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Makeup Tips and Tricks

DeShawn Hatcher doing makeup on female model

Industry Spotlight: DeShawn Hatcher

By | Education, Featured, From the Experts, Makeup Tips and Tricks, Your Makeup Career | No Comments

One of the greatest things any artist can do is continue to learn. Makeup artist classes are essential, but there is also mandatory “real world” learning that everyone interested in working in the beauty world needs. Our “Makeup Artists to Follow” series will introduce you to a new artist who has made an impact on the beauty industry.

Learning about them will give you a free master class in what’s happening with the titans in the industry. You’ll see the birth of trends from the people who actually created them – not the influencers who copied them. You’ll see a diverse array of techniques and styles that will ignite your own creativity, connecting you to the greater makeup community.

The first of these cosmetic pioneers that we’ll take a look at is DeShawn Hatcher.

Meet DeShawn Hatcher

DeShawn Hatcher headshot

As a makeup artist, educator, author, and Guinness World Record holder, DeShawn Hatcher is a true dynamo in the world of beauty. As an artist, she’s worked in every area of makeup, and had many different makeup artist jobs: TV, celebrity, editorial, and runway. She even holds the world record as the Beauty Director for the Cotton Inc. 24 hour fashion show.

With a hefty portfolio of images ranging from crisp and clean, to edgy and editorial, DeShawn’s work is a masterclass in diversity. Her passion is driven by an obsession for people to see the beautiful woman herself, not someone caked in makeup. Anything and everything within DeShawn’s portfolio demonstrates her mastery of creating perfect skin, precise lips, and captivating eyes. With her rich understanding of makeup and diverse use of technique, she’s proven herself to be a force in the world of beauty.

deshawn hatcher makeup example on female model #1

In her book, Assisting Rules”, DeShawn discusses how critical it is to become an assistant to a professional makeup artist, if you can, because it can be a fundamental move in blossoming your own professional MUA career. The book is a step-by-step guide to helping anyone break into the industry who has an interest in fashion, beauty, and print. It’s a must-have; rich with tips, tricks, and secrets that only someone who did it herself would know.

Not only do you get to see the ins and outs of what it’s like in the actual industry, you also get to learn from a pro in action. Just as importantly, it provides the chances for you to network, make connections, and get your name out there. These are opportunities that may be harder to come by if you weren’t assisting a professional makeup artist in your early days within the biz.

DeShawn has also contributed to nearly every major magazine, such as Elle, Vogue, Harper’s, WWD, etc. Her list of achievements is endless, but some notable contributions include:

  • Campaigns for some of the biggest international companies (e.g. MasterCard, Panasonic, Boost Mobile)
  • Runway looks for celebrated designers like Tory Birch, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Siriano, etc.
  • Makeup for television, on networks such as E!, HBO, NBC, etc.
  • Makeup for Beyoncé, Tom Cruise, Vanessa Williams, and Anette Bening being just a few examples.
DeShawn Hatcher makeup example on female fashion model

As if this wasn’t impressive enough, she also teamed up with Graftobian to create the much-needed, and world’s first, Multicultural Foundation Palette for People of Color (Inclusion).

With a focus on education, DeShawn is often a featured speaker at makeup trade shows, makeup schools, and she writes her own blog. Her Instagram, @deshawnhatcher, is a must-follow. But her blog and her YouTube channel in particular are, in my opinion, some of the best resources for people wanting to learn about the beauty business from a true pro.

DeShawn Hatcher makeup example #3

Want to take your professional MUA career to the next level? Check out Nathan’s 3 tips to boost your success!

devyn gregorio holiday makeup look

Holiday Makeup Tutorial [video]

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

Devyn Gregorio is a QC Makeup Academy Student Ambassador. You can find her on her YouTube Channel, Gregorio Girls Makeup, where she makes beauty videos with her sister. Today, Devyn demonstrates how to create a gorgeous, holiday-inspired look you can rock right into the New Year!

Watch her video below!

Let’s Recap:

This look is what Devyn calls “classic glam” with “a good red lip”. As we’re in full holiday swing this time of the year, a red lip will always fit right in! The overall look is chic, yet subtle and elegant enough that you can wear for formal events (e.g. work parties, family get-togethers), casual events, or even just to do your Christmas shopping!

Keep reading to learn how to do this makeup look in time for the holiday season!

First Up: The Upper Eyes

Devyn begins by using her Chocolate Gold eyeshadow palette by Too Faced. Though released two holiday seasons ago, it’s still one of Devyn’s favorite Too Faced palettes to use. Most of the eyeshadows within it are shimmery, though there are a couple of matte pigments as well. This will be the palette used for this tutorial.

For this look, Devyn wants to do a natural halo eye. Her first color of choice is a rich brown, aptly named ‘Cocoa Truffle’. Using the back end of a smaller eyeshadow brush, Devyn starts by first applying the Cocoa Truffle to the inner corner of her eyelid, tapping more eyeshadow onto that spot to pack on the color. She then repeats this process on the outer corner of her eye.

Working on the crease

Next, Devyn uses her smaller sized blending brush, from the BH Cosmetics Marble Collection (#9), to apply and work the matte color, ‘So Boujee’, into her crease. This shade is a very soft peachy-brown. Since this is a halo eye, you want to pay extra attention in keeping the shape nice and round. Imagine when working on your crease that you’re creating a half-moon shape. Like Devyn, you may have a tendency to want to blend the eyeshadow outwards, for more of a cat-eye effect. Don’t do that for this look – in order to achieve a halo shape, the eyeshadows on the eyelid need to look round.

Devyn then uses an M139 Morphe Brush (which has a more pointed, tapered brush head) to allow for a more concentrated product application on her crease. She then uses ‘Cocoa Truffle’ again, this time applying it in the crease as well. Be careful not to blend upwards or outwards too much, you don’t want to cover the ‘So Boujee’ shade you just blended there!

The halo shade

From her palette, Devyn selects the color, ‘Gold Dipped’. Using a flat shader brush (#9 from the BH Marble Collection), she then swipes the golden eyeshadow right down the middle of her eyelid. Don’t worry about whether it looks pretty or not! You just need to get it on there. You’ll be able to do damage control shortly, we promise.

If you don’t want to use your brush for this step, you don’t have to! Just like Devyn chooses to do instead, you can always just use your finger to swipe it on. After all, as she says, “They’re the best brushes that you’ll ever have!” Just remember those downward strokes! Once applied, feel free to stipple on more product and tap it around your eyelid to blend it in, should you want that lovely, golden shimmer shade to pop even more.

Fun fact: Devyn is so used to wearing gel or acrylic nails that now that she’s NOT wearing them, she’s reminded of how much easier it is to apply makeup with her fingers!

Going back to her shader brush, Devyn then switches to rosy shade called ‘Classy & Sassy’, which she pats onto the edges of the halo shade she just laid down. She does this because this shimmery rose shade matches very close to the matte shade already used in the corners. This allows for a more natural-looking blend, instead of the appearance of an abrupt, rough line of color between the gold and the brown shades.  Once finished, Devyn goes back in one last time with more of the ‘Gold Dipped’ color, just to make sure it really stands out in the middle.

If you want to go a bit darker…

You can stop your upper eye makeup here, if you’d like. The result will be a bit more of a softer look. However, should you desire a little more dimension and depth in the inner and outer corners of this halo look, there is a black shade in the palette that Devyn recommends: ‘Decadent’. Take just the tiniest amount of this shade (just a tap or two) with a small, pointed brush. You don’t want the black to stand it, you just want to add a bit more depth to the inner and outer corners of your eyes.

You’ll probably notice, like with on Devyn, that immediately after applying this color, it will look black at first. Don’t worry! Take a mini blending brush with a bit of that ‘Cocoa Truffle’ shade again, blend it over the black. The brush that Devyn uses to complete this step is a Morphe M506.

Next Up: The Lower Lash Line

This step is relatively quick! First, using this same M506 small blender brush, Devyn dips back into the ‘Cocoa Truffle’, this time to blend along her lower lash line. She finishes off this part of the look by taking a little bit of the ‘Gold Dipped’ and patting it right in the middle, so it matches the gold shadow applied to the middle of the upper eyelid.

Highlighting the Brow Bone

For this next step, Devyn uses the same highlighter used on her cheeks: wet n wild’s ‘Precious Petals’. Since this is a halo eye you’re creating, Devyn reiterates that you don’t want to highlight the inner corner. You want to keep the shade nice and round, with the focus drawn to the center of the eye. That being said, the brow bone shouldn’t be neglected either. “It can still use some love!” Devyn insists, gently swiping on and creating that subtle glow.

In the Home Stretch: Adding Eyeliner

So long as the eyeliner is brown, any kind will do! (That being said, if you’re curious about the brand Devyn uses, it’s Butter London.) While you can use black eyeliner if this is your preference, Devyn has found brown to be an overall better choice for this holiday glam look! Apply to your lower and upper waterlines.

Note: Though Devyn does her eyelashes off-camera, any mascara and/or falsies will do! Devyn’s false lashes of choice are ‘Flirty’ by KISS Looks So Natural Lashes, because they’re dramatic – but not too dramatic. “Kind of like me,” Devyn adds with a giggle.

Last But Not Least: Lips

Because of the chosen colors used on your eyes, a red lip is the perfect way to tie everything together and bring more of that holiday vibe into the finished look! Devyn begins by taking her NYX lip pencil, in the bright, orange-red shade of ‘Summer Tease’, to outline and then color in her lips. If you’re thinking to yourself “this shade is way too bright!”, you’re not alone. Devyn agrees, but assures us that the actual lip color you’ll use next is a more blue-based red. The final result will be exactly what you want.

This next product is Lippie Stix’s ‘Bossy’ shade, by ColourPop. It’s a bit more of a cherry red, so if you don’t use this exact product, that’s alright. So long as it’s around this shade of red, it’ll do the trick.

Why Devyn Loves this Look

Admittedly one of her favorite looks to wear, Devyn feels the final product is super glam; a heavenly balance of the traditional red lip look, with the modern twist of the halo eye. Capable of dazzling others, while still delicate enough to be worn for every occasion. Truly the best of both worlds!

And there you go! Will you recreate this look for the holiday season? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in enrolling in QC Makeup Academy, but want to hear a real graduate’s opinion on the courses? Check out why Devyn chose QC, and how it’s helped her professional MUA career!

makeup items you don't need - woman throwing brushes away

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Silicon Makeup Sponge

makeup items you don't need - silicon makeup sponge

What it promises you

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

Why you don’t need it

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

You’d be better off using a different applicator.

2. Expensive powders

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

What it promises you

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

Why you don’t need it

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

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

3. High-end mascara

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

What it promises you

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

You get the point, though.

Why you don’t need it

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

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

4. Eyeshadow primer

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

What it promises you

Eyeshadow primer promises to do two main things:

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

Why you don’t need it

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

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

5. Individual eyeshadow pots

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

What it promises you

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

Why you don’t need it

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

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

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

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

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

makeup artist applying makeup in her client

How to Write a Makeup Artist Contract

By | Makeup Tips and Tricks, Tutorials & Tips, Your Makeup Career | No Comments

Not all makeup artists use contracts for their makeup jobs. If you have a home studio and book clients for small events, odds are you don’t need a contract. But for larger makeup jobs, where you’re going to travel to meet your client or commit an entire day of work to a single client or event, a good makeup artistry contract will help protect you and your business.

Read on to find out more about how to write a makeup artist contract.

makeup artist preparing her contract

What to Include in your Contract

A few years ago we wrote a full article about exactly what you should include in your contract. Below is a summary of those points, but you can find the full outline here.

  • Information on your client including contact information and any allergies/conditions they may have that will affect the products you can use
  • A clear outline of your services including the location, times you will be working, the scope of the job, etc.
  • Your payment terms, including the final price and any payment arrangements. For example, if a deposit is due in advance, etc.
  • Cancellation clauses including a clause that protects you in case of unforeseen circumstances
  • Indemnity clauses that protect you and your business against being sued for negligence

Best Practices for Writing Your Makeup Contracts

makeup artist client signing a contract

Contracts can easily be overdone or completely useless. If you want a simple makeup artistry contract that actually does its job, follow these important points:

  • It’s a good idea to use a basic template, and to have a lawyer scan it over to identify any potential legal problems ahead of time. After all, a contract is there to protect you and your makeup business.
  • Use simple, straight-forward language. Don’t try to be fancy with your contract. Use “you” when referring to your clients and “I” when referring to yourself.
  • Be specific and avoid words that are open to interpretation. For example, instead of saying “afternoon”, say “from Noon to 5pm”. This avoids having clients argue with you about semantics.
  • Some clients will ask you to revise some elements of your contract. This in itself isn’t outrageous. Most clients might ask for a slightly different payment structure/deadlines or ask you to clarify terms, etc. However don’t let a client browbeat you into removing your cancellation policy or make other changes you’re not comfortable with.

How to Use Your Makeup Contract

Using makeup contracts properly will help protect you and your makeup business. Here’s a quick rundown.

  • You should use a contract with every client if possible. You can use shorter contracts for quick same-day appointments.
  • Read through the contract with your client and explain it to them in plain language. Make sure they understand what they’re signing.
  • Send your client an electronic copy of your contract in a format that is not easily editable, like a protected PDF document.
  • If a client doesn’t sign the contract in front of you or if they printed your contract themselves, be sure to re-read the contract to ensure it hasn’t been altered in any way.

Makeup artistry contracts can be a pain to set up initially, but trust me, if anything happens, you’ll be glad to have it!

Have you ever written a makeup contract? Let us know if you encountered any unexpected problems in the comments below!

Wondering what you should you do if your client leaves you a bad review? Check out this guide on how to maintain your reputation!