L.A. makeup artist Liza Macawili Ramos shares advice on kit building

Our friend Liza Macawili Ramos is back again with some tips on kit building. She was here a few years back sharing some tips with you guys. Circle back to her interview here!

PC Adam Adolphus

PC Adam Adolphus

I asked her the same questions that I asked Christopher Milone, check out his answers in the last post here. 


 1.What is your advice to someone starting out as an MUA on how to build a solid kit?

If you are just starting out as a makeup artist, I suggest you buy a starter kit from your makeup school or favorite brand. They usually deeply discount the kit and it contains the basic necessities for doing a makeup. I also think you should work in retail for a beauty supply or counter. Not only do you get familiar with a variety of products but you get gratis from several lines. You really get to figure out what you like and don’t like.

 2. The 1-3 things everyone should have in your kit.

Every makeup artist should have a range of foundations to match every skin color and quality makeup brushes.

In my kit I’ve been using a lot of the Viseart palettes for eyeshadow, concealer and lip color. I also love the Youngblood powders and highlighters. There is a new Illuminating palette that’s coming out this summer I am really excited about. The Cinema Secret foundation palettes are great for offering a wide range of colors, offer beautiful coverage and travel nicely.

 

3. What you wish you had known when you started building your kit?
I wish I didn’t waste so much money on cheap makeup. Yes, you can make it work, but you have to work harder to blend it and keep it on.  I would rather just spend the money on quality products and not have to fight the makeup as the shoot goes on.

Follow on Insta @lizamakeupartist

Follow on Insta @lizamakeupartist

Bio:
Liza Macawili Ramos has over 20 years of experience working in the beauty industry. She is a current judge for The North American Hairstyling Awards makeup category and a member of the Youngblood Cosmetics Artistry Team. Her clients include Wella, Clairol, Sebastian, Nordstrom & The Enthusiast Network.

I love to follow Liza on Instagram, she is so fun! @lizamakeupartist or @lizamakeup

I said this on the last post with Chris’s tips but I will say it again because I can’t scream this loud enough…….

Surround yourself with artists like this!!!!

Artists, like Liza, who are smart, experienced, kind and generous enough to share their knowledge with you. Why? Because they get it. A rising tide lifts all boats! Build your community with people who lift up others. Be the person who is lifting up others. That is how we strengthen and grow this industry.

Want more insight on how I built my kit? You can pre-order the Kit Building Course today. It will be available at the end of April. Use the code PRESALE to save $10 before the course goes live.

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New York Makeup Artist Chris Milone shares kit building tips

You guys know that I have been hard at work on getting the Kit Building Course ready for you guys later this month. For all of you who have given me feedback in the surveys or emailed me with your questions, you have been so helpful and given me great content to add into the course. I can’t wait to share this treasure with you.

One thing that has been incredibly valuable to me is information that other, more experienced artists have shared with me along the way. Some folks like to hoard their knowledge but I’ve been lucky enough to get to know some real jewels over the years.

This week I reached out to these two artists to share their tips with you on kit building. Both are super successful and busy working artists that I am so grateful took a minute to share their knowledge.

First, let me introduce Christopher Milone. meairbrush

You may recognize him from a featured post here awhile back. He so generously shared his knowledge with us when asked these questions…..

What is your advice for someone just starting out and building a solid kit?  What are a few things everyone should have in their kit? What do you wish you had known when you first started?
1. Your main and first kit item focus should be skin, be sure you have a great global range of foundation that is versatile, for me that is creams. Creams can be built up or sheered down, its a good basic item to carry in your kit, Brands I like are Graftobian, RCMA, MAQpro, Kryolan.
If you have a good solid range of skin products in your kit you will be golden, the rest is really up to the artist on personal preference, and range. A good basic shadow palette, Viseart is my brand of choice. Palettes are the key, condense condense condense, I’ve gotten my kit down to one working bag, vueset.com, has helped with that. Keep it streamlined and clean. Depot glass bottles into smaller plastic, ditch the wasteful bulky packaging for smaller condensed palettes, your back will thank you.
2. Sanitization is key for working professionals, be sure you have the proper tools at all times. A metal spatula, and metal palette! 70% alcohol for sanitizing. and lots of disposables. And hand sanitizer, Jao brand is the pro band of choice.
3. Don’t take the whole kit and caboodle to every job. Pack for the job. If you know you are doing clean beauty leave the glitters and bright shadows and blushes at home. we are all guilty of the “what if’s”, and the minute you don’t take something is when you need it. But those situations are what challenge you as an artist.
You will eventually learn the more you work, what products you can’t live without and what products you can do just about anything with. So my advice to new artists is get your hands into as much product as you can, try everything, experiment, what this does is builds confidence. You Know what the product can do and you know what results you can get with it, and no one can take that knowledge away from you. And confidence is the name of the game here, always keep learning. Knowledge is power.
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Christopher Milone is one of the most sought after Make-up Artist. His work can be seen on the runways at fashion week, to the large and small screen, to touring the world with Madonna.  

Follow Chris on Twitter/Periscope/Instagram- @chrismaquillage

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Find these people and treasure them! Most of all, be that person yourself. After all, a Rising Tide Lifts ALL boats! Not just the ones who have been at sea forever, ALL boats. Lift up your creative tribe to stay afloat friends.

Cheers! Thanks Chris!

Next up, we will hear from our buddy Liza Macawili Ramos. You may recognize her from the featured interview a few years back. Stay tuned for Liza’s tips for kit building.

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Check out the Rising Tide Society for a meet up near you!

Pre-Ordering is on! There are still a limited number of discounted seats open but they are filling up fast. 

Why should you pre-order today?

  • There are a limited number spots to use the code PRESALE and save $10. Sign up early and save!
  • Your credit card will not be charged until the course goes live next month.
  • I’m sharing what I have learned over the last decade of working as a pro artist, along with tips from my artist friends. Learn from our mistakes and ah ha moments to save time and money and build your dream kit faster!
  • There will be some surprises that are only for the people who start the course on or before the launch date. Giveaways for products and Sephora gift cards will really help build your kit!

Pre-Order Here

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In my last email, I asked you guys to take a second to answer 1 question for me. If you missed that but want to cast your vote for new/better ways for us to connect, do so here.

xoxo

Emily

Who is in your network? Why it matters who you know!

Networking Guest Post

The One Thing Every Successful Money Making Makeup Artist Is Good At (It’s Not Makeup)

In almost every profession your success depends on two things. Results and relationships. Makeup artistry is no exception. Whether you are rising up the ranks in the fashion industry or establishing yourself as as a local MUA for weddings, if you do exceptional work but no one knows about it then your success will be stunted.

Some would say there’s a missing element to the equation – that as well as results and relationships you also require some luck. I would argue that if you actively build meaningful relationships, if you give your time as freely as you can and if you are generous to all in your circle, you will make your own luck!

Emily’s a great example of this – she’s warm and friendly, and generous with her time (she’s been kind enough to respond to all my emails and take my calls before she even knew me), is engaged with her followers on social media and blog comments and consequently has a great network to reach out to for everything from interviews for her site to help with her business.

So in other words, if you want to be successful you need to be building a network.

Emily uses events like The Makeup Show as great opportunities to network with other artists.

Emily uses events like The Makeup Show as great opportunities to network with other artists.

But isn’t networking a bit sleazy?

If there is a book that could be said to be the bible of networking, it is Never Eat Alone (and other secrets to success one relationship at a time) by the master networker Keith Ferrazzi. (There is no book I wish I’d read more when I was still in school than this one!)

In it Keith argues that good networking, far from being that cliche of stopping to talk to someone just long enough to find out how they can help you, is in fact all about finding ways to make other people successful. He says this…

“A truly effective networker begins with the question “How can I help this person?” and not “How can they help me?”

This may sound a little back to front. Surely you don’t want to be surrounding yourself with people who need your help?

Well first, consider the people that you think are successful. Have they achieved this success all by themselves? Of course not! Many people have helped them on their journey. And why? Because generosity leads to generosity – perhaps they’ve asked for a favour in the past. Perhaps they just take pleasure in helping someone out.

Which leads to my second point – helping others is actually one of lifes great pleasures! Yes it can be time consuming, but it can also be satisfying, rewarding, fulfilling, all of the above.

As Emily says in her book Market Yourself to Make Money –

 

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“We all grow our businesses by supporting each other. I have learned some of the best tricks and secrets from other makeup artists. I have gotten some of my best jobs from referrals from other artists and I am convinced that it only makes me look better when I have a good person to refer to a photographer or client when I am unavailable.”

And what makes this “help-others” mindset so fantastic when it comes to a room full of strangers? Because it removes every last drop of sleeziness. If you’re thinking how can I help this person every time you speak to a stranger there’s no way you can come across as grasping!!

But I hate to ask…

A mindset of generosity will get you so far, but as willing as you are to offer help, you must also be willing to ask for it. For many people this won’t come easily. Many will not like the feeling of asking for a favour, or potentially owing someone one.

But look at it this way – do you enjoy the opportunity to help out a friend or colleague? Isn’t it satisfying when you can connect someone with just the right person to help them out – a good recommendation for a stylist or an accountant who you trust? Why should your connection feel any differently? Plus we’re all adults here – they can say no if they wish and no harm done. But if you don’t ask you won’t receive!

Don’t delay – start yesterday!

Okay, you’ve come to terms with networking being a good thing and you’re comfortable with asking for help. I cannot emphasise this next point enough…

START NETWORKING AS SOON AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN!

Why do I say this? For two reasons –

  1. Cultivating meaningful relationships takes time, and getting to know influencers in your field will not happen overnight. Even if you have a clear idea of who you’d like to connect with, reaching out to them directly might not be workable, and getting the right introductions might take some work.
  2. Because people already in your network will start to slip away unless you pro-actively stay in touch. When I think about all those people at school, uni, former jobs that I’ve lost touch with it makes me sad

And inevitably it will be the opportunities that you haven’t anticipated that will benefit most from beginning now (or suffer most from not!). Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve thought “I used to know someone that would be perfect to chat to about this… man I wish I’d stayed in touch!”. Well never again!!!

Have a plan

While you shouldn’t exclude anyone from your network (you just never know), that is not to say you shouldn’t be clever about expanding your contacts. And the best way to think about this is in terms of your career goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • As a makeup artist where do you want to be in five years time?
  • To get to where you want to be in 5 years time where do you need to be in 2 years time?
  • To get to where you want to be in 2 years time where do you need to be in 6 months time?

Once you’ve got answers to these questions, you can use these career goals to define your networking goals:

  • Who if you got to know them could help with getting to your six month goal (Person A)?
  • Who if you got to know them could be a big help with getting to your 2 year goal (Person B).
  • And who if you got to know them could be a big help with getting to your 5 year goal (Person C).

And final step is about using your pre-existing network to make all this happen!

  • Who do you know already that could introduce you to person A
  • Can person A introduce you to person B, and if not who can?
  • Can person B introduce you to person C, and if not who can?

Write the answers to these questions down! It’s a proven fact that people who write down goals are much more likely to achieve them!

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(To help with this process we’ve created a work sheet. At the end of this post we’ll be running a competition, with this as a bonus free download for everyone who signs up and enters)

Once you know who you need to know, you can start doing a bit of research and finding ways to connect with them. Ask friends for introductions, which are always better than going in cold. Follow them on Twitter, or their blog if they have one, contribute to conversations and let them know you like their work. Sharing, liking and engaging with their stuff is a great way to get on their radar.

Some incredible artists that Emily met at last years Makeup Show in Los Angeles.

Some of the  incredible artists that Emily met at last years Makeup Show in Los Angeles.

Most importantly, don’t let your first conversation with them be asking for something! Remember – what can you do to help them?

And have a system…

If you’re going to maintain warm, deep relationships with tens, if not hundreds of people that you can potentially call on at a moments notice, you’ve got to stay in regular contact, and this means you’ve got to get organised. It sounds clinical – but the simplest way to do this is have a reminder set up for every person in your network, to prompt you to check in and say hi.

You can do this one of several ways – and this will depend on your personal preference. You could…

  • Keep a list of names in the back of your diary and write next to them when you last contacted them
  • Use a task manager such as Microsoft Outlook on your PC or Wunderlist on your phone. Set up a reminder (in Outlook the shortcut is Ctrl-Shift-K) and then set the task to recur every 6 months
  • Put an recurring appointment in your digital calendar
  • Use LinkedIn’s built in Relationship feature – where you can make a note about how you met and set up reminders to reconnect.

Whatever you do, make the time to do these regular check-ins. You don’t always have to have an excuse (“Hey Emily, it’s been a while so just thought I’d say hi – hope you’re doing okay and had a nice Christmas”), or it can be flimsy (“Hey Emily, just passed the bakery and the pie in the window reminded me of your cooking! Hope you’re cool”), seasonal (“Hey Emily – Merry Christmas!!!”) or as extensive as you like.

But trust me – get into this habit and not only will you have this expansive network at your fingertips – but you may just get some nice replies in return too.

Next steps…

Okay, if a message is important it’s worth repeating – start your networking efforts TODAY!! Write down all your potential sources of connections – school, college, work, clubs – for each one try to list the people you’ve perhaps lost touch with, and then start re-establishing connections. No pretense – just a “I haven’t been in touch for while and I just wanted to say hi! How’s it going?!”

For your career’s sake, this is especially important to do for people that you’ve worked, other MUAs you know or anyone working in the industry.

So to both motivate and challenge you we’re launching a special competition! The winner will receive a special career building bundle:

  • A copy of Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi (Chris’ Networking Bible)
  • A copy of Emily’s eBook – Picking Your Ideal Client
  • A copy of Emily’s eBook – Marketing Yourself – which includes her own tips on networking

(all downloads by Emily can be found here)

But it’s not just any competition – to encourage you to stay in touch with your network every entrant will receive a “lucky link” to share – if some else enters through this link you’ll receive a further ten entries into the competition!! Brilliant huh?!

Click HERE to enter

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Plus everyone who signs up will receive free access to our Networking Goals Worksheet!

So no excuses – reach out, build and maintain those connections, help your peers and take your career to the next level!!

Images courtesy of EventphotosNYC, Keoki, Jason,Chris Small


Chris is one half of the team at CareerInMakeup.com – a website focussed on how to become a makeup artist and how to run your business once you get there. He’s passionate about helping MUAs to run their businesses effectively so they can get back to doing what they love – Makeup!

 

 

 

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Thanks Chris!

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You can also use social media as a way to network and connect with artists all over the world. Join us for the February Photo Challenge, get inspired by what your new friends have in their kits and win some products for your kit. Check out this post and see how to win!

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Did you subscribe?

 

James Vincent at The Makeup Show in Los Angeles 2014

You have read my recap of my time at the Makeup Show here and on my other site. I mentioned that one of my highlights was talking to some industry greats. The last post was about my talk with Orlando Santiago. Today I want to share the insights that I picked up from the amazing, James Vincent. 

Thanks for the pic with my entry into the face chart contest photo bombing us. Thanks for humoring me James!

Thanks for the pic with my entry into the face chart contest photo bombing us. Thanks for humoring me James!

I asked James a lot of the same questions that I had asked Orlando and Ve Neill (interview coming soon). If you ever have the chance to see James speak or have the opportunity to sit down with him one on one, you need to soak up every ounce of what he shares. He is a wealth of knowledge and has great experience that he is incredibly generous.

Just as the weekend was coming to a close, I asked him for a few moments of his time. Now keep in mind, he had been totally ON since opening night starting with the blogger preview. He is one of the first in and the last out each day, giving his 100%. I am sure that he was ready to just have a seat and get some dinner and a drink. But he sat down and talked to me and it was amazing.

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First I asked him what he liked most about the industry, what his favorite aspect of the industry was. It was no surprise when he told me that he loved the education, artistry and design. He also loves the community aspect. James is a real team player and really involved in the community, so it makes sense that was high on his list.

Then I asked him to tell me about a project in his career that he was most proud of. He told me about Evolution, a 5 day retreat designed to dig deep and really focus on personal and professional development for the artist. Can I just tell you that this is my idea of a dream week? I would love nothing more than 5 days of just eating, sleeping, breathing and living business development with other passionate artists doing the same. Ah, heaven. Yes, this is now on my bucket list.

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As I mentioned before, James is very involved in the community of pro makeup artists. So when I asked him to name another artist that he found inspiring, I knew that was going to be a toughie. I mean, the man knows EVERYONE!!!! I took him a second to think. He said that is the best thing about working with events like The Makeup Show, that he gets to connect with people from all levels. After a minute or two, he answered BILLY B! I haven’t had the pleasure myself, but James said he is really fun to work with.

To stay excited about the creative process and continue to push, grow and evolve, James says that he makes it a priority to surround himself with positive, creative people. This is clearly working for him because he is always so positive himself. One of my favorite questions to ask successful artists, is what would they be doing if they were not artists. James answered very quickly that he would be a social worker. I find that this question/answer tells so much about people.

In the last moments of our conversation, I asked James the number one piece of  advice he gives to an artist at any point in their career. I loved that he said that artists should always stay focused on education and kindness. That we should always network, build and support our community. He said the industry won’t give you anything if you don’t give back. James has given so much to this industry, perhaps that is the secret to his success.

Follow James on Instagram or Twitter for inspirational updates related to being a great makeup artist and good person in general. Thanks, James! You rock. Until we meet again…maybe I can make it to Dallas for The Makeup Show in September. I can still be your guest, right?

Also follow James’s articles on Beautylish on Building Your Kit. Each article focuses on products and tools for specific needs like men’s grooming, red carpet looks or HD camera ready needs. Check that out here. 

The Makeup Show Los Angeles 2014

There is so much I want to tell you about my experience at the Los Angeles Makeup Show this past March. I don’t even know where to start! (which is why it took me so long to write this!)…..I posted my recap of top moments on my other blog that you can find here.

One (of the many) thing that really rocked my socks was being able to sit down and chat with some industry greats. I got a chance to talk with James Vincent, Orlando Santiago and Ve Neill. Here is a little snippet of what we talked about.

Let’s start with Orlando, an education focused beauty artist. I really enjoyed talking with Orlando. We share a passion for beauty makeup and on going education.  One of the first questions that I asked Orlando was who is ideal client is. He told me that his ideal client is the every day woman, which was nice to hear. It is a common misconception that an artist with a resume like Orlando would only be interested in  high fashion or celebrity clients. It is nice to hear an artist like Orlando talk about real beauty on real women.

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In addition to being a working artist and educator, Orlando recently launched his own academy in Orlando, Florida. When I asked him what project he has worked on that he is most proud of, he said the school for sure. The answer was the same when I asked him to tell me about the biggest risk he had taken in his career. It is no surprise that the academy felt like a big risk but is also his total pride and joy. Thinking big and taking risks, leads to big rewards and that is what keeps a driven artist like Orlando moving onward and upward.

The academy offers both day and evening classes to accommodate people’s needs. Two week intensive programs are also available. Even though I have been a working artist for going on 12 years now, I would LOVE to have the opportunity to experience a 2 week intensive at the Academy! That would be a total dream come true! And don’t worry, I would report back on all the juicy details because you know I love to share!

I asked Orlando to share his biggest advice for an artist at any point in their career. It was no surprise that his answer went right back to his passion….education! This guy has great experience and knowledge of the beauty industry to share. If you have the opportunity to learn from him, soak it up!

One of my favorite questions to ask any person who has excelled in their career, is what would they be doing if they were doing something totally different. This is always a fun question for creative people. Orlando says that he would still be something creative, probably a sculptor or clothing designer. Given an extra minute to think about it, he says “or a UFC fighter!”, which is just an awesome answer!  I could totally see it, Orlando is super fit!

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Follow Orlando on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information on the Academy, email them here.

If you get the opportunity to attend The Makeup Show in any city, make sure to sign up for a class with Orlando.

Artist Interview: Dee Dee Metzger

Back in March, I traveled to Los Angeles for the Makeup Show. It was an action packed weekend full of adventures. My head is still bursting with all the knowledge I absorbed and I’m still organizing my notes, processing everything I learned and outlining some good blog posts for you. (You can see my first recap here…more to come!)
When I was just about to board my flight back to Richmond. We were about an hour late boarding our red eye, headed to Charlotte, NC, where I was connecting to get home to Richmond. Sitting next to me was a super stylish chick and we struck up a conversation. In the back of my mind, I was thinking this girl has to be in hair/makeup/fashion. She was just too chic not to be! I had to ask and of course, she was a stylist. I grabbed her card and checked her out when I got home.
Meet my friend Dee Dee! Check her out here. Thanks for sharing your story Dee Dee!
How did you get started in the industry?
I started as an assistant at a hair salon as a junior in high school. I did one semester in college and missed the hair salon so badly. I went back and started cosmetology school.
What do you specialize in?
I’m most passionate about hair color!
What is your favorite part of the business? What do you think is the most challenging part? I work in a salon and I work as a freelance hairstylist in the movie and music industry.  The most challenging thing for me is to balance being with my family and traveling to work and leaving my family.
What do you love most about your work?
What I love most about my work is to see my work on the pages of a magazine, in a movie or on the red carpet!
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What is your favorite product or tool you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my Kevin Murphy ” Matte Texture Paste”, It can be used on every texture of hair!
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How do you stay excited, inspired or motivated?
I stay inspired as a hairstylist by constantly learning new things and studying my craft. A day of studying consist of me sitting in a book store for hours flipping through hair and art magazines.
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Who is another artist you admire?
Larry Sims is a artist I admire. I’ve always thought he was a great hairstylist. The way he expresses his creativity with Lupita Nyong’o hair is amazing, I now consider him to be a hair beast.
What advice or words of wisdom would you like to share with someone who is just getting started?
Continue to challenge yourself, if you get the call to do a style you’ve never done, be honest say you never have. be sure to also say if you’re willing to allow me to try I’m willing to take on the challenge, then stay up all night watching videos and then practicing using a mannequin until you master it.
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What advice would you give to someone at any point in their career?
As hairstylist we always have goals, we always have a desire to get to the next level. In our quest to be greater always share what you’ve learned with hairstylist that come behind you. What ever you give in life that’s what you get back. I’m willing to share everything I know about hair and I’m always meeting hairstylist that share new things I don’t know.
If you were not in this industry what would do you think you would do professionally instead?
I can’t imagine a life without Hair! My motto is “God first, family, then Hair”
What is next for you?
I don’t know in what order, but somewhere in my future I will win a Emmy or Oscar for hair. I will do hair for a Vogue cover!  I will be an ambassador for a major hair product company!
Thanks for sharing your story Dee Dee! You rock! If anyone out there has questions for Dee Dee, leave them in the comments and we can get that answered for you!

Artist Interview: Mikal Sky

Meet my fabulous makeup artist pal, Mikal Sky!

I met this awesome lady at The Makeup Show in L.A. in March. She is amazing and I am so grateful that she generously shared her story in the makeup biz with us. Check out here website and follow her on social media. She always has a fun project going! I wish we were on the same coast so we could do great things together. Why didn’t we know each other when I lived in Venice Beach!

Mikal Sky

1. How did you get started in the industry?
 I moved to LA in 1999 with a suitcase, my baby son on my hip with no real plan.  All I knew was that I couldn’t have a lucrative career as a make up artist in New Mexico.
 2. What do you specialize in?
I am self taught and dabble in everything from beauty and body painting to special effects and gore. I love editorial and making hot girls hotter, but there is something to be said for creating a monster that scares the hell out of people.
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3.  What is your favorite part of the business? What do you think is the most challenging part?
Los Angeles is the epicenter of glamour. This is were trends get made and stars are born. I am fascinated by the history and nostalgia of old Hollywood and I find the youth culture here fun, fresh and invigorating. Making a career here isn’t easy though, it’s a cut throat industry. Make up artists from around the world come here to compete for the same projects and it’s important to stand out.
4. What do you love most about your work?
There is nothing better to me that making cool art with talented like minded collaborators.  I love the dynamic of a film crew.  It’s amazing how a team of people can come together creatively to see the directors vision to the screen.
5. What is your favorite product or tool you can’t live without?
I adore my Make Up Forever Color Flash Palate and I can’t be on set without it. It’s fantastic for mixing a custom lipstick or quick special effects on the spot.  The RCMA VK #11 palate is my go to for foundation.  It’s highly pigmented so a little bit goes a long way and has the most beautiful coverage I’ve ever seen.
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 6. How do you stay excited, inspired or motivated? How do you continue to push, grow, evolve as an artist?
I am always searching for fresh talent to keep me inspired. If I am not booked, I find photographers and stylists to test with.  I spend a ton of time at special events and screenings which is very important for networking.  
The Make Up Show blew my mind this year. I got to meet and mingle with some of my make up heroes and pay homage to the god of all things make up, Kevyn Aucion. Plus, I came home with a bunch of fun new products to play dress up with.  I am looking forward to Monsterpalooza and taking a ton of workshops this year.
7.  What project/job/client are you most proud to have worked on?
One of the defining moments of my career was working with Britney. I was her personal MUA for the Gimme More music video and a couple of photo shoots.  She had just shaved her head and was getting a nothing but bad press.  She sabotaged the director by refusing to perform and follow the script.  So, what we got was her dancing on a stripper pole with her friends. It was an honest and playful performance during a very rough time and I am proud of how gorgeous she was.
 I have the most viewed horror short film on the internet with 20 million hits globally on all platforms.  It’s a two minute movie called Bedfellows that was shot in the director, Drew Daywalt’s home.  Kid’s were actually making videos of their friends reactions while watching it and posting those on the internet.
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8. Who is another artist you admire?
I have had the great pleasure of working with Sharon Gault since 2007.       She has opened a lot of doors for me.  I have gotten to work on David LaChapelle and Lady Gaga sets with her.  I have an artistic crush on James Vincent. He is such a dynamic speaker and commands the room with experience and New York wit.
9.  If you were not in this industry what would do you think you would do professionally instead?
I come from a family of artists and traders.  I lost my mother to cancer in February.  She was a painter, sculptor and seamstress.
My father was silversmith and visionary and created some unbelievable works out of silver and gold some of which I wear everyday. I feel so lucky to have my creative outlet and follow in my parents footsteps. If I wasn’t a make up artist,
I would own a vintage shop somewhere in the southwest or a curator at Graceland.
 10.  What is the biggest, craziest, scariest risk you have taken to make your dream come true or follow your passion? Did it work or not?
 For several years,  to supplement my income and help support my son, I worked as a set lighting technician in local 728.  I worked on everything from Dexter and Nip Tuck to huge movies and commercials. I learned lighting from some of the best gaffers in Hollywood.  That allowed me financial freedom and I was able to buy a 1966 Airstream that I tricked out and turned into my own custom make up trailer.
11. What is next for you?
 My ducks are in a row and I’ve got a five year plan. My handsome son graduates from high school next year and I’ll have a lot to do with my new found freedom.

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Do you have questions for our featured artist, Mikal Sky? Leave them in the comments and we will get them answered for you!

Artist Interview: Liza Macawili Ramos

Happy New Year! Who is excited about 2014!?!? I know I am!

One of the things I am most excited about is the monthly artist interviews that I have planned to share with you. First up is Liza Macawili and she has a wealth of information to share with you. The questions that I asked only scratch the surface and I have a million more to ask. I hope to record an interview for a YouTube video and find out more.  If you have a question, post it in the comments and I will add it to my list!

Meet Liza!

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How did you get started in the industry? 

I was a dancer in my former career.  Dancers don’t always have the luxury of a makeup artist.  I learned makeup for theater and the other dancers would line up and ask if I could do their makeup.  After high school, I auditioned for my college dance program.

I didn’t make the cut and all I wanted to do was dance, so I dropped out of school and thought I needed to do something with myself to be productive so I went looking for a job.  I saw an ad in the paper looking for makeup artists for a glamour photography studio named Freeze Frame (later bought out by Glamour Shots).  I thought I would give it a shot.  I scored an interview and brought in one of my friends as my makeup model.  They hired me on the spot. I went through their training, learning their style of makeup, hair and wardrobe.  They liked me and my work and they put me on their artist team.  I was doing fashion shows and events for them and my first big makeup job was on “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show: Gulf War Makeovers.”  I was 19 at the time!

Working at the Sally Jesse Raphael Show with the Freeze Frame team.

Working at the Sally Jesse Raphael Show with the Freeze Frame team.

After a year of working with Freeze Frame, I decided to get some formal training and I went to cosmetology school to get my esthetician license.  But I still wanted to dance so while I was in school I auditioned for a few shows and I booked them!   After I got my esthetics license I continued with my dance career, and makeup became my side job.  When I retired from dance 10 years later, I worked in salon for a while, but it wasn’t for me.  I quit my salon job and called every photographer in the phone book (this was pre-internet).   I have been freelancing ever since.  I started doing makeup in 1990 and I have been freelancing full time since 2002.

Dance PIc backstageWhat do you specialize in?

I started off mainly doing glamour makeup because that was what I was familiar with. Luckily I connected with a publishing company with several car magazines under it’s umbrella so I have over 70 magazine covers in the automotive industry.  But when I connected with a beauty brand I started working in beauty for hair and fashion shows.  Just recently, I started working on zombies a lot.  So I do a little bit of all of that.  It’s great because it keeps the makeup jobs fresh.  When I get bored of doing too much commercial work a glamour shoot will come along, and when I do too much of that some zombie work will come along.  It’s a great balance.

What is the coolest client or gig you’ve ever landed?

One of my favorite jobs was working with Snoop Dogg for the cover of Lowrider Magazine.  I had actually gone to high school with Snoop and even entered and won a Halloween costume contest with him, so it was fun to see him again.  I brought my yearbook for him to sign!

Snoop Dogg, Esther and Toni shot by Reinaldo Robinson for Lowrider Magazine

Snoop Dogg, Esther and Toni shot by Reinaldo Robinson for Lowrider Magazine

What do you love most about your work?

What I love most about my job as a freelance makeup artist is I feel like I get paid to hang out.  Of course there are times when I have to work with difficult personalities but my regular clients have become like family and I get to work with a lot of the same talent.  I used to love the travel, and I have been fortunate to see much of the world through dance and makeup, but now I love staying home with my family. I now enjoy working e-commerce the most because of the regular hours.

What is your favorite product or tool you can’t live without?

I have so many favorite products, but one product I use at most my shoots is Koh Gen Do cleansing water.  I use it to prep the skin and it’s a great makeup remover also.  I love how it takes off that leftover mascara and eyelash glue from the night before.

What was your biggest challenge in getting started?

I think the biggest challenge getting started is learning how to budget!  Sometimes corporate clients take 3 months to pay, and every now and then they take even longer!  You really have to learn how to pay your bills and save some money in case your invoices get backed up.  I’ve had no money in my account and thousands of dollars just floating around in the system, with no access to it.

How do you stay inspired or motivated?

I stay inspired by looking at art and fashion.  I have several subscriptions to fashion magazines. I do a lot of web surfing.  I look at stylist agencies talent to see what they are doing.  I enter competitions often so I can produce art the way I want, without an art director or creative director looking over my shoulder.  I test as often as my schedule allows.   I stay motivated because you can never get comfortable as a freelancer.  Although I have several long term clients, you never know when they decide they want to go in a different direction, or try some “fresh” talent.  I have learned that clients always come back, but there might be a lull before they call again, so you better have a diverse roster of clients to keep busy!  It’s like that saying, “don’t have all your eggs in the same basket!”

What advice or words of wisdom would you like to share with someone who is just getting started?

Be fearless.  Work outside your comfort zone.  Network with artists with like minds and work ethics. Work with other makeup artists.  I love working on makeup teams.  I learn so much from everyone.  Go to makeup workshops to learn new techniques.  Test often with quality models, photographers and stylists.  Some of my best clients came from networking at test shoots.  Be punctual and prepared.

A HUGE thanks to my girl, Liza. Want to know more about her, follow her here:

Twitter:  www./twitter.com/lizamakeup
Skinhead Rob, Travis Barker & Yelawolf at Camp Tilly's concert

Skinhead Rob, Travis Barker & Yelawolf at Camp Tilly’s concert

Jade Corinne shot by Sean Armenta

Jade Corinne shot by Sean Armenta

 

Editorial for Mod Magazine shot by Mark Sacro.  Styled by Tiffani Chanel, Hair & Art direction by Nico Sceigel.

Editorial for Mod Magazine shot by Mark Sacro. Styled by Tiffani Chanel, Hair & Art direction by Nico Sceigel.

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Leilene Ondrade in Summum Magazine shot by Brian B. Haynes.
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Cinco De Mayo Cover for Lowrider Magazine shot by Beto Mendoza.
Lowrider Covers

Lowrider Covers

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 Nationalist Magazine editorial shot by Don Cunanan. Behind the scenes for an editorial with Nationalist Magazine.
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Journey to Gold Wella Interview photoshoot by Nick Berardi for hair stylist Shirley Gordon.
Do you have any questions for Liza? Post them in the comments!

Did you think this was helpful? Tweet itout so your friends can be inspired too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Casey from Beauty101 Blog!

Its time for a new artist interview! You have gotten to meet some great makeup artists like Chris Milone, the fabulous wardrobe stylist Hanna, and now meet a hair stylist friend of mine. Here how she started in the business and what her words of wisdom are for someone who is just starting out.

Meet Casey from Beauty101!
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How did you get started in the industry?
I always sort of knew that I wanted to be a hairstylist but was going to college to pursue a degree in Biomedical Sciences with the plans of becoming a doctor down the line. One day I just woke up and said “This isn’t what I want to do with my life!” and I enrolled in cosmetology school that same day and started a few weeks later. I went back and finished my degree a few years ago but I’ve never regretted the decision to start cosmetology school for one second.

What do you specialize in?

I specialize in long, feminine hair styles and all types of color. If I had to pick one specialty to focus on for the rest of my career it would be color for sure.


What do you love most about your work?
I love that I can change the way people look and feel about themselves. That was the whole reason why I wanted to be a plastic surgeon while in college – I wanted to help people gain confidence in themselves and while doing hair I can still do that every day!

What is your favorite product or tool you can’t live without?

My favorite product of all time would be Bumble and bumble Tonic. It has a thousand different uses and is good for pretty much all hair types!

What was your biggest challenge in getting started?
My biggest challenge was taking the plunge to switch career paths. As you can probably imagine, I had a lot of explaining to do when I told my friends and family that I was no longer going to pursue medical school. I think going to cosmetology school has a little bit of a negative connotation for most people and many thought I was making a horrible mistake. It’s been 8 years since I made that decision and now I have my friends/family telling me constantly that they couldn’t picture me doing anything else.

How do you stay inspired or motivated?
My clients keep me inspired and motivated. I’ve always been really lucky and have been able to connect with my clients quickly so we instantly begin working together as a team trying to get the best results possible. Listening to their concerns, their desired outcome, and really talking to them keep me motivated to give them the best hairstyle possible.

What advice or words of wisdom would you like to share with someone who is just getting started?
If it’s what you want to do with your career then go for it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! And don’t be afraid to assist for a year after graduation – you’ll learn a ton of valuable information that they didn’t teach you in cosmetology school and you’ll be a better stylist for it.

Keep up with Casey here!
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Hanna Ashbaugh- Wardrobe Stylist

Keeping with the monthly guest artist post (remember Chris and Cryss?), allow me to introduce the fabulous Hanna Ashbaugh. Hanna is a wardrobe stylist and her work is an important visual element in the overall look of photo and video production. A wardrobe stylist builds their career in a very similar way to hair and makeup stylist, so take a minute to learn from her experience.

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Share Hanna’s story with anyone you know who is just getting started in the industry. Tweet it out by clicking here.

When did you get started in the industry?

I began right after I graduated college.  I came from a very entrepreneurial family and really was raised in a mindset that anything was possible.  My brother asked me what I wanted to do. There wasn’t any hesitation: I wanted to be a personal shopper.   I had totally unreal expectations though and had a difficult start.  I had no business background, I was pretty clueless where/how to begin.

What do you specialize in?

I am a wardrobe stylist in the commercial and print advertising world.  I also am a personal shopper for busy women that want to look polished in 20 minutes or less.

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What do you love most about your work?

 I love both worlds of wardrobe styling. I love working with a crew of people on the advertising jobs because there is SO much that goes into that one shot or that final 30 second commercial. It’s exciting to be part of a team and see an end result.  On the other hand- I love my independent clients.  Honestly, I feel like they are my friends and we’re laughing about a horrible piece of wardrobe they’re still holding on to from 8 years ago , yet they haven’t worn it.  I love hearing about their love stories and their lives. Being in someone’s closet and wardrobe is an intimate experience.  I love that. 

What is your favorite product or tool that you couldn’t live without?

My favorite product or tool that keeps me sane are my rolling racks and steamer! I use those constantly.  It’s the simple things that make my job easier:)

What was your biggest challenge with getting started?

My biggest challenge to get into the advertising field: actually getting IN.  The photographer I was working with on my very first website for before/after pictures (which, by the way, were a total mess) I had mentioned I was interested in styling advertising, she told me her aunt’s best friend did that and we should chat. It took me 6 months to actually reach this woman, she was so busy and she had an assistant at the time (by the way- I said I would work for free, I really just wanted to get the experience. She said “no no, we’ll get you paid.”  Once I finally had my first job with her, wow.  She is one of the kindest, most talented women I know.   Her work ethic, personality, everything. I feel like I got so lucky.

And- I am glad I didn’t stop calling after the 5th month! It’s important to keep going. so important!

Similar, of course my biggest challenge getting independent clients was again, getting actual clients.  It started small.  And I began getting more and more clear on whom my clients were and the market I was serving.  Especially after I took Marie Forleo’s B-School.

andy goodwin photographer photography producer Melanie Trombley chicago los angeles Gyro HSR USG advertising  tub

How do you stay inspired and motivated?

There were (sometimes still are) days as a freelancer that I wanted to quit. Sometimes I dreamt of how nice it would be to clock in and clock out. To receive the same amount (paycheck) every two weeks.  Insurance.  Mostly all the admin stuff taken care of- but, the lifestyle I want and my passion, it’s impossible to lose or let go of.  Wardrobe will always be a part of me.

And stay in conversation, surround yourself with positive people, people that will push you and help you grow.  I think that is HUGE.  Also, know and understand the job.  On commercial gigs I have stood in one spot and practically steamed wardrobe for 6 hours straight.  Or know you’ll be hauling 50 plus pounds up the stairs to see your client.  It’s definitely not glamorous or fun all of the time!  Have realistic expectations.

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What is your biggest piece of advice for  people just starting out?

Intern, intern, intern! Practice, do what you need to do to get your work in front of people.  Have a really fabulous, kind and thoughtful e-mail or call ready when you are reaching out to potential employers.

I cannot tell you how many ridiculous e-mails I receive that are so generic, have grammatical errors or look as if they were typed on an IPhone in 2 minutes.   I am not saying you need to be perfect (you may make a spelling error or two, it happens) but re-read your e-mail.

If you were reading or hearing your correspondence, would you be inspired to hire you?

I also recommend getting portfolios together so you can send a sample of your work when you are reaching out.  There are always photographers looking to build their portfolios.  Exchange and swap ideas.   Be kind.

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Thanks Hanna for sharing your industry insight! To keep up with Hanna, check our her website and other social medial links below. 

Instagram: hannaleestyle