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Makeup Careers

Makeup career article, June 09 2021, Feature Image

My Makeup Career During COVID

By Career Advice, Makeup Careers, QC Student Ambassador 2 Comments

Dream of starting a makeup career – but worried that COVID will hurt your success? This is a very common concern, but one that should NOT deter you from pursuing your goals! Today, QC Makeup Academy‘s Student Ambassador, Nadia Calabro, is here to discuss how the pandemic has affected her journey… and how she’s been overcoming the challenges she’s faced!

Makeup career article, June 09 2021, Nadia Calabro photo

A Little About Me

My name is Nadia Calabro. I’m a graduate and Student Ambassador of QC Makeup Academy. I’ve graduated from the Master Makeup Artistry Course, the Pro Makeup Workshop, and the Skincare Course. Each one of these classes gave me a different set of tools to ensure a successful career.

I was living my dream and felt on top of the world… But then the world around me literally fell apart, and down I went with it! If you haven’t figured out the villain of my story yet, I’m of course talking about the big, bad COVID pandemic!

My Makeup Career Before COVID

Before the pandemic, I was in the midst of an uphill climb to the top of my industry. I had just opened my own freelance business, Beauty Beyond the Mirror, and my name was getting out there more and more with each passing day.

When I first graduated from QC Makeup Academy, I was at the top of my game. I was getting booked consistently; having clients in my chair through the week, every week! I’d even landed my dream spot at a beautiful boutique-style salon where I was able to offer my services!

Moreover, I was participating in photoshoots and designing my own. I was booked for weddings, as well as all kinds of different special events. My skincare training through QC had also allowed me to add skincare consulting to my service menu. As a result, I was helping woman get their skin back to health! I was offering specialized facial services to help woman and young teens take care of their skin.

Most importantly, I had even begun teaching woman how to apply everyday makeup looks to themselves, through just a few easy steps and by using products that worked for them.

Makeup artist applying eyeshadow on model

Then Came the Pandemic…

As I write this part, it’s hard not to feel consumed with sadness… because just as quickly as my makeup career started, it felt like it had all suddenly fallen apart!

When COVID first hit, I was still working. At first, people were still celebrating special milestones and events. As such, my calendar was filling up! I’ll be honest: I was grateful in the beginning to still be working, but I was admittedly pretty nervous, too. In the back of my mind, I knew that the worst was yet to come.

So, I was trying to do as much as I could, in whatever time I was being given.  Then the ever-so-dreaded reality of what I knew was coming finally happened… Ontario (where I live) entered its first provincial lockdown.

As a result, we were confined to our homes. Schools were closed, businesses were forced to shut their doors, and we were unable to be with our families – let alone our clients. There was nothing to be done but stay at home, and ride out the tidal wave that was going to wash away life as we knew it.

At first, the lockdown was only support to last for two weeks. We were all told that we would recover and come out stronger. But this turned out not to be the case. Instead, the tidal wave quickly turned into a tsunami! Instead of recovering, we got completely wiped out. Two weeks wound up turning into three months.

With each passing day, everyone grew too scared to carry on with their regular lives. People were no longer celebrating anything – and makeup services became practically nonexistent.

Entering The Second Lockdown

Before we could even get back on our feet, we entered our second provincial lockdown. Once again, it felt like we were all brought to our knees. Faced with the prospect of yet another few months of forced closures, everyone’s hopes were dwindling by the second.

The thing is: when that second lockdown finally got lifted, life never really went back to normal. While everything else was running as usual, makeup services were still not allowed. This was because only services that involved wearing a face mask were permitted – and, of course, makeup doesn’t fall into that category.

But that was my ENTIRE career! Thus, not only could I not do makeup; I also couldn’t do facials or skin consulting either. Needless to say, I was devastated. And just like the song that never ends, Ontario wound up going into a third stay-at-home order. While it was eventually lifted as of June 2nd, it still feels unclear as to what the next plan of action for our province will be at this time.

I’ll be up front with you… It’s been hard not to give into the temptation of raising a white flag in defeat. There were many times I almost did. But ultimately, I chose not to – and here’s why…

Sad young woman looking out window

Almost Giving Up On My Makeup Career

Let me start by saying that if you’re reading this and have been (or are currently in) a similar situation, my heart goes out to you. Truly. Personally, I have experienced some of my lowest lows over the last year and a half. So, I know the struggle is real. That feeling of helplessness is a weight that’s hard to carry. Furthermore, the realization that you are powerless in your own journey is a very hard pill to swallow.

I’ve had many days where I thought to myself, “That is it! I’m accepting that my time is done, my makeup career is over, and I’m going to find something else to do with myself!”

However, each time I thought of sending a goodbye message to my clients and followers, I just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t only the fear of letting myself and my family down. Moreover, it wasn’t only the fear of not finding something else to support my family.

Ultimately, I knew that I’d never be able to find anything else that made me as happy.

Now that I’m out of the darkness and some light is finally shining in, I realize that what was stopping me from giving up was my passion. That, and the fact that I knew my makeup career wasn’t done yet. Heck, it had hardly even started! I had so much that I still wanted to share with the world; so much I wanted to prove to myself.

How could I turn my back on it all now?

Choosing to Push Forward

So, I shook off the idea of giving up! I told myself to stand tall and be better than what was bringing me down. Yes, the reality still remained that I couldn’t use other people’s faces as my canvas… But I could still use my own!

What’s more, I could try new looks on myself and perfect my art before I entered the working world again – and man oh man, have I been doing that! Instead of seeing my newfound free time as a curse, I’ve started seeing it as a blessing. After all, I can use it to get creative, test my limits, and experiment with areas in makeup I never tried before.

Finding the Silver Linings

I’ve also taken the time to go back over all of my books and videos from my QC Makeup Academy courses! Working in the real world after graduating, I knew there were bad habits I’d picked up again. So, refreshing myself has allowed me to break those habits and bring my skills and makeup approach back to the basics.

Furthermore, I’ve also focused on connecting with artists on social media, in order to build professional relationships that I can potentially benefit from in the future. I’ve reached out to people that I knew were holding off on getting married, and have offered my services to them when the time comes. Importantly, I made a conscious choice to not let people forget my name the way I had forgotten it myself!

Ultimately, I know that all this practice and rewiring of my skills will only make me better in the future. As a result, I’ve now allowed myself to appreciate this time I’ve been given. I’ve allowed myself to be thankful for the temporary pause in my makeup career, because now I can watch and appreciate each brush stroke on my face. I can appreciate the wonders of what I can create, rather than just doing it to get the job done.

Once I slowed down, I realized that I had begun to apply makeup through habit – and not appreciating the art. But not anymore! Instead, I’ve fallen in love with makeup all over again!

Makeup career article, last in-post image, woman applying makeup to her own face at home

Getting My Makeup Career Back on Track

Over the last year and a half, I’d been feeling as though I no longer had a lot to offer anyone in this industry. I’d even convinced myself that I had nothing to offer the current and future students of QC Makeup Academy, in terms of being a Student Ambassador, because I was so defeated at one point.

But with new perspectives, everything seems so much clearer to me now! I love giving people advice on their techniques and skills; helping them to evaluate their looks and better themselves. And I will continue to do that! But for now, I am choosing to use my voice for something else.

Today, I am choosing to use my voice to tell anyone who feels like I did to straighten their backs, stand tall, and look up and onward. Life before COVID was great, but the future can be even better. The only way that anything has power over you is if you allow it… So, choose to be stronger!

Food for Thought

Choose to make the best of the worst possible situation and come out with guns blazing. The global pandemic took a lot – and this is a fact the whole world is a united front on. But COVID doesn’t have to be the element that takes your dreams away, too.

You are the same person you were before COVID, and you can find that person again. Start by picking up your makeup brushes and creating a masterpiece on your own face. Then look in the mirror and remind yourself why you started doing this in the first place.

Finally, grab onto that dream that was buried by darkness. Hold on tight, never let go, and get ready for a lifelong ride. Yes, it might start off bumpy… but it’s sure to land on beautiful, calm roads!

Start YOUR makeup career in as little as 3-6 months by getting trained and certified from the comfort of home with QC Makeup Academy!

3 Must-Have Items in My Bridal Makeup Kit

By Makeup Careers, QC Student Ambassador No Comments

Paula Alleyne is back to reveal the top 3 items in her bridal makeup kit! A QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, Paula is also a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her professional makeup business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook! 

My Interest in Bridal Makeup

Bridal makeup artistry is a great way to serve, enhance a person’s life, and earn money. But it can also be a stressful time if you are not prepared, and do not have a calm demeanor. Despite these possible stresses, I love bridal makeup artistry. What better way to serve than to help a beaming bride look gorgeous for one of the most important days in her life?

makeup kit article, Paula Alleyne portfolio image 1
Makeup: Paula Alleyne. Photographer: Rommel Alleyne. Bridal designer: Jaye Applewhaite. Lighting assist: Akinwole Jordan. Model: Tiye Kelly. Venue: The Crane.

I entered into bridal makeup artistry because it was a natural progression from my style of natural beauty. My love for clean, classic looks augured well with bridal.

It was actually my tutor, Nathan Johnson, who unknowingly encouraged me to pursue bridal! In his feedback for one of my assignments, he indicated that I was certainly “doing bridal by now”. But at that time, I actually wasn’t. Nathan’s comments boosted my confidence to step out and enter bridal artistry… and I’m glad I did!

One of the major impacts that bridal artistry has had in my budding career is the wonderful networking opportunities gained. Whether I’m meeting bridal designers and models for collaborations, or meeting photographers at weddings – becoming familiar with professionals within the industry is always a great way to develop your business!

The Components of Bridal Makeup Artistry

When entering into bridal artistry, there are a few main components to consider:

  1. The initial contact;
  2. The consultation, or trial day;
  3. And application on the day of the wedding.

The Initial Contact

During the initial contact, it’s great to get an idea of the wedding date, as well as the time, style, and theme of the wedding. Keep in mind that at first, the bride may not always have all the details of their wedding sorted out yet. However, once she has indicated an interest to continue with you, understand that at that moment, you will be connected with her for months before the big day. You’ll be taking the journey with her!

makeup kit article, Paula Alleyne portfolio image 2
Makeup: Paula Alleyne. Photographer: Rommel Alleyne. Bridal designer: Jaye Applewhaite. Lighting assist: Akinwole Jordan. Model: Tiye Kelly. Venue: The Crane.

The Consultation

The consultation is the next major juncture. Here, you want to create the replica of what the bride would look like for her wedding. The consultation – also known as the ‘trial’ – is the time for the bride to freely express her ideas and concerns of makeup for that day.

Invite her to bring her ideas, along with photos of the dress, hairstyle, and jewelry. You should also discuss:

  • Any skin issues
  • Schedules for facials
  • The length of the ceremony and reception
  • Possible changes in attire during the wedding, etc.

Addressing these points will allow you to begin to gain a good sense of what the big day will look like!

While it’s ideal for the bride to have the hairstyle, dress, and attire known by the time of consultation, the reality is that some brides may still be undecided. What they are certain about, though, is what they want their makeup to look like for their special day. Use that one surety, and assist them in creating that perfect look.

The Day of the Wedding

When the big day finally arrives, it’ll be time for your makeup application. It’s vital that you remain calm. The bride may be in a state of nervousness. After all, things planned for that day may have gone off-track, and there is a lot of activity happening.

Arrive on time to setup your station. Confirm times for photography arrival and transportation departure. By this point, months will have passed between you and the bride; from the initial contact to this day. When facilitating the timely execution of your services, do not use a forceful approach. Instead, a natural, encouraging tone is the way to go!

makeup kit article, Paula Alleyne portfolio image 3
Makeup: Paula Alleyne. Photographer: Rommel Alleyne. Bridal designer: Jaye Applewhaite. Lighting assist: Akinwole Jordan. Model: Tiye Kelly. Venue: The Crane.

Learning Bridal Makeup in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course

I was excited to get to the bridal makeup unit in QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. I knew that looks associated with bridal were ‘up my alley’, and I was looking forward to learning whatever I could.

Prior to taking the Master Makeup Artistry Course, I had no professional training in this specific area of makeup artistry. As a student, I was delighted to find that this program also offered extensive business training as part of its curriculum. I was given insight into bridal contracts and invoices. I was taught what my role with the bride would be, and the professional attitude I’d need to have to be successful.

The most valuable take-away for me was QC’s promotion of your soft skills as the makeup artist. Yes, your artistry has to be great to help the bride look beautiful. But what bride wants to be around an artist who makes them feel nervous, is disorganized, and feels burdensome on their big day?!

Bridal Makeup Kit

One of the questions I get asked is: “What are the must-haves for your bridal makeup kit?”

Well, there are several great brands of makeup products that can be used for a bride. Regardless of the brand I use, they must be broken down into 3 main categories within my makeup kit:

  1. Skin preparation
  2. Makeup application 
  3. Setting powder
bridal makeup kit

1 – Skin Preparation

Skin preparation is essential to facilitating smooth makeup application and creating the appearance of a flawless face. For this reason, one of the key ingredients in my makeup kit is moisturizer.

Once the face has been cleansed, you must ensure the bride’s skin is moisturized. This will help it to remain supple, and reduce the appearance of lines. It’s also just as critical to ensure the moisturizer used is appropriate to the bride’s skin type.

Sweat control is another key ingredient in my makeup kit. If it’s an outside wedding, the bride can get hot. In other cases, the anxiety of the day can cause her to sweat more than usual. This product helps to keep the sweat at bay. In the end, this assists the makeup’s longevity.

Primer is another must-have in my kit. Primers serve as a great base for the smooth application of foundation. Similar to moisturizers, primers should be appropriate to the bride’s skin type.

2 – Makeup Application

Once the skin has been prepped, the makeup application covers four (4) main areas:

  1. Eyes
  2. Face
  3. Cheeks
  4. Lips

The variety of colors for eyeshadows are endless! However, for bridal makeup, I have found that most brides want natural, cool shades that are elegant and not overpowering. My makeup kit must have eyeshadows that are highly pigmented, in colors similar to champagne, browns, bronze, and taupe. Colors which have a bit of shimmer are also great for adding highlights under the brow bone.

When it comes to the eyes, my makeup kit also includes a brow powder or brow pencil. I’ll make sure to stock up on varying shades of brown, so that I can create a natural shape and definition to the eyebrow. Waterproof mascara on this emotional day is also essential!

bridal makeup application

Next up is the face! We want our brides to have a flawless, even complexion. That means that you need a foundation that’s accurate to their skin color. My makeup kit must not only have a foundation palette that offers a variety of shades; it should also have a primary color palette as well.

My foundation palette cannot cover every single skin tone out there. Therefore, to be efficient on space and finances, my primary color palette allows me to make a foundation color that’s exactly to the bride’s complexion. This eliminates the need to spend unnecessary money on several different foundation palettes!

Another must-have for face makeup is cream blush. I am in love with cream blush! This product allows the face to have a flush of color that appears to radiate from the bride’s natural skin. Cream blush is buildable, and can subsequently be enhanced with powder blush.

3 – Setting Power

After creating that gorgeous, lovely face, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. The first step is setting the foundation with no-color powder. No-color powder is critical in my bridal makeup kit! After all, once you’ve applied that perfect foundation shade, you don’t want to mess it up by putting on a powder that changes the bride’s skin complexion at the last minute.

In addition to setting powder is setting spray. Setting spray not only gives the bride a great, fresh finish – it provides staying power to ensure the bride’s makeup application lasts even longer!

Did you know that when you enroll in QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course, you’ll receive a FREE makeup kit to help you train? Add to your makeup kit and get started today!

makeup artistry professional putting makeup on model

Makeup Artistry Career Spotlight: A Day on Set as an Editorial MUA

By Graduate Feature, Makeup Careers No Comments

Paula Alleyne is QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador, as well as a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Her professional makeup business, PAULA MONIQUE, specializes in bridal, editorial, and special occasions makeup. Connect with Paula on Instagram or in the QC Virtual Classroom on Facebook!

What is Editorial Makeup?

Editorial makeup is a type of makeup artistry that can be summed up as the work you would see in print. This can be for beauty campaigns, fashion magazines, etc. Typically, editorial makeup is either simple, clean beauty looks, or extravagant creations that are not typically used in every-day wear.

Working as an editorial makeup artist is a different environment from being hired to provide services for a special occasion, such as for a live wedding or a client’s special event. In editorial shoots, the makeup artist is but one of the many players behind the scenes. Everyone works together to prepare the talent for a determined image.

A makeup artistry career for an editorial MUA spans various areas. One can work work in stylized shoots, be featured in magazine spreads for beauty and/or avant-garde fashion, or work for a company in their advertisement campaigns.

close up of makeup artistry products

Why Editorial Makeup?

My love for natural beauty and clean, classic looks – which are often seen within beauty and fashion magazines, or in portraits of celebrities – drew me towards editorial makeup artistry. To me, there is an appeal in looking at an image, seeing the person highlighted, and not having the beauty of his or her face being overpowered by makeup.

However, when you take a closer look at the image, you also see all the tiny details that build up and make the final image what it is. For example, it may be a soft smoke of a bronze color that effortlessly ties back in with the bronze jewelry being advertised, or the attire being worn.

My husband, Rommel Alleyne, is a photographer. He and I have been working together on several shoots. Over time, we have learned each other’s styles in makeup artistry and photography, and I have learned how makeup application translates on camera.

There is no substitute for the experience gained working on photoshoots! Even when I am not the makeup artist, and work instead as the lighting assistant, I’m still learning. I’ve become more appreciative of the time of day, lighting, and talent positioning – which all play a vital role in the final image.

Working as a makeup artist for editorials also creates networking opportunities with photographers and models alike. One of my favorite editorial shoots was on set with a Barbadian photographer, Joel Brooks, and a Barbadian jazz singer, Kellie Cadogan. Prior to the shoot, we played around with different attire and jewelry, and concluded with two pieces we would with.

Time was limited. By the end of shooting the first look, the crunch was on for the second shooting. The makeup application for the first look was with neutral brown tones, which were transferrable to the second photo session. However, I knew that a slight smoke and hint of grey would add to the second piece.

So, I got permission to proceed with the color transition. I felt the time squeeze and needed to work extremely quickly. I did the transition, and looking at the final photos, I’m glad I made that intuitive suggestion. As you’ll see below, the end product was good!

makeup artistry career - paula alleyne editorial shoot image 1

Jazz Singer/Model: Kellie Cadagon. Makeup by Paula Alleyne. Photography by Joel Brooks. Lighting Assist: Rommel Alleyne

A Day on Set

In the world of editorial makeup artistry, working on set can be summed up into one word: “ATTITUDE”. The attitude you have can either make you or break you.

Always have a heart to serve! As the makeup artist, you are but one person within the team.

Time matters! Get to set early to prep your station and be ready for the talent.

Talk! Have an open dialogue with the team, especially with the photographer prior to shooting. As the shooting unfolds, speak with the photographer to ensure the desired look is being achieved.

Include the talent in your discussions. Let the talent inform you of his or her skin type, allergic reactions, and any prior negative experiences with makeup applications.

Understand the overall image to be achieved. Even if adjustments have to be made during the set, and your input is required, ensure that your suggestions are in keeping with the desired look.

Do be professional. Always!

Enjoy the process! Use the experience to meet other professionals, develop your strengths, and identify areas for improvement.

makeup artistry professional on set with model and photographer

The Benefits of Training with QC Makeup Academy

One of the main benefits of obtaining my professional makeup artistry certification with QC Makeup Academy is the mental preparation the school instills in its students. In one of my Business Units, QC spoke about the importance of networking. This can be in the in the form of:

  • Volunteering
  • Assisting
  • Interning
  • Job shadowing
  • And much more!

When starting out as a makeup artist, providing editorial work will often begin through volunteering. As within any profession, volunteering should never be frowned upon. In the right place, you’ll find that you’ll receive the same positive attitude, energy, and professionalism that would be given to any paid employee.

In addition to the mental preparation encouraged by QC, you’re also taught all of the practical skills needed to thrive as a professional makeup artist. For example, you’ll learn about accurate foundation application, skin and color correction, blending, and understanding the basics of skincare. All of these factors play a crucial role in creating flawless skin, as well as the natural beauty often associated with editorial makeup.

makeup artistry career - paula alleyne editorial shoot image 2
makeup artistry career - paula alleyne editorial shoot image 3

Yoga Instructor/Model: Jo Hamilton. Makeup by Paula Alleyne. Photography by Rommel Alleyne. Lighting Assist: Akinwole Jordan.

I am currently enrolled within QC Makeup Academy’s updated Master Makeup Artistry Course, and am eager to see how they’ve improved upon an already great program. One of my goals is to have my work published within a well-established magazine. I’d also like to work with celebrities.

As you know, one of my most important stances is: “Never stop learning!” I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences in this program with you guys!

Much love,

Paula

Earn YOUR professional makeup artistry certification in as little as 3-6 months by enrolling today in QC Makeup Academy’s wide variety of internationally-leading courses!