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From the Experts

Boost Your Makeup Artist Salary with These 5 Online Services!

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

Throughout many parts of the world, businesses are slowly beginning to re-open. However, for just as many of us, social distancing is still the primary way of life for the foreseeable future. This doesn’t mean that your MUA business (or makeup artist salary) needs to suffer, though!

Over the past few months, we’ve looked at various opportunities for you to maximize your time at home in a way that benefits your career goals. For instance, we’ve examined:

QC’s executive tutor and celebrity MUA, Nathan Johnson, has shared tons of invaluable advice as well! Particularly, he’s offered tips for optimizing your makeup practice/education while at home, and even expanded on this topic in an eye-opening webinar!

Today, Nathan wishes to build on this momentum, and continue motivating you to follow your dreams! Yes, we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. But no, that does NOT mean you should allow it to discourage you! You, your career, and your dreams still all have room to thrive!

So, if stay-at-home orders are still prevalent where you live, fear not: Nathan’s got 5 ways that you can still work virtually, so you can continue to bring in an income for your MUA business.

Keep reading to discover how you can boost your makeup artist salary – even from home!

Online Makeup Consultations

This is a practice that more and more makeup artists are adding to their business as a standard practice. By offering virtual consultations, you’re not only providing clients a way to work with you, despite a pandemic… but you’re also no longer limiting yourself to strictly local clients!

Online consultations mean that you can now also work with long-distance clients, who reside practically anywhere in the world. Many makeup artists find this service to be incredibly beneficial for their business, and provide it on a permanent basis. Definitely something worth considering, as it will absolutely help boost your makeup artist salary!

There’s also tons of wiggle room here, in terms of the types of remote consultations you can provide. Some popular examples could include:

  • One-on-one lessons for a new look. This can be look-specific, or general technique lessons.
  • Seasonal makeup lessons. The purpose of this can be to help teach clients some new trends that are not only appropriate for the current season, but are perfect for their specific features.
  • Makeup kit makeovers. There are many beauty lovers out there who can probably benefit from Spring cleaning their kits and cosmetic bags! Through a virtual consultation, you can walk them through all of their products and advise as to:

Group Party Lessons

Have the gals gather, and give them all a virtual makeup lesson! There’s a pretty big market for online group makeup classes, so why not capitalize on it during a time when it would benefit everyone the most?

Now that everyone is working from home and relying on virtual meetings, they’ll want to know how to look their best. This is an amazing opportunity to teach women and men how to create dimension and maximize their features on video!

Plus, this is another service that you can incorporate into your everyday business, even once social distancing rules eventually lift. It’s a convenient and fun way to boost your makeup artist salary, while keeping things fresh!

The content of these lessons could vary week-to-week, or even month-to-month, depending on how often your clients want to gather in their online forum. Here are just a few ideas of topics you could cover with your audience:

  • How to master a red lip and find the red that’s right for YOU
  • Eyeliner 101: breaking down each variation, and what they all do
  • How to effortlessly eradicate dark circles
  • Maximizing the dimensions of the face through natural applications of blush, highlighter, and contour
  • Quite literally ANYTHING related to a classic technique or makeup trend
  • And tons more!

Because many of these topics are so broad, and you aren’t confined to the limiting space of a physical classroom, there would be no limit to the number of people permitted to sign up for your virtual classes!

Start Working with Your Favorite MLM

In general, online events are very easy and lucrative. Once provided with your favorite company’s products, you can then use them on yourself and rely on your makeup education and skincare training when marketing the products to others. The best part is that it can all be done from the comfort of your own couch!

When done right, this strategy can result in major sales, and positively affect your makeup artist salary. You can learn how to combine direct selling with your makeup training in this webinar hosted by Nathan Johnson!

Familiarize yourself with popular, trending videos currently online (via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc. and see if you can utilize any of these platforms in a similar way to help market the products. When it comes to being a seller for an MLM, it’s all about personality. You need to sell yourself, as much as you’re selling the product.

If you’re charming, funny, knowledgeable, and learn the art of social media marketing, you’ll not only make sales—you’ll open yourself up to a global audience!

PRO TIP: Should you wish to get involved with an MLM, make sure to do proper and thorough research! Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there, so you need to protect yourself. This article is a great read, and provides a very honest and objective breakdown of everything you need to know before getting started!

Social Media Presence

Here’s a fun fact: great YouTube videos can earn you cash. So can a powerful Instagram feed!

Nowadays, a very popular avenue for artists is to become an online influencer. Don’t get us wrong – such an endeavor will require lots of time, patience, and hard work. Unless you’re lucky enough to have something go viral, most people don’t become famous overnight.

Getting to the ‘influencer’ level and actually making a profit off of it will require you and your channel to acquire an extremely high number of subscribers. In order to do this, you’re going to need:

  • A social media channel
  • A strong brand
  • A charismatic personality, or likable niche
  • A regular posting schedule
  • Decent (to high-quality) filming and editing equipment
  • At least some understanding of marketing strategies, SEO, etc.
  • Something to say – that is, you need to have solid, relevant, and original content

It’s also just as important to learn what NOT to do when marketing yourself (and your makeup business) across social media. This article looks at some helpful do’s and don’ts to keep in the back of your mind!

Writing Articles for Beauty Blogs and Publications

Of course, another way you can work remotely, maintain your online visibility, and potentially attract new clients is by starting a beauty blog for your makeup business. That being said, you have more options than simply writing for your own blog.

In reality, there are a huge number of freelancers, brands, and even accredited makeup schools that will pay you to write high-quality content articles for their beauty blogs! As an industry pro with proper training, education, and experience, you’re a fountain of knowledge. There are PLENTY of people out there who can benefit from your expertise.

Not to mention, it’s an extremely convenient way for you to boost your makeup artist salary. All you need is a laptop, somewhere cozy to sit for a couple of hours, and a WiFi connection… What could be simpler?

The best part about all of these suggestions is that they transcend the current pandemic. Yes, they’re extremely useful for you to utilize NOW – but they’re also just as beneficial on a regular day, too. By introducing these services to your makeup business presently, you’ll have the proper time to work out all the kinks.

That way, once life inevitably goes back to normal, you’ll be ready to offer ALL of your clients – near and far – these awesome, flexible services! At the end of the day, there are many lucrative ways to earn money and increase your makeup artist salary. Don’t limit yourself to believing they always have to be in person.

Stylized photoshoots are another excellent way to boost your makeup artist salary! Keep reading to discover why!

The Differences Between Film and Stage Makeup

By | Education, 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. Today, she draws on her professional expertise – as well as her experience in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course – to break down the similarities and differences between theater makeup and makeup for film/television!

As a makeup artist, you need to make sure that you are well-versed in all of the tricks of the trade! This is the single best way to prepare yourself for any job or opportunity that may present itself. 

A great way for you to gain experience, exposure, and networking opportunities is by working as an MUA in film, television, and/or theater. However, a rookie mistake would be to assume that film and/or television makeup requires the same products, or even the same approach, as theatrical and/or live stage makeup.

Keep reading to learn the differences between these two makeup mediums…

Film and Television Makeup

When diving into the world of film and television makeup, there are a few things to consider first. This way, you can always guarantee that your client’s makeup will have a flawless finish!

What is the style of the film or TV show?

First, you must understand that the style of film and television makeup is rather unique.

This type of makeup application is very different from the bold, heavy looks most commonly seen on the internet. Social media makeup is often defined by caked on foundation, thick concealer, and intense highlight and contouring.

However, these are exactly the things you want to avoid doing when working on clients for film/television! In this industry, the cameras and lighting used are both 4K  high definition. They can spot (and showcase) the tiniest details. 

This means the makeup needs to reflect a flawless, natural finish! Subtlety is the name of the game when it comes to this type of makeup.

What do you want to accomplish?

Using the right foundation and concealer, your goal will always be to even out the skin tone – without caking on the setting powder. Film and TV makeup doesn’t require the “baking” step that’s become so popular on Instagram and YouTube.

With film/TV makeup, setting powder is mostly used to help minimize oils on the skin. What you want to avoid is applying too much powder, as this can have an unwanted, opposite effect. Too much powder will result in the skin looking extremely dry.

As we mentioned above, any imperfections are only going to be amplified when when filmed with high definition equipment!

It’s also critical to add that certain products, such as highlighter, are rarely used as part of film and/or television makeup. For example, highlighter is typically avoided because when the 4K cameras and lighting pick it up, it creates undesirable results.

For starters, it can make the actor’s skin look oily. It can also cause a glare on the cameras. (Unless the director is J.J. Abrams, they’re probably not going to want that.) 

Using the right products + tools

The products and techniques a makeup artist should use when creating looks for film and television require a light hand. You’re only going to want to use products which have been professionally made for HD (high definition).

You want to create looks that are more natural, and pick up well when on camera. Regular makeup products won’t be as reliable in helping you achieve this.

Top Makeup Products for Film and Television Makeup

  • HD foundations and concealers 
  • Airbrush liquid foundation 
  • Creme blushes 
  • Neutral colored lip liners / lipsticks / lip tints
  • Loose, translucent setting powder

Theatrical and Stage Makeup

Unlike film/TV makeup, which should look “natural” and lightweight, theatrical and stage makeup requires the opposite approach. This is because heavier products and bolder looks are needed.

Theatrical and live stage makeup needs to be able to withstand different conditions!

When you watch a play or live performance, you can’t rely on cameras to zoom in on the actors’ faces and illustrate the tiniest details. Often, you’re sitting in a rather large theater space. The further away you are from the stage, the harder it is to see the actors’ faces.

Theater/stage makeup aims to compensate for this by offering exaggerated looks and features. This way, the makeup can be seen from all the way at the back of the room! In these types of settings, the lighting used also tends to be quite harsh, in order to properly illuminate the entire set. If the makeup is too natural or subtle, this can also alter how the performer looks altogether!

Specifically, it can easily make the actor appear washed-out or flat. Rather, theatrical makeup should be applied with an exaggeration of the client’s features. For example, because the actor needs the makeup to withstand harsh lighting, the artist may choose to:

  • Over-line the lips
  • Apply thicker contour
  • Add bolder blush
  • Deepen the eyebrows and eye shadows, to create the illusion of larger eyes

Top Makeup Products for Stage Makeup

For this medium, you’d be best off using proper makeup products, specifically made for the stage. These products are specifically crafted to be able to endure harsher conditions while remaining vibrant.

Some of the most commonly used brands for theatrical and stage makeup include:

(That last one is a true Holy Grail item, by the way!)

Education

Although I’ve provided some insight into the differences between film/television makeup, compared to theatrical/live stage makeup, it’s important to note that this information only just scratches the surface.

If you want to continue learning, and broaden both your industry knowledge and skill-set, my recommendation is schooling. Hands-down, one of the most efficient ways to learn about makeup application techniques, as well as the proper products to use for different categories of makeup, is to learn through a reputable makeup school

QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course teaches each category of makeup in great depth. Unit F of this all-encompassing makeup course dives into proper makeup training for the entertainment industry.

When you apply for the MMA Course, you’ll grow and deepen your knowledge on:

  • Makeup techniques and applications
  • Makeup theory and foundation
  • The best products and practices to use
  • Business insight

On top of your course texts and makeup kit, you’ll also be provided with video tutorials teaching you how to create looks for the entertainment industry.

This incredible program is a solid way to expand your makeup artistry, strengthen your portfolio and resume, and help you stand out from the competition!

If you do one thing to further your makeup career in 2020, let it be earning your professional certification through QC Makeup Academy!

Click here to see an actual course sample of the Theatrical Makeup section in the Master Makeup Artistry Course!

Mastering the Smoky Eye Tutorial [video]

By | From the Experts, Makeup Tutorial | No Comments

Devyn Gregorio is a QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador and professional makeup artist. You can find her on her YouTube Channel, DevDevGregs, where she makes beauty videos. Today, Devyn walks us through the step-by-step process of a killer smoky eye look!

Watch her video below!

Let’s Recap!

As a makeup artist, mastering the smoky eye is sort of like a rite of passage. It’s a skill that every respectable MUA needs to have, since you’ll encounter innumerable clients who will request this look from you. Not to mention, a solid smoky eye is an essential addition to your makeup portfolio!

As a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course, Devyn knows the importance of a good smoky eye better than anyone! Indeed, it’s a staple look she frequently incorporates into her own makeup routine, her YouTube vlog, and her professional makeup career.

In my opinion … if you’re only going to learn how to do one eyeshadow look, [smoky eye] is the type of look you should learn!

Devyn Gregorio

As Devyn points out, there are a LOT of different ways (and with different techniques) that you can approach the smoky eye. However, her go-to process for achieving this look can be broken down into 4 easy-to-remember steps.

So, let’s take a look at Devyn’s interpretation of the classic 4-step smoky eye!

Before You Begin, Make Sure to Prime!

Devyn begins by introducing the Soft Glam Palette by Anastasia Beverley Hills. This is what she’ll be using to create her eye makeup. While we will be referencing the colors from this specifically palette, you can use whichever eyeshadow products you’d like when recreating this tutorial!

You’ll want to start by priming your eyes, which Devyn has already done, using Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

She then sets her upper eyelids with the very first shade in the Soft Glam Palette: Tempera. While she pats on this light shade, she urges you to keep in mind that working on your own face is an obviously different experience than applying your skills on a model.

If you wish to learn how to do a successful smoky eye on clients, it’ll be important that you also acquire some real-world experience in working on other people’s faces, too.

Step 1: Your Crease Shade

For her crease, Devyn selects the Burnt Orange shade from the Soft Glam Palette. In terms of brushes, she selects the Morphe M518 brush. Importantly, this brush is fluffy in texture, which will help create a more flawless blend.

Note: When choosing your brush, make sure that it’s not TOO fluffy! You want to maintain control over where the eyeshadow is being spread across the eye. You want the product to be primarily concentrated in your crease.

Devyn then begins to apply the Burnt Orange shade along her crease. Notice the way she swivels the brush head into tiny, circular strokes! This is a key technique she uses when blending eyeshadow.

Devyn also notes how, since she’s working on herself, she’s raising her eyebrow a bit. This helps her to get better access to the crease. If working on a client, you can urge them to keep their eyebrows neutral. Then, use your fingers to lightly lift the skin, just enough for you to properly work on their crease.

The goal of this step is to get an even blend!

Remember: Don’t try to start by doing too much, too quickly! During this step, try to keep things tight along your crease. It’s alright to create a small blending effect, but try not to spread it out too far or too high. Pay attention to where the brow bone sits, and how much crease and lid space it gives you to work with. Work with it, not against it!

Step 2: Your Outer Corner Shade

Next, Devyn selects a darker shade from the palette: Cypress Umber. If you’re using a different palette, choose a rich, medium brown hue. She switches brushes for this step, now opting for a much smaller blending brush.

Add the product to your brush, and begin applying it to the outer half of your lid. Apply the product on a diagonal, moving upwards towards your crease. Again, start small and gradually build! Don’t go into it with a heavy amount of product.

As with any type of makeup application, you’ll achieve way better results if you apply your product in sheen layers. If you have a heavy hand, be mindful to go in with lighter pressure. When it comes to a smoky eye, it’s all about the blend!

Once you’ve built it up to the corner, you can then begin inviting it up into the crease. Don’t blend this darker shade over the entire crease, though. Try to only incorporate the eyeshadow to about half way through.

Note: Once you’ve laid down the foundation with these two steps, you can now go back in and intensify the look (if desired). Now’s the time to embolden the color, fan out the blend a bit more, or even just to smooth out the blending so that every color transitions into each other seamlessly!

Step 3: Your Lid Shade

For her eyelids, Devyn picks a bright, glittery Bronze shade. Instead of using a brush, Devyn opts to tap the products directly onto her finger. So long as your hands are clean, this is absolutely a useful method for applying eyeshadow, since your body temperature will help warm up the product!

Should you not wish to use your finger, you can use a flat eyeshadow brush for this step.

She then stipples the eyeshadow onto the center of her lid, working it out so that it meets the outer corner and upper crease. Go back in with a second layer, to help build coverage. Use your finger to blend this brighter shade with the darker, contrasting shades already applied your outer corner and crease.

Afterwards, if you want to intensify the lid even more, now’s the time to go back in with your flat brush for a third layer of product! For an added POP, wet your brush with a setting spray after you’ve gathered the product (and before you apply it to your eyelid).

Step 4: Your Brow Bone + Inner Corner Highlight Shade

You’ll notice that Devyn takes a quick break off-camera before this final step, to apply the rest of her makeup and add some false eyelashes. You can also choose to do the same, or simply wait until you’ve completed your smoky eye.

Devyn then delves into the last part of this 4-step tutorial, which is to highlight the brow bone and inner corner of the eye. Using a flat eyeshadow brush, she gathers some of the shade, Glistening. For those not using the Soft Glam Palette, this is a glittery, peachy-gold color.

She then taps it onto the inner corner of her eye. It’s not a terribly dramatic result; more so a subtle pop that brings extra dimension to the overall look (especially from the right angles). Afterwards, she swipes her brush along the outer, lower half of her eyebrow. Because Devyn has a good amount of brow bone space, she lightly works this color out to cover more of that empty space.

Bonus Step: The Bottom Lid

This step is optional. However, to get a well-rounded smoky look, it’s definitely a great inclusion to add to the process!

Using the same color that you used on the outer corner of your eye, as well as a light hand, apply this hue along your lower lash-line. Blend it out so that it doesn’t look like a chunky, harsh line. Again, remember to approach this step by layering your product. If you want a darker result, add more layers.

Finish off the look with a little mascara on your lower lashes… and voila! You’ve achieved a sexy, perfect smoky eye!

Devyn’s Food for Thought

When it comes to the art of makeup, the key is to learn the basics first. Once you’re confident in your ability to get the basics of a given look down, you can then go back in and get more creative.

In terms of a smoky eye, this same notion applies. While the 4 steps outlined in Devyn’s tutorial help to teach you how to create a standard smoky eye, there’s still plenty of room to build off of it and add more dimension!

Play around with different colors; experiment with the depth, intensity, and blend. Makeup allows you to truly express yourself, so don’t hesitate to try new things!

It’s only by trying that you’ll learn how to truly grow!

Curious as to which other looks are needed within your professional makeup portfolio? Enroll in QC’s Portfolio Development Course, and learn everything you need to do!

Products + Tools You Absolutely NEED in Your Professional Makeup Kit!

By | From the Experts, Makeup Tips and Tricks | No Comments

Australian MUA, Charlotte Ravet, is the proud owner of her very own hair and makeup business. From bridal, to editorial, to film and television, and everything in-between – Charlotte provides a wide variety of services that cater to all types of clientele!

Her extensive resume includes working for Prada, L’Oreal, and even the cast of the hit show, Glee! A developer of educational programs, Charlotte has even been awarded Best Makeup Educator of the Year by the Australian Industry Makeup Awards.

Here, she examines the best (and cheapest) online tools to help you market your makeup artist business!

As an MUA and makeup lover, the one thing we never want to stop buying is… makeup! Of course, if you’re not careful, this can spell trouble for our bank account. This is why, over the years, the main thing I’ve learned is to keep it simple!

There are two reasons for this:

  1. As a professional MUA, makeup is my living. This means that I have to be mindful to manage my spending on beauty products. This is because my budget also needs to be allocated to things like advertising, marketing, space rental, and other business expenses.
  2. The more organised my professional makeup kit is, the easier (and faster) I can provide my services for clients!

As part of my standard practice, I typically have two separate makeup bags. One is for classic beauty makeup; the other, for creative and/or editorial. This helps me better organize my professional products. Plus, it means I don’t need to lug ALL every single product with me to a given job.

Breaking Down My Professional Makeup Kit

When it comes to your professional makeup kit, you need to have an assortment of products. Let’s take a look into mine to illustrate the types of things you’ll need.

To start, the usual essentials within my kit’s beauty bag include:

  • Skincare items
  • Foundations
  • Concealers
  • Powders
  • Eyeshadows
  • And much more!

On the other hand, my creative/editorial makeup bag is reserved for pigments, glitters, and body paint.

Beauty Bag Must-Haves + Tips:

Foundations, Contour, and Concealers

I would recommend having at least 6 liquid foundation shades in your professional makeup kit. They should range from light to dark. This will better help you adjust to different clients’ skin tones.

If the foundation comes in a glass bottle, I recommend buying an empty plastic bottle and switching the packaging. (Muji has some great ones that are pretty cheap!) Glass can be heavy to carry for a mobile makeup artist.

My Personal Favorites

My favourite foundations tend to come from the line, YSL Touche Éclat. I find they create a radiant glow and lightweight finish. Another staple foundation product is M•A•C Studio Face and Body. This line offers 13 different shades to choose from!

For the contour, concealers, and other foundations, I’ve found an all-in-one solution: cream palettes! If there’s one thing I can’t live without, it’s a primary cream colours palette!  My personal favorite brands for this are RCMA and Maqpro.

The awesome thing about cream palettes is that they give you one texture for everything! You can adjust the pigments, depending on how full the coverage needs to be. I frequently alter and/or create shades of contour, foundation, and eyeshadows by mixing the primary colors with the white.

Similarly, you can also sheer it out, using a mixing medium. Here are the mixing mediums I use with wax-based cream pigments:

Maqpro

Maqpro’s Makeup Mixer will help produce a cream foundation that’s ideal for medium coverage. To set it, I use translucent powder.

Kryolan

This is one of my latest finds, and I absolutely LOVE it! Kryolan’s Mixing Medium is silicone-based. It mixes very well with the cream pigments to obtain a fluid texture water that’s also sweat-resistant. I’ve found it perfect for both private clients and brides!

RCMA

RCMA’s Color Process Foundation Thinner is oil-based. It’s optimal for softening harder foundations, restoring dried palettes, and adjusting a foundation’s consistency. I love the dewy finish it produces! I definitely consider this a must-have for my editorial looks!

Honorable Mention

For a great highlight, I always use YSL Touche Éclat’s highlighter pen! I love how effortlessly it brightens darker spots on the skin.

Eye Makeup

For eyeshadow, I have two large magnetic palettes, with a collection of my favorite shades. One is for neutral colors, while the other is more creative. I always keep the black shades separate, as it is a pure pigment (which typically makes it more fragile).

I also carry my eyeliner pencils in a drawing pencils case. These cases have separated spaces for each pencil. This will help keep them organised and well protected!

Lips

A useful tip for your professional makeup kit is to decant your lipsticks into lighter-weight, portable plastic palettes. For me, I tend to go with the clear plastic palette from Vueset. My professional makeup kit also contains clear gloss from M•A•C Cosmetics. Whenever I want to create a lustrous effect on my client’s lips, I simply mix the lipstick with this gloss!

Brows

For editorial eyebrows, I ALWAYS have pear soap and M•A•C Cosmetics Fix+ in my arsenal. For the eyebrow makeup itself, my favorite line is the Inglot eyebrow wax. In case you’re interested, I find that 16 is the best shade for medium-to-dark eyebrows!

Skin

I love skincare! As a makeup artist, you know how vital good skin is the key for great makeup. Let’s breakdown some of my most recommended skincare essentials!

Primers

A silicone, blurry primer is fantastic for for mature skin. It can also be used a base when working with silicone-based foundations. Always match the primer’s texture with the foundation you are using!

For a radiant complexion, I swear by the Brightening CC Serum from BY Terry. If you’re looking for an effective skin cream to add to your kit, Egyptian Magic offers a wonderful, all-natural product that protects lips and repairs dehydrated skin.

I also use it to add a little extra glow to my editorial looks!

Creams and Cleansers

You never know when you’ll work with a client who has sensitive skin, so as a rule of thumb, try to use organic skincare products that are perfume-free. In my professional makeup kit, I always have soothing creams as well.

Creams and serums are the very first products applied before makeup. This is why it’s so important to use all-natural products whenever possible. You want to avoid allergies and adverse reactions with your clients!

Creative/Editorial Bag Must-Haves + Tips:

As much as I love pigments and glitters, I have learned the hard way that it’s best to keep them separated from other products. A lot of glitters are sold in hard plastic jars, which can easily break.

For this reason, I recommend purchasing some softer, plastic jars to hold your glittery products instead. For extra protection, place these products in a separate (plastic) pouch.

My Personal Favorites

For pigments, my go-to products are Maqpro’s Paris Star Powders, and Down Under Cosmetix. I also swear by Kryolan’s Aquacolor line, because the colors are rich and super easy to apply. Plus, these glycerin-based eyeshadows also come in neon shades!

Tools

I must own around 700 makeup brushes! For every client, I always have a fresh and sanitized set, ready to use. Once any job is done, I then place my used brushes in a zipper bag. This way, I’ll know to clean them later, while also ensuring I don’t contaminate any of the clean items.

The one type of brush that serves as the true MVP is the angled brush. I seriously cannot live without angled brushes! On top of using it for makeup, I also sometimes use it with micellar water to remove little mistakes on the client’s lips or liner.

Crown Brushes is my go-to brand, as they are great quality brushes for affordable prices.

Other standard tools to have in your professional makeup kit include little fan brushes (for mascara) and palettes. Personally, I prefer acrylic palettes because they don’t keep the product cold. Metal palettes can sometimes tend to do that.

Remember:

The fabulous part about being a makeup artist is that there will ALWAYS be something new to discover, whether it’s a new product or trend! But before buying each product you have a crush on, try to achieve the result with what you already have.

A makeup artist must know how to mix and adapt textures! The best makeup doesn’t come from the best product – it comes from great technique.

Keep reading to discover which 5 makeup products you surprisingly DON’T need in your professional makeup kit!

How to Create a Special Effects Character Look from a Script

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

Gabrielle Rivera is a QC Makeup Academy graduate and professional makeup artist. To see more of her work, visit her Instagram here. Today, she draws on her professional expertise – as well as her experience in QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course – to share 3 of the best ways to create a Special FX character, based on a script.

One of the most exciting (and slightly nerve-wracking) moments as a makeup artist is when you’re presented with the opportunity to create a Special Effects character from a script. This is your opportunity to apply what you’ve learned from:

  • Your Special Effects makeup schooling
  • Your experience working in the field
  • Your creativity

It’s critical that you produce effective, accurate results. Without you, the writer’s vision of this specific character can’t be brought to life!

But where do you begin? Here are a few key points to consider when creating a Special Effects makeup look, based on the character in the script!

Research and Realism

As an avid movie watcher, one of the first things I typically comment on when I see other people’s work is the realism of a look.

For instance, is the makeup realistic? Is the overall appearance applicable to both the setting and time period of the film?

When characters have features and/or qualities that stand out from the time period, I personally become less intrigued by the makeup and more distracted. The last thing you want to do as a Special Effects makeup artist is pull the viewer OUT of the experience!

Research, research, research!

When creating a character from a script, the best thing you can do for yourself is to conduct research about the:

  • Time period
  • Setting
  • Physical characteristics
  • Qualities and personality traits of the character being described

Let’s look at one example… Say that the setting of the story takes place in a Victorian era. It logically follows that the Special Effects makeup should accurately reflect this time period. This could mean a pale base, bright blush, deep colored lips, etc.

Alternately, if you see in the script that the character has been infected by a disease, the makeup should age and worsen gradually. You need to give the realistic illusion that the character is deteriorating as the story progresses.

So, you MUST focus on both consistency and continuity in this kind of look!

You might start this character’s Special Effects makeup by creating a slight discoloration in the skin, as well as under the eyes. Gradually, you may then add darkened veins, or small areas of bumps, to indicate that there is an infection.

In this age of technology, use all resources to create accurate representations of these real-life components (such as bruising, burns, cuts, scratches, bullet wounds, and deformities). Ensuring that you maintain continuity and realism in your character makes them way more realistic and believable!

What Special Effects Category is it?

When people think of Special Effects makeup and characters, they tend to automatically jump to the idea of traditional “monsters”. But this is just a minor portion of a much larger world!

In reality, Special Effects makeup and designs fall under several categories that can be used to your advantage.

Monsters that go bump in the night is a very common category when people think of Special Effects makeup. However, this genre in-and-of-itself has many subcategories that can help you determine where your character best fits.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

1. Slashers

Think of your classic Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers slasher characters here. If the character in the script fits this slasher paradigm, your first thought should be what you can do to help make them stand out from the rest!

2. Paranormal

This category would include ghosts and spirits. Now, you might be thinking, “Aren’t these things invisible to the naked eye?”

While this is true in some cases, there are plenty of classic films – such as “Thirteen Ghosts”, “The Shining”, and entire “The Conjuring” universe – that all do phenomenal jobs of bringing apparitions to life in a way that stays realistic.

3. Creatures and Extraterrestrial

Another popular Special Effects category is the one dedicated to creatures from the beyond. Some commonly known examples are:

  • Frankenstein
  • The Lochness Monster
  • Aliens
  • And so much more!

Depending on what the script calls for your character, you may need to tap into a more creative side. This will help you bring to life a creature that has never been seen before.

Pro tip: If you’re creating a character that’s not necessarily from this world, a good trick is to use features of animals as a starting point for your look!

4. Gore

Aside from classic common horror movie classic tropes, Special Effects character makeup also includes the gory side of makeup. This typically includes creating:

  • Bruising
  • Cuts
  • Scrapes
  • Lesions
  • Weapon wounds
  • And more!

When creating gore Special Effects makeup looks, one of the most important things you need to do is research (as mentioned in tip #1). Your Special Effects makeup should look as realistic as possible in order to help support the script.

You also need to pay close attention to the timeline of the movie when creating gore Special Effects looks. For example: if a character was in a car crash a week ago, the bruising will not be as bright as if it just happened.

Similarly, the coloring needs to accurately reflect the age of the bruises. As well, any cuts the character received would not necessarily be bloody, but rather, starting to heal.

Collaboration and Vision

Lastly, one of the single greatest ways to create a Special Effects character look from a script is to collaborate with the other cast and crew members working on the project, such as:

  • Hairstylists
  • Wardrobe designers
  • Actors
  • Producers
  • Directors, etc.

Working together to bring to life a complete character that fits the vision of the script is vital! Think of it the same way you would with regular makeup: in addition to the makeup, the hair and/or clothing can be the factor that makes or breaks the look!

Just like with the Special Effects makeup, the character’s clothing and hairstyle(s) should be appropriate to the time period and story setting. Every element needs to work together to help keep your character realistic.

Not only should you consider the character’s clothing and hairstyles when developing your Special Effects makeup look – you should also consider what lifestyle and social status the character has (if applicable).

All of these smaller components are what will be combined to ultimately create a character that fits the script to a T!

Remember: putting effort into addressing all of these fine details will also help you, as the artist, stand out from others. By mastering the art of creating a Special Effects character look based on the script you’re given, you’ll be able to not only make a lasting impression, but even increase your chances of being booked for future projects!

Interested in becoming a Special Effects makeup artist? Here are Gabrielle’s 5 secrets to getting your career started!

Breaking Down My Skincare Routine [video]

By | From the Experts | No Comments

Devyn Gregorio is a QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador and professional makeup artist. You can find her on her YouTube Channel, DevDevGregs, where she makes beauty videos. Today, Devyn shares with us her regular skincare routine, as well as her go-to products!

Watch her video below!

Let’s Recap!

With everything currently going on in the world, studies have shown that not only has the skincare market been on the rise, but that it’s also beneficial for your mental health! With that in mind, we want to show you what the skincare routine of a professional makeup artist looks like.

Devyn is not only a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course; she’s also a current student in the Skincare Course . As such, she understands that at the heart of every good makeup routine, there MUST be a solid skincare routine to back it up.

In addition to being good for the soul, healthy skin is the key to truly flawless makeup!

In this video, Devyn takes us through each step of her daily skincare routine, along with a breakdown of the products she uses, and why she likes these products specifically.

Devyn’s Skin Type

Such as with makeup, choosing the right skincare products all comes down to your skin type. Devyn discusses how, when she was younger, her skin was oilier and led to frequent breakouts. However, as she grew up, her skin type gradually changed to a more normal-to-combination skin type.

That being said, she’s found that her skin is very sensitive. While her skincare products have to be effective, they also need to be gentle. Her skin is prone to reacting easily to most skincare products, such as anything containing glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids (known as ‘AHAs’).

Using such products causes Devyn’s skin to break out across her forehead with red, irritated bumps. Definitely not ideal!

For this reason, Devyn notes how her skincare routine is rather straightforward and simple. She’s found the holy grail products that work for her unique skin type and needs. As such, she tends to stick faithfully to these products, and not stray away from them.

A Walk-Through Devyn’s Skincare Routine

It’s worth noting that Devyn admits that her skincare routine may not always be 100% the same every single day. However, it is consistent, and done on a weekly basis. Which products she uses per day is dependent on her skin and what it needs at the time!

Let’s get started!

1 – Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes by Simple Skincare

This is the first skincare product that Devyn introduces us to, which she uses to remove her makeup at the end of each day. Devyn credits this product in helping her remove most (to all) of her makeup – without causing her skin to break out or experience a burning sensation.

If your skin is sensitive, or you’ve experienced any type of allergic/irritable reaction to other types of makeup wipes, Devyn highly recommends this brand as an alternative!

Usually, she only needs one wipe to get the job done. However, depending on how much makeup was applied that day, you may require more.

2 – Purity Made Simple Cleanser by philosophy

Next up in Devyn’s skincare routine is her facial cleanser! Devyn claims that Purity Made Simple is her absolutely favorite cleanser she’s ever used, namely because it’s a 3-in-1 product. It offers all of the following properties:

  1. It’s a makeup remover
  2. It’s a cleanser
  3. It’s also a toner

In terms of its ability to effectively remove makeup, Devyn confirms that this cleanser lives up to its promise. (Especially if used after the Simple Skincare makeup wipes). The fact that it’s also a toner is particularly beneficial for Devyn’s skin, due to its ability to balance the skin without throwing off its pH balance.

In general, cleansers can have the tendency to be too harsh on the skin. Although it will cleanse it, as it should, it may also strip your skin of some of its natural oils. Therefore, having a cleanser that also includes toner within the recipe helps to avoid this!

While she doesn’t necessarily use this product every single day, Devyn does state that on days where she does use it, she finds that she only needs to go in with her eye cream and moisturizer afterwards… and then be all finished!

This cleanser by philosophy is a wonderful skincare option for anyone who prefers to keep things simple, and doesn’t have the time (or interest) for a skincare routine with 1,000 steps. I, for one, can seriously relate!

Although listed as the third item in her skincare routine, Devyn admits that this exfoliating cleanser (also by philosophy) is her absolute FAVORITE skincare product! “I swear by this stuff so much!” she exclaims with a smile. “This is the best, most micro-fine, scrubbiest exfoliate I’ve ever used. I absolutely love it!”

Thanks to orange peel being one of this product’s ingredients, you can also expect a delicious, luxurious smell when cleaning your face (which is always a wonderful bonus).

Devyn always makes sure to listen to what her skin needs on a given day. As such, she’ll tend to use this product either every third day, or every other day (if her skin feels like it needs a little extra help).

In terms of when she uses it during the day, Devyn says she tends to apply it in the morning, as it gives her skin a nice, fresh feeling. It also makes for a terrific base on which to apply her makeup!

4 – Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater by Mario Badescu Skincare

Because the Purity Made Simple cleanser already has toner in it, this facial spray is not needed on days where she washes her face with that product. However, on the days where Devyn washes her face with the microdelivery exfoliating wash, she always uses Mario Badescu’s facial spray to tone her skin afterwards

As she says, it’s a great way to give your skin an extra blast of hydration after exfoliating it! Simply spray it on the same way you would a makeup setting spray. Then lightly tap it in with your fingers to help it absorb into your skin and dry faster.

5 – Purity Made Simple Eye Gel by philosophy

The next step in Devyn’s skincare product is to apply some eye cream. Devyn admits that she’s not overly picky about what sort of product she uses here, so long as it’s not jam-packed full of bad ingredients that will irritate her eyes.

That being said, she credits this eye gel as being a higher-quality product that’s super affordable for most budgets.

Another upside: a little bit goes a long way! You don’t need to use much of this product for it to do its job, so it’ll last you a long time. Devyn finds this eye gel to be light and hydrating, without feeling sticky or greasy.

Because Devyn doesn’t really experience dark circles or puffiness under or around her eyes, she’s not affected by the fact that this product doesn’t offer any sort of brightening effects. However, for those of you who do tend to have dark circles or puffiness around your eyes, you may need to see for yourself if it benefits your skin in the ways you’re looking for.

As a makeup artist, you already know that moisturizing is SO important when it comes to any skincare routine! No matter what skin type you have, never underestimate the power of moisturizing and hydrating your skin.

For those of you on a budget, Devyn does admit that this product is a little pricier than her normal spending range (it costs $52.00 USD).

However, the benefits it has on her skin are well worth the cost! For starters, since it’s both a day and night cream, you don’t have to shop around and pay for two separate products. If you think about it that way, the price is actually a pretty good deal!

In terms of Devyn’s skincare routine, she tends to apply a lighter amount in the morning, and a more thorough amount in the evening. This is to make sure that her skin gets that little extra boost of hydration, which is always a smart idea before going to sleep!

After all, it’s when you’re asleep that your body works hardest to regenerate new, healthy skin cells and collagen!

Pro tip: Don’t forget to use some of that moisturizer on your neck as well! Neck wrinkles are a real thing!

Devyn’s Favorite Mask Products

Next, Devyn takes a look at some of her all-time skincare face masks…

Laughing, Devyn describes this product as a “purifying, pore-gunk-sucking” mask. At a purchase price of $ 45.00 USD, it also falls on the slightly more expensive price range. But Devyn assures us that this is reflected in its high quality and effectiveness!

In addition to certain areas of her face having rather large pores, Devyn’s skin can also sometimes have a habit of getting blocked up, particularly around her chin. As such, she uses this mask to target those specific spots. It’s also a great weapon to use against random pimples!

Of course, if you feel your skin could benefit from applying it all over, then go for it! Either way, Devyn recommends this product as a solid, go-to clay mask.

Hands-down, this is Devyn’s #1 favorite sheet mask on the market! As someone who has a lot of redness in her skin, especially around her T-zone, Devyn swears by this product.

“I’m not kidding you, when you put it on, it just feels so nice and soothing,” she says. “But when I take it off… First of all, my skin just feels so juicy and plump. But my redness is pretty much gone! It is SO calming to my skin!”

Better yet, this amazing skincare product is incredibly cheap. At Ulta alone, you can purchase it for a mere $3.75 USD!

3 – Lip Sleeping Mask by Laneige

Even as a makeup artist, it can be easy to forget that your lips need to stay hydrated, too! Devyn loves this product so much, that even though she’s using a sample-sized jar in her video, she plans to purchase the full-sized one as soon as she runs out.

She even goes as far as to proclaim that nothing does as good of a job on her lips as this sleeping mask! Wow!

For starters, if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll quickly become obsessed with its bubble-gum candy scent. While the product itself is a bit thick, it’s not sticky. From the moment you put it on, you just know that it’s giving your lips some deep, well-needed hydration that’ll last you throughout the night.

“This is just a delicious product! I love it!” Devyn says.

Just by seeing her level of enthusiasm, we’re inclined to believe her!

What is YOUR skincare routine like? Do you have some holy grail products you feel we should know about? Let us know in the comments!

The best way to become a skincare expert is by getting professional training and earning your certification! Enroll in QC’s leading online Skincare Course today!

5 Makeup Trends That are Here for Spring (and Coming for the Summer)!

By | From the Experts, Makeup Trends | No Comments

One of the greatest – and most exciting – things about makeup is that it’s constantly evolving. While there will always be certain classics that’ll never go out of style (such as a simple red lip), makeup trends are forever changing. If you know what’s currently popular, and similarly, what’s on the rise, your makeup looks will always stay fresh and fun!

But where do these new trends come from? You’ll often find that most are inspired by the catwalk, following the collections showcased in Fashion Weeks from all around the globe. Here are 5 makeup trends that celebrity makeup artist, Nathan Johnson, believes are here to stay this upcoming spring and summer!

1. Very blended looks

This look is achieved by taking two similar shades (for example: light pink into darker pink, ivory into light pink, taupe into medium brown, etc.) and then transitioning one into the other.

The lighter color should be applied to the lid of the eye, and the darker pigment will be blended out through the outer corner and crease.  The darker shade should also wrap around the outer corner of the eye and turn into a smoked lower lash line.

This style of eye makeup is blended to perfection! It has no hard lines, with the deeper shade smoothly dissipating below the brow. Gorgeous!

2. The use of vivid colors in unusual ways

This trend-setting makeup look gives a nice nod to the retro 1980’s, Nathan says. Arguably one of the best examples that showcases this is Jeremy Scott’s Spring and Summer 2020 show! As each of the models strutted their stuff down the catwalk, audiences everywhere were stunned at the combination of eccentric, geometrically-inspired outfits, tousled neon wigs, and bold eye makeup.

Notice the way that Scott expertly ties the whole look together through the use of makeup. Specifically, through the bright pops of color on the inner corners of his models’ eyes! This is a great demonstration of how every little detail works in unison to create the final, polished product!

Another example that beautifully demonstrates this trend is Jason Wu’s Spring and Summer 2020 collection. Although these looks fall into the watercolor trend, Nathan notes how the bright hues and overall style “really honor the 80s”!

3. Classic Blue is the Pantone Color of 2020

Every December, Pantone uses trend-forecasting research to announce the upcoming Color of the Year. Based on their findings, 2020’s chosen color is Classic Blue. Pantone states that this pigment instills “calm, confidence, and connection”, while also highlighting “our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build, as we cross the threshold into a new era”.

Given everything currently going on in the world, this definitely rings true!

Whether Classic Blue is incorporated in pops of color, blended looks, or shocks of liner, Nathan notes how it undoubtedly adds vibrancy to the eye. Just check out the amazing effect it has on the makeup and clothing worn by this model! This is just one of the reasons why fashion designer, LaQuan Smith, really stood out during Fashion Week this year!

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Howdy

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4. Color-blocked lids

Color blocking with vibrant, bold hues is a great trend you can incorporate this spring/summer into your makeup, clothing, and so much more! In terms of eye makeup, color blocking is done by choosing one solid eyeshadow shade to apply to your upper lids, followed by a different color to for your lower lids.

There are lots of different ways you can play with this look and get creative! Since spring and summer are typically warmer seasons, you can always pair bright, complementary colors together. Pink and orange are a stunning combo, as is blue with green. You can also use one color, but create a contrast between two very opposite shades.

An incredible example of color-blocked lids that Nathan saw during Fashion Week was from Oscar de la Renta’s Spring and Summer 2020 collection!

5. Soft complexions

As Nathan points out, the interest in “cake face” has seen a tremendous drop through recent years. Instead, people now want their skin to look as real and natural as possible.

For some time, strobing – essentially, extreme highlighting – was a popular trend. When done right, it would give the appearance of shimmery, dewy skin. Unfortunately, a lot of beauty vloggers (many of whom are not professional, certified makeup artists) created a tendency of applying WAY too much. Often, it wouldn’t be done properly. The result gave off a kind of sweaty appearance, rather than the desired, youthful glow.

But Nathan says the strobe is now out! Cosmetic companies have been seeing a major drop in sales for quite some times, signaling the end to that era. Instead, it’s being replaced with softer, more natural-looking glows.

Bonus: Makeup looks Nathan would LOVE to see take off in 2020!

In addition to the above trends, there are a few more makeup looks that Nathan would love to see gain popularity in the upcoming years. Specifically, the following…

1. Dimensional eyeliner

While we’ll always have room in our hearts for the classic cat-eye or winged liner, there’s so much room to explore and get creative! After all, makeup artistry provides you with the freedom to push boundaries. How else do you think new trends are discovered?

Dimensional eyeliner let you think outside the box, through the use of different shapes and patterns. Not only will it definitely make you stand out from the crowd, it’s also a terrific way to express a little extra personality!

Anna Sui expertly illustrated this makeup look into her Spring and Summer 2020 collection. Just look at how playful and pretty the results are!

2. Non-black eyeliners

Speaking of eyeliner, another cool look that Nathan hopes gains even more popularity is unconventionally-colored liner. Given that ‘conventional’ eyeliner is essentially just black (or even brown), this pretty much means ANY color other than this!

Blues, greens, reds, purples, you name it – there’s so much wiggle room this trend can offer! It can amplify eyeshadow, pair with lip color, or even just be worn on its own. One especially gorgeous color we’ve seen is a crisp, white liquid liner along the upper lids. Pamella Roland’s Spring and Summer 2020 Collection showed this off perfectly!

3. DayGlo and fluorescent creases

DayGlo (and other fluorescent colors) are known to dramatically enhance your makeup look! When used on the upper crease of your lids, the attention will naturally draw towards your eyes. Plus, if you’re feeling particularly fierce, the use of bold, funky colors can be incorporated throughout the rest of your look, too.

On the other hand, fluorescent creases can stand entirely on their own and be the star of the show. In fact, by keeping the rest of your makeup look relatively subtle, your DayGlo eyeshadow will naturally pop even more.

Pair it with some thick, luscious falsies and a dark nude lip, like Versace did in her Spring and Summer 2020 Collection! This look is easily one of our favorites.

4. Black red lipstick

If you want your makeup to be daring and make an impression, there’s very little that can compare to a striking, black red lip! If you want a full glam, night makeup look, you can pair it with a smoky eye and dramatic false lashes. However, if you want a more toned-down final result, black red lipstick is also strong enough to be used independently.

Another perk about this trend is that it can work for quite literally anyone. Regardless of your skin tone, eye color, or what-have-you – black red lipstick can turn anyone and everyone into royalty. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at how jaw-dropping it was on this model, as part of Max Mara’s Spring and Summer 2020 Collection!

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@maxmara chic encounters

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5. Lilac drop shadow/lower eyeliner

Commonly referred to as ‘upside-down makeup’, a drop shadow is when you apply a bold color only (or primarily) to your lower lash line. This is an awesome option for those who want to add a bit of pigment to their eye makeup, without committing to the full color across their upper lids.

A drop-shadow can also be accentuated with lower eyeliner. Alternately, lower liner (in the same desired color) can also be worn on its own.

During Fashion Week, Balmain debuted their 2020 Spring and Summer Collection, with models wearing a gorgeous lilac drop shadow and lower eyeliner. As far as colors go, lilac is as effective as it is delicate. Don’t let its soft, gentle tone fool you! When used along the lower lash line, it creates a result a uniquely bold result that can still be worn as an everyday look!

Want to be able to learn how to do all of these trendy looks – and maybe even create one of your own? Get professional makeup artist training and earn your certification from an accredited makeup school! There’s no better time than now to work towards your goals and dreams! Who knows… maybe some day, one of YOUR trends will make it on this list!

Enroll today in the leading online Master Makeup Artistry Course, and earn your professional certification in as little as 3-6 months!

The 3 Best Online Tools to Market Your Business at a Low Price

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

Australian MUA, Charlotte Ravet, is the proud owner of her very own hair and makeup business. From bridal, to editorial, to film and television, and everything in-between – Charlotte provides a wide variety of services that cater to all types of clientele!

Her extensive resume includes working for Prada, L’Oreal, and even the cast of the hit show, Glee! A developer of educational programs, Charlotte has even been awarded Best Makeup Educator of the Year by the Australian Industry Makeup Awards.

Here, she examines the best (and cheapest) online tools to help you market your makeup artist business!

Over the last few weeks, freelancers and makeup artists alike have seen their number of clients decreasing due to the coronavirus crisis. Thanks to social distancing, people everywhere are being advised to remain indoors as much as possible. But what many don’t realize is that staying home can also be a gift!

On a regular day, our schedules can get insanely hectic. We often forget how to make time for other goals and aspirations. Being stuck at home can allow us to do all the things we never usually have time for. We can turn this from a negative to a positive!

As a freelance makeup artist, the amount of effort you dedicate to both your brand image and business marketing are both essential! This is especially the case when trying to network and connect with new clients.

Get Your Name Out There

The first step to finding new clients is to be seen! It’s important that you know how to project the right image of your business. There are countless marketing tools that can help you gain online visibility, but here are 3 specific ones we will explore in more detail:

  1. Your brand image + logo
  2. Your business website + SEO
  3. Your social media channels + content

Let’s break each one down…

1. Your Brand Image + Logo

When your client looks at your work online, you want to give her a way to identify YOU from all the competition. What makes you different? How do you stand out? Importantly, why should this potential client choose to work with you?

Your branding should be able to speak for itself and answer all of these questions!

Here are a few tips to help you create your very own niche:

  • Choose a consistent color palette and font that will be used for ALL of your documents, websites, business cards, etc. This is going to play a HUGE role in your branding. When you think of notable companies, you can easily identify them through their smallest details. For example, if I said “Coca-Cola”, you likely immediately envision its cursive font and red and white colors. You want your business to be this easily recognizable, too!
  • Pay attention to detail. When creating an online presentation, business cards, social media posts, etc., there are tons of different online software you can use to help. For example, I highly recommend Canva. Canva is an online design website where you can create all types of materials, upload your own images, and create great designs at no cost! (There are paid options also available, but even the free services provide all the basics!)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When creating your logo, one option at your disposal is to outsource the project to other Freelancer.com is a great website for this! It connects you to other freelancers, provides quotes, and allows you to hire them for all your online work – all at your own convenience. Simply post your project, and receive bids from freelancers from all over the world. But don’t forget to read that person’s reviews before hiring them!

2. Your Business Website + SEO

Your business website is the platform where you display your services to clients. Other notable information to include would be your:

  • Biography
  • Contact info
  • Prices
  • Reviews
  • Certifications
  • Online booking forms, etc.

Importantly, your website is also where you’ll show off your portfolio of work! Just make sure that the images you use are high resolution and look professional.

There are many online platforms you can use to create and host your business website. Many of them will offer templates, making the process much simpler for those who aren’t all that tech-savvy. You may also have the option to purchase your own company emails. Both Wix and WordPress are wonderful tools you can use!

Here are 3 amazing examples of professional portfolios and websites that you can use as inspiration.

Pro tip: Be careful with your domain name! Try to choose a short domain name that’s easy to remember. If you want to be found locally by your customer, you can choose a domain suffix from your country (such as ‘.ca’, ‘.co.uk’, etc.). However, if you want to be recognized at an international level, you should use ‘.com’ as your website’s domain suffix.

The Importance of SEO

Your makeup artist business won’t appear on a Google search simply by creating a website. This is determined by your website’s SEO. By using specific keywords, and having your website linked from other sites, you can improve your chances of getting a higher SEO ranking and appearing in Google’s top search results.

SEO can be time-consuming, and hard to understand if you’re a beginner. If it feels a bit too overwhelming, why not outsource it to an expert? There are tons of agencies and/or freelancers who offer a monthly rate in exchange for assisting with your website’s visibility.

Yes, it may initially cost a bit of money, but as soon as it starts rewarding you with more clientele, you’ll have more than a return on this investment.

Also, don’t forget to ask your clients to give you a review! This will help your next clients to know about the quality of your work, while helping the overall visibility of your business.

3. Your Social Media Channels + Content

Consistency is key when it comes to social media! Create posts regularly, with easily-identifiable content. Ensure to use the same color palette, the same font, and even (when possible) the same angle for your posts. This will all help your clients easily recognize your work.

Think of your social media channels as your very own magazine! When your clients look at your page, what do you want them to think? What feelings do you want to inspire?

Just keep in mind that in terms of content, creating beautiful makeup is not always enough. You might want to consider the way you intend to present your content, too. Apps such as Whitagram give you the option to customize the format and aesthetic of your posts. If you’re looking for more ideas, here are 5 other apps you can use to edit your Instagram posts!

Social media is an essential marketing tool to help strengthen your online presence, but it can also be hard to manage. If you’re ever short on time, or just want to plan ahead, you can use platforms such as Planoly or Later to create/schedule your posts in bulk.

Remember: Mornings and evenings are the best times to post content times. This is when people are proven to be the most active on social media!

Over the course of the next few weeks (perhaps longer), you’ll have the opportunity to revamp your online visibility and marketing strategies. Maximize your time at home by readying yourself for the next season! Give your online presence a fierce makeover, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you start booking clients once things go back to normal!

Want to become a certified makeup artist while hanging out at home? Enroll today in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry Course, and graduate in as little as 3-6 months!

4 Ways to Keep Up Your Makeup Practice at Home

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

We are in the midst of a pandemic – the likes of which, we’ve never experienced before in our lifetime. With so many people quarantined, most of the world is now locked down and/or practicing social distancing.

While it feels like everyone is terrified of the slightest cough or sniffle, it could seem like the worst time to make progress with your education and makeup artist certification.

But this could not be farther from the truth! With a positive attitude and a few helpful suggestions, you’ll be ready to continue practicing your makeup artistry immediately. In fact, when all of this is said and done, you could realistically come out way AHEAD of where you presently are!

The first thing I cannot stress enough is: do not look for models! Yes, working on different skin types, tones, etc. can have a profound impact on your growth and knowledge as a makeup artist. But right now, it’s simply not safe to do that.

The time will come when we can practice on others again. When it does, I’ll push you to do so. For now, though, it’s important keep yourself and others safe. So here are a few things you can do instead…

1. Take advantage of your circumstances

If you live with others, you have models you can practice on right there! (So long as they’re already in your immediate living environment, of course.) In some cases, it may be unconventional, but you can practice your makeup skills on your spouses, partners, roommates, parents, and children.

Remember: A face is a face! So even if the person you are confined with is a man, you still have a great palette to work on. Yes, you may have to do some bartering to convince them to be your model. But with a little determination, you can pull it off!

2. Work on yourself

Working on yourself can be beneficial, if you do it correctly. Don’t just sit down and do your makeup. Instead, choose which techniques you want to master, and then put dedicated effort into doing it. Repetition is key, so practice again and again!

Take photos, with your eyes open and closed. Study the photos with the eye of an art critic. Do your best to look at your work objectively, so you can see where improvements can be made.

3. Work on face charts

At first suggestion, this may seem absurd, but hear me out! If you can master perfect eyeliners, brows, drop shadows, lip liners, and shadow placement on a piece of paper, it will translate to the face. Training both the hand and the mind will translate to every medium you work in. If you have a makeup dummy head, you can practice your techniques on that as well.

Now, let me clarify: mastering makeup artistry means that every aspect is crisp, clean, symmetrical, and precise. If you hold yourself to an incredibly high standard, you’ll see it transform your skill-set.

4. Follow your makeup artistry checklist

When working on a face chart or a makeup dummy head, mastering each element of the checklist below will help ensure that your time spent actually advances your craft…

Eyeliner Checklist

  • Does the eyeliner on both eyes have exactly the same thickness on each side, every step of the way?
  • Do any wings or cats go at exactly the same angle?
  • Are any wings or cats exactly the same length?
  • Are any wings or cats smooth and crisp?

Make sure to practice ALL of the different eyeliner variations taught in Unit B of your Master Makeup Artistry Course. These different eyeliner styles are:

  1. Natural liner
  2. Wedge liner
  3. Drop shadow
  4. Wraparound liner
  5. Tightlining
  6. Cat-eye liner and winged liner
  7. Lining the lower waterline, and
  8. Lower liner

Brow Checklist

  • Are both eyebrows symmetrical?
  • Were they done with perfect, hair-like strokes?
  • Do the strokes follow the direction of natural hair growth?
  • Do the brows follow the classic shape?

Make sure to practice all 3 types of brows (classic, thin, and natural), also taught to you within Unit B of the MMA Course!

Lip Liner Checklist

  • Are both sides perfectly symmetrical on the upper and lower lip?
  • Are the upper and lower lip balanced?
  • Is the liner smooth and crisp? 
  • Is the liner exactly the same thickness all the way around?

Eyeshadow Checklist

  • Is the eyeshadow exactly the same on both eyes, every step of the way? (This includes placement, thickness, etc.)
  • Does the shadow go up at a flattering angle at the outer corner of each eye?
  • Is the angle symmetrical on each side?

Make sure to practice each step of applying eyeshadow individually, then practice combining them in different variations!

What makes us grow the most as artists is practice. So make the most of this time, and all the ways in which you can improve your art!

When working on yourself, a housemate, or a makeup dummy, you’ll use real make up. If you’re practicing on a face chart, you may instead choose to use other (but similar) products. A fine sharpie, an art pen’s with various brush tips, chalk, charcoals, and colored pencils all work well.

Remember: No matter which form(s) of practice you choose, always make sure that you practice meticulous hygiene. It’s more important now than ever.

Covid-19 is here, whether we like it or not. Why not make the most of the time you have, and work towards changing your life for the better? That way, you can be best prepared once this passes – and rest assured, it WILL pass.

These are hard times. People will want to feel their best when things get better and life returns to normal. With the proper training and practice, you’ll be there to make that happen!

On March 26th, we will be doing a very special webinar that will focus on maximizing home learning. We’ll cover all these topics, as well as answer all of your questions. Stay tuned for the announcement and be sure to tune in!

It’ll be fun! We can share a bit of love and connect withing our amazing community. There will even be some very special downloads available for you!

I’m sending you love from the entire QC family. It’s time that we really come together as one race – the human race – and remember that we’re all in this together.

You matter. You are loved. And we are here for you, now and always.

Maximize your time at home by earning your professional makeup artist certification! Enroll today in the leading online Master Makeup Artistry Course!

Why a Business Class is Essential to Your Makeup Career [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, DevDevGregs, where she makes beauty videos. Today, Devyn draws on her personal experience as a QC Graduate to share why taking the optional Business Unit is something all aspiring makeup artists REALLY need to do, as part of their makeup artist certification!

Watch her video below!

Let’s Recap

Devyn is a graduate of QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry course, taught by professional celebrity MUA, Nathan Johnson. Within the program, there’s an optional unit at the end (Unit G) devoted entirely to the business side of the industry.

While students aren’t required to complete this business unit as part of their makeup artist certification, it IS strongly recommended. Business knowledge is particularly critical if you have dreams of starting your own freelance career and makeup business in the future!

Let’s take a look at what Devyn’s experience was with QC’s business unit, and why she – as a professional makeup artist – urges you to take full advantage of it!

Breaking Down the Master Makeup Artistry Course

Devyn begins by giving an overview of how QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course works. There are 6 units within the course (A through F). Not only do these units break down the fundamental basics of makeup artistry, they also teach you makeup theory, core practices, various techniques, and the different types of careers you can get with your makeup artist certification.

There are also business components included within the course. While it’s technically optional (students can choose to skip past it), the materials and insight they provide you will only better prepare you for a career as a professional MUA. You can never go wrong with learning more areas of the industry!

Breaking Down the Business Units

Next, Devyn takes a look at each individual business unit offered in the Master Makeup Artistry Course. She also shares her expertise on why each one is useful to those wanting to become a professional makeup artist.

Business Unit #1

This unit is called “Starting Your Own Business”. Devyn describes it as a “crash course” of all the general information you need when wanting to start your own business – whether that’s in the makeup field, or ANY field!

Here, you learn all the different types of businesses you can start, such as:

  • A corporation
  • An LLC
  • Becoming a sole proprietor
  • Starting a partnership
  • And much more!

Even if you don’t want to start your own business, and are aiming to contract yourself out as a freelance MUA, Devyn explains how it’s still just as beneficial to understand the business side of things. After all, there’s more than likely going to be some sort of contract or negotiation involved when conducting business! Otherwise, for example, how can you ensure that you’ll get paid correctly or as agreed upon?

How Devyn Benefited From This Business Unit

She reflects on her experience with this unit as being very helpful in arming her with a general understanding of becoming an entrepreneur. In addition, this unit also delves into important topics such as:

  • Taxes
  • Whether or not your business needs insurance
  • If you’ll need an accountant, a bookkeeper, etc.
  • How to write and structure a business plan
  • How to write a cover letter
  • Creating a balance sheet and managing your finances
  • And more!

These are all good, basic principles of general business practice. As an aspiring MUA, having this level of understanding before going out into the working world will increase your chances of success. While this may not always be the most fun part of the job, the rewards it will bring you will definitely be something to smile about!

“This is the kind of stuff that nobody teaches to you!” Devyn says. We couldn’t agree more! While good makeup schools will ensure to provide this type of education, unfortunately, there are also many schools that don’t.

The result is that while students may walk away a better makeup artist, they lack the necessary tools and skills needed to start up their own business. Not knowing this can really hurt your career opportunities in the future!

Business Unit #2

The second business unit is called, “Marketing and Promotion”. For Devyn, this unit was particularly fun! It takes you through the 4 P’s of Marketing, which are:

  1. Product – what the product or service is that you want to sell to clients.
  2. Pricing – figuring out what to charge for your services.
  3. Place – where and how you intend to sell your services.
  4. Promotion – how you plan to get your name out there to clients.

As you’re marketing a service or product, these four areas will serve as your to-do checklist! Each step will help walk you through the process of properly and effectively marketing your product/services.

Next, Devyn examines each of the 4 P’s in more detail: what they all mean, how they directly relate to being a makeup artist, and how utilizing each one will help you successfully establish your makeup business!

Business Unit #3

Devyn then moves onto the third business section in the course, which is “Working with Clients”.  However, this unit doesn’t just focus on clients! You are also taught how to work with other partners, suppliers, and business associates within the industry!

Here, Devyn brings up a really excellent point: in order for your makeup business to be successful, you’re going to need to interact with people… and know how to do that well!

Indeed, as an MUA, you’re going to require some pretty strong people skills. Your job, after all, is an industry service profession. You need to be someone who’s easy to work with. More importantly, no client is going to want to book someone who makes them feel uncomfortable!

This is why knowing how to present yourself in a professional manner is so important. This business unit not only covers this topic, but also:

  • How to stay organized
  • How to manage your book of business

Devyn also touches on the sales training offered in this unit! For those with little to no business knowledge, this section is going to be critical. Some of the different areas of sales training you receive in this Unit involves:

  • How to overcome objections
  • How to tell the difference between a warm and cold lead
  • How to warm up a cold lead

Some of you may read the above and have NO idea what these terms mean. That’s okay! But it also goes to show the type of crucial knowledge this business unit will teach you. Having any type of sales training is going to do leaps and bounds for your MUA career – so why not take advantage of it when it’s being offered to you?

How Devyn benefitted from this Business Unit

Not only did she benefit from all the great information already mentioned above, but the various templates offered in this unit particularly helped her. In fact, she admits that she still uses many of them in her business practices to this day (particularly with bridal clients)!

Some of the templates you can expect to see are:

  • Sample invoices
  • Sample contracts
  • Sample e-mail templates
  • And so much more!

Having these templates at your disposal will not only help you learn – it also guarantees that you will look more professional to your clients and associates! The great thing about these templates that are a part of your course is that you can save them forever, and refer back to them whenever needed.

Business Unit #4

The final section is called “Special Topics”. It focuses primarily on the different things you should think about and consider when starting your own business and breaking into the makeup artistry industry. One example of this is the importance of networking!

How will you go about meeting other MUAs in the industry? What about models, photographer, hair stylists, and other vendors/suppliers? What if you want to be represented by an agency? More importantly, how do you plan to connect with clients?

With limited business knowledge, this challenge can be a daunting one. But with the proper training and understanding of the business side of the industry, it doesn’t have to be!

Devyn also points out how, when first starting out, you may need to get creative about where and how you find work, in order to build your portfolio. This final business unit also covers this, and provides really awesome tips!

Devyn’s final thoughts

Like many of you, Devyn admits that she, too, is still working on building her business each and every day. Whether that’s furthering her education, making more connections in the industry, growing her YouTube channel, or doing whatever she possibly can to improve herself as an MUA… Devyn knows the time and hard work it takes to be successful in the world of makeup artistry!

Like you, she intends to give it her all! The important thing is that you put in the effort to do everything you possibly can to be the best you can be. As a makeup artist, having a solid understanding of the business side of things is one of the greatest ways you can do that.

Unsure which online makeup school will give you the best chance at being successful in the industry? Find out why QC Makeup Academy can best help you earn your makeup artist certification and find work in the real world!