Establishing Yourself In Such A Saturated Industry

How do you become “someone”  in such a saturated market? This question has become the bane of my existence. A lot of us have the same interests and I have seen a lot of artists out there who are truly blessed with amazing levels of skill and creativity. It would be quite easy to say that these reasons are precisely why they have such a strong presence in this business. However, it is many of these artists who are struggling with making a name as well. In our business, it is crucial to keep up to date with trends and new products. This is OUR industry and in order to create a presence, you need to be passionate about your brand and be on top of your knowledge and skill.

It’s very easy to become another duplicate artist and Instagram icon with nothing new, fresh or original to offer. You need to have your own stamp on your business and your brand. Make it you! You are not the same as every other person out there, so why make your business the same? Stand out and make a difference! You should strive to give the people what you think they’re looking for. Before you became an artist, remember what you liked seeing and reading about, remember your dislikes and your complaints, then go from there.  Figure out what’s missing and cater to that. You can do customer research experiments via social media. Be versatile with your brand and your looks and from that, gage what your followers respond to most. That should give you a better idea of what your following would like to see more of.

Consistency is key! You MUST put aside time out of each day to dedicate to your brand. This will work wonders! Even though it may seem slow in the beginning, it will succeed once you keep working toward the end result.

Never give in to nay-sayers, for they don’t know any better. If unfortunately you are exposed to negativity, use this to fuel your  success. I’ve realized that what some people, especially those in our industry don’t seem to get, is that there is enough success and opportunity to go around. Don’t let that get you down.

When you’re now starting out, you may be hesitant to post your work for fear of what people may say, but I urge you to get over this fear because all this will do, is hold you back. Not everyone is going to be your biggest fan and not everyone is going to support you. This is a reality that will slap you in the face sooner or later, and I always say sooner rather than later. As I’m now starting to create a brand myself, I am facing all of these issues along with many of you, so you’re not alone. Remember, running a business and brand is not a 9 to 5, it’s an all day, everyday. You need to be continuously reassessing your brand and your direction!

Another great way of becoming established is through media mentions and networking. In a previous post, I spoke a little about our industry being a “who knows who” type of industry. Start building relationships with other willing makeup artists, this helps you to get to know the competition as well as form an open line for potential jobs. Always try to get your name out there by whatever means you can! Make connections, it will help boost your business in the long run because at some point everyone needs a makeup artist. You can also try attaching yourself to local tradeshows and events. This will definitely help in building your brand and your client list.

I hope these little tips help! Let me know how it goes! 😉

Stop those Munchies!

If animals and babies know to eat only when they’re hungry and to stop eating when they’re comfortable, then what the hell is wrong with the rest of us? Why do we feel the need to have dessert after a filling meal? Why do we crave snacks and drinks even though we’re not hungry or thirsty? and why do we have a hard time with portion control when it comes to our favorite meals? All of these are challenging for me and I’m sure most of you as well!

I believe that the culprits for these munchies are lack of self control, lack of sleep, stress, depression, hormones and the way our society has conditioned us! I know whenever I feel the least bit stressed, I reach for junk food and whatever snacks I can find lying around,whether I’m hungry or not! Horrible right!

Most of us also tend to be multi-tasking eaters. We eat while we’re on the computer, watching TV, reading and even when socializing. For some reason, we feel the need to have something in front of us to munch on. But what we don’t know, is that our stomachs have “stretch receptors,” which send a signal of satiety to our brain when food hits our stomach to tell us “we’re full!” However, that signal does not work if we’re eating while distracted! So, the key to not overeating is to steer clear from distractions while chowing down. I know this may be difficult at first but it’ll just take a little getting used too and actually remembering to do so!

For me, as a child, my home always had snacks lying around so naturally when I felt hungry, I’d nibble on whatever there was, then go back outside to play. What a happy life! Back then, I used to eat like a bird, never having an actual full meal. I had the smallest appetite ever! But with getting older, naturally everything started changing. I started snacking more and filling up on junk food. I am naturally a petite person, measuring about 5ft maybe 2 inches at most. So, if and when I went overboard with my horrid eating habits, it would definitely become noticeable.

Because of this, I started practicing portion control so as to not go overboard. Two (2) pounds gained on me can look like a lot compared to 2 pounds gained on an average sized human. At first it will be difficult, but you’ll get the hang of it. When I first started, I found it was easy to just cut down the portion sizes of my regular everyday food. I hadn’t changed my diet yet simply because I wanted to get used to the new portion sizes first. It’s also easier to take baby steps into things like this, especially if it’s all new to you. It’s helpful to use a smaller plate size for your meals rather than what you’re usually used to. You can fill up a little plate and it will still be less than what you would’ve been having on your regular sized plate. This tricks the mind into thinking you won’t need more than what’s there in front of you. Once you get the portion control down, you can start adjusting your diet bit by bit.

  1. Cut out excessively sugary drinks and snacks!– I found that when I did this, the cravings weren’t as strong as before!
  2. Substitutions! – if you’re craving something sweet, like chocolate, have a dark chocolate instead, it’s healthier than regular milk chocolate, it helps to lower blood pressure and is filled with antioxidants. You can also try apple slices dipped in a bit of peanut butter for a cool snack. No matter what crazy snack you feel for, there is always a healthier alternative!

To curb your appetite, try not eating way past into the night. If you’re like me and stay up until ungodly hours watching Netflix, and you start feeling munch-ish, drink a cup of tea and nibble on some mixed nuts- that usually fills me up for the night. Once you start incorporating these tips, you should begin to feel a bit more in control. Remember to be conscious of what and how much you’re consuming.

Hope this helps your munchies! 😉

 

 

Beauty and The Diet

We are all aware that eating “healthy” is the way to go for a number of reasons.

Well, for beauty it is an absolute MUST! As far as trends go in the beauty industry, luminous, dewy, radiant glowing skin is in! Companies are constantly coming out with a lot more sheer finish foundations and powders and everyone and their grandma are obsessed with highlighters; including me! We all strive for that impeccably flawless, shiny, but not too shiny, soft and supple skin with and without makeup. Especially without makeup! Who really wants to wear makeup each and everyday from now until the day they die? Certainly not me! That’s why achieving that look on my bare skin is definitely a priority!

Now, this is where lifestyle comes in, I have concluded from my own observations and a bit of common sense, that faces with next to nothing foundation, (see what I did there MAC 😉 fyi: MAC has a new foundation that’s absolutely beautiful for that dewy and sheer look called “Next to Nothing”) must depend on something other than good genes and effective skin care products. Naturally gorgeous skin must start from the inside out and therefore must start with a proper regimen of diet and exercise! Ughh! the worst two things known to man….or at least known to me! I’ve been starting to realize that this is something you really cannot get away from, because believe me! I’ve tried!!

“I tell my patients that what they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin” says Dr. Jessica Wu (dermatologist and creator of Dr. Jessica Wu Skincare). Well that’s one way to put it into perspective Dr. Wu!

The foods that you eat get broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that the body uses to build up healthy skin. For example, the amino acids from the protein you eat go into building your skin’s collagen. If your diet lacks excessively in protein, then you better start saving for some Botox girlfriend!

Try to cut out processed foods little by little and then all the way. I know that this may seem impossible given the scary number of fast food restaurants our countries have to offer, but we must try! And I say “we” because I am a victim of KFC which forces me to have a love/hate relationship with it, leaning more toward the love part 😥  Nevertheless,  processed, oily, greasy foods temporarily taste good as you’re eating it, but in actuality does your body the most harm once it passes your lips. Once you start to eliminate this, you will start to see a huge difference in the way your skin and body looks and feels. Trust me! I know! Start incorporating more avocados, fruits and veges and lean proteins into your diet. Also try to steer clear of sugary drinks, foods and snacks.

I’m going to be quite honest with you! Everyone always says the same thing. But, from my experience, you just have to find what works for your own skin and your own body. Everyone is different! Some people exercise constantly and eat well the majority of time, yet still have problems with breakouts. So, while diet and exercise may work for some, it may not work for others. You have to get to know your own skin. A good tip is to experiment with yourself. When you eat certain things, take notice of how your body and your skin reacts, then change up your routine accordingly. This I find, helps you to become more in tune with your own body and its needs. Listen to it!

The thing is, we all know how we’re “supposed” to be eating. So then, why is it so damn difficult to stick too? Maybe, it’s a mind thing. Maybe, we just have to decide we are going to eat better and actually do it! Resist all temptation! That is the key! But trust and believe that this change of diet paired with the easiest exercise of all- a little light walking will do wonders for your skin. Once you get a cool sweat in, that’s all you need!

Let me know how it goes! 🙂

 

 

Transitioning from Makeup Counter to Freelancing

I have decided to write this post as this is my current situation and I feel as though I should share my experiences thus far with you guys. About 3 weeks ago I left my warm, stable, cushy job of a couple years at MAC simply because I felt as though it was time to do so. I felt as though the store had done everything it could for me in terms of teaching me, training me and nurturing me and now it was time to fly out of the nest into the wild, cold wilderness. As the saying goes, “the magic happens when you step out of your comfort zone” so, I did just that!

And let me just say its been a whirlwind of emotions because naturally I miss my girls and my old job but I am also very excited to begin this new chapter of my life and see what the universe has in store for me!

So far, I’ve had quite a few freelance makeovers since I left which kept the income steadily flowing in, Thank God for that! But I have also been facing some challenges and learning new things along the way. As I struggled with one thing, I learned another.

  1. You have to market yourself in such a huge way it is ridiculous! It’s time consuming and a lot of hard work, but totally worth it! (I’m hoping). You are no longer working for someone else who has your back at the end of every month. You’re basically working on commission! If you don’t market yourself and go out and get your clients, well…you won’t be paid! When I say market yourself, I mean you need to ensure people know who you are and what you do! That face needs to be beat at all times! YOU ARE YOUR OWN BRAND! SO SELL IT! Perfect little story: the other evening my fiancé and I went into this cute little bakery that we’d never been too before. As soon as we walked in, I was immediately was greeted by one of the girls behind the counter asking if I was a makeup artist. I replied yes with a pleasant smile and she along with her coworkers excitedly went on to compliment my makeup. So by me just walking into that bakery with a nice face on, I sold my brand and gained a couple of clients who now know who I am and what I do.
  2. Be active on social media! Find a platform that works for you and use the hell out of it! Social media has become one of the largest and most successful tools in business and marketing. For me, I like Instagram, I find that it’s a bit more controlled than the other platforms. I’m most comfortable using that platform to promote myself as well as my business and I think I’ve been doing pretty okay thus far. You’d want to post consistently and efficiently. I try not to go more than 3 days without posting something. You have to remain relevant, people have to see you. If your account starts to go dead then people will not be as interested in you so much anymore. You also have to be particular about what you post. Before, my account was personal, so there were posts of my family and friends and my private life. However, as soon as I decided I wanted to build a specific brand, I started deleting those pictures and videos that were closest and dearest to me. I started to re-vamp my page and only post photos I think would fit in with my brand. Don’t get me wrong, you can post a lil’ selfie here and there and one or two personal pictures so your following gets a sense of who you are, but don’t go overboard if it’s a brand in beauty and makeup you’re trying to build. Try to post client makeovers you’ve done so people know you’re open for hire and post a lot of different looks on yourself. Doing this helps to sell yourself as an artist and gives your followers an idea of your skills and versatility.
  3. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get as many likes, follows or support as you’d like. It just takes some time. Just keep posting and working toward what you imagine you want your brand to be and it’ll happen! or so I’ve been told 😀 Also, try not to compare yourself or your work to anyone else’s out there. Just be your gorgeous, authentic self and you’ll succeed. Remember, everyone has their own struggles. It’s very easy to feel down and disappointed when you’re now starting out, I’ve experienced it a bit but I always snap out of it and get back on my feet. Also, its helpful to remember that in our field there will be slow times and high paced times. Once you start to build your brand, that’ll disappear as jobs start flowing in due to referrals and potential clients liking what they see on your page.
  4. It’s also a big game of “who knows who” especially in Trinidad since it’s so small. Try to play that game, get yourself out there and network! Everyone knows someone! Always remember that!

I’m still learning as I go along, however, I hope this helps anyone out there who’s going through the same transition! 🙂

Be sure to head over to my Instagram page for a little more insight into how I post! And hit Follow to keep updated! 🙂

instapage

 

 

Contouring and Gettin’ it Right!

So, one of my very best friends advised me on doing a post about contouring since her along with almost everyone she knows, their skills are well…abysmal. But have no fear because I am here! 🙂 Honestly, I personally am not a fan of heavy contouring simply because I think it changes one’s personal features a bit too much but in that case one can always keep it light or like me, just bronze. Nevertheless, I am here to give the people what they want!

Facial Contouring has become the beauty trend of what seems to be, a very long moment. Contouring basically defines and enhances your facial bone structure. You can either use cream or powder products that are about two shades darker than your foundation tone. No shimmery or chalky products please! That will just result in a hot mess! The darker shade is used to give a “slimming” effect to select areas of the face while lighter shades, used in highlighting, make features more pronounced.

STEP 1: Creating The Base

Apply your foundation to the entire face. This will just give a nice uniformed base to work with.

STEP 2: Mapping The Face

By using the darker shade product, draw lines from the temple down to the tip of the ear. From the tip of the ear, you’ll want to feel the sides of the face with your index finger until you find a “dip” below the cheekbones. This “dip” will be the guide you use to trace from the tip of the ear, along the “dip” stopping midway. (you’re not going all the way to the corners of the mouth). This will help to bring out the cheekbones.

As for the forehead, you’ll want to trace upward from the temple along the hairline to minimize the appearance of a larger/ wider forehead and to add a little dimension to the sides of the face. You will only trace to the top of the hairline if you have a higher forehead, like mine 😦

With the nose, you’ll want to trace a very thin line along the nose bridge on either side. You can go a little narrower to the tip. You can also carry it up to the brows to add length if you have a shorter nose.

And for the jawline, simply trace the color along your natural jaw bone.

STEP 3: Blend, Blend, Blend!

Take a damp beauty blender or a tapered makeup brush (although the beauty blender is much more effective) and dab/ tap over the colored area into your foundation. Blend in small circular motions using the larger end of the beauty blender as it has more space. For small areas like the nose, use the smaller end of the beauty blender and you can also squeeze it in to make it more narrow as that will be much more effective. Blend until no harsh lines are seen! This is the key to a perfect contour! Be sure to stay within the selected contoured areas as well!

STEP 4: Time to get LIT!

Use your cream or liquid highlighter (1 1/2 shade lighter than your foundation tone) and apply to under the eyes, down the middle of the nose, on the cupid’s bow, the chin and on the center of the forehead. You can go a little crazy if you’d like but just don’t over do it. Then blend by tapping into the skin using a same damp beauty blender. This helps to give a seamless, smooth, airbrush-like finish.

STEP 5: Set and Complete

Using a fluffy powder brush, dust the entire face with a loose powder, preferably translucent so it doesn’t have the ability to change the tone/color of the products used. Then finally, spray that beautiful face with some setting spray- I like to use MAC fix + spray. This is simply to help break up that powdery look and help your makeup to set a lot faster; giving it a more natural, worn look.

 

Below, I have listed the products I used to achieve this contour.

  1. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid
  2. MAC Cosmetics Prolongwear concealer
  3. MAC Cosmetics Studio Conceal and Correct palette in shade Medium Dark
  4. LA Girl Pro Conceal in shade Light/Ivory
  5. MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Translucent Powder.

 

Happy Contouring! 🙂 Be sure to comment and let me know what products you use!

And be sure to click “like” and “follow” so you can get updates every time I post! 🙂

Baking And Why It’s So Important!

I am sure that most of you are already familiar with the art and trend of “baking” or “cooking” your makeup. Along with contouring and highlighting, it is one of those techniques that makes a huge difference in the appearance of your makeup. Basically, the “baking” or “cooking” refers to letting translucent powder sit on the areas of the face you wish to highlight for about 5 – 10 minutes, after which you dust away. Before this process however, your foundation and concealer must be on. By allowing the powder to just sit there, it enables the heat from your face to set your base foundation and concealer. When dusted away, this leaves you with a smooth, creaseless, matte finish. I love this technique simply because you don’t get your concealer settling in the lines under the eyes. I’ve always had a problem with that in the past. My old MAC coworkers would agree that my under eye area was my problem area and a hot mess to work with! I have dry and textured under eyes so that made it quite difficult when it came to concealer for me. I know what you’re thinking, wouldn’t powder make the dryness worse? I thought so as well! But it actually didn’t. A tip as well is to spray a bit of fix + spray after dusting away the powder. That helps eliminate the dryness and soften the appearance of the powder for those who suffer from the same as me or dry skin overall.

Happy Baking! 🙂 And feel free to comment which setting powder you use to bake!

My 5 Holy Grail Must-Have Makeup Products -2017

Okay! So we all have our personal must- haves! No matter how many products these companies keep creating for us, there will always be a select few we must fall back on. Here are 5 of mine! 🙂

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation – This foundation hands down has been a blessing to my little heart! I have been using this foundation for the past 8 years! I love the buildable to full coverage it gives without it feeling heavy or greasy. Perfect for combination to oily skin. It also has SPF in it which is awesome because you get that extra protection. It doesn’t budge or move even if worn without a face primer and it lasts all day into all night! I would wear this foundation from 9am til 10pm without having any issues! Definitely my holy grail of foundations!

 

  • MAC Studio Fix Powder plus Foundation – Okay, so as it says in it’s name, this product is the ultimate duo of foundation and powder. However, some like myself wear it over foundation as a setting powder. This just gives a little more coverage and a very smooth matte look which I personally love! For those of you who don’t necessarily like too much coverage and opt for a more natural finish, this powder is perfect for you as well since when worn by itself gives a smooth but natural finish. It basically makes your skin look like skin on its best day!

 

  • Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes – I’ve tried many different forms of makeup removers from oils, to foams to other brands of wipes but none compares to this blue pack of removal goodness! Its super affordable which is a huge plus as it is going to be discarded after using anyway. It is incredibly moist and actually stays that way down to the last wipe at the bottom of the pack which is definitely another plus for me as I’ve used wipes before that have gotten stiff and dry as sand paper shortly after purchasing. It is also very efficient as one wipe takes off all makeup even the most stubborn waterproof mascara and eyeliner as well as eyelash and glitter glue! Can’t get any better than that!

 

  • Sacha Cosmetics Buttercup Light Powder – This powder is a very soft and smooth loose powder that comes in two shades- Buttercup for medium to dark skin tones and Buttercup light for those lighter skin tones. It is a setting powder that can be used to set the entire face as well as what most artists use it for which is as a baking powder. For those of you that don’t know baking is the term used to set the highlighted areas on the face using powder. This powder has a very yellow undertone so if your skin’s undertone is pink or red, I don’t suggest this product as you may end up looking a tad ashy.

 

  • LA Girl Pro Concealer and MAC Prolongwear concealer – OK, OK I’m cheating a bit for this one as I’m only supposed to list one but these two really go hand in hand for me. The prolongwear concealer is a liquid full coverage concealer that can last up to about 8 hours. This thing can literally cover anything. I use this on a daily basis but I also use LA Girl pro concealer to highlight and even contour. These concealers are a bit more user friendly as it comes with a brush as the tip so it is very easy to draw on and use as needed. Both full coverage and long lasting!
  • There you go! My must- have products! Comment below and let me know yours!!