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Spectacular long-haired woman laughing while posing on snow background. Outdoor close-up photo of caucasian female model with romantic smile chilling in park in winter day.

How to Keep Your Winter Skin Happy and Healthy

By Education, Tutorials & Tips No Comments

Winter can be a truly beautiful time. Unfortunately, depending on where you live, it can also be downright awful. All those cold winds, freezing temperatures, and snowy days are just the worst sometimes. If you live somewhere where the air hurts your face, you have to work extra hard to make sure your skin doesn’t suffer due to the weather!

Winter skin is often times unhappy skin: dry, irritated, raw, and itchy. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are 6 tips you can follow to bring the summer back to your skin, even in February!

1. Get rid of fragrance-filled beauty products

Whether it’s your soap, moisturizer, etc. if the product has a scent, it could be packed with irritating chemicals and ingredients. Fragrance ingredients in skincare and makeup products are one of the biggest reasons why people’s skin reacts negatively, such as with allergic reactions, redness, itchiness, rashes, etc. These are already problems that your skin has to face from the winter season alone… Your skincare products shouldn’t make it worse!

Instead, you should opt for natural, fragrance-free products – especially for whatever cleansers/soaps you use to wash your face. The ingredients are way safer for your skin, with far gentler cleansing effects. Just be careful that you read the label of your products carefully, and specifically choose “Fragrance-Free” instead of “Unscented”.


  • Fragrance-Free = no fragrance materials or scent chemicals are in the product, while
  • Unscented = it doesn’t have a scent, but it still contains specific chemicals that are meant to neutralize odors
Smiling glad dark skinned young woman puts soap on face for cleansing, washes with cold water, wants to have healthy fresh skin., wears headband, looks positively at camera, stands naked indoor

2. Don’t neglect your sunscreen

Wait, sunscreen in winter? You betcha! Even though it’s overcast most of the time in winter, the sun still exists behind those clouds. While that could be used as some sort of inspirational, motivating catchphrase, when it comes to your skin, this spells danger. You see, there are 2 culprits behind those dreaded UV rays: UVB and UVA.

Girl blowing on the snow in the park in winter.

While it’s true that UVB is weaker during the winter (thanks to cloudy weather), UVA is just as prevalent in the winter as it is during the summer. UV rays are at their strongest in the summer, but they’re only just a little less strong during the colder months. Basically: we always should wear sunscreen.

Always use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you’re worried about it making your face extra chilly when you step outside, simply remember to put it on a few minutes before you leave the comfort of whatever warm room you’re in. Give it a few minutes to soak into your skin, and you should be fine!

3. Use the right moisturizing products

Remember: you live in an area where the wind hurts your face. Anytime you expose your skin to the winter weather, it’s getting dried out unless properly protected. Not to mention, we often combat the outside cold by keeping our homes super warm. The startling contrast between the two is going to cause your skin some confusion.

So don’t forget to moisturize! Doing so morning and night will help lock in your skin’s natural moisture, and keep it better shielded from the seasonal ailments. For your day moisturizer, it never hurts to use a product that – like your sunscreen – contains SPF. In the evening, apply a richer night cream. It’s thicker, will provide better coverage throughout the night.

Smiling pretty woman applying cream on her face in bathroom

4. Create the right environment at home

As the song goes, the weather outside if frightful… But is the fire at home so delightful? Sure, but what about when the heat is also cranked all winter long? In our attempts to stay warm, it’s easy to inadvertently turn the inside of our home into the Sahara desert for our skin. While you can use the right beauty products, as we discuss above, what about measures you can take in the home itself?

For starters, you can help keep your skin healthy and happy during the winter by increasing the moisture in the air. This can be done by using devices such as a humidifier. While you don’t need a humidifier in every part of your house, it would be worth it to at least place one in a room or two where you tend to spend the most time (such as your bedroom).

Bonus: Keeping a humidifier in your room during the winter will also help reduce your likelihood of getting a dry, sore, and scratchy throat. Double the win!

Other than that, the biggest piece of advice we can give is simple: turn down the heat in your home. No, we aren’t suggesting you shiver and suffer, just so your skin can be a little less dry. We’re saying that realistically, you’ll probably be okay if you lower your thermostat by just a few degrees, and supplement the heat by wearing layers, using blankets, etc.

5. Stay hydrated

As always, your overall health is always what comes first! So here’s a fun little fact: water is practically a superfood for your skin.

When you don’t drink enough water, your skin struggles to retain its natural moisture because you start to become dehydrated. The more dehydrated you are, the less elasticity your skin has. This can lead to things like wrinkles.

Young woman drinking pure glass of water

If you’re prone to oily skin, water is one of your best friends. Dehydration can also lead to even oilier skin than usual, because you don’t have the water needed in the body to flush out all those unwanted toxins. It’s also the culprit of pimples and breakouts! Water is essential for our body’s ability to generate new skin cells, which is part of how we heal. Without water to keep our skin hydrated, how can it fight off the bacteria that causes acne?

While the amount of water you should drink varies from person to person, medical professionals state that we should drink at least 8 glasses a day. If you’re not used to drinking that much water, it might be a little tricky at first. If you need help remembering, you can always set yourself an alarm to remind you to drink some water, because remember: hydrated skin is happy skin!

6. Become a skincare professional

What better way to learn the ins and outs of skincare than to study it and become a certified skincare expert? You don’t need to pay an arm and a leg to go to an Esthetics school, either. Some of the best makeup schools (both online and brick-and-mortar) offer outstanding skincare courses that can earn you accredited certification upon graduation.

Keep in mind that whatever career you’d want to pursue in the skincare industry might affect the type of certifications you’ll need. But for example, QC Makeup Academy offers a comprehensive Skincare Consultant course that can prepare you to be:

  • A freelanced, independent Skincare Consultant
  • A Consultant for companies like Sephora, and other makeup beauty counters
  • Bridal Beauty services
  • And much more!

It can also open the door to continued learning in makeup artistry and a professional career as an MUA, if such a thing interests you!

happy MUA doing makeup for young girl

The best part is, you can earn your Skincare Consultant certification in as little as 3 months. You could quite literally start your skincare course, work as hard as possible, and become a certified professional before 2020 is even over!

Then you could earn a living making sure everyone’s skin is happy and healthy – not just during the winter, but ALL year round!

Are YOU guilty of committing any of these 5 skincare sins? Keep reading to find out!

Industry Spotlight: Kevin James Bennett

By Featured No Comments

As a makeup artist, your love of learning is essential. You should have a desire to master the proper techniques, to watch others, learn from their expertise, and soak up as much information about the craft as you possibly can!

One excellent way of doing that is by continuing your education through makeup training and classes. But as QC executive MUA and instructor, Nathan Johnson, says, there’s also a certain level of “real world” learning required, too! And studying industry professionals is one of the easiest and fastest ways anyone can access that education.

When studying influential makeup artists, you’re learning an abundance of useful information, such as:

  • How they paved and shaped the cosmetic world
  • Different makeup trends, techniques, applications, and styles
  • Makeup theories and philosophies you may not have ever heard or considered before
  • Newfound knowledge on beauty and skincare products
  • Business and networking advice from legitimate experts

Part One of our Industry Spotlight series can be found here. Now, let’s continue with the second ‘cosmetic pioneer’ that should be on every makeup artist’s radar: Kevin James Bennett.

Kevin James Bennett Headshot

Meet Kevin James Bennett

With over 30 years in the makeup industry, Kevin James Bennett (a.k.a. KJB) is one of those names you just know. A winner and nominee of multiple Emmy Awards for his contributions to the makeup department, Bennett is best known for his thorough beauty knowledge, his straightforward and educational online presence, and his business-focused approach to his craft. Above all this, his expertise when it comes to makeup and skincare products is unrivaled.

Interestingly, being a makeup artist wasn’t Bennett’s original life plan. At first, he was a stage actor. As is the case with most theater performers, Bennett had to learn how to apply his own makeup – but he admits that it never particularly interested him! It wasn’t until years later, while working in display design at Bloomingdale’s NYC, that Bennett’s destiny became clear. After painting mannequins with real makeup, that “art and cosmetics became entwined”, and Bennett’s love of makeup began to blossom.

This just goes to show you that you never know where life will take you, and it’s NEVER too late to make your dreams a reality! In fact, Bennett himself says that the most important piece of advice he can offer aspiring makeup artists is to “never be afraid to fail”! You can’t learn from your mistakes otherwise, which means you won’t be able to progress. As the old saying goes: you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!

Contributions to the Makeup Industry

In addition to the aforementioned makeup work for TV (for which Bennett was nominated for 5 Emmys and won 2), he has contributed to countless brands, businesses, and product lines over the years, including (but not limited to):

  • Allure
  • Marie Claire
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Behind the Chair
  • Access Hollywood
  • Entertainment Tonight
  • L’Oréal
  • Johnson & Johnson

But Bennett isn’t just a man of the corporations. On the contrary, he offers his impressive skills and consulting services to independent companies, freelance artists, and entrepreneurs as well! “My mission,” Bennett states, “is to deliver intelligent, innovative concepts and solutions to clients.”

From his website alone, you can see the 3 major areas that Bennett focuses on with clients:

  1. Cosmetic Development
  2. Makeup Artistry
  3. Appearances & Education

Cosmetic Development

This is the process of taking an idea for a new makeup or skincare product or line, and developing this from concept to the production line and beyond. Brand and product development, marketing, eCommerce, and social media integration are just some of the many services Bennett offers and advises on here. Most important, he makes sure the products are cutting edge and necessary in the industry; from an ingredient, to formulation, and even to color perspective.

Makeup Artistry

Bennett’s makeup skills are so diverse, he has had a long career working in fashion, advertising, production, red carpet events and galas, television, and so much more!

Appearances & Education

Wanting to share his expertise with others who love the craft, Bennett often appears as a featured speaker/industry expert at trade shows, conferences, classes, etc.  Here, he offers his expertise as an industry expert and educator.

He also utilizes his social media presence to help make others aware of various cosmetic and skincare product information – the good and the bad.

Whether you are new to the industry, or is an industry pro, you’ll be able to learn a lot from his social media pages! He often shares honest reviews about makeup brands, his take on makeup techniques, and opens up education debates on industry news.

Lifelong learning is not optional; it’s mandatory for success in the 21st Century. My daily routine includes reviewing industry news, innovation, and trends, because my clients deserve the most relevant services.

Kevin James Bennett

An Expert’s Opinion…

Here are some really interesting fun facts about KJ Bennett that should be of interest any makeup artist looking to make a long-term career out of their passion.

The importance of complexion

Admittedly “obsessed” with creating flawless skin on his clients, Bennett is a firm believer that no matter how polished the rest of the makeup look is, if the complexion isn’t 100% to your liking, the whole thing will still wind up looking incomplete. Definitely something worth keeping in mind for your own work!

The importance of SFX makeup

Even if you’re not an SFX makeup artist, and even if you have no interest in doing SFX makeup in your career, Bennett insists that there are still some SFX products you should consider keeping in your professional makeup kit! For example, he finds that the basics – such as adhesives and molding materials – as well as alcohol activated palettes are way more useful than you think. “The line between makeup and SFX can be blurred very effectively, if you know how to manipulate your products,” Bennett says. Hmm…Perhaps taking an SFX Makeup course could only help your skills further!

The importance of education

For those who are new to the industry and trying to make sure they take the right steps for both themselves and their makeup business, Bennett believes that to be successful, you must be passionate, yet humble. Strive to always do your best, and as part of that, never stop in your quest to learn more about makeup, skincare, and the industry as a whole. No matter how much you know, you’ll never know everything – there’s always more you haven’t discovered yet!

Are there any makeup pioneers that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for future installments of our Industry Spotlight!

Want to rock the makeup world and leave your mark like KJ Bennett? Start by enrolling today in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry course, and become a certified makeup artist!

hair styist blow drying client's hair

4 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Add Hair Styling to Your Makeup Business

By Hair Styling, Your Makeup Career No Comments

Many MUAs see hair styling as a separate field entirely, but play your cards right and hair styling can be your secret weapon. The makeup industry is a tough market with plenty of competition. Without upping your game and adding to your qualifications and skillset, how can you hope to stand out from the crowd? Hair styling classes are one of your best assets to do this!

That being said, watching YouTube videos and possessing a natural ability to do a French braid aren’t going to be enough to add this additional service to your business. That alone won’t make you a pro. Like makeup artistry, hair styling doesn’t necessarily require schooling or certification – but having it not only makes YOU better, it better qualifies you when compared to others who don’t have it themselves.

But we get it: you have your hesitations. In fact, you’re probably thinking, is it really worth shelling out more money to take a hair styling class? It can’t benefit my makeup business that much, can it?

Well, let’s see about that. First, it’s important to quickly understand what exactly a hair stylist is, and what they do.

What is a Hair Stylist?

Is “hair stylist” just another term for a hair dresser?

NO! (We seriously can’t stress this enough.)

The two are completely different, and require entirely separate training, qualifications, and certification. In addition to styling, hair dressers are qualified to cut, color, bleach, and apply extensions to hair. A cosmetology license is usually required to be a hair dresser, which takes anywhere from 1 to 2 years to obtain.

As a hair stylist, you are NOT allowed to do anything but wash, dry, and/or style your client’s hair. You’ll learn how to use various heat tools, and master a number of different brush and styling techniques.

Here are 4 reasons why it would NOT be in your best interest to add hair styling services to your MUA business…

1. You don’t want to book more clients

In today’s age, Millennials and Gen Xers have enough money problems thanks to the economy, so they’re always more than happy to save their pennies whenever possible. This is just a fact: your clients are always going to be looking for ways to combine or decrease their expenses. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to save some cash?

Chances are, in addition to your makeup services, you client is also in need of a hairstylist for her big event. This means an extra expense she has to pay for, more time she has to put aside for a separate appointment, etc. But if you were able to offer her BOTH makeup and hair styling services, she’d probably book you for that additional service in a heartbeat. It’s just a much more convenient and cost-effective option for her.

This is especially true with brides. The day of the wedding is hectic and stressful enough as it is for her! When researching her options for MUAs and hair stylists, who do you think she’ll be more inclined to want to book with: one makeup artist and another hair stylist, or an amazing makeup artist who’s also a hair stylist?

Point is, being able to offer both makeup and hair styling services would open doors to so many more potential clients. It would provide you with a niche that’s GUARANTEED to make you stand out from your competition in the area, in all the best ways. We think you’d find that it wouldn’t take long before you’d be so busy, you’d have to start booking clients in advance!

hair stylist washing client's hair

2. You don’t want to make more money

When you can offer more services to your clients, you’ll naturally be able to increase your income – that’s Business 101. You very well might already be making good money with your makeup services alone, but think of how much more you could bring in every month by adding in hair styling services as well!

One option is that you could offer standalone hair styling prices and services, same as how you set your makeup rates. Simpler hairstyles, such as basic up-dos, will be cheaper. The fancier the hairstyle, the more you can charge. That being said, even just the basic services (like washing and drying your client’s hair) can give you an additional $30+ from that one job.

Or, if your client wished to have both her hair and makeup done by you, you could also offer packaged deals. These sorts of options would further entice potential clients to want to work with you. Everyone loves bundles! For instance, Brinelley Hair and Makeup in Baltimore, Maryland, charges $250 for bridal hair and makeup as a packaged service.

When it comes to the various ways you can package these additional services, the sky’s the limit! But one thing’s for certain: it WILL increase your total income and bring you in more money.

3. You don’t like having options

We’ve touched on quite a few ways that adding hair styling to your makeup business benefits your career as a freelance MUA. But what about those interested in working in a salon?

back shot of curled and styled up-do on client

The good news is that such a skill is just as much of an asset to salon managers, too! If their establishment is in need of hair stylists as well as makeup artists, hiring someone who can do both is one less body they need to staff and provide salary to. Plus, you have wiggle room to negotiate your pay and perhaps ask for a higher salary than you would’ve gotten just as an MUA. For the level of services you’d be capable of providing, it’d be more than fair, and many salon managers will recognize that!

Even if you don’t have any goals to work in a salon, the fact that it would at least be an option available to you is a more than a many other makeup artists out there could say. If nothing else, it strengthens your portfolio and equips you with a pretty solid resume.

4. You hate school

That’s not to say that you don’t love your craft, or even that you don’t like learning new things. But when it comes to an actual school environment, with assignments, and reading, and lessons? No thanks. You’re of the opinion that anything you can learn in a class, you can learn all by yourself on the internet for free.

We’re sorry to say it, but if that’s how you feel, you’re really limiting yourself in terms of your abilities. You’ll never be able to learn from an article or video tutorial the skills, techniques, and theories you’d be taught in school. For starters, there will be things you don’t know until they’re taught to you – so how would you know to research them on your own? You wouldn’t. Your self-taught education would be filled with a lot of self-imposed blind spots.

Schooling is the best method of acquiring information because its entire purpose is to take an expert who knows the ins and outs of the profession, and use their knowledge to help YOU learn and grow. So sure, school may not be your thing… But if this is truly the industry you want to work in, the results are worth it and second to none.

makeup artist styling bride's hair

Ready to take your MUA business to the next level by offering hair styling services as well? Enroll in QC’s leading Hair Styling Essentials class, and become certified!

female celebrity smiling for the cameras while paparazzi take pictures

Our 10 Favorite Makeup Looks at the Oscars

By Makeup Reviews No Comments

“And the Oscar goes to…”

The 92nd Academy Awards is fast approaching! On Sunday, February 9th, 2020, Hollywood’s elite will gather together at The Dolby Theatre for a night of celebration, commemoration, and of course, the Oscars. Those who attend are always dressed to kill, with some of the best hair, fashion, and makeup ever seen on the red carpet.

In honor of the first Oscars event of the new decade, we thought we’d look back and pay tribute to some of our favorite makeup looks over the last decade!

While this may seem like a bit of a bizarre start to the list, SFX makeup fans will know exactly what we’re talking about. When presenting the award for Best Makeup, actor Ben Stiller shocked the crowd when he waltzed on stage adorning special effects hair and makeup inspired by the movie, Avatar. Although Avatar wasn’t even a nominee in this category, Stiller’s blue skin, yellow eyes, large ears, and long, braided hair, were both comedic and well-executed. Combined with the seriousness with which Stiller presented the award, and this quickly became an Oscars moment that would not soon be forgotten.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: most of the talk that came from the 2011 Academy Awards was regarding the cringe-worthy job that Anne Hathaway and James Franco did hosting the show. But in terms of how she looked, Hatheway was an absolute bombshell over the course of the night. Though she worked her way through a variety different dresses and makeup looks, it’s the one she rocked when first appearing on the red carpet that stunned us most.

Wearing a cherry red dress, Hathaway’s makeup accented her gown perfectly: a simple (yet elegant) beauty look, topped over with a classic red lip. Nothing about her look was overpowering; in fact, everything was modest and subtle, building up to a gorgeous final look that screamed: ‘Classic Hollywood’.

Jenny from the Block was the talk of the town at the 2012 Oscars, and it’s no secret as to why: she was absolutely glowing! Inspired by the late 1960s, Lopez’s makeup – done by celebrity MUA, Mary Phillips – caught everyone’s attention for two reasons:

  1. Her radiant, bronzed skin
  2. Her eye makeup, complete with a duo-toned wing

When combined with her high-bun, modest diamond jewelry, and pearl-colored gown, Lopez truly looked like royalty!

red carpet

The 2013 Oscars were HUGE for Lawrence, who walked away with her first Academy Award for Best Actress, for the movie, Silver Linings Playbook. But even before her big win, Lawrence arrived on the red carpet that night looking like the star of the evening. Everything about the look as a whole was elegance incarnate: from her textured up-do, to her Dior Haute Couture ball gown, down to her back necklace.

Thing that that brought it all together, though? Her makeup. Wearing a smoky eye, a dusty rose lip, and a soft blush to complement her flawless complexion, Lawrence showed the world why she is a true star.

Not to sound dramatic or anything, but we’re pretty sure that Lupita Nyong’o is a real life angel. If she isn’t, she certainly looked the part at the 2014 Oscars! We could go on for days about how perfect her dress choice was (seriously, that baby blue gown against her skin tone was magical), but let’s look specifically at her makeup look that night.

Nyong’o’s makeup artist, Nick Barose, reveals how he achieved this iconic look: a bright orange hue on both Nyong’o’s lips and cheeks, a defined yet simple eye look, and eye-catching brows. The final product is an amazing optical illusion: on paper, the look sounds like it should be bold and dramatic, yet on Nyong’o, it perfectly embodies a modest gracefulness, too.

This is a perfect example of a makeup look that embodies classic and natural (but with a tiny twist). The three main focal points of the face are addressed, thereby framing her face: her brows, her lashes, and her lips. Wearing Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick, Robbie’s makeup is striking, yet straightforward. In contrast to this bright orange-red lip, Robbie’s eyebrows are bold and dark. In terms of eye makeup, her lids were left bare, framed only by a dark mascara on the upper and lower lashes. We’re still in love with the final result!

projector playing a film

Irish beauty, Saoirse Ronan (first name pronounced ‘Ser-sha’), was simply dazzling at the 2016 Oscars, and we doubt anyone would argue differently. Rocking an emerald green Calvin Klein dress, Ronan’s MUA, Mai Quynh, used a palate of grey and charcoal to harmonize Ronan’s makeup to her gown with a smoky eye. To add to this, Ronan’s fair skin and soft blonde hair really made the eyes pop even more. To ensure that focus wasn’t pulled elsewhere, Quynh completed the makeup look with a warm pink-brown blush for her cheeks, and a peach nude for her lips. Genius!

Known for her distinctive sense of style, Monáe made a statement at the 2017 Academy Awards with her metallic, sparkly, black and gold-themed getup, and that statement was: “I am a fashion force to be reckoned with”. Seriously, go check out her dress and accessories; it’s been 3 years and we’re still shook!

Amazingly, Monáe’s makeup was the most toned down aspect of her ensemble that night. That being said, it’s best described as sleek meeting mystic. Her skin is bronzed and flawless, and her lips, coated in a peachy nude tone. The real focus is on her eyes and brows. Her eyes showcase a golden shimmer in the middle of her upper lids, as well as a set of full, lush falsies. The ultimate star of the show, Monáe’s thick eyebrows, apparently took 20 minutes to fill in and perfect!

With a tight, shiny topknot and a glossy nude lip, Zendaya basically embodied the most prominent fashion and makeup trend of 2018 at the 90th Academy Awards. To be fair, Zendaya could wear a garbage bag and smear her face with dirt and she’d still look like fire. But this makeup look really was sensational!

Completing the nude lip, makeup artist Sheika Daley executed a perfect smoky eye, with just the faintest hint of white shadow on the inner corners of Zendaya’s rich brown eyes. Her brows are full and filled in, while still maintaining a natural appearance, and her skin is expertly contoured and glowing with dewy highlights.  It’s no wonder that this woman has quickly become a superstar over the past several years!

top view of makeup products

Can we just say that when Victoria’s Secret Angel, Taylor Hill, donned a tuxedo to last year’s Oscars, we all fell head over heels in love? To add to this unconventional choice or wardrobe, Hill chose a retro hairstyle reminiscent of the days of Old Hollywood – and then paired it with one of the boldest eye makeup looks we’ve seen at the Academy Awards in a LONG time.

What do we mean by that? Well, for starters, Hill’s peachy nude lip and brushed out, full brows were natural-looking enough. Her green eyes, on the other hand, were framed by a dark, metallic blue smoky eye look. With a brighter, glittery hue on the inner corners of her eyes, Hill’s makeup then grows increasingly darker, until it stretches out into a long, thick, and very pointed wing. ‘Stunning’ would be the understatement of the century for Hill’s makeup game here!

Do YOU want to be able to learn how to do makeup professionally, and create breathtaking looks such as the ones on this list? Getting your education and your makeup artist certification is the single greatest way to not only make your dreams a reality, but ensuring that you’re the best makeup artist you can be. Who knows…Maybe one day you’ll be doing makeup for the stars attending the Oscars!

Start your MUA journey and enroll today in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry course!

model outside in the snow, with beautiful brows, lashes, and red lip makeup

Brows, Lashes, and Lips: Getting Started with the Basics

By Makeup Tips and Tricks No Comments

In early 2010, movie star Jeremy Renner surprised the world when he revealed on The Ellen Degeneres Show that he’d once been a professional makeup artist. Back before he was the action hero we know him as today, Renner discovered a natural, artistic knack for doing makeup during his days in the theater. Instead of waiting tables between auditions, he earned his income by doing women’s makeup.

When asked what his tips are for women’s makeup, he had three simple words: “Frame the face.”

How best can you do that? According to Renner, it’s all in the brows, lashes, and lips! “It’s simple; it’s 5 minutes,” he added. Framing the face by highlighting these 3 areas can be done by anyone, even beginners. So let’s take a look at this, shall we?

beautiful woman with natural makeup

Let’s start by saying: if you’re a makeup lover and have been playing with the idea of turning this into your career, keep in mind that this tip isn’t going to be enough to make you a professional. The concept of framing the face, and learning how to do it, is more like the basic foundation of makeup artistry. In order to build off this starting point and truly hone the craft, you’ll need years of practice, a solid understanding of makeup theory, and lots of education/makeup training under your belt.

That being said, we believe that ANYONE with a passion for cosmetics and an eagerness to soak up new information can learn how to do makeup! Even if you have absolutely no background, at least by starting with these basics, you can get the ball rolling for yourself.

Step 1: Brows

How you choose to approach each step is dependent on your own taste. This can be said about the lashes and lips, too!

Tending to your brows can be as simple as using an eyebrow brush (a.k.a. a ‘spoolie’) to brush out and tame the hairs. If this is good enough for you, you can go the extra mile by lightly spraying a tiny amount of hairspray on your fingers, and then passing them over your eyebrows afterwards. When the hairspray dries, it’ll keep the hairs in place. Just make sure your hands are always clean first before you touch your face!

If you want to fill your eyebrows in but have no clue what you’re doing, never fear. There are plenty of easy options of what to buy to get the job done:

  • Pencils (which come in a variety of thickness)
  • Powders
  • Pomades
woman brushing eyebrows with a spoolie

Personally, I’ve tried all of the above, and found an equal preference for either a thin, pointed pencil, or an eyebrow powder. Powder can often be the quickest option, and many argue it gives the most natural result.

To better learn how to properly fill in your eyebrows, you can always look around and check out a makeup tutorial that speaks to you. Here’s just one example!

Of course, shaping the eyebrow can become more and more complex, depending on how much time and product you’re willing to put into it. But even just brushing them out (and lightly filling them in, if you want) can make all the difference!

Step 2: Lashes

If you’re not used to putting on makeup, putting anything close to your eyes might be a little nerve-wracking for you. But don’t worry! You just have to take it slow, and once you get the hang of it, it very quickly becomes second-nature.

When it comes to accentuating your eyes, lashes are one of the best ways to go. There are two primary ways you can do your eyelashes:

  1. Keeping things au naturel, and simply putting on mascara
  2. Combining mascara and fake lashes

Pro Tip: Fake lashes aren’t mandatory. It’s a personal preference; for as many people out there who love to wear them, just as many don’t. Falsies require a little bit more makeup experience, since they require more precision, and can be a hassle otherwise. If you’d like to challenge yourself, feel free to research further into fake lashes and how to properly apply them.

upclose of long lashes and mascara wand

Since we’re aiming for ‘quick and easy’, let’s just focus on emphasizing your lashes by using mascara alone. The first step is finding a color/shade that works best for you. You can always go to your local drugstore or makeup shop and ask a professional MUA there to help you. For example, some people like to go with the traditional black mascara. Others prefer a softer, more natural shade, and opt for brown. You’ll know your preference when you try some options out and see the results!

Another take-it-or-leave-it option is an eyelash curler. I know some people who swear by it, though I personally have never used one. Again, if you’re comfortable giving it a try, online tutorials or an in-person consultation can walk you through the steps of using an eyelash curler. But if you’re not comfortable with the idea of one, that doesn’t mean your lashes will look any less luscious! You can just keep going without one.

If you’ve never, ever tried to put mascara on your own lashes before, we recommend watching a few tutorial videos. This way, you can see how easy it is, as well as how many different ways you can apply it. Find whatever feels most natural for you, and remember – breathe! It helps to keep your hand from shaking!

Step 3: Lips

Again, this step can be kept super simple! It can be anything from a quick coating of lip gloss, to a full, dark lipstick, etc. When it comes to your lips, there’s a lot of wiggle room. Also, the nice thing is that, shy of replicating the shudder-inducing lip liner trend of the 90s, it’s really hard to go wrong.

If you want to wear more than just a transparent gloss, the key in finding the best shade for you is to know what’s right for your skin tone. This applies to not just lipsticks, but stains and glosses, too. There are plenty of Beginner’s Guides out there to break down the basics of which colors go well with which skin tones. But if speaking with an actual person works best for you, it’d be worth it to go back to the store and chat with one of the reps there.

woman making kissing face, while holding up pink lipstick

As with your brows and lashes, if your preference is to learn by watching others online, there are also plenty of online video tutorials to show you different ways for beginners to learn how to apply their lip product. You can customize the tutorials based on the type of product being used, etc.

This ‘Back to Basics’ lipstick tutorial, for example, looks pretty promising!

Keep in Mind…

Many of the beauty vloggers you see online aren’t actually trained professionals. While their work looks impressive, lots of the tutorials found online are guilty of teaching the wrong techniques, without anyone even realizing it. That’s not to say that EVERYTHING you learn from online tutorials is wrong – but rather, that if you truly want to ensure you’re learning how to do things the best way possible, the only answer is through makeup training/education and continued learning.

This way, you know you’re being taught by a true professional: someone who works in the industry and has the accredited background required in assuring the information you’re learning is accurate.

At the end of the day, everyone has the time and ability to frame the face, and anyone can learn how.  But to grow from there and truly become a makeup pro, you’re going to need so much more. Are you open to the challenge?

Become a certified makeup artist in 2020 by enrolling today in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry course!

frustrated woman shrugging one arm, unsure what she's supposed to do

5 Common Complaints You’ll Hear as a Makeup Artist

By Your Makeup Career No Comments

Most makeup clients you encounter will be totally awesome, and very easy to work with. Once in a blue moon, though, there will be the odd person whose sole purpose seems to be to critique and question your every move. Regardless, it’s your job to always remain a professional, and handle difficult clients with poise and class – despite how frustrating it might be in the moment.

To make life a little easier for you, here are 5 common complaints that nearly every MUA will hear in their career. At least by knowing what you can expect, you can best handle the situation!

professional female mua applying client's makeup

1. “Why do I need to book in advance?”

On that note, why can’t she simply pay the fee on the day of the appointment?

Yes, we can understand where this client is coming from. Let’s be real: no one’s ever going to say that one of their favorite things to do is ‘pay a deposit’ on something.

But that’s how business works. You need to protect yourself, too, and that’s exactly what getting a deposit and/or having a client book in advance does! Show her that you understand her side of the matter, but gently remind her that by reserving your time for her appointment, you’re closing off your schedule to any other potential work.

This can be problematic if she were to cancel last minute. You’d be left stranded, and without any jobs to fill that gap!

2. “You charge too much for your services!”

Unfortunately, having people trying to swindle you for cheap or free makeup services is just something you’re going to have to get used to as an MUA. Your rates are based on your education, experience, years of practice, business and marketing costs, and the fees to keep your professional makeup kit stocked with products.

But a client doesn’t see all that stuff behind the scenes. To her, you’re just overcharging. You can totally see why she might believe that, but don’t let that persuade you into underselling yourself or your worth! Sure, offering a discounted rate – even free services – once in a while is entirely up to you. If done sparingly, it won’t hurt your business.

But remember: you’ve earned the right to charge the prices you do, so be prepared to stand by your principles if a client tries to challenge you.

young woman pouting, standing in front of yellow background

 3. “That’s not how it looks in the picture!”

You’re going to get this one a lot. Sometimes, people will think that you can magically change them into a completely different person. A client might come get her makeup done her prom, hand you a photo of Kylie Jenner, and say, “I want to look like her.”

So, you flawlessly replicate the makeup you see in the photo. But when your client sees the end results, she’s disappointed because she still doesn’t look like Kylie. Well, yeah… because despite how badly she may want it, she is not in fact that person.

Their features aren’t identical. Their bone structures and appearances may be nothing alike. You’re a makeup artist, not a wizard!

That being said, remember to remain sensitive to her feelings. Her expectations may have been unrealistic, but she had them nonetheless. Now she’s discouraged. Try to shift the focus back to the actual makeup itself. You can point out the reasons why you can’t completely replicate what’s in the picture. But the makeup looks the same, and that’s the important part!

Above all else, keep reiterating how beautiful your client looks. You don’t want her feeling disappointed that she can’t be someone else – you want her leaving the appointment feeling confident and fierce in her own skin.

4. “My skin still doesn’t look good!”

There’s this other misconception that no matter how bad your skin is, a makeup artist can make it appear flawless. Sure, proper technique helps. Certain tools, like airbrush machines, can contribute to a ‘photoshopped’ finish.

If all else fails, anyone can look good if they stand far back enough! (Don’t make that last joke to your client, they won’t find it funny.)

The truth is, makeup isn’t some quick-fix solution for bad skin. You can do everything right, but if a client isn’t taking proper care of themselves and their skin is in rough shape, you might not be able to perfectly cover that up.

If your client gets upset, it’s likely because she feels self-conscious. Yes, it can be frustrating for you to do the best job possible and still have it criticized, but remember your professional objective: to make your client feel beautiful.

If there’s little else you can do makeup-wise to give her the results she wanted, at least you can rely on your skincare knowledge. Help her better understand her skin type, and recommend some products and techniques that might be able to help her skin improve going forward!

upclose of model's face, with MUA applying powder to cheek with brush

5. “I hate it.”

Hands down, this is the worst feedback you can get from a client. You put your heart and soul into each job. It’s crushing to get such a brutal response! Even more awful is when you haven’t even finished and the client can’t stop commenting on how much she doesn’t like what you’re doing.

As hard as it can be, you have to try and look at each job as an opportunity to learn and get better. Ask her to show you what it is she doesn’t like, and have her articulate what it is she wants instead. Then you can try to actively correct whatever she’s unhappy with, and proceed accordingly. Do whatever you can, and if she still isn’t satisfied by the end of the appointment, use your best judgment for what happens next.

Depending on how she treated you, it may just be best to call it a day and put this experience behind you. If you feel it’s warranted, though, you can always try to remedy the situation by offering her some sort of refund (full or partial), a complimentary service in the future, etc.

She may not be happy with the makeup job you did for her, but she will appreciate the way you handled it. Her final impression of you and your business won’t be what you didn’t do for her, but what you DID.

You can’t control what complaints you’ll receive from customers, but you can control how you choose to react to it. Always be respectful and professional, and you’ll come out on top, one way or another!

Do you have anything else to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

What if someone leaves your makeup business a terrible review online? Just follow these 3 steps!

scared worried woman in front of yellow background

Are Your Makeup Products Bathing in Bacteria?

By Uncategorized, Your Makeup Career No Comments

We apologize in advance, but you’re about to learn some pretty disturbing information about your makeup tools. If you’re an MUA, the contents of this article are crucial to your career. Nothing will tank your makeup business faster than using dirty products, spreading harmful bacteria onto your client, and potentially getting her sick!

That being said, this is directed just as much at all our fellow makeup lovers out there, too. Being aware of the potential health risks posed by dirty cosmetic products can help assure that you take all the necessary precautions for your health. Your health, at the end of the day, is what matters most.

woman shocked as she looks at makeup brush through magnifying glass

9 out of 10 makeup products are swimming in superbugs

Yes, you heard us right. It’s horrifying, but it’s true. A recent study at Birmingham’s Aston University took a close look at 497 makeup products, made up of the following:

  • 96 lipsticks
  • 92 eyeliners
  • 107 lip glosses
  • 79 blender sponges
  • 93 mascaras

The results of the study were shocking: of the 497 cosmetics, 70% to 90% were contaminated in some way!

Beauty bacteria

In order for any approved makeup product to be sold to the public, it absolutely CANNOT contain any pathogenic organisms – that is, any organism capable of causing diseases in a person. It’s primarily through how the product is used by people that exposes it to these bad organisms. The most common superbugs known to contaminate makeup tools are:

  • Staphylococci aureus
  • Salmonella and Citrobacter freundii
  • Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
  • Escherichia coli – a.k.a. E. coli

In case you didn’t know, that least one is linked directly to fecal contamination. We’ll give you a moment to wrap your head around that one. (We definitely needed it.)

If not properly used, washed, and taken care of, these are the types of germs we’re coating on our skin, packing into our pores, putting on our eyes, and even getting into our mouths. Gross!

purple-colored bacteria under miscroscope

Which makeup product is the worst for bacteria?

Beauty blenders win this by a landslide, unfortunately. The egg-shaped sponges – known for applying and smoothing out foundations and powders – are by far the dirtiest tool of them all. In the UK study, 26% of them even had traces of fecal matter found on them!

Following behind beauty blenders, the other products with the highest bacteria concentration are eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara.

Why the results are so bad

Obviously the natural question following this study is: Why? What’s the reason behind all of this bacteria making a home on our cosmetics? What are we doing when handling our makeup that’s so problematic?

Never cleaning your products

In the Aston University research study, a whopping 94% of beauty blenders had never been cleaned before. Not once! There were similar results in a 2013 study of 44 students in Brazil. There, 93% of the students had also never washed their blender, but continued to use it regularly.

Using a product after it’s been dropped

If you can believe it, it gets worse. What’s worse than never washing your products is dropping them on the floor, not cleaning it, and then continuing to use it anyway! Of that Brazil study group, over half of the students admitted they were guilty of doing this. The results of the Aston University study were startlingly similar, with approximately 50% of the beauty blenders having been dropped and reused, without being washed.

This is highly unsanitary, and opens you up to an army of germs!

dirty and broken beauty blenders

Ignoring the expiry date

Did you know that the lifespan of a beauty blender is only 3 months? Makeup products have an expiration date for a reason. If you use them past that point, you’re putting you and/or your client’s health at risk. Once it’s reached its shelf life, throw it away!

Bodily fluids

Ever coughed or accidentally sneezed while working on a client? Well, there’s a chance that contaminates just got all over the tool and product you’re using. If you don’t take the time to clean or sanitize your tools/products, you’ve likely just transferred bacteria, viruses, and other contaminates onto your client’s skin, eyes, or mouth.

Lipstick touchups

Whether it’s you or your client re-applying some lipstick, stain, or gloss, make sure nothing’s been eaten right beforehand. Otherwise, food particles can get onto the product. That alone is enough to get the ball rolling for all sorts of nasty superbugs! If you’ve just eaten and need to freshen up your pout, make sure to wash your hands and brush your teeth first.

Not cleaning your products properly

Research shows that the higher the water content on the product, the better the chances are of it becoming contaminated. I know what you’re thinking: “But… don’t I NEED water to be able to clean a lot of my products?”

Yep, water and soap. But the third and final step to the cleaning process is often times drying the product, which a lot of people forget to do. This means bad news bears for beauty blenders especially. If you clean your beauty blender with soap and water, and then leave it on its own to dry, you may as well throw it back on the floor.

When air-drying your beauty products, in order to ensure it’s not at risk of germs, try to let the item dry somewhere well-ventilated, on a clean surface, and where it isn’t exposed to or touching anything else. (So basically, don’t throw a wet or damp beauty blender into your makeup kit!)

Another useful tip is to avoid drying your makeup products in the bathroom, as this area and its surfaces can be easily contaminated in many ways.

set of clean makeup brushes

Adding to the problem

A huge part of the issue is that makeup companies aren’t always releasing as much information to us as they could be, especially in terms of how to properly use, maintain, and clean the product. For newer, trendy items such as the beauty blender, there’s even less info for us to rely on.

Dr. Amreen Bashir, who led the study at Aston University, argued that cosmetic brands really need to provide clear instructions; that “more needs to be done to help educate consumers, and the makeup industry as a whole, about the need to wash beauty blenders regularly and dry them thoroughly”. Clearly, there needs to be more effort devoted to regulating the product packaging within the makeup industry.

Tips to keeping things clean

Beyond what makeup companies do, the rest of the responsibility falls on us. So what can we do to try and keep our makeup products germ-free (at least, to the best of our ability)? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Always wash your hands AND face before putting on makeup. If making any touch ups later on, wash your hands again. Basically, never touch makeup if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Never let anyone else use your products. If you’re a makeup artist, always use new, fresh applicators on all clients. Once used, throw it away immediately. Never use the same applicator on two clients, unless it’s been thoroughly cleaned and properly dried first.
  • Don’t double dip with a disposable applicator. Remember, one applicator = one use. If more product is needed, use a fresh/clean applicator.
  • Stop using any product once it reaches its expiration date. Again, remember that the expiry date is there for a reason!
  • Always keep your makeup products themselves clean and properly stored. If you’re unsure the proper method of cleaning each product, QC offers a wonderful, thorough guide here.

If you’re guilty of a few of these sanitation sins, that’s okay. It’s still the first month of the new decade, so there’s plenty of time to turn things around! What matter is that now you know, so you can work on adopting new and better makeup habits in 2020.

If you’re already taking all of these measures? Hey, we’re proud of you! Use your knowledge to go forth and help protect others from the wrath of all those pesky superbugs. Make the world a better place, one squeaky clean beauty blender at a time!

redheaded woman applying lipstick

Want more advice on making sure you always keep your makeup products clean? Here are 8 extra tips!

woman pleading and making pouty face

Paid in Exposure: How to Scam a Makeup Artist into Working for Free

By Your Makeup Career 2 Comments

In this day and age, everyone wants something for a price. Nobody does anything out of the kindness of their hearts anymore! Sure, you may have a big event coming up, and you absolutely want need a makeup artist to make you look flawless on the big day. But you also have other, more important things that you need to spend your money on.

Some may call you a “choosing beggar”, but you’re not! You’re just savvy when it comes to finances. Don’t worry, we’ve got just what you need. Whether you’re a friend or family member of the makeup artist in question, or just a stranger on the internet, listen up: if you use these tactics, you’ll never need to pay for somebody else’s hard work, time, or effort ever again!

woman pleading with sad pouty face

Tactic #1: Play the victim

When you initially contact your chosen makeup artist, be as sweet as possible. After all, you do love her work and think she’s very talented. She’s the one you’ve set your heart on to make you look beautiful on your big day. You absolutely must have her! So naturally, after you start off by gushing about how talented she is, the best way to maximize your chances of her agreeing to work for you will be to lay on your sob story really thick.

If you’re her friend or family member:

She may already know whatever’s been going on with you, but tell her anyway. Since you actually know her in real life, you’re automatically more special in her eyes that some random stranger she’s never met before. You deserve special treatment.

Note: ‘Friend’ is a relative term. Who cares if you only knew her back in the elementary school, and haven’t spoken since you spread that rumor about her after grade eight graduation? You’ve known each other since forever – that amount of time makes you practically besties!

If you’re an internet stranger:

She doesn’t know your tragic backstory, so spare no details. You get bonus points if your child has a fake terminal illness, a completely alive parent just died, and you’re 100% broke and helpless (after buying the latest iPhone).

If you can work all three of these into your sales pitch, you’ve unlocked the Choosing Beggar trifecta. In your mind, this guarantees that there’s no way she’ll say no – unless she’s a horrible human being who doesn’t care one bit about her makeup business.

woman outraged and confused

Tactic #2: Act shocked when she expects payment

Okay, so your makeup artist has agreed to take the job. But wait, she wants money to do it? Seriously!?

If you’re her friend or family member:

It seems she’s forgotten that she knows you in real life, and you’re not just some unimportant stranger. It’s incredibly insulting that she and you are so close, and yet you still have to pay. At the very least, you should be receiving some sort of hefty discount.

But really, she should be providing you with a complimentary service, simply because she cares. If anything, she should be paying you for allowing her the privilege of using her skills on you!

If you’re an internet stranger:

Does she not understand who you are? Knowing you, you’re one of the following:

  • An ‘influencer’ with a decently sized follower count
  • Someone who’s ‘well on their way’ to becoming an influencer. You likely don’t have enough followers to monetize yourself, but you make up for that in self-confidence!
  • Someone referred by a person the makeup artist actually knows. By association, she should be treating you like her own flesh and blood! Hey, she gave her sister a discounted price – you should be getting one, too!
  • A potentially paying customer, and the customer is ALWAYS right!

Why should you be punished for the fact that she’s put years, and tons of money, into both her education and experience? You’re not paying for her experience! It’s not your responsibility to fund her makeup business! You should only be paying for the amount of time and makeup product the job takes!

Regardless, your best bet is to offer her something that’s even better than real money: internet clout! Sure, you could give her what she’s asking to do the job, but you could also take all sorts of photos of yourself once she’s done your makeup, and then post them online. The exposure it’d give her and her makeup business to the public will get her name out there, bring her more clientele, and thus, more money than what she’s trying to charge you.

If anything, you’d be doing her a favor!

woman freaking out and biting laptop

Tactic #3: Have a complete and total meltdown when she says no

If you’re her friend or family member:

Tell her you CANNOT believe that she’d be so selfish and do this to someone she’s supposed to be friends/family with! Search your memory and pull up any and every instance – no matter insignificant – in which you’d helped her in the past, and rub them all in her face.

Throw in a mean name and an insult here and there. Undermine her career and tell her to “get a real job”. If none of that works, then go for the clincher: threaten to complain about her on your social media, and even tell mutual friends/family members.

If she refuses to do one teensy little favor for you in your desperate time of need, she might as well be dead to you. But not before you make sure everyone knows how awful she truly is!

If you’re an internet stranger:

Go from zero to psycho instantly. Leave no room for rational thinking. Call her every name in the book, and tell her that her makeup skills SUCK. Let her know that you actually have a guy that can do your makeup for way cheaper, but you were just coming to her first to do her the favor of giving her some work.

When all else fails, and it will, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Threaten her makeup business and livelihood – that’ll teach her! Here are some ways you can tell her you’ll do:

  • Leave a bad review
  • Bash her across social media
  • Report her for being a ‘scammer’
  • If you’re feeling especially vengeful, you can even threaten to dox her to others online

As you can see, your options truly are limitless! She needs to remember that you’re the one with the power. Her career lies in your hands. You’re the customer, and the responsibility is on HER to negotiate and ultimately give you what you want.

Then, at the end of the day, regardless of whether you’re a friend, a family member, or an internet stranger, you can sleep peacefully at night… knowing deep inside your heart that you are the absolute worst.

beautiful redhead woman laughing

In all seriousness, though…

Please don’t ever be this type of person. For real.

If you’re a makeup artist – especially one who offers freelance work – don’t let yourself be bullied by someone like this. In the face of one, remember to keep the high ground: stay calm, stay polite, and then block contact. Do not engage, and DEFINITELY never agree to provide them your services. People like this will never be happy, no matter how hard you try.

Choosing beggars will always try to get something for nothing. Contrary to what they may say, no matter how popular they seem on the internet, exposure isn’t going to pay your bills!

The fact is: you are getting paid for your experience. You charge customers not just for the time it’ll take to do their makeup, but for the money and care you put into your products. You’re getting paid for all those years of schooling and practice that’ve made you as good at makeup as you are today.

After all, your skills are why anyone comes to you in the first place, right? The right customer will always be able to see the value in your skills, and will be more than happy to pay for them – with real money.

Unsure what to charge your makeup clients? We can help guide you in the right direction!

woman with pinup-style hair and makeup winking and giving OK sign with hand

The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelance Makeup Artist

By Your Makeup Career No Comments

Nothing worth doing is going to come easy – but as a hard-working makeup artist you probably already know that!

Whether you specialize in weddings, fashion, special FX, etc., you’re aware of the different highs and lows that come with your incredible profession. But if you’re just breaking into the industry and have goals to work as an independent MUA in 2020, you may not know what to expect.

The truth is: even though there are a variety of different freelance makeup artist jobs out there, they all have the same benefits and disadvantages in common. Below, we’ll explore 5 of the most common pros and cons of being a freelance makeup artist.

smiling woman holding 3 different makeup brushes

Pro: You Are Your Own Boss!

If the typical 9 to 5 grind under someone else’s management doesn’t appeal to you, then being a freelance MUA is perfect! You won’t have a supervisor breathing down your neck, or stifling your creativity. You’ll also never get bored from having to do the same menial tasks day in and day out.

As a freelancer, everything about your business is 100% in your control: when you work, what you charge, the jobs you’ll take, and more! No two jobs will ever be the same, too, so each day will be just as exciting and challenging as the last!

Con: You Are Your Own Boss.

Yeah, it’s great to not have to answer to anybody, but that also means that all the responsibility of literally everything falls on you. No one’s going to do the work or promote your business for you, so you’re going to have to work hard in order to get things off the ground and moving. Building your portfolio and reputation takes time and effort; if you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, you can’t be surprised if you aren’t successful.

Running your own business – a successful one, at that – isn’t to be taken lightly. If you aren’t truly up to the challenge, you probably won’t succeed. When you succeed, it’s entirely on you. That sense of pride and accomplishment has been earned because you made that all happen on your own. But on the flip side: if you fail because you didn’t try hard enough, that’s also on you. In this business, you can only get what you put into it.

mua applying eye makeup to female model

Pro: You work on your own schedule!

Not a fan of mornings? Don’t book clients in the early morning. Simple. You make your own hours, meaning you choose clients that fit your schedule. You don’t have a boss to answer to so no one can deny you vacation time.  Your time is your own!

Con: You Work on Your Own Schedule.

Sure, you can choose not to work whenever you want, but that can also mean sacrificing the opportunity to get more employment. In the makeup industry, a lot of your jobs will take place on the weekends.

There may also be times where you’re booked last minute. You may not have the work the standard 9 to 5 job, but if you’re serious about doing makeup professionally as your career, you’re going to have to commit (to the best of your ability) to the times when traffic for business is highest.

So, there may be times when you have to cancel plans to book a job. You’re also likely going to have to kiss most of your weekends goodbye.

busy woman on phone and typing on computer

Pro: You’re in Charge of Your Income!

Being able to decide how much you want to charge clients and make per job is, without a doubt, one of the coolest parts of being a freelancer. How many other people get to say that they can pick their own wages? As you develop in the industry, gain experience and clients, and get better, you’ll be able to increase your prices and charge a good price for the services you’re offering.

If you’re working full-time as a freelancer and have been at it for a while, it can definitely be enough for you to pay your bills and live comfortably.

Pro tip: You may not always know how much you should be charging for your services, and that’s okay! Here’s a comprehensive list, based on the type of MUA job, to help you figure it out! what prices you can – and should – aim for with your clients!

Con: You’re in Charge of Your Income.

Some people have big dreams, others can have big egos. Either way, if you go into this type of industry with unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be unpleasantly disappointed. Case in point: not knowing what to charge when first starting out, and then charging too much or too little.

Charging too much without the reputation to back it up is an effective way of tanking your business before it even starts. Charging too little is a great way to get an influx of clients… but you won’t make any money off those clients.  You deserve to be paid for your work!

Pro: You meet all sorts of new people!

Being a freelance makeup artist is a career that will bring you countless experiences and unforgettable memories – especially between you and your client. Helping to transform a person and make her feel beautiful is a special type of bonding experience.

Since the results of your work are instantaneous, too, you both get to benefit from the final product together, right at that moment. Not many people are lucky enough to have that in their job, let alone on a regular basis!

brunette mua doing blonde model's makeup

Con: You meet all sorts of new people.

You aren’t going to be able to please everyone. That’s just life. Now and then, a client will be having a bad day and take it out on you. Sometimes, she may really hate what you’ve done to her face, and since you’re the one who did the job, you’re the one who’s going to have to hear all about it. Having a client be unsatisfied with your work can be hard for anybody – especially someone like you, who truly loves what they do, and just wants to make others happy.

Getting yelled at and/or being verbally abused is a whole other level. While it doesn’t happen often, it may happen once in a blue moon. While there may not be any way to prepare yourself, just remember: all that you can do is your best. If you’re ever struggling to deal with a client who insists on berating you and being unreasonable, it’s probably best at that point to politely end the session, pack your things up, and leave.

Pro: The Competition is Tough!

This keeps you motivated! You thrive on being creative. You want to be one of the best, and how can you become the best? By beating the best!

The makeup industry is competitive, especially for freelancers. You need to be able to stand out from this competition if you ever hope to be successful. You revel in this – and welcome it, even – because it pushes you to always give your 100% and test your own creative boundaries.

blonde girl with leather coat wearing crown on head

Pro tip: Looking for some insider advice on how to stand out from the competition? Here are 3 of our top recommendations!

Pro: The Competition is Tough.

Unfortunately, the downside is that if you’re not as self-disciplined and motivated as the person described above, you may be in for a nasty surprise.

You need to fight to prove to potential clientele why you’re special and worth giving their time and money to. You have to be willing to put in the hours required to build your online presence, create your business’s brand, and establish a rapport with customers, as well as others in the industry.

We’ll be honest: if this sounds like too much work for you, bow out now. If you think you can find a way to bypass these steps and get all the benefits without first earning your stripes, you’re wrong. As we mentioned before, you get in this industry what you put into it. Put the bare minimum, and your business will get the bare minimum.

But put in your heart and soul, and your business will eventually soar!

When all is said and done, you’re doing this because this is what you LOVE. That’s the dream we all wish could come true – and you’re actually doing it! Do you realize how special that is? How admirable that makes you? When you love something, you give it your all. We know that’s what you’ll do in your career, so regardless of whatever challenges you face, the positives will always outweigh the negatives.

That’s the mindset you have to go into this with because it’s true. At the end of the day, getting to do what you love will always be worth it!

upclose shot of models face, and mua's hand applying product to her lips

Want to leverage your online makeup schooling to help you find the best jobs? Read more and find out how!

devyn gregorio headshot

My New Year Resolutions for My Professional Makeup Career in 2020 [video]

By Education, From the Experts, Your Makeup Career No Comments

Devyn Gregorio is a QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador. You can find her on her YouTube Channel, Gregorio Girls Makeup, where she makes beauty videos with her sister, Seanna. Today, Devyn breaks down her top 3 goals for her professional MUA career in 2020!

Let’s Recap:

Devyn foresees the upcoming year as being one of growth – not just personally, but for her professional makeup career as well. Being an ambitious woman, she has many goals that she’s always striving for. But in 2020, Devyn wishes to specifically focus her efforts on the following 3 resolutions:

  1. Furthering her makeup education
  2. Continue to improve her makeup techniques
  3. Growing her beauty channel on YouTube

Let’s look a little deeper into each goal!

Resolution #1: “Further My Makeup Education”

Devyn understands that, with any craft, you have to be a student just as much as a master. This is why she’s always pushing herself to see what else she can discover and how she can improve when it comes to makeup. 2019 was a very exploratory year for Devyn, wherein she took the time needed to figure out where she wanted to go with her makeup career.

In 2020, she’s now ready to get back to the basics of makeup and her cosmetic understanding. Having previously graduated from QC’s Master Makeup Artistry course – which Devyn states laid the foundation of her makeup knowledge – she still owns all of her textbooks and course materials. Going back over and re-studying this content will help refresh both her general and advanced makeup knowledge. So that’s what she plans to do!

She’s also a current student in QC’s Advanced Skincare Course. Ideally, Devyn is aiming to complete this program during the first quarter of the year. In her experience as both a working makeup artist and YouTube beauty vlogger, she finds that questions about skincare are asked just as frequently as cosmetic-related ones.

girl making kissy face, with hair up in towel, a face mask on, and cucumber slices in hand

As a professional makeup artist, you need to be able to provide the correct information to your clients and subscribers. Devyn credits QC’s Skincare Course for teaching her the fundamentals of skincare, as well as teaching her which skincare products to use, how to use them in conjunction with makeup products, and much more!

Devyn’s desire to always continue learning ties in with her desire to be as informed as possible for her:

  • Makeup clients
  • Friends and family
  • YouTube subscribers
  • Social media followers

They’re always going to be asking questions, and Devyn knows that in order to give the best services she possibly can, she’ll need to know the best answers. Pushing herself to continue her online makeup education will only result in Devyn becoming an even better MUA.

Resolution #2: “Continue to Improve My Makeup Techniques”

On both her clients and herself, Devyn’s second goal for 2020 is to expand her technical knowledge on makeup application, and continue to hone her skills. No one is going to be 100% perfect at makeup all of the time. It’s important to be able to self-critique, and understand the areas where you can improve. While she credits herself as having a natural flair for makeup, Devyn admits that she’s also very heavy-handed.

Her basic techniques, she feels, can use some work. Some examples of basic techniques include:

  • Holding your brushes properly
  • Blending properly
  • Using the correct amount of pressure during application
  • Noticing the subtle differences in skin colors and textures
  • Mastering color science so you can develop your natural eye for which colors work best on people, etc.

Devyn’s motivation behind this New Year resolution is two-fold. Firstly, like any good MUA, she wants to be able to provide greater services for her clients. Secondly, as a true artist, she simply wants to be better her craft.

One of the ways that Devyn intends to expand her knowledge is by attending classes held by other makeup artists. As an artist, you can become too used to your own technique, routine, and way of doing things. As a result, you can lose sight of the fact that there might be better ways to do things.

Learning from someone else, and understanding why they do what they do, is so helpful to a makeup artist! It’s not even about changing your current style; rather, about helping you hone your skills in order to transform into an even stronger version of yourself.

Resolution #3: “Grow My Makeup Channel on YouTube”

At the heart of it, Devyn loves makeup and creating videos about it! In fact, the whole reason why she ventured into the world of makeup and YouTube beauty vlogging was because she and her sister, Seanna, watched others do it. This eventually motivated them both to do it themselves.

After starting their channel, Gregorio Girls Makeup, Devyn grew motivated in pursuing makeup artistry as a career. This quickly guided her towards online makeup school so that she could study and earn a professional certification in the field.

In 2019, however, both Devyn and her sister took a break from their channel in order to step back, reassess their goals, and rediscover their vision for both themselves and their YouTube presence. This move turned out to be the right one, because now Devyn’s drive is at an all-time high! Now that the New Year has come, she has huge plans for Gregorio Girls Makeup in 2020!

In order to see this goal to fruition, Devyn’s game plan is two-fold:

  1. Put her focus back into regularly posting a wide variety of different makeup content. Devyn feels that she should be able to realistically post one new video each week.
  2. Wants to find and build the ‘Gregorio Girl tribe’/fan-base. Arguably her biggest and boldest goal for 2020, Devyn wants to expand her channel’s subscriber count from approximately 1,500 to somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 by the end of the year. Wow!

Pro tip: While this is undoubtedly ambitious, and definitely a challenge, it’s NOT impossible. Acquiring such a large social media following is both realistic and attainable if you post frequently, post the right content, and have the right sort of people discover, like, and share your posts. While it doesn’t always pan out, the more effort and quality content you invest, the better your chances will be to be the next breakout MUA.

colorful makeup products

Devyn’s story began with making makeup videos. It only makes sense to her that she come full circle in 2020, and go back to her roots in every way possible. While she admits that it’s been a “bumpy ride”, she’s excited for the New Year. With more insight and direction than ever before, she has her sights set on her final destination, and can’t wait to see what happens along the way.

Ultimately, here is Devyn’s biggest piece of advice to anyone interested in starting a career in makeup, is interested in makeup schooling, or just wants to start a beauty blog/vlog: Just do it! Explore your options, do what you feel in your heart is best for you, and see where life takes you. Go into 2020 with an open mind, and know that whatever it is you want to do, you can do it!

Curious about which MUA jobs pay the highest salaries? Here are 4 possible paths you can choose in the makeup industry!