The Dream Revealed: Making It in the Beauty Biz as a Freelance Artist

Jun 18, 2018

Someone once said, No DREAM comes true until’ you wake up and go to work! Our dreams keep us going. They keep us alive and working toward a goal of our choosing.  But they also come with a price that begs the question; How bad do you want it?

When makeup and hair artists share their passion for becoming a full time freelance beauty professional, I ask them two questions:

  1. What are you willing to sacrifice to make that dream come true, and
  2. How hard are you willing to work to make it happen? 

Being a freelance makeup and hair artist has glamorous moments but like anything else, it requires work.  Most new makeup artists and hair stylists spend about two years just testing––working with no pay––to get images to add to their portfolio.  This process is called TFP (Testing for Prints/Time for Prints).

The money will come, but not immediately. Knowing that ahead of time will help you to keep your progress in perspective. Think of your...

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Representing Yourself Effectively: A Teachable Moment

Jun 16, 2018

Celebrity clients are rarely easy. There are many reasons for that. Celebrities have many handlers, so an artist is never quite sure what is really going on when the handler of the celebrity says, “We just don’t have the money,” or “Well, can’t you help us out this time, it’s coming out of his/her pocket”. The thing is, they––the poor celebrity, usually has really deep pockets.

While it’s rare that anyone is going to use those excuses with a superstar makeup artist like Billy B or Pat McGrath or a high fashion hair guru like Frederick Fekkai or Neeko, you on the other hand, with the one or two up-and-coming celebrities on your resume could run head-long into that sob story more often that you like.

PYP Grad Saleemah Staten had an incident that produced an insight that may help you to become a better negotiator. The celebrities name has been removed to protect the innocent. 

Hi fellow artists, I just want to share a few...

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4 Tips for Choosing the Best Photographers and Models to Test With

Jun 14, 2018

Is it possible to work with the wrong photographers and models? Yes. Makeup, hair and fashion stylists do it every day.

On the surface it seems like you should just be able to pick a photographer, gather a couple of your salon or beauty bar clients together as your models and go for it––Not so.

If you want to work for high end advertisers and magazines like Nordstrom, Maybelline, Pantene, Nike, Allure, Essence, and Glamour, you will have to prepare like a pro, and part of that preparation is choosing good photographers with which to build your portfolio, and great models who can work the camera.

Here are a few tips that you can use to improve the choices that you are making when working on your book.

#1        Make good choices about who to work with.

You make good choices about which photographer to work with by training your eye to recognize good photography. How do you do that? Here’s a secret. There is no bad photography in...

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5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Insert FAITH Here!

Jun 13, 2018

How many times in a week do you find yourself doubting your ability to tackle a challenging make-up assignment, negotiate the best fee and expenses for you and your crew, meet the right people, make your rent, pay your car note or perform well in a new circumstance? It’s during these times when we need someone to walk up, and instruct us to, Insert FAITH Here. Within’ ten to twenty seconds your back would straighten, your shoulders would perk up, a smile would pop onto your face, and joila!––The faith to move mountains.


The Bible describes faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. The manifestation of what you want without so much as a shred of evidence that what you are asking for or believing in is going to happen.


My pastor Bishop Ulmer always says––and I often have to remember––to, “Stop telling God how big my problems are, and start telling my problems how big my God is. That’s what...

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8 Steps to Establishing Professional Boundaries with VIP Clients.

May 23, 2018

Getting paid in excess of $500 a day to apply makeup, style hair, shop for clothes and paint nails on the set of a film, TV show, magazine shoot or print ad is considered pretty glamorous. Yet, some freelance artists get confused about their job description, and are challenged with setting boundaries when it comes to working with VIP’s.

Boundaries define the limits and responsibilities of the people with whom we interact. Without these guidelines for behavior––on both sides of the fence (client/artist), over time––artists can experience disrespectful behavior, bullying and threats. All of which can lead to depression, low morale and a loss of confidence. So how can we get out in front of this catastrophe?

Establishing and maintaining a proper business relationship with VIP clients is crucial to a long-term respectful working relationship. Working with celebrities, politicians and corporate executives can be a blast as long as you preserve your...

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4 Tips for Negotiating a Raise at Your Day Job

May 21, 2018

Getting the best deal for yourself in the workplace whether you’re a corporate star or a celebrity make-up, hair or fashion stylist is going to depend on your ability to sell (persuade) the benefits (gains) you’ve been responsible for creating.

This is especially true for women and minorities who often don’t grow up with a mom or dad who is the head of Ford Motor Company and didn’t have the benefit of listening to global deals being negotiated during an evening meal. But don’t let that stop you from creating financial stability for yourself and your family. Now is the time to take control.

From babysitting, to your first gig at a fast food restaurant, to stepping into the Director or VP position at a beauty conglomerate, negotiating a better salary, or a bump in your day rate can make the best of us procrastinate and decide to clean out a closet or two. It is nonetheless something you’re going to have to get...

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