever name you pick is available to be purchased as a website domain name! If it’s not, time to go back to the drawing board.

Step 3: Building your blog

One of the most popular blog platforms in the world – and the one that we use – is WordPress. This is what we personally recommend. There are tons of reasons to choose WordPress, but its most attractive features are that:

  • It’s free
  • It has tons of templates to choose from (even beauty-inspired ones!)
  • It’s simple to customize, so even a beginner will have no trouble getting setup

Ultimately, though, it’s entirely up to you! Research into the different platforms and decide which one speaks most to you. Then you can get building from there!

Step 4: Post and share quality content

You don’t need an expensive camera or the writing skills of Shakespeare to create good content for your audience. So long as your knowledge of the beauty industry always shines through and your smartphone’s pictures aren’t the quality of a potato, you’re fine. What’s really important are two factors:

1. You post blog articles frequently

No one likes being ghosted, and this applies even to beauty blogging. How useful to her subscribers is a blogger who emerges once from her cave every other month, throws up an article, and then retreats back to the shadows? Gaining notoriety means staying relevant, so post regularly – even if you’re sleeping!

woman holding coffee but asleep at laptop

“Wait, what?”

Yeah, you heard me. For starters, not all of your audience will operate in the same time zone as you. Secondly, it’s only natural that there will be times where you’ll want to take a vacation and not be posting. Beauty bloggers are masters of time management; whenever you have more time to spare, you can write multiple articles at once. Blogging platforms like WordPress will even allow you to schedule them in advance, too.

“But I might start writing crappy blog articles in an attempt to always be posting something!”

Good point! Although posting blog content on a regular basis is part of any successful beauty blogger’s job description, quality is still more valuable than quantity. If there are times where your brain’s hit a creative wall, or nothing you write seems to be any better than wet garbage (it happens to all of us), the safest option is not to force it.

In situations like that, try going back through your blog archive and see if you have any articles you can repost, edit, or revamp. When you’re struggling to come up with a brand new, organic idea, sometimes editing is a far easier task. The general notion towards blog content is that there is wiggle room here. So long as you post as much evergreen material as you can (meaning, stuff that’ll stay relevant for a long time), you’ll set yourself up for success.

2. You have a social media presence to share your work

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter – these are all your best friends! For extra icing on the cake, you can also start using YouTube to post videos of your tutorials, AMAs, etc. All well-known beauty bloggers operate on all different sorts of media to produce their content and promote their business. You definitely should, too. Social media will be your greatest tool in helping your odds of promoting yourself to potential followers.

Just like with your blog articles, there are apps that you can use to bulk schedule your social media content in advance, and then share everything for you. Here at QC, we use Later and Hootsuite, but there are tons of options to choose from.

A strong social media presence shows your audience that you’re there, like an invisible friend. Everyone loves a hard worker that’s passionate about what they do, and who’s succeeding in life. The world sucks in a lot of ways lately, so as a beauty blogger, your job will not just be to provide informative content. It’ll also be to provide a positive escape for all those who will look up to you. You’ll be the comfort zone they turn to when they need a short break from their struggles.

That being said: every pro has its con. Likewise, it’s a fine line between staying relevant and shoving yourself too much into everyone’s faces. Just remember to listen to that little voice inside that warns you when you might be going over the top!

woman writing on laptop, surrounded by makeup and fashion products

Step 5: Knowledge is power!

Whether you’ve been doing this for years, or you’re just starting out and still learning how to do makeup, you’ll benefit from exploring different makeup schools and taking classes.

“Whoah, why do I need classes if I already know what I’m doing?”

Just because someone’s a beauty blogger doesn’t mean they know everything there is to know about the craft. The people who think they know everything are usually the ones who know nothing. You might as well call them Jon Snow and exit out of their page. But you? You’re a true artist, and true artists understand that they’ll never know everything there is to know about their passion – but that will never stop them from trying to learn!

Online makeup schools like QC Makeup Academy are the perfect solution! In addition to a variety of makeup courses, programs touching on other popular areas of beauty blogging are also offered, such as Fashion Styling and/or Hair Styling Essentials.

Especially in the world of beauty, fashion, makeup, etc. the trends are ever-changing. Something that’s popular yesterday could very well be replaced by the latest and hippest look today. There will be the invention of new techniques and applications you haven’t tried before. If you think you know everything? #SorryNotSorry, but you’re wrong.

If you really want to be successful and stand out from your competition, you need to be humble enough to accept that there will always be things you can learn and ways you can improve. You may just find that doing so will only continue to grow your beauty blogging business.

beauty vlogger filming makeup tutorial

So now that you’re basically an expert at getting a beauty blog started, what are you waiting for? 2020 won’t slow down for you, and we all know it’s not going to write itself! So go, vamoose, scoot! You’ve got this, and remember: we believe in you! Xo

Want to build on your cosmetic knowledge with expertly-taught classes? Enroll in one of QC’s leading online makeup courses today!

Can You Truly Learn How to Do Makeup from an Online School?

By Education, Your Makeup Career No Comments

From shopping, to banking, to grocery shopping, we live in an age where more and more things are being done online. But there’s still an understandable hesitation when it comes trusting a faceless stranger with your future – let alone your money!

Believe it or not, you can properly learn how to do makeup from an online makeup school just as well as you could in a brick-and-mortar, hands-on institution. In some cases, online schooling can even have even greater benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at the myths and realities of online learning!

female student writing on laptop

MYTH #1: Physical classes will provide a better environment for me to learn how to do makeup.

If you have nothing but a screen, how can you learn? You don’t get to see the work being done in a real setting. You don’t have the chance to actually try out everything you’re being taught. For anyone who learns best by doing, not just seeing, it would seem that you’re out of luck.

FACT: You can learn everything from your online instructor that you could if he were there in-person.

The right kind of accredited online makeup school will ensure that high quality cosmetics are provided to you, as part of your course tuition. You can then use those products to learn and successfully complete your assignments. In addition to this, there are quite a few more benefits to online learning that you wouldn’t find in a physical class setting.

For starters, in a brick-and-mortar makeup course, there will be other students. You won’t be provided the same opportunity to view your tutor’s work up close. This means you can’t always assess the finer details of the look. In comparison, online makeup classes create an atmosphere where it’s just you and your tutor – no one else. You’ll never need to fight to see what he’s doing. Everything will always be up close and personal, in crystal clear detail.

In physical classes, there’ll also be times where you may miss something your instructor says. That’s a downside to living in the moment: you can’t rewind it and play it again. But you can do exactly that with online classes! When your lessons are conducted online, you have the advantage of being able to pause and rewind whenever needed. You don’t have to miss a single second.

It’s also incorrect to say that online makeup schools won’t give you the opportunity to practically apply what you’re learning. In fact, this is a regular part of each course you’ll be taking! As part of the curriculum, you’ll frequently be asked to take what your tutor is teaching you online and demonstrate your skills on a model. After you’ve filmed or photographed your work, you’ll send it over to your tutor, who will then review it for you from there.

woman applying eyeshadow

MYTH #2: I won’t be able to fix the mistakes I make without my instructor giving me hands-on adjustments, or personalized feedback.

If you’re a tactile learner, it doesn’t vibe well for you that your instructor won’t really be next to you in order to help correct whatever errors you make. Plus, any feedback you get on your assignments will probably be the same generic, pre-recorded message given to all of the students. Online schools don’t have room for much personalization. But you need your experience to be customized in order to be assured you’re learning how to do makeup the right away!

FACT: The type of assistance you get in-person is almost exactly the same as what you get from your online teacher.

Even in-person, most makeup instructors won’t provide hands-on adjustments. Take it from QC Makeup Academy’s Executive Makeup Artist and instructor, Nathan Johnson. He recalls how before he switched to the world of online teaching, he taught in a brick-and-mortar makeup school.

His style of teaching remained exactly the same in both environments! He also notes how, in his experience, he’s never “taken a brush out of a student’s hand to make adjustments to [her] work.” Instead, his verbal feedback and critiques helps guide her to where she needs to go. She learns exactly where and how she needs to improve, without any hands-on adjustments being made on his part.

The same level of time and care is reflected in the feedback that online makeup tutors provide for their students. In fact, the best online makeup schools will give you way more personalization than you could ever find in a brick-and-mortar setting. Following every assignment, your instructor will send you a detailed breakdown of everything you did correctly and incorrectly. He’ll be very clear about where your strengths are, as well as where you need to improve and why.

MYTH #3: I can just learn how to do makeup for free from YouTube beauty bloggers – online makeup school is unnecessary.

Why should you pay expensive tuition fees just to learn from a class what you can learn elsewhere for free? There are countless, famous YouTube beauty bloggers who do amazing makeup tutorials. That’s pretty much exactly what makeup school does anyway!

hands and makeup on table - mua testing powder shade on model's hand

FACT: You’ll never be able to learn proper cosmetic etiquette and application from YouTube videos the way you’d learn through makeup school.

As the saying goes: Nothing good ever comes cheap.

In fact, if you find an online makeup school that charges little but offers a lot, that’s a big red flag to stay away! Realistically, online makeup school is a fair middle ground for two simple reasons:

  1. It’s pricier than the scam schools.
  2. But it’s cheaper than its in-person alternative.

When you weigh the (literal) cost versus the benefits, you’re actually getting a killer deal through online makeup schools. But we get it: free is free. It’s hard to compete with that. Except…

If your endgame is to learn how to do makeup so that you can pursue a professional career as an MUA, then you won’t be doing yourself any favors by cutting corners. In this case, ‘free’ could be what actually costs you in the long run. The reason? While they’re informative, and definitely fun to watch, YouTube videos will never be able to sculpt your skills or teach you how to grow the same way you would with an actual instructor at a leading online makeup school.

No matter how beautiful the beauty blogger, or how in-depth her tutorial goes, her goal is not to teach you. Her goal is to gain subscribers and provide entertainment. You might be able to replicate specific (often over-the-top) “looks” from YouTubers over time, but you’ll never learn how to create looks yourself. You’ll never know how to adapt your creations for different faces, skin tones, occasions, etc.

What’s more, you might very well pick up and then replicate terrible habits from YouTubers without even realizing it!

girl with makeup products filming herself doing tutorial

If makeup is your passion, we know you want to put in the time, effort, and hard work. Cutting corners won’t be an option. You’ll strive to always be learning and whenever possible, explore every opportunity to give yourself the best chances for success. Online makeup school is that opportunity: with the promise that you can and will learn how to do makeup, you can go forth and take over the world, one smoky eye at a time!

Ready to enroll but unsure where to start? Ask yourself these 9 questions when researching any online makeup school!

4 Questions I Always Ask My Special Effect Clients

By From the Experts No Comments

Gabrielle Rivera is a QC Makeup Academy graduate and professional makeup artist. To see more of her work, visit her Instagram here.

As a Special Effects makeup artist, one of the most important things I’ve learned is that it’s crucial to ask the right questions to your clients before the makeup application. During each consultation, I ask my client a variety of questions. That way I can guarantee that the desired look can be achieved, using the appropriate products, to create a flawless and lasting look.

Keep reading to see which important questions Gabrielle always asks her clients.

special fx makeup - man airbrushing animal look on client's face

1. “Do you have any skin allergies or sensitivities?”

This is the most important question to ask any client when applying products to the skin or face. As a makeup artist, you want to ensure that you’re protecting your client’s safety, as well as your own! For example: if she were to have an allergic reaction to a product used on her skin, you could be held liable for a lawsuit. But more importantly, you wouldn’t want to traumatize your client with such a reaction in the first place. Not only would that leave a sour taste in her mouth towards future makeup artists, it can damage your reputation as a makeup artist.

Consultations are absolutely necessary for this reason. As a professional, you should make sure to address any and all skin concerns prior to the application of any product on the skin. This is also a great way for you to check that you’ve prepared the appropriate makeup and supplies for the specific look being requested.

Lastly, when conducting a trial, it’s essential to test small areas on the client’s skin, with the products you intend to use on the day of their event. Testing the products on her skin helps confirm that the client won’t have a reaction.

2. “What are the conditions of the event/occasion?”

Certain factors to include are:

a) Weather

This is the second question I always ask: “Is your event indoors or outdoors? Will weather or other conditions (water, heat, etc.) be a variable?”

The answer can be something that makes or breaks the makeup look. For instance, if the client is attending an outdoor event in the heat (or indoors, where heat may be a factor), the types of products you use will vary, in order to ensure the makeup will be long-lasting.

If the desired makeup look requires face or body painting, you may need to use water-proof makeup, and set it afterwards with powder. This will prevent the makeup from running or smudging due to high temperatures. Similarly, if working with prosthetics, you may need to bring with you a heavier or long-lasting adhesive, so that the prosthetic won’t lift due to heat or moisture throughout the event.

special fx makeup female elf look

b) Length of the Event

In addition to weather, another question that plays a factor in product choice is, “How long is the event?”

This can be just as crucial in determining what specific products should be used, to guarantee a long-lasting makeup look. This is also a necessary question because the client will most likely eat and drink throughout the event. Gathering this information during the consultation provides you with the opportunity to make specific recommendations for the look, if needed.

Say your client wants to create a look that requires a prosthetic around the mouth. You may need to alter the prosthetic – or even the overall look – to ensure that she will be able to drink, eat, or speak comfortably. Likewise, you can also make sure you’re properly prepared to use certain products on the day of, to stop the prosthetic from wearing or lifting.

3. “What is your skin type? Do you have any skin concerns?”

When applying makeup to clients, it’s always a smart choice to ask what her skin type is. Although it might seem obvious if her skin is oily or dry, you can never assume. Remember: although you’re the professional, the client has valuable information to share that can help make the application flawless. Whether she has oily, dry, or combination skin will help determine if you’ll use cream, grease, water-based, or silicone-based products to create the desired look.

This also provides you the opportunity to listen to any concerns your client may have about her skin. She may be acne prone, have areas of dry patches, an oily t-zone, large pores, etc. Allowing your client the opportunity to speak and be heard creates good rapport with her. She’ll feel that her needs and/or concerns are being taken into consideration. This is especially important for client’s who wear minimal makeup, or for those who don’t wear any makeup at all.

Keep in mind that the application process for Special FX makeup can come as a big shock, so you want to keep your client feeling confident and assured that they’re in good hands!

special fx makeup - woman covered in broken shards of glass

4. “What are you wearing for the event? What hairstyle have you decided on?”

Last but certainly not least, your job as a makeup artist is to help your client achieve her desired look. But we can’t forget about the hair or outfit!

An outfit and hairstyle can add or take away from a desired look. So it’s equally important for you as the professional to give your input/recommendations on something you feel compliments the rest of her ensemble. Sometimes, clients don’t take their clothing or hairstyle into consideration when planning the Special FX makeup itself.

Depending on the hairstyle and wardrobe selected, your client may need to come dressed prior to. The hairstyling may also need to be completed before the makeup application. Something else to consider asking is: “Will the look require any makeup or prosthetics to cover her neck or ears, or will the hair and/or outfit cover these areas?”

Always remember to plan for areas of skin not covered!

All makeup artist jobs require that the final product all be a cohesive look. This is particularly important when it comes to Special FX makeup. Never hesitate to tap into your knowledge on color theory, hair styling, Special FX, and Fantasy training. This is what makes the look realistic and more effective, and your client will be sure to love it!

Unsure what Special FX looks to include in your professional makeup portfolio? Check out these recommendations and you’ll be golden!

5 Useless Items You Don’t Need In Your Professional Makeup Kit

By Makeup Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Your Makeup Career No Comments

There are already countless makeup items lining the shelves (both physical and online), and with brand new products coming out every day on top of that, how are you supposed to know what’s legit and what’s no good to you?

Look, you’re a professional, the real deal. So we want to level with you, because a lot of these makeup companies aren’t. The truth is, there are a lot of items you simply do not need in your professional makeup kit. It could be because they don’t work as advertised, or maybe they cost way more than they’re actually worth. Perhaps there’s a more practical, cheaper alternative.

Either way, you’re too good for them, and we just want the best for you!

Keep reading to find out our list of the top 5 items you can go ahead and throw out of your makeup kit!

1. Silicon Makeup Sponge

makeup items you don't need - silicon makeup sponge

What it promises you

Silicon makeup sponges became a hot commodity when they first appeared on the makeup market. With its smooth texture and see-through appearance, they were marketed as the be-all-and-end-all of blending products. Argued to smooth out your foundation better than any competing brush, wedge, or foam sponge counterpart, the idea was that with the silicon makeup sponge, your skin would always have the perfect photoshopped finish.

Why you don’t need it

But once everyone started trying this product, it was very quickly exposed for the hack it is. In reality, most professional makeup artists strongly advise against using a silicon makeup sponge. Why? Unlike the latex-free foam sponge, the silicon’s smooth exterior gives it no way to actually soak up the product. This results in a heavier, cakier foundation application. Sure, the silicon sponge can spread it – but what good is that if it can’t actually blend the makeup into your client’s pores?

You’d be better off using a different applicator.

2. Expensive powders

makeup items you don't need - girl putting on powder with brush

What it promises you

More money, better quality. That’s the idea that’s being sold. The costlier the powder, the better it is for your client’s skin, and her results. Foundation, concealers, and creamy contours can make the skin appear dewy, even wet. It’s easy to sell the importance of a solid powder when it’s the very product that can make or break the look of your skin. With expensive powders, the finish will be seamless, and your client will look perfect. They will soften shine, soak into your client’s pores, create less residue, and be an overall better makeup product than any powder you could buy at a lower price.

Why you don’t need it

The truth is, all powders – regardless of cost – will use two important ingredients: mica and/or talc. So long as these ingredients are finely ground up (which they are in the majority of available makeup powders), they’ll all have the same basic effect. When it comes to the makeup industry, sometimes when you pay an arm and a leg, you’re not really paying for the quality of the product, but where the product’s coming from. If you’re spending $50+ on powder, the majority of that cost is actually just paying for the packaging, marketing, and relevance of the company and its brand.

Of course, that’s not to say that every powder is equal to the other. Some judgement should be used when determining which one you want to use on both yourself and your clients. All we’re saying is, you’re safe to ditch the (pointlessly) fancy stuff. Its drugstore equivalent will do the trick just fine.

3. High-end mascara

makeup items you don't need - MUA putting mascara on client

What it promises you

The really fancy stuff guarantees a superior formula to cheaper mascara. It will give your client longer, thicker lashes with far less clumping. The difference it’ll make for your client’s eyes will be drastically jaw-dropping, and if she were to blink too hard and too fast, her lashes will be SO LONG that she may just lift up and fly away! (Okay, we may be paraphrasing a bit here.)

You get the point, though.

Why you don’t need it

There’s some truth, depending on you and your taste. Many people feel both cheaper and pricey mascaras give the exact same results. Others have compared expensive mascara brands to cheaper ones and admitted they preferred the pricier mascara’s results – but only just by the tiniest bit.

Often times when you see side-by-side photos, you can barely tell them apart. Even if you can, it’s so miniscule that it’s hard to justify paying $25 more dollars just to get that teeny, tiny difference. Lots of drugstore mascaras create exceptional volume and thickness for lashes, with minimal clumping. You might as well save your money, since it won’t mean sacrificing quality.

4. Eyeshadow primer

makeup items you don't need - mua putting eyeshadow primer on client

What it promises you

Eyeshadow primer promises to do two main things:

  1. Keep your client’s concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, etc. looking flawless throughout the day by preventing it from creasing (thanks to its ability to absorb excess oils, etc.)
  2. If the primer has a nude or white tone, it can also provide a brighter, cleaner base for your client’s eyeshadow color(s) so they can really pop

Why you don’t need it

In this case, it’s not that the product doesn’t work as intended – it’s just that there are way cheaper alternatives that can give your client the same kind of outcome. For example, even something like Aloe Vera Gel can be used as a primer. It adds moisture without adding oil. Just dab a tiny amount on your client’s eyelids, give it a few seconds to dry a bit, and then continue!

Most concealers and foundations worth their salt are made to be long-lasting, so you should be able to use those as eyeshadow primer on your client without having to worry about creasing throughout the day. Another suggestion is to simply use a white cream/powder eyeshadow as the primer! The white will give her eyeshadow hues the best ability to really show themselves off.

5. Individual eyeshadow pots

makeup items you don't need - model wearing eyeshadow with eyeshadow palette held up

What it promises you

The exact color/shade you’re looking for in that moment, at an attractively low price.

Why you don’t need it

We’re a firm believer that you should never buy one of something when you can buy a bunch all at once. No, we’re not saying that you should buy multiple individual eyeshadows at the same time. That would cost a fortune! What you should be doing is looking for eyeshadow palettes.

Palettes are individual products that offer many pigments. While they will be a tad pricier upfront than it would be to buy a singular pot, you’ll save your money in the long run and get way more bang for your buck. Plus, palettes are a practical way to carry a wide array of different colors on you while saving space within your professional makeup kit!

In fact, if you’re able to get anything in a bundle (lip shades, contouring kits, makeup brushes, etc.) instead of buying each one individually, that is our greatest money-saving piece of advice for you. Whenever possible, try to go for bulk!

As a makeup artist, you want to ensure that you always present your best self to your clients. Part of doing that is having the best – and most effective – makeup products on-hand. You can achieve this without the most expensive tools and unnecessary products. So as 2020 quickly approaches, make it a New Year’s resolution to say goodbye to those items you don’t need in your professional makeup kit!

We’ve covered which makeup products you don’t need, but what about the essentials? Check out this list of top 10 MUST-HAVE items for your professional makeup kit!