Graduate Feature

Graduate Feature: Brenda Waters

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Brenda Waters. I have a loving, supportive husband, and am the proud mother of two doctors. I also have five beautiful grand-babies!

I was born on the beautiful island of Barbados, and migrated with my family to New York City at twelve years of age. In 1990, after earning my baccalaureate degree in nursing, I commissioned into the United States Air Force.

From there, I left New York City and started exploring the world!

Why did you decide to earn your makeup artist certification and become a professional MUA?

As a child, I possessed compassion, as well as a desire to provide comfort and encouragement. This is why my original career choice was to become a nurse. As a nurse, I fulfilled my calling by caring for people, and helping them improve their lives.

As of this summer, I’m proud to say that I’m completing a successful, 30-year career as a military nurse. I decided that from there, I will embark on a new journey! I’ll enhance the lives of others by becoming a professional makeup artist.

This path will allow me to fully evolve, and walk on the path that God has set for me.

I look forward to blending my military nursing experience with my vast knowledge of skincare and cosmetics. My goal is to showcase my clients’ natural radiance, so that they may present their “best” for any opportunity or occasion!

What’s the meaning behind your business’s name, KQBawi?

My goal is for EVERYONE I touch to feel like Kings and Queens! This is where the first two initials (KQ) in my business name are from.

“Bawi” stands for Brenda, Adrion Waters Inc. These are my husband’s and my initials. I combined all the letters together to create an exotic, elegant, and classy name.

Ultimately, these are the ways I want my clients to feel.

How would you describe your makeup style? Do you have a particular niche?

I am an educator. I teach clients how to enhance their natural beauty for a professional look, suited for work or social events.

However, I love to add an extra spark or “shine”, too. This can transform that everyday look into red carpet glamour; perfect for an evening out with friends, or any sort of special occasion!

As you mentioned, you’ve served as a military officer and nurse for the past 30 years. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your service! What practices, values, and work ethics would you say you’ve taken from your military experience and incorporated into your makeup career?

I have extensive experience caring for people, as well as organizing both formal and informal ceremonies. Moreover, I’ve applied and provided makeup education to VIPs and business associates.

I also have an excellent track record of customer service. This is evident by repeat customers, who return not just for my artistic skills alone, but also for tips to expand their use of cosmetic products.

I have lived in multiple countries, thus creating a vast pool of contacts, both nationally and internationally. Europe, Canada, Asia, and the Caribbean are just a few examples!

I intend to devote myself as faithfully to my clients as I did when in the military!

Your business specializes in working with battered women and underprivileged girls. This is truly inspirational; thank you for giving back the way you do! Why did you choose to devote your makeup career to this cause, and what type of work does this typically entail?

As a nurse, I found joy in healing wounds and restoring health to people in need. Moreover, I once was a battered woman myself. Before that, I was an underprivileged teen.

During those periods of my life, I wished that I had someone to make me feel good about myself, and teach me I matter. So, I have made it one of my life’s goals to make EVERY effort to do what I wish someone had done for me.

I relished the opportunity to rebuild self-esteem and confidence in these young ladies!

By teaching them the benefits of makeup, it reveals their outer and inner beauty. This can start the rehabilitation process, and provide strength for them to overcome their situations.

It’s so rewarding to witness these ladies’ attitudes and confidence transform exponentially. Plus, it was also a wonderful outlet for me to give back to my community!

KQBawi also offers organic skincare products for purchase. What is your holy grail skincare product, and why?

After traveling around the world and trying many different products, I ultimately chose Soielle’s natural, organic skincare products. The Soielle products are incredible at cleaning, soothing, and brightening my skin!

My husband and I also use them to treat multiple skin conditions. For example, my husband used Soielle’s black soap and mango butter to relieve his inflammation and discomfort from razor bumps. He also used mango butter to reduce the appearance of fine facial lines.

As for me, I use the black soap and castor oil to remove my makeup and clean my makeup brushes. Soielle’s natural butters (Shea and mango butter) are the best for:

  • Moisturizing
  • Anti-aging components
  • Anti-inflammatory treatments
  • Regenerating skin cells
  • Protecting natural products
  • And so much more!

I find that these skincare products best protect my skin from UV sunlight and harsh climates. For example, the Shea butter is a natural ingredient already existing in everyday body, hair, lip balm, and lotion products. I utilize all these items, and I am always looking for different manners to employ them.

If I didn’t truly believe in Soielle’s products, I would not offer them on my website!

The services you offer clients are very eclectic; ranging from full face applications to bridal makeup, to airbrush makeup, to makeup specifically for men, and so much more! Of all the types of makeup and beauty services you offer, is there a particular favorite you most enjoy doing?

I aim to be all-inclusive. I love providing all of these services!

However, my favorite specialty is creating the evening or special occasion look. This isn’t a quick, everyday look, nor is it the extensive bridal makeup service. Rather, it falls somewhere between the two.

In my experience, this is the look most of my clients prefer. My clients often request something a little more than their everyday professional/work makeup, but not too much as what they’d wear for a formal event.

You graduated from QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course back in 2015. Since graduating, how has your training and makeup artist certification helped you in your professional career?

I loved my training from QC Makeup Academy! I refer to it all the time!

If I receive a request that I have not performed in a while, I actually refer back to my QC Academy books as part of my research. As I work to initiate and further my business now, I’ve even been implementing the QC Academy Business Plan template!

What ONE piece of advice would you give aspiring makeup artists who want to one day launch their own business?

Conduct your research on what, where, when, and how your business will provide services. Then complete all the administrative paperwork, such as a business plan, business registration, website, etc.

By doing all of this, it’ll free your mind. You’ll have more room to create your artistic work, and start working towards what you envision your business to be!

What made you want to earn your makeup artist certification online, and why did you ultimately choose QC Makeup Academy?

I always loved makeup, and often applied it to my family and friends. But I wanted to learn more! I wanted to develop and incorporate more techniques, along with different looks and styles. I also wanted to properly learn how to work with colors.

I originally went to the makeup stores like Sephora, MAC, and Ulta, and applied for jobs. But I couldn’t find employment. I even offered to work as an assistant to other makeup artists for free, but that didn’t work out.

Determined not to give up, I attended a bunch of free makeup classes on various topics. I just wanted to learn!

So, one day I was doing some extensive research on the internet, looking for makeup schools. In doing so, I came across QC Makeup Academy! They offered the courses I wanted,. Best of all, I didn’t have to take extracurricular classes, like I would’ve needed to in cosmetology schools.

I called QC and spoke with a very nice lady, who assured me that I would only be enrolled in makeup classes (with no hidden gimmicks). From there, my adventure began!

What’s in store for KQBawi in the next year?

KQBawi is a freelance makeup business, strategically located in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. My aim is to provide clients with professional and/or casual looks for ALL occasions.

I’m looking to attract as many customers to my business in the first year as possible. So, I am working to build a solid business structure. This way, I can achieve my desired goals and objectives.

My biggest goal being: meeting and exceeding the expectations of my clients!

Inspired by Brenda’s story? Write your very own! Enroll today in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry course today, and get certified in as little as 3-6 months!

Graduate Feature: Gemma Mannering

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m Gemma! I’m 28 and married, with 2 beautiful boys. I have my own beauty
room at my house, which is perfect because it allows me to work from home whilst still being a mum.

I am also trained in lash extensions, lash lift and tint, henna brows, massages, and a lot more!

Why did you decide to get your makeup training and become a professional MUA?

I love being creative! I always used to draw when I was a kid, and loved expressing myself through art. As I got older, I found makeup, and my passion grew!

Eventually, I knew I really wanted to do this as a job. It took me a while to get the confidence, and to find QC Makeup Academy, but I am very glad I did. It’s been an amazing journey!

You’ve been getting straight A’s in QC’s Pro Makeup Workshop, Master Makeup Artistry Course, Airbrush Makeup, Hair Styling Essentials, Special FX Makeup, AND Skincare – congrats! Tell us a little about your instructors, and what you’ve learned under their instruction.

Oh my goodness, my instructor is literally the best! I had Nathan Johnson as my tutor for all the courses that I’ve graduated from. As it so happens, I also have him as my tutor for the classes I’m currently taking!

I honestly cannot thank him enough for all the knowledge he’s given me in, every aspect of makeup and skincare. I’ve not only learned classic techniques; I’ve learned how to use them on everybody, and not just to copy someone from Instagram or YouTube.

It’s important to remember, after all, that not everyone has the same eyes or face shape!

Another major point I’ve learned from my makeup training with Nathan is symmetry! It’s critical for every single job, and it’s something I never even considered before enrolling in my QC courses.

Tell us all about some of your greatest accomplishments to date.

In my day-to-day life, I would have to say my children. I am so incredibly proud of them both!

In terms of my career, however, I’d definitely say my greatest accomplishment so far is how how I’ve been expanding my business, and building up an amazing clientele. Many of my clients have become close friends!

What’s been the most gratifying moment in your career so far?

I’m actually the special effects makeup artist for a local film company! We haven’t done a lot to date yet, due to recent events, but we’re hoping to do a lot more in the future!

Is there a technique you are currently working on mastering?

Eyeliner! It’s something I have struggled with since day one. But I’ve been practicing on the face charts that Nathan recently gave out during a webinar. Since then, I’ve been seeing a great difference in my work!

I’m also working to improve my bruising techniques. Specifically, I’m trying to work on difference stages of bruises, such as how they look after a few days.

What advice would you give for an aspiring MUA who’s also interested in getting makeup training and starting their own business?

You just need to go for it! Really understand your products, and how to apply makeup the right way. Then you can always fall back on your knowledge of classic techniques.

Ask friends to be models, until your confidence is up. Ask them for honest, constructive feedback for how you can better yourself. It’s the best way to grow as an artist!

How would you describe your makeup style?


I love doing natural looks, but I’m also really loving the bold, out-there looks!

Why did you enroll in online makeup training, instead of getting your education from a brick-and-mortar school?

Being a full-time, stay-at-home mother, I don’t have the option to go to a physical college for makeup. I found QC Makeup Academy, and instantly enrolled after reading the amazing reviews!

It also helped that I would be working with an actual, professional celebrity makeup artist. That really sold me! I knew they would be the best of the best. I could trust my QC tutors to be honest, and help me achieve my dreams.

Name your Holy Grail product that ALL makeup artists should have (and why)!

NARS’s Bali eyeshadow! Nathan recommended it. It’s literally the perfect mid-brown shade. It works on literally anybody, for any sort of eye makeup.

Also, I really love the Anastasia Beverly Hills lip palette. You can create any shade you need from just one palette, which is perfect for any
makeup artist out there!

Start YOUR professional makeup training today! Enroll in QC’s internationally leading Master Makeup Artistry Course, and get certified in as little as 3-6 months!

Graduate Feature: Chloe Olivier

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Tell us a little bit about yourself! Why did you decide to get professional makeup training?

I decided to become a professional makeup artist because I love fantasy and history! I’m always looking for new ways of creating, and bringing the images of my imagination to life.

Since I was little, I taught myself to draw. One of my hobbies it to illustrate fantasy characters and create fashion/beauty-themed artworks. I always wondered how I could bring them to life, and OUT of the flat paper they were on.

I’d considered sculpting, and I also studied fashion design. But I still felt like something was missing! I wasn’t quite satisfied. I then realized that it was a career in makeup that I needed to pursue.

I’ve always had extreme passion for beauty, fashion, and makeup. I find a certain sense of wonder in the fact that they have no limits! The world will never run out of designs that can be created and applied. This is what excites me and entices me to create!

I wanted to be part of this world; to take a life trajectory where I could ensure that my career did not put boundaries on my creativity. Instead, my imagination need be my only limit.

How would you describe your makeup style? Do you have a particular niche?

My makeup style is a bit crazy and varied! It covers the realms of art, history, fantasy, fashion, and beauty.

I love researching facts and creating historically-accurate looks, as well as harnessing anything from my imagination. I love to create looks that defy color theory, as well as looks that adhere to color theory, too.

It’s my goal to tell stories and evoke emotion through my makeup. I want to design looks that bring out all the wonderful features a person didn’t even know they had! If I can help them discover these features, so that they can love themselves a little bit more, then I’m succeeding in my goals.

In my mind, this is especially the case for woman who are oblivious to their beauty, and what makes them truly beautiful.

Your talents expand across a very broad spectrum – from bridal makeup, to character makeup, to editorial, and beyond! Which would you say is your favorite type of makeup to do, and why?

I would say my favorite would be theatrical makeup. This type of makeup can involve character and historical makeup. I can also combine them to result in the manifestation of worlds that don’t always exist anywhere else but in someone’s head.

I love the fact that a makeup artist can completely change the appearance of someone with the use of brushes and paint. I see it as magnificent art!

You’ve started your very own makeup business, Narrate Makeup Artistry. How did the optional Business component of your makeup training help prepare you to be an entrepreneur?

Oh my gosh, it helped me SO much! I’ll refer to my books and the Business Unit for the rest of my makeup career!

It’s taught me how to start AND manage a business properly. Importantly, it taught not to just rush into things, no matter how eager I may be to get started. Rather, you need to take the time to adequately prepare yourself for everything that will be required of you.

The business training also helped me to realize that sometimes, I need to put my imagination on hold. Admittedly, this is not always easy. But it’s a really great thing for practical reasons, and even for the creative process (which I can be quite consumed by).

A creative business owner also needs to periodically come back down to earth and think rationally in order to thrive. I want my business to be a success, and QC’s business training will help me make it so!

As you’ve mentioned, you have quite the passion for history and fantasy! Do you intend to work these interests into your professional makeup career?

Definitely! I plan on building my skills in these areas to become the best I can be!

I want to be partly responsible for that ‘WOW’ feeling an audience can get; that gasp when the curtains open and the actors begin their performance. I want to use what God has blessed me with to make memorable and inspiring moments for other people.

I make sure to read about the history of makeup on a regular basis. Whenever an idea for a fantasy look pops into my head, or I see something I’m inspired by, I’ll also ensure write it down and draw the look on a face chart.

You positively excelled in the Master Makeup Artistry Course. Congrats! Overall, how did you find your makeup training?

I found the Master Makeup Artistry Course to be absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! Everyone who works at QC has been so efficient and helpful!

The course material is amazing, and I honestly cannot tell you how much confidence and courage Nathan gave me. It was the type of courage that I’d been looking for and working towards my whole life!

He gave all his thorough feedback to me in his audio notes, and I am more grateful than he’ll ever know. Nathan’s instruction and mentoring provided me with the strength to be myself, and to not be afraid to use my imagination! He helped me to realize that I don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing (such as those I see on Instagram).

He taught me to love my own skills and uniqueness!

What was the most challenging part of your makeup training, and what was the most rewarding?

The most challenging part of my makeup training was finding models for my practical, hands-on assignments. I recently moved to a new country, and don’t know many people here yet.

Even though the assignments encourage us to do makeup on faces other than our own, Nathan was incredibly flexible in light of my circumstances. He allowed me to do my makeup assignments on myself. Originally, I was a bit worried me in the beginning, because I thought it might make me lose marks. But it didn’t. It turned out perfectly alright!

The most rewarding part of my makeup training was comparing the initial photo I’d taken for Unit A (of my everyday makeup) to my later photos. I was gob-smacked at how far I’d come, how much I had learned, and how vastly I’d improved! It’s a wonderful feeling; knowing that I’ve developed a very in-demand skill. I knew that I’d truly learned from the best!

Since then, I’ve absolutely loved putting into practice what I learned thanks to QC Makeup Academy. I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing how amazing makeup is when applied properly!

What made you want to enroll in online school for your makeup training, and why did you choose QC?

I decided I wanted to study makeup and follow it as a career, but I couldn’t afford to go to an expensive school. I also didn’t want to take too long to complete my course.

So, I started researching online schools on Google, and QC Makeup Academy came up as one of the options. The reason I chose QC was because this school promised amazing things (which were completely fulfilled, I might add!). Its business website was extremely attractive and professional. I also found QC to be very reasonably priced!

I was very intrigued by the amazing courses they offered. Actually, I initially wanted to study with their Special FX Makeup Course, but I ultimately decided against it. (Gore isn’t my thing.)

I then did a bit more research, and decided to do a Foundation Course first. This proved to be the best decision! By starting with the Master Makeup Artistry Course first, I was able to discover which types of makeup were best suited to my personality and passions.

Thanks to my makeup training with QC, I know now that my style of makeup includes color, fantasy, beauty, and wonder!

Is there any particular makeup technique you’re currently working on perfecting?

It may sound cliché… But I think that many aspiring MUAs would agree with me that applying eyeliner is a technique that’s both VERY important and VERY stressful to perfect.

So, I’m trying all the different ways I can to master this. I know it’ll all boil down to practice, persistence and patience.

What’s in store for Narrate Makeup Artistry in the next year?

I want Narrate Makeup Artistry to gain a name for itself as a professional and creative business that delivers what they promise. I also want to get into all types of makeup, such as bridal, editorial, and theatrical.

I plan to create a strong online presence in order to advertise my services, and I’d like to find creative ways to stand out from other makeup artists in my area. Lastly, I’m going to try to get as many jobs as I can so I can build my portfolio and experience!

Imagine: you’re stuck on a deserted island and only have ONE holy grail makeup product with you. Which product is it, and why?

MASCARA! Mascara makes your eyes pop. Even if you’re having a bad skin day, putting mascara on gives your face character. When someone looks at you and talks to you, they naturally look into your eyes.

Eyes are the window to the soul. Your soul defines your personality, and I believe this is the source of true beauty. As such, the eyes need to be framed. Foundation might make a woman look put together, but nothing can beat mascara!

Want to be featured on our blog? Enroll in QC’s leading online Master Makeup Artistry Course today, and your spotlight may be right around the corner! 🙏

Graduate Feature: Amanda Ramey

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am 30 years old and live in Ohio. I’m a wife, and the mother of two amazing children (aged 5 and 2). I’ve been a professional tattoo artist for the last 10 years. In addition to this, I’m also a painter, an illustrator, a graphic designer, and a jewelry maker (just to name a few). Becoming a certified MUA is my most recently acquired skill!

Because I tend to dabble in so many artistic mediums, I consider myself to be a creative Jane-of-all-trades!

I went to Kent State University for 2.5 years, where I majored in Architecture and Environmental Design. I feel as though all of my creative outlets give me a different, expanded perspective, which I can easily transfer over into makeup.

Also, I am disabled, insofar as I’m missing most of my fingers (which is evident in my YouTube Videos). I’ve also lost both legs, below my knees. When it comes to who I am as both a person and an artist, this just barely scratches the surface!

Why did you decide to become a makeup artist? What about it appeals to you?

I started really dabbling in makeup about 2.5 years ago. I was on maternity leave, and wanted a new, creative outlet. I needed something that wouldn’t be as time-consuming as my primary job, or my main hobby/side hustle (jewelry making).

After my daughter was born, I got a lot more serious about it. I started practicing makeup, my application, and my technical skills on the daily. But even at that point, it was just something I wanted to get better at, on my own personal time. I found makeup to be very relaxing and calming.

I spent nearly a year learning on my own. While I gradually became a lot better than I was when I started, it wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be. So, I decided to look into makeup school.

I enrolled in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. At the time, the Pro Makeup Workshop was included for free, so I took that course, too. That was truly the beginning of my makeup obsession!

How did you feel the Pro Makeup Workshop helped fine-tune the skills taught to you in the Master Makeup Artistry foundation course?

I learned so much in the MMA course! But it was during the Pro Makeup Workshop that I had the absolute pleasure of being tutored by Nathan Johnson. Admittedly, he was really tough on me – which was exactly what I needed. Nathan can definitely have a kind of “tough love” way of teaching.

All the feedback he gives you is strictly meant to help you grow, though. He literally changed my way of seeing makeup and practice application. Even after I completed the course, I’ve stayed in touch with Nathan. He’ll often comment on my looks (on social media), and encourage my journey along the way.

I feel like I’ve gained SO much more than just a couple certificates from these courses. I would definitely recommend QC Makeup Academy to anyone willing to put in the work. As with everything, you only get what you put into it.

You also run your own beauty vlog on YouTube. Can you tell us a little about your vlogging style, and the kind of niche you hope to be known for within the makeup vlogging community?

I’m a part of a few different beauty communities online. After a while, several people were coming to me with tutorial requests for my makeup looks. That’s when I decided to start making YouTube videos.

I don’t know if I have a particular style, per se. But my goal is to be informative! I want to show practical techniques, as opposed to the clichéd ‘social media makeup’ that’s become so popular.

Do you have any plans in the future to start your own MUA business, work in a salon, etc.? Tell us a bit about your career goals!

Yes, I would like to do more freelancing in the future. I’m working on my SFX course with QC right now. Once I finish that, I plan on taking the Airbrush Makeup Workshop.

I want to be as well-rounded as possible first. That way, I can offer more services to the clients when I do start my own business!

You have a knack for creating bold, stunning eye makeup looks! Where does your inspiration come from?

Honestly, inspiration for me comes from anywhere and everywhere. I pull inspiration from textures, patterns, the color story of an image, and/or other pieces of artwork.

As you mentioned, you’re also currently enrolled in QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course. What is it about SFX makeup that draws you to it, and how do you hope to incorporate it into your makeup career?

I love horror and fantasy! I’m extremely drawn to the idea of being able to use prosthetics and makeup in order to create characters, injuries, and gore within these realms.

It just seems really fun and versatile, as far as what you can do with your Special Effects makeup knowledge!

In general, how did you find the online learning experience with QC Makeup Academy? (Such as the course materials, the information being taught, tutor feedback, etc.)

The experience was incredible! The coursework was easy to follow and submit. I always got my feedback returned in way less time than the window given.

Admittedly, for the Master Makeup Artistry course, I did feel as though the feedback I received wasn’t as critical as I would have liked. It didn’t seem like my tutor offered me enough recommendations, or areas where I could have improved.

However, in direct contrast, the Pro Makeup Workshop with Nathan Johnson was amazing! His feedback was extremely detailed. He offered constructive criticism in all the areas that needed more work. But he also made sure to always compliments the aspects of my work that were done well, too.

I think he could see how passionate I was about learning. So, he pushed me to be the best I could be! I’m incredibly thankful to him for that! I feel like I not only gained invaluable information, I gained a different view of the art form.

Why did you enroll in online makeup courses instead of offline?

I liked the idea of learning online because I could work on the materials at my OWN pace. You have up to 2 years to complete your course! That made the whole educational experience much more manageable, because I could devote my time to it when it best suited my schedule!

What would you say is the #1 most beneficial thing so far that QC Makeup Academy has helped teach you?

I don’t know that I can narrow it down to just 1, so I’ll give my top 2:

  1. Proper techniques – and the reasons those techniques are used.
  2. The history and background of makeup (which is included as part of the course material).

Both of these things are NOT something I would have learned if I hadn’t taken proper makeup training. Knowing the right techniques and history behind the makeup process provides a stronger foundation to build upon. Plus, being able to explain why I do things the way I do helps me be more professional.

Is there a particular makeup technique you’re still working to improve?

I’m always striving to improve my makeup application in all areas. There’s always room to grow and learn! Personally, honing in on applications for different skin types (other than my own) is a goal of mine for the future.

Name your Holy Grail product that ALL makeup artists should have (and why)!

Knowledge. I know that isn’t something you can buy or carry in your kit, but I think it’s the most important thing you can have.

You can use the highest quality products – but in the end, if you don’t know how to use them properly, they aren’t going to work. I’m a firm believer that you can make most products work if you know how to use them.

You need to understand which situations and skin types will require the right cosmetics. It’s not the product itself that create the best results. It’s the knowledge of how to use that product!

Want to become a certified makeup artist, like Amanda? Enroll in QC’s leading online Master Makeup Artistry Foundation Course today!

Student Feature: Caroline Edwards

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi everyone, my name is Caroline! I’m 46 years old, with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Before makeup came into my life, I worked in a special needs school. I adored it, and only left because my own child became chronically ill.

I love spending time with my family, friends, and generally having a giggle. Truth be told, you’ll often find me hanging out in my makeup room during my spare time. I eat, sleep, and breathe makeup!

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

I found makeup during a very dark time in my life. Struggling to accept my child’s illness, and that fact that he could no longer be able to go to school, I became very isolated. One day, however, an advert popped up on my news feed about becoming a makeup artist.

I’ve always loved makeup, but I never considered it a potential career for myself until that moment. So, I decided I would take the class for myself. No one could have foreseen how this journey would ultimately save me and help me grow. It’s absolutely the reason why I’ve gotten to where I am now!

Despite still being a makeup artist student, you already have your own successful MUA business. Can you tell us a little about its history, and the kind of professional services you offer clients?

I started building my bridal business last year. I figured, why not just bite the bullet?

I began by putting my name out there, which led to a position within the most beautiful salon. My coworkers there knew of my aspirations to open up my own business. They really supported me and encouraged me to go for it!

I’ve taken part in a lot of bridal photoshoots, in order to network with other suppliers and gain some professional images for my website. In addition to doing makeup, my business also offers skincare advice and makeup lessons (group sessions and/or 1-on-1s). I’ve slowly started adding hair-related services, too.

I just love to share my knowledge and help others!

You’ve been super busy lately working as a makeup artist for a feature film. WOW, that’s truly amazing (congrats are in order!). How did you land this job? What’s the experience been like?

This opportunity came to me after I’d connected with another makeup artist. We clicked straight away, and she has become a very dear friend. She was working on a film at the time, and after chatting for a while, she offered me a place on her team.

It’s been the most incredible, wonderful experience! The cast and crew are absolutely amazing. We’ve all become a little family unit. What started out as 1 day of work experience has turned into an ongoing job for me! It’s now been 10 months since I joined this film crew. I feel very blessed.

You look to have done your fair share of regular makeup, SFX makeup, bridal makeup, and even editorial makeup (for ELEGANT magazine). Of all these different categories, do you have a favorite one?

That’s hard! I adore every aspect of makeup. I think my favorite style, though, is red carpet glam.

That being said, I adore editorial makeup and photoshoots. Nothing can ever take away that feeling of seeing your work published!

You’re enrolled in Nathan’s Master Makeup Artistry course, and are currently killing it with an A average! How are you finding the program so far? (E.g. The tutor interaction, videos, course texts, assignments, student support, etc.)

I don’t have enough words to say how wonderful QC Makeup Academy is. Nathan is extraordinary! He’s honest, but never cruel. You always know that everything he tells you is coming from the heart.

If you want to learn and improve as an artist, you need to be able to take constructive criticism. It’s not harsh, nor is it meant to upset you. It’s merely to help train your eye and keep pushing you.

My whole experience has been nothing but a pleasure. The videos are clear to understand, and in addition to looking beautiful, the text books are full of all the information you need! I found the assignments to be very detailed.

There are quite a lot of them, so you must work hard to be able to learn. But you WILL learn, and gain all the tools you need to do this job professionally!

It’s also worth noting that my fellow students are simply awesome. The student-run support group on Facebook has been life-changing. There’s a very real sense of family community within QC, whether it’s between the students, or extended from the staff. I love that!

What made you want to enroll in QC’s Portfolio Development Workshop? What specifically do you hope to learn and take away from it?

I thought it would come in handy to understand how to organize photoshoots and develop my business portfolio. After all, without a decent portfolio, how can I properly showcase my work?

Why did you enroll in online makeup courses instead of offline?

It would be impossible for me to attend in-person classes with all my personal commitments! So physical makeup school wasn’t an option. After that, I turned my focus to online schools.

I had initially done a few online courses elsewhere, but they really didn’t teach me much. After that, I researched some online makeup schools, and QC Makeup Academy jumped out at me. The deal was sealed from that point on!

Is there a particular technique you’re still working to improve?

I’m always working on my skills! But for me, blush and lips are things I want to take to the next level.

Name your Holy Grail product that ALL makeup artists should have (and why)!

I don’t have just 1 product. But I AM in love with the brand, Charlotte Tilbury. In my experience, her product line works beautifully for bridal makeup. They’re also just as awesome for editorial looks, too, since they show up so well on camera. I couldn’t be without her products!

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

Katey Stevens sugar skull makeup look

Graduate Feature: Katey Stevens

By | Graduate Feature | No Comments

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a freelance makeup artist that mainly focuses on collaborating with local photographers and wedding venues. I provide my makeup services for a variety of photoshoot types, such as:

  • Editorial
  • Boudoir
  • Bridal
  • Headshots
  • Prom
  • Special events
  • And any other occasion wherein someone might want to be a little “extra” and done up!

I was born and raised in the beautiful Evergreen State of Washington. I found my passion for makeup as a young child, admiring my Mom getting ready in her bathroom mirror. Outside of makeup, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Cameron, and our two boys, Logan and Jameson.

I’m an avid hiker and enjoy exploring the Cascade Mountains. Also, I love spelunking, riding dirt bikes, quads, gardening, and enjoying good food with good people!

Why did you decide to become a professional makeup artist?

Back when I first met my husband, I found he was/is so ambitious and encouraging. He gave me the confidence boost I needed to believe that I could run my own business and follow my dreams. It’s largely due to his support that I decided to become a full-time MUA!

makeup for photoshoot model

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

I would describe my makeup style as diverse. I view makeup as an art form. I have a variety of interests; from soft glam and bridal, to SFX makeup (involving liquid latex and prosthetics). My favorite makeup style, though, would have to be an evening glam look. Nothing beats a smoky eye or a bold lip!

Tell us a little about your makeup business, Alluring Makeup Artistry. What was the process like in starting your own business?

I visualized the start of my business as a checklist of tasks and goals. I knew I had to start the journey with a makeup academy that could provide me with the tools I needed to get started, and a flexible schedule. I was still working full-time back then, as well as raising two young boys. A flexible makeup school was a must!

I began gaining experience by doing makeup for weddings on the weekends throughout summer. I’d get referred through friends and family, which is how I started getting my name out there. Then I created a makeup-related Instagram page, Facebook Business page, and website. I worked hard to build clientele through social media, local networking groups, and referrals.

You specialize in on-location makeup services for your clients. Can you tell us a little about what that means? Do you feel that providing this service gives you any advantages over your competition?

Adaptability is everything in the makeup industry! That includes being able to function well while being on the move, with a strict timeline.

Whether I’m indoors or outdoors, I can show up at any location and adapt. Regardless of the venue, the weather, or any other circumstances, I’ll have my makeup train, my chair and folding table, my lighting and camera, and be prepared for anything!

It’s also really important to understand how to do a bunch of different makeup styles. That way, you can be flexible, and still suit the person and vision for a project.  My artistic diversity and willingness to adapt to my surroundings gives me a HUGE advantage over my competition.

You focus a large part of your business on collaborating with other local vendors and suppliers. Can you elaborate on this (in terms of the types of collaborations you do, and why you find it beneficial to your career)? Would you recommend this practice to other aspiring MUAs, and if so, why?

I focus on collaborating with local vendors because, as vendors, we’re all working toward a common goal: to have the best customer satisfaction by providing our strongest skill-sets.

Katey Stevens crazy eye makeup look

Photographers, wedding planners, venues, event coordinators, salons, bridal boutiques… All these people that we build relationships with will benefit from the experience. Likewise, our customer traffic will grow once we’re all referring clients to one another and supporting each other’s businesses. This is especially helpful in my case, because I live in such a rural area.

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

EVERY special moment I share with my clients, when they see themselves in a different way, is my proudest moment. Sometimes, I feel I can maybe help them see themselves in a way they’ve never seen themselves before. That’s incredibly rewarding.

Do you have a favorite look that you’ve done, either on yourself or a client?

Yes, it was a purple, sugar skull makeup look. I did for fun on a friend, and it’s definitely my favorite look so far! It was really cool, because I had all the time in the world to be creative and really take my time with it. It turned out exactly how I had imagined it would. I was very happy with my work.

Two hours later, we had some pretty awesome results. We then went outside to my backyard, took pictures with my camera, and had an impromptu photoshoot!

Why did you choose QC Makeup Academy over all the other makeup schools out there? How do you think QC Makeup Academy has prepared you for working in the field?

The reason I chose QC Makeup Academy, over all the other schools out there, was because I felt they were truly one-on-one. But yet, it was still in a format that allowed me to continue working full-time and managing my life at home with my two young boys.

The entire QC staff were all great, too! From the instructors, to the Student Support Specialist team, everyone was very professional, kind, and helpful. I feel that QC Makeup Academy definitely prepared me to work in this field. They gave me the knowledge and the sense of professionalism that allows me to continue to grow, even to this day!

What’s on the horizon for your Alluring Makeup Artistry in 2020?

In 2020, my goals for Alluring Makeup Artistry are to:

  1. Continue filling my appointment book with clients, and
  2. Continue networking with local vendors, so I can build relationships and grow my freelance business.

Long-term, I hope to be the go-to MUA for events around my area. Who knows, maybe I can even become an international business someday!

Finally, if you were trapped on a desert island, what makeup product would you bring and why?

Mascara! I feel eyelashes are the finishing touch to every look! 😉

Want to become a professional makeup artist, just like Katey? Enroll in QC’s internationally leading Master Makeup Artistry course today, and get certified in 2020!

pink theme - girl applying blush

QC Makeup Academy’s Top 10 Makeup Articles of the Last Decade

By | About the School, Education, From the Experts, Graduate Feature, Hair Styling, Makeup Trends, Style, Your Makeup Career | No Comments

Happy New Year, beauties! Though it may be the start of a brand new decade, we thought we’d do the ultimate 10 Year Challenge by paying our respects to the 10 most popular blog articles over the last decade.

So strap in, get comfy, and put your coziest socks on, because these blogs are well worth the read!

Fake eyelashes are fun and fabulous, but they can also be the literal worst to put on. Getting glue all over the place (such as around your eyes) can make for a real nightmare. Especially when you finally secure them on, only to realize they don’t even fit! Luckily, this article breaks down the basic steps to finding – and applying – the perfect falsies.

beautiful model wearing false eyelashes

It’s completely understandable to want to take the extra time to ensure your client is 100% happy with what you give them. You’re a professional, after all! That being said, you may actually be taking too much time in certain places that simply do not need it.

These extra minutes can instead be focused on the aspects of the appointment that matter most. QC executive tutor and professional MUA, Nathan Johnson, provides everything you need to know here, so you best know how to prioritize.

Believe it or not, not every cosmetic product pandered to you is actually required. In fact, many items – even those marketed as top-notch, quality products – either don’t deliver what they promise to, or can be easily replaced by something cheaper. This article is a must-read for anyone who’s looking to free up some unnecessary space in their professional makeup kit, while still keeping the essentials.

One of the greatest ways to get motivated is by seeing others just like you making a successful name for themselves in the makeup industry. This is why we love to showcase our QC students and graduates, and why they’re always such a big hit with our readers!

Special FX Makeup course graduate, Tyler Russell, is without a doubt a talented and valuable asset to the MUA world, so it’s no surprise that his feature made the Top 10! Keep reading to see his portfolio, learn about his personal makeup style, and hear how Tyler feels that QC Makeup Academy prepared him for working in the field!

special fx makeup - avatar-looking creature

Let’s get real here: you may like makeup, but it takes a lot more than that to become a successful, working MUA. Unfortunately, an interest in cosmetics isn’t enough these days to make you stand out from the crowd. There are other crucial factors that are key to being able to turn makeup from a hobby into a career. If you read these 5 reasons why you shouldn’t be a makeup artist and find yourself agreeing with them, it may be time to revisit the chalkboard!

When it comes to the makeup industry, there’s a false notion that in order to be the best, you must always have the best. So basically, if you’re on a tight budget, you’re out of luck. But wait, don’t put your palettes away just yet! The fact is, this isn’t true at all. Many cheaper brands have been known to work just as efficiently as their pricier counterparts.

We highly recommend this article for any aspiring (or even working) makeup artist who’re looking for a few ways to save some cash, without sacrificing quality.

woman shopping for cosmetic products

Millennials are known for their innovation and ability to create new, amazing things. Credit where credit’s due: they’ve paved the way in terms of both makeup and fashion. But admittedly, there have been a few blunders along the way, and not all trendsetting attempts have hit their mark.

Written by QC Fashion Styling tutor and personal stylist, Mallory Sills, his article explores 4 millennial fashion trends that are definitely more cringey than cute.

Another SFX makeup enthusiast, Kirsten Hart is a Master Makeup Artistry graduate at QC Makeup Academy. She’s also paved quite the way as a professional MUA, known for her striking, colorful looks, and her epic Instagram branding.

Check out this article if you’re looking for some serious inspiration for your own portfolio, and are curious to see how online makeup schooling has helped Kirsten along the way!

Think you’re a hairstyling guru? A fountain of follicle knowledge? A sensei of the strands? (Okay, we’ll stop.) Take this popular quiz and find out if you really know as much as you think! Maybe we’ll stump you – and if not, feel free to brag in the comments!

woman curling hair

As a newbie makeup artist breaking free into the professional world, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But never fear! As The Beauty Buzz’s most popular blog article of the decade (WOW!), we’ll help arm you with 6 ironclad tips to not only get the ball rolling, but set you up for long-term success doing what you love most!

If the past 10 years were able to bring us this much amazing information, imagine what the next ten will hold! Is there anything you’re hoping to see and read about? If so, let us know in the comments!

Turn your MUA dreams into a reality by enrolling in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry course today!

smiling woman making heart symbol with fingers

Top 10 Most Popular Makeup Blog Posts of 2019

By | Education, From the Experts, Graduate Feature, Guest Articles, Student Ambassador, Your Makeup Career | No Comments

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of not just 2019, but the decade!

Before we ring in and bring back the roaring 20s, we thought it’d be nice to look back at the top 10 makeup blogs of this past year that were your all-time favorites!

Part of our QC Graduate and Student Feature series, this article focuses on talented SFX graduate, Sophie Kraynak. Taking one look at a sampling of her portfolio shows us all that her success is truly well deserved (and why this article made the Top 10, even though it was only published earlier this month)!

With a unique background in the Marines, Sophie delves into how this experience shaped her makeup skills and personal style, as well as how QC Makeup Academy played a part in growing her professional career. Now a professional MUA, Sophie has earned quite the presence on TikTok, has worked with TTDEYE Contacts, and was even contacted by Rihanna’s cosmetic line, Fenty, to take part in an online challenge!

male makeup artist applying sfx makeup to client

We all know that you can have all the makeup knowledge in the world, but without a good understanding of skincare, makeup alone will never reach its full potential on your client’s face. In this informative article, Nathan breaks down 5 popular misconceptions that will actually make you break out (among other things). Have you fallen prey to any of these myths? Debunk them now for healthier skin in 2020!

Whether it’s shapeless clothing or culturally insensitive attire, there are certain fashion trends that millennials have been known to adorn that, frankly, need to stay in the past. QC Fashion Styling tutor and personal stylist, Mallory Sills, explores a handful of different fashion faux pas: what they are, why they do not work, and how we’ll be doing ourselves a favor by keeping them as far away from the new decade as possible.

Written by QC graduate, Student Ambassador, and professional makeup artist, Gabrielle Rivera, this article piqued our readers’ interest thanks to its focus on teaching which SFX products to outright avoid. We admit, some of these (like not using character kits) came as a surprise, even to us! If you want to make sure your Special Effects work is top-notch, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by ditching these items from your makeup kit, and opting for better alternatives!

makeup artist applying makeup to client

Here, QC executive makeup artist and tutor, Nathan Johnson, discusses 5 common makeup errors you might be making, without even knowing it. Many of these habits stem from a lack of proper makeup knowledge and education – something that online makeup schools can definitely teach you! Are YOU guilty of making any of these mistakes? 2020 can be the year you kick them to the curb!

Speaking of mistakes: is there a better way to enter the New Year, with a brand new set of resolutions, than by first making sure you’re not bringing any bad habits from 2019 with you? We think not! Nathan’s back, this time using his expertise in the field to let you in on 8 more crucial errors you may be making when it comes to makeup technique and etiquette – and how to go about breaking them so you can best succeed as a professional MUA!

Time is precious to any makeup artist, so it’s important to learn where you can afford to shave a few minutes, so that you always have ample room for what really matters. Nathan touches up on 5 key moments during a job where you may find yourself putting too much time into something that doesn’t actually need it.

From the initial greeting to the kind of conversation you make with your client, this article is chalked full of useful info that will help polish up your A-game and keep you on the ball during appointments!

Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of cosmetic products that you actually don’t need in your repertoire. Whether it’s because they don’t truly work as advertised, or simply because there’s a more cost-effective substitute you can use instead, this article explores 5 makeup products that are surprisingly useless to you. Let us know if any of these come as a shock!!

makeup brushes and neutral eyeshadow palette

Another SFX makeup enthusiast, Tyler Russell is a graduate of QC’s Special FX Makeup specialty course, and now a professional MUA. Known for his painstaking attention to detail, Tyler goes into depth about what’s required in order to excel in the SFX field, as well as how QC helped fine-tune his skills. In addition to his epic goals for 2020, Tyler also reveals the one piece of advice he wishes he’d known before starting his makeup training! (Guess you’ll have to read it to find out what that is!)

Special Effects makeup has definitely shown itself to be a favorable topic for our readers, and the fact that this is our most popular blog of 2019 is proof! Part of our QC Student Feature series, this article focuses on Master Makeup Artistry student, Kirsten Hart, exploring both her background and makeup portfolio.

Displaying a wide array of different SFX (and even glam) looks, Kirsten goes into why she chose QC out of all the makeup schools to further her cosmetic education. She also shares some valuable tips on how to build up a solid Instagram presence!

It’s definitely going to be fun to see what articles will become most popular next year! Is there a specific topic you’d like to read about in 2020? Let us know in the comments!

Ready to make your dreams a reality in 2020? Enroll in QC’s leading Master Makeup Artistry course and start your MUA journey today!