All Articles Tagged "makeup artist"
The founder of StyleMakers.TV, Nicole Williams is also the host on the former syndicated hit television show, “Ambush Makeover.” Her list of credentials is extensive but she’s best known as a television personality, celebrity makeup artist and beauty and fashion editor for several lifestyle publications including BE Magazine and actress Vivica Fox’s publication, Jolie Magazine.
We sat down with Nicole to chat about her career in beauty and how the hustle has changed over the years with social media.
How long have you been in the game and how did you get your big break?
With over 15 years under my belt, I have to say my journey has been quite an interesting one. I started my career working for MAC Cosmetics, where I learned my craft working under the tutelage of MAC pros like Nadine Luke, Romero Jennings and Roque Cozzette during the “Pre-Estee Lauder Days”- when the brand was all about the beat. I got my first break when I left MAC to pursue a freelance career. I had two friends that looked out for me, one that worked at BET as a resident makeup artist named Angela Kelly- I’ll never forget…she gave me an opportunity to assist her and I was able to do celebs like Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, and LL Cool J (he was my favorite). I had another friend named Iyesata Marsh who happened to be a celebrity hairstylist to Lil Kim and asked me come do a test make-up on her and then, next thing you know, I was assisting on the video for Lil Kim’s song, “The Jump Off.” It was after that when the work started rolling in and I realized that I was a officially a pro makeup artist and that maintaining good relationships in this business is very valuable.
Your client list extensive – name a few artists that you have worked with? Did you travel with them on the road?
When I worked at BET, I was able to work with alot of celebs, including: Mary J Blige, Lil Kim, Mariah Carey, Chante Moore, LaLa Anthony, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott. I worked for three years with Missy Elliott visiting over 15 countries. Talk about an amazing experience!
Are there certain skin types or looks that you like to work with? Meaning, do you like working with red-heads like Nicole Kidman or those with silky skin like model Alek Wek?
As an artist, I look at skin as a canvas, not black, white, good or bad. I love when a client takes care of their skin because that makes my job alot more easier. However, that is not always the case. Working with a variety of skin types and skin tones is an expected challenge that all makeup artists face but I enjoy the challenge, because it helps to broaden my skill everytime. But girl, there’s nothing like African skin…amazing.
Since you’ve been in the game for a while, how different is the make up hustle from when you first started?
Honestly, it’s alot easier for new makeup artists than it was for me because now you’ve got social media like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to hustle without leaving your house. Back when I started, you had to shop your portfolio, find an agency that would represent you or have a impressive portfolio and website….but back then websites where very expensive. Now you can make your own affordable website with programs like SquareSpace, Fiverr or Wix. For me, it was get out and hustle, network and pray. But I always tell newcomers: “Be ready at any moment…cause you might be next.”
Is the field really that competitive? And how do you become a personal artist to a celebrity?
A lot rests on your skill and talent. Yes it’s a very competitive field, especially now because YouTube has changed the game so dramatically. You’ve got people like Michelle Phan who has become super popular and successful as a makeup artist on YouTube. Nowadays, you have to not just be good at beating face, but also at social media. I always say “do your thing any way you can, but stand out and be great at it.”
Becoming someone’s artist can be challenging, its a little mix of talent, luck, and who you know. I say if your not with a makeup agency, make sure you have clean images of your work on a personal website and Instagram, no words written on the photos or anything like that, then connect with celebrities, editors and production companies on Instagram. It’s an easy way to self promote and show off your work because most of the time you can’t talk to them right away or pass them a business card. In most cases, they might connect with you if your work looks impressive.
Check in tomorrow for part two of our interview with Nicole.
Raise your hands if you are feeling tired, overweight, over-scheduled and simply run down from life’s challenges. Is your inner/outer beauty being held captive by life? Worry not! This week’s #RESET is about remixing your beauty and unleashing the true, confident you with inspiration and makeup.
The global cosmetics industry nets about $20 billion in sales annually, and its affect is far-reaching. The cosmetics industry has a more personal influence on our lives, too. Marsha Page, founder of Marsha’s Makeovers, a professional freelance makeup artist and mom discovered her passion for makeup while looking for ways to mask her weight and transfer the attention from her waist to her smile. “I began to use makeup as a way to empower myself and enhance the features of my face as I took baby steps to build self-esteem,” says Page.
Yes. Confidence does start with the self. However, a little lip-gloss, blush, smoky eyes and a smile can perk up just about anyone.
MadameNoire: When did you discover your passion for makeup?
Marsha Page: It all started when I graduated from college, having added 50-plus pounds to my already curvy frame. My self-esteem was challenged by the weight gain, so I searched for something that would help me feel better. I started using makeup to draw more attention to my face and show-off my smile.
I had only worn a little eyebrow pencil and lip-gloss. A trip to the pharmacy and picking up a low-end brand of foundation, powder along with a few other items to spruce myself up started to spark a fire within me.
MN: What was the first step you made to launch your makeup artistry?
MP: Honestly, I made makeup a hobby and worked as a full-time paralegal for a top New York law firm. It takes confidence to live your passion and I wasn’t ready yet. It wasn’t until I truly started to work on myself that I quit my job and secured the proper certifications at the Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics and Makeup Artistry in NYC.
MN: When did you launch Marsha’s Makeovers, Inc.?
MP: In 2003, I officially launched Marsha’s Makeovers, Inc, which is dedicated to empowering women to realize their beauty, power and confidence. My company provides quality makeup artistry to all facets of the entertainment industry as well as special events.
MN: What was the cost to launch Marsha’s Makeovers?
MP: When I decided to start Marsha’s Makeovers as a legitimate business, the first thing that came to mind was protection from liability. The startup costs included forming an S-Corporation ($200); getting my license in basic and advanced makeup artistry at a respected school ($1,000); investing in a basic professional makeup kit ($450); and, networking like nobody’s business.
MN: Tell me about the popular Marsha’s Makeover brushes?
MP: The MM Signature Brushes are multi-purpose and can be used for more than one type of makeup application to offer simplicity and convenience. Each MM Brush was manufactured in the States, made by hand from start to finish, using precise quality standards and state-of-the-art brush technology.
MN: What does the phrase “Makeup is confidence” mean?
MP: I always tell my clients “Beauty starts with you.” It’s the proper application of makeup that gives you the confidence most of us desire. Makeup can be very intimidating to most women, simply because they aren’t sure what to do with it and how they can make it work for them.
MN: Share with us how makeup empowered you to lose weight.
MP: Learning how to apply makeup properly by combining the professional techniques I learned, with using colors, shades and formulas that worked for my skin type, empowered me on so many levels. I realized that if I had the power to change my appearance in that way, I certainly had the power to change the way that I eat. I didn’t want to use makeup to mask myself. I wanted to enhance the real me. Making healthier food choices and exercising regularly became my goal.
MN: What has been your biggest challenge to date?
MP: Maintaining the healthy lifestyle, forgiving myself for having a bad day and having the courage not to give up.
MN: How did you press RESET?
MP: On my journey to becoming a professional makeup artist, I met various challenges and some were discouraging. However grace and prayers can do magic. I pressed RESET the moment I took a baby step to live out my wildest dream, quit my job, and launched a company that is making a difference for women through makeup.
MN: What has been your proudest moment to date?
MP: My proudest moment recently happened; I shared with my daughters the good news about signing my first contract to do makeup in television daily and launching a line of makeup brushes.
MN: Any words of advice you would like to share with us?
MP: Absolutely. I stated earlier that it takes confidence to live your passion and that’s true, but it also takes more confidence to allow your light and beauty to shine. Do something differently each day with your face – it could be as simple as experimenting with a different color lipstick.
Karen Taylor Bass, an award-winning, PR Expert and Brand Mom, provides entrepreneurs, corporations and mompreneurs with essential branding, marketing, public relations and strategic coaching. Follow Karen @thebrandnewmom.
As anyone who’s ever experimented with makeup knows, mastering the art of color, brushes, and technique isn’t just a job for just anybody. Atlanta-based celebrity makeup artist, beauty expert, and entrepreneur Mia “Mimi J” Johnson has worked on popular shows like VH1’s Love and Hip Hip Atlanta, Style Network’s Big Rich Atlanta, and has a celebrity clientele that includes Kenya Moore, Erica Dixon, Joseline Hernandez, and Toya Wright.
Mimi J dishes on what it’s like being a working beauty professional, growing her business and shares her adviceon the importance of building a personal brand that’s useful for any aspiring artist.
Madame Noire (MN): How did you get started in the beauty industry?
Mimi Johnson (MJ): I moved to Atlanta in 2000 and went to Clark Atlanta University. I originally studied fashion, due to my love of art, but later switched to marketing.
I always knew that I wanted to have my own business and it had to be something in the art world. One day, I said makeup could be fun so I called three of my friends and did their makeup. It started from there. I made my own business cards and started networking with photographers and makeup artists.
I’ve been a makeup artist since 2008, [doing] things on the weekend. Then I started taking days off to pursue projects. I was “emancipated” and left the security of my corporate job as a human resources specialist at Accenture in 2011 and have been a full-time makeup artist since then. Making the switch involved proper planning, knowing my budget, and having realistic short- and long-term goals.
MN: How did you build the Mimi J brand?
MJ: That’s where my understanding of branding came in handy from my degree in marketing. Social media has been my number one tool besides from word-of-mouth referrals. I used to advertise on other platforms such as Google, but now with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter having evolved so much, I don’t need to do the supplemental things as much.
Yet, you still need to have more traditional marketing such as a website, logo, and business card. You can become a popular person on Instagram. That might get you noticed. Yet, if you have a meeting with someone professional, like an agency, they will want to see your website. A lot of artists don’t understand that part. I don’t think the novelty of having a website will go away.
MN: You started “Beat and Snatched,” an online social experience led my celebrity makeup artists, hair stylist, designers, clients, and fashion stylists. What does “Beat & Snatched” mean and how did you get the idea for the movement?
MJ: “Beat and Snatched” is one of those beauty world slang terms that means your makeup and hair is really nice. I wanted to create a new community for other makeup artists who are doing great work that might not necessarily get the type of shine they deserve. The goal of the movement is to bring camaraderie within the beauty and fashion industry. We do reposts of great work on our Instagram and Facebook. We also have a YouTube channel with several different contributing artists. Initially, I made t-shirt with the hashtag #beat to promote the channel, but then people started wanting to buy them. I now have makeup artists who are buying the shirts and wearing them while they are working. This year, we have a Beat and Snatched multi-city makeup class & beauty panel tour in partnership with fellow makeup artist and friend Jeremy Dell.
MN: As someone who works across different industries (editorial, TV, film, bridal), what’s the biggest misconception about being a makeup artist?
MJ: Some people don’t see the full value of what a makeup artist does or our worth. People will pay for their hair and clothes, but when it comes to makeup, people will try to nickel and dime all day long. They want you to use great products, spend up to 30 minutes to 1 hour on their face, and come to them. That’s a lot of money. I think a lot of makeup artists end up playing themselves short and working for free because they want the opportunity.
When many people think of celebrity makeup artists, Sam Fine comes to mind. For 20 years he has worked on mega stars such as Iman, Jennifer Hudson, Naomi Campbell, and Tyra Banks.
Now, he has finally released his own line of makeup. He has hooked up with Fashion Fair Cosmetics (FFC) to create Signature Makeup.
Last year, Fine was tapped by FFC, which is owned by Johnson Publishing Company, to join the company as creative makeup director. At the time his signature line of cosmetic products was also announced — and at last it is here. Industry experts are looking for Fine to revive FFC, which is more associated with an older generation. Some might not even know that it’s still around, reports the Huffington Post.
With Fine on board and with the debut of his makeup brand, FFC is not your grandmother’s makeup anymore. Now in its 40th year, FCC recently launched its first-ever mineral liquid foundation collection featuring 18 shades. The Sam Fine For Fashion Fair Supreme Color Collection is inspired by Fine’s world travels, consists of eight lip colors, two eye-color quads and a shimmery lip gloss, adds HuffPo.
“For my first foray into cosmetics this is really special and to be able to continue in a tradition of excellence that Fashion Fair is and was known for,” Fine told the website. “It’s really fun to reinvigorate things and shake up the brand.”
Some of the saturated colors include a vibrant fuchsia lipstick called Pink Parfait and a flashy orange called Moroccan Spice. The lipstick is to be topped off with Canary Diamond lip gloss. For the quads, there’s the Amalfi Coast colorway, which features a dark, dreamy brown and mossy green.
Sounds like Fine has already made FFC hot again.