Friday, May 23, 2014

“Why we charge what we charge”

We receive an email, “how much do you charge for makeup for my wedding?” , we answer with our rates and availability, we offer trials and we welcome questions. That’s the last we hear from the bride at times. Why? The price.

This may leave some makeup artists scratching their heads wondering what went wrong. Why did this bride never contact me again? Were my prices too high for them? With this, the artist sends a follow up email or even a follow up call touching base with the potential client. They receive no response. The bride has most likely moved on.

There may be many reasons why someone may shy away from hiring you as their makeup artist and it may have nothing to do with the price. Sometimes, however, it is the price. So, depending on where you live there may or may not be a large market of competition for jobs amongst makeup artists and people who claim to be makeup artists. This may be where your problem lies.

See, the general population doesn’t understand what constitutes being a professional quality makeup artist. They simply see that if someone else can make them look better than they themselves can do, then that works for them! They don’t understand the factors that go into hiring a professional to do professional job vs hiring the cheapest low baller out there who is going to cut as many corners as they can in order to get the job. Unfortunately the bride (or other client looking for the MUA) is the one that is going to lose out and learn a valuable lesson. In the meantime, you, the artist, are out a job thanks to the under cutter and inexperienced person who did get the job.

For those people out there trying to figure out why we charge what we charge let me paint a picture to give you better insight on things so that you may choose the right artist for you.


Did you know that depending on the area you live, artists charge differently? For example the average price in NYC can be anywhere from $200-$400? In upstate NY it can range from $75-$125 and so on and so forth. Now, let me also advise you that in NYS it is not required for a makeup artist to be licensed and unless they’re going to be working in a salon somewhere. Freelancers are free to work as they please. This is a double edged sword for both the customer and the professional makeup artist. For you, because anyone can call themselves a makeup artist simply because she’d like to do makeup as opposed to because she/he has had extensive experience or training in the field. For the professional makeup artist this can mean that we have to compete with those people and may lose out due to price. Remember YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR so be wary of the super cheap “artist”.

A true professional makeup artist isn’t (generally speaking) going to show up with drug store makeup in their kit. Sure you might find Mabellene Great Lash Mascara or Wet and Wild Lip Liner cuz well they’re awesome, but most cosmetic companies have a “Pro” line that is provided to professionals after they’ve proven themselves with credentials. You’ve got MAC and then you’ve got MAC PRO and most lines will offer this to a professional. The difference is staying power, pigment, finish & quality.  Any artist can beat your face with say Revlon and it will look good…. for a while. Depending on your skin, you may look flawless for a couple hours, and if that’s what you’re looking for then by all means proceed. The difference with the pigments in the shadows and blushes will be the same as if you applied them. When you apply makeup and go to work, do you ever find that 4-5 hours into your day your colors look different and may have even faded? You’ve primed, you’ve buffed and you’ve applied what you thought would be almost too much to last all day and yet at the end of the day you find yourself touching up before you leave work? THIS is what I’m talking about.

We as artists, invest in our kit. We purchase quality cosmetics in order to deliver a flawless finish and perfect coverage that will last as long as you need it to. Blotting an oily skin or reapplying lipstick may still come into play but generally speaking, that makeup isn’t budging.  The techniques that we’ve learned and honed, our creative eye, our desire to make you look amazing, these are all things that the budget makeup artist isn’t going to provide.

If you’re still not convinced let’s just take the cost of the products that would be used on you. Just the basics so you can get an idea let’s just start with the basics:  Foundation can run you anywhere from $20 - $135, powder can range from $25-$60, blush $25-$52, eyeliner, $18-$38.50, mascara $20-$61, and even lashes range from $5.00-$16.00. With that, now take the fact that professional makeup artists have experience behind them, artistic eyes to think outside of the box and cater the makeup look to YOUR face and you have a pretty priceless experience. Let’s go ahead and add in the fact that we travel to our clients, stock our kits with professional products to ensure professional long lasting results and think on that.

It sometimes makes us wonder how women will spend whatever necessary on their hair, be it color, cut or style but when it comes to their makeup, they don’t see it as something they should invest in. It’s all part of your image so make sure you know what you’re choosing J

Now, if you would like to go out and purchase all of the products you’re going to need, watch a couple of youtube videos and attempt to achieve a professional long lasting result on your own then our MUA blessings are with you. Sometimes, that’s what’s in your budget and that’s ok.  If on the other hand, you’re planning on nickel and diming your makeup artist because you just don’t understand the reason behind the price, please think again. We absolutely love what we do but that doesn’t mean we don’t have bills to pay.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

7 Habits of the Highly Annoying Social Networker

Ok so I got this article in my inbox. It's funny to see that what I've seen from others is something that apparently runs rampant in other people's circles as well. I don't know how many times I've seen things and shook my head in disgust. Why people do the things they do is BEYOND me. If you're a friend of mine, chances are I've been honest enough with you to call your attention to your "social networking faux paz" but for those of you who aren't, can't help ya..LOL...

Here are some of the "Cut it out cuz it's not funny" habits that were in this article..LOL.. enjoy:

1. Direct Marketing
Sending spam messages selling products on professional focused social networking sites. Yesterday I received an InMail on LinkedIn with a list of recommended holiday presents and links to purchase them from a fellow group member...seriously? How is this related to professional networking?

2. Inappropriate Jokes
Sending personal anecdotes or jokes to people you do not know personally. Such as the email I recently received featuring a picture of Tiger Woods beaten up and then below it information on a financial firm - do I need to say more?

3. Flame Wars
Writing disparaging and personally mean messages to other members in comment sections of networking sites (flame wars). If you don't agree with another member's opinion - show some class and share your opinion, don't take personal pot shots at the author or any other member for that matter - the only credibility questioned in these types of comments is yours.

4. Marketing Posts
Post products you are selling under group discussions. I recently saw an advertisement in an IT group I belong to under the discussions section pushing fictional books on tape - again how is the professionally relevant to developers?

5. Ignoring Your Audience
The reason you joined a social network is to have a voice. A message from another member should be responded to; they are listening to you, don't turn them away.

6. Post links to anything you are promoting on someone else's wall.
I recently accepted a friend request on Facebook from someone I barely knew and they actually posted a link to my wall promoting a book they wrote - needless to say it was quickly deleted and that person de-friended. Is my wall really a place for you to promote your book?

Just had to share this because so many people out there are DEFINITELY doing these things! I recently saw on a few different instagram pages, people actually BASHING the poster for one reason or another!?!? I swear, the "internet muscles" that some people have to be just rude and disgusting is amazing. Certainly these same people would be quiet as a mouse if ever face to face with the posters in real life. LOL...

My fellow readers, please don't be these people. LOL!

**Images above borrowed from,, full house,,, Informational article from**

Friday, March 28, 2014

Henry N. Jackson 2009-2010 Fall Collection Boston

Traveling down memory lane I found myself at one of the fondest memories I have as a makeup artist. It goes like this....

May 30th 2009 was a day of days for me. I had the pleasure and the honor to serve as the makeup artist for Henry N. Jackson's Fall 2009-2010 Boston Fashion Show. Seriously, you can't even imagine what it was like. I will attempt to paint you a picture (and maybe even show you a

This grand event took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Boston. This hotel provided Henry's team with a 'backstage' area to prepare and a separate ballroom for the runway show. It was HUGE!.

Backstage with the help of P.R. representative Denise Smith, things ran as smoothly as can be expected. The ladies were punctual, respectful and eager. They listened to direction and were as professional as can be. Not that I expected any less, I mean they're models for crying out loud.

The feeling in this room was that of excitement and tension. As they each tried on their gowns and arranged their overall looks, I was fortunate enough to witness a private fashion show. Seeing the glitz and glamour up close and personal was a rare treat. "You betta work"..teehee.. They soo did though, seriously..

I set up my area and was ready to go..
I was asked to speak with some ladies that were there for a workshop on becoming a runway model about makeup. (Essentials, types of makeup, proper runway looks, application etc..) This was a welcome change of pace for me. As I went about applying makeup to Henry's models I explained my makeup choices, application techniques & answered questions while trying to keep the whole thing light and fun. The ladies were so attentive. They asked questions, took notes and all in all seemed to go away with information they will use for future events.

One by one, each of Henry's models were dolled up and then dressed. Photo's were taken and tension rose as these ladies lined up, ready to take the stage. His creations came to life, swishing and draping so delicately. As they walked out, I could feel the goose bumps on my arms. There went my art and Henry's genius for all to see, judge and take in.

As the ladies hurried backstage to slip into their other looks, I could see the excitement in their eyes. Everyone pitched in to help everyone. We were all dressing and undressing the girls. Strapping on shoes and touching up their makeup. It was a true team effort.

Then.....the final walk. I scurried as fast as I could to the door to catch a glimpse of it. Each beauty, shining like a star next to the other. The room roared with applause. Henry's smile was big and proud. Unbelievable!

A job well done.

Soon after, the press swarmed around him in the newsroom and his models joined him. Interviews were done and photo's were taken as onlookers salivated at the thought of being able to bend Henry's ear even for a minute. It was thrilling to watch.

Let me take a moment to tell you the most memorable part of the evening for me and for many others.... Take this in because it was unbelievable..Ready? Wait for it........ wait for it........ ok, listen(read) to this...

Henry was one model short for the show. On the spot, he asked a woman from the audience to stand in for him. She obliged. She was taken backstage where she slipped out of her clean tailored suit and into Henry's red sensational masterpiece. It fit like a glove and off she went to walk the runway. She worked it like it was her job, and the result??? Phenom!

This very happening is what almost single handedly exemplified what Henry's designs are about.... Real Women. A real woman from the audience was able to walk the runway in a HNJ design with the models. There you have it.. a "real woman" (not a model) wearing Henry N. Jackson's couture for real women.

I rest my case.... for now:)

Essentials for Every Aspiring Make-Up Artist

I've received quite a few emails and comments on how you too can become a makeup artist. Though im a big believer that practice makes perfect I realize that some of you may live in a state where a license or certificate is required in order to work and charge your clients. Though NYS isn't one of those states I dont want to be a "stateist" (yep it's a word...well now it is, lol) and assume everyone's state laws are like mine :)

That being said, there are some tools that I personally believe are essential in order to be able to present yourselves as professionals in the eyes of your clients. This is limited to actual products that can help you along in your career, I won't touch much on classes or education which is kind of a no-brainer. Im assuming none of you would have the audacity to see a cover girl commercial and suddenly think you too are an artist, lol. Trust me I've come across quite a few of those.

Anyhow, I'd like to start with my personal picks as far as books are concerned. Yes, im well aware that there are many to choose from but these in particular will benefit you ALL. The first, written by the amazing Crystal Wright.

This little bible will touch on so many different topics that will help you start/further your career. It can also serve as a reminder/refresher when you are brainstorming on ways to stand out amongst the ocean of other artists out there. It is a bible, trust me!

The second is also from Crystal Wright in the form of an ebook. It has got to be the most convenient way to tote her wisdom along with you!!

Both of these fountains of essential information will include not only tips and tricks but also interviews from professional working artists, stylists, and the like giving you first hand insight on what they've gone through, how they've paid their dues (cuz you KNOW you gotta pay them dues before you become ANYONE) and suggestions they have for you to make it in this glamour world we live in.

In reading both of these books I can tell you that, as with anything else, you have to really want it. You have to have the fire and the passion that it takes to make it doing what you love. Let me also tell you that these little gems also are filled with motivation so Crystal has really just gift wrapped success for you and it's up for grabs.

With samples of resume's, comp card suggestions, website, books and more. Honest to goodness, how can you even sit there knowing that your career is just WAITING for you to get into action???

I realize we may all work a "regular day job" because our MUA Careers don't yet hold sufficient monetary compensation for us to live off of just yet (lord why can't we can't all be Monifa Mortis or Joanna Schlip?? whyyyy?!). Ahem, sorry, just venting there, lol.. BUT we can do what we can to move forward and climb our way to the top :) There's plenty of room up there but you're not going to get there by procrastinating.

Visit her blog and learn more about how you can also be the best Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Manicurist, Stylist....YOU. ;)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Those Little Dark Circles Don't Seem So Small When They're on your FACE!!

Ok we are not a football player! Well, I would think that most of us aren't anyway. And because of this, we would rather not have those pesky little circles under our eyes, am I right? Sure I am!
With that said, let me first start by saying that sleeping with your makeup on not only hurts me (it reallydoes kill me to learn that people do this), it hurts your cause!! Did you know that if you don't get all of that mascara and eyeliner off of those lids, over time they will actually STAIN your lids? UPPER AND LOWER PEOPLE!! Yeah, not pretty! (think that Seinfeld episode where they looked different in different light...from wow to ew)

So, in order to avoid this awkward situation, how bout we go ahead and get some eye makeup remover, a cotton ball and a Q-tip (yes, I'm that serious). Make sure you remove all of your makeup before you turn in for the night. Get in there with your Q-tip so that you can get every bit there is and not wake up with racoon eyes (not attractive) and avoid staining this thin sensitive skin around your pretty peepers!!

Next, you're going to want to moisturize on a regular basis. Yes REGULAR basis, as in morning and night. Find an eye cream that attends to the problem areas or problems you're tryin to avoid (ie..puffy, dark, lines etc) and dab dab dab! Your eyes will thank you for it!

Moving right along, did you know that certain colors are used to correct different problems? Yep, that dang color theory wheel you had to learn in high school art sure comes in handy for us MUA's!! Doncha wish you paid attention?? Well lucky for you, I'm here to give you some tips on how to use color (and not gobs of it for the love) to cover up your little imperfections until you've treated them away :)

If the problem you're having is bluish or purplish veins under your eyes and you've got light to medium skin tone you're really going to want to use a peach/salmon concealer dabbed every so lightly. With medium to dark skin you're going to want to reach out and pick up a yellow/salmon or orange concealer. These are to be used sparingly as you don't want to have that chalky built up look under those eyes.

For dark brown or deep red circles, with light or medium skin you would use yellow or a very light peachy color and for medium or dark skin, use a yellow (more golden than yellow) or salmon color.

One thing that i find not only brightens up the under eye and top of cheekbone area is a product called "Banana Powder". It is magic in a bottle! This yellow powder applied sparingly just under the eyes can bring a warm glow and brightness to the face giving the appearance of rest and energy. Ben Nye banana powder can be found at various stores and websites, just google or bing it!!

Now repeat after me..."I will not use a shade too light for my skin to cover up my dark circles, or dark spots." LOL...

Now off you go my fellow makeup junkies!! Remove, moisturize and dab your little hearts out!!

**photo credits:,, camera ready cosmetics**

Thursday, January 3, 2013

what would you like to read about?

Since I'd like to keep my readers up to date on the most updated info i also want to be sure I'm giving you information you would like to read more about!

So with that, i invite you to comment or send me messages letting me know what YOU would like.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Will that be cash or charge???

For those of you who havent yet heard, a new movement is here. Gone are the days when you work your fingers to the bone for customers only to have them hand you a check that later bounces.

Though i must give credit where credit is due, most of our clients understand the concept of instant gratification tit for tat. These clients come equip with cash at the ready. To these customers we owe a debt of gratitude to the others they owe us. Lol...

Thank goodness the beauty godesses have heard our plea and we can all breathe a sigh of releif as we all equip ourselves with... wait for it.... The Square!!!

Yup, this little do-dad is money in the bank...literally! Just link your bank account to your square, run their credit card and for 2.5% your money is yours!

For more details on this fantabulous little device simply go to

Now you can simply say "Will that be cash or charge?"