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.

Kit Building Course SALE

 

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

Kit Building Course SALE

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

Kit Building Tips. Lighten Your Load!

If you are like me and you are on location with your clients, you want to keep your kit as light and efficient as possible, while also still having what you need. Which one of these campers looks like you showing up on set?

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Here are some tips on packing light but still being prepared!

1. Repackage anything possible into a travel size container.

Inexpensive 2 oz containers can be picked up at the dollar store. Having products without labels allows you to use inexpensive drugstore products along with your more high products without your client being swayed by packaging and labels.  Having it repackaged in smaller quantities exposed less product to the elements which extends their shelf life.

2. Depot!

Use palettes like Z Palette or Japonesque to organize shadows and lipsticks in a way that makes them more visible and take up less space in your kit.JaponesqueLipWell.

Removing lipsticks from the tubes makes it much easier to custom blend a shade for your client and saves time of sorting thru tubes to find the shade you want! This also removes brand awareness and allows you to place your Chanel color next to a Revlon shade.

Check out Z Palette for loads of options for depotting and creating your own palettes. They even show you how to depot and build your own custom collection! If this is too labor intensive you can always purchase palettes and even create you own custom versions with brands like MAC cosmetics with their refillable Pro Palette.
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3. Get Creative!

That should be a problem for you, right? You are an artist! Yes, there are a ton of containers and palettes out there designed to streamline your kit but you don’t have to choose those. Like I have said SO MANY TIMES, there is no one way to do this. Your kit is unique to you and the clients you serve. So build the kit that works for you.

You may even find a better fit for what you need going outside our industry. Check out craft stores, hardware stores and office supply stores! Sewing and scrapbook supplies are amazing and if you download the Hobby Lobby app you can save 40% on something every day (except Sunday).

I keep my eye and lip liners in a pencil box! They are pencils, right? The hard case will protect them and keep them organized.

These are a few things I do to streamline. Do you have a system that is working for you? Let us know in the comments! Share your genius. Borrow ideas from fellow artists. Your back will thank you!

BONUS 4th Tip— Go back to the previous post on how to do more with less.

(Hint- know how to build or sheer your foundation to manipulate the coverage and custom blend your shades)

Im sharing my experience of what has worked for me in the Kit Building Course this April. There are a limited number of pre-sale spots, save $10 using the code PRESALE  when you pre-order here. 

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!

Did you miss this post on 13 things to add to your makeup kit today? Or this one on how to get the most coverage and shade options using fewer products? Learn to layer or sheer out foundations and custom blend shades to stock less product in your kit! Life changing.

Happy Kit Building!

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Professional Makeup Artist Kit Building Tips. How to do more with less!

The question I get most often, after people subscribe to the email list and get the list of kit basics is what specific brands and shades of products that I recommend. The answer is always to first evaluate who your Ideal Client is (you should really dig deep into this guide!)

Since I get this question so often, I decided to dig a bit deeper into what is in my actual working artist kit. The work that I do is mostly in commercial production, portraits and special events, so my kit is built for the type of client that I work with.

In this video, I talk a little about the 2 main foundations that I use (Graftobian and Temptu S/B airbrush) and why they work for me.

No matter where you are and what type of clients you are serving, I recommend choosing products that will take up minimal space in your kit. Palettes are great space savers.

A professional artist is prepared for all complexion colors and skin types!

In this video, I talk about choosing foundations that you can build up the level of coverage or mix moisturizer to sheer out as needed. Be prepared to manipulate your products to customize the shade and coverage that is ideal for your client.

More Kit Building Tips are coming soon. If you would like to walk thru how Ive built my kit and why it works for me, join me for the Kit Building Course in April. Pre-Order now here and save $10 by using the code PRESALE.

If you have questions, add them in the comments and I will make sure to add whatever you are looking for into the course before it launches!

xoxo

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13 things you need to add to your Pro-Mua Kit today

Over the years my kit has grown and expanded with my career. I have gone from the tiniest little tackle box to a loaded down SUV full of everything I can think of that I may need!

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Yep, that is the actual little tiny Caboodle (but a knock off!) that I used to keep my treasures in when I first started many, many moons ago! I keep in the closet, (empty and apparently very dirty!) to remind myself of how far I’ve come. And maybe just in case I ever need it

In the event that a client needs anything, especially anything personal (hello tampons!) they are going straight to the makeup artist/stylist. You want to be the one who saves the day! That is kind how my kit grew and grew. Anytime someone would ask me for something, if I didn’t have it that day, I would make sure to have it the next time.

I work in a market where I do hair, makeup and wardrobe styling so that is one reason why I have so much stuff. Another reason I can afford to bring so much with me is because I am driving my kit around in my big mama SUV. Regardless of where you are in your career or how you travel with your kit, you will want to make sure you have some of these “in case of emergency” items.

Yes, we are talking about a makeup kit and what I am about to tell you has nothing to do with makeup BUT when someone on set or at a wedding needs one of these things, the makeup artist is the first person they ask. If you don’t have it, they won’t hate you forever and never hire you but if you DO have it, you will basically be a super hero who saved the day from impending doom.

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Sounds dramatic but its just so true. Production or special events can be a full on soap opera at times. I like to avoid the drama and turn frowns upside down whenever possible. Here are some things I carry with me that have wowed my clients.

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  • Snacks- For you or your client in a low blood sugar situation.
  • Tampons
  • Drinking Straws- To keep your lipstick in check!
  • Lint Roller
  • Sewing Kit- Get one with prethreaded needles, scissors, safety pins, seam ripper
  • Manicure Kit
  • Eyeglass Repair Kit
  • Baby Wipes
  • Breath mints/Wisps/Mouthwash- Keep everyone’s breath minty fresh!
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid Kit- You never know when you need a bandaid or OTC pain reliever.
  • Umbrella

These are not expensive items, but they are priceless when you need them. That umbrella is clutch when the bottom falls out of the sky and that gorgeous client you’ve been working so hard on has to step out into the rain. Or when you are on an outdoor set working in film and tv, that umbrella may be the only spot of shade you can find for hours! If its summertime and you are in the south, you will want to make sure to have bug spray and sunscreen.

If you subscribe to the mailing list, you have gotten the list of kit basics and pro discounts. If you haven’t gotten that, make sure to subscribe today. The list of basics doesn’t go into specific products, shades and brands because that is really personal preference and should be tailored to your ideal client. But the question I hear most often from you is that you want to know what I am using in my kit.

Kit Building Course SALE

So that is why I am designing the Build Your Own Pro-MUA kit course coming in April. You can pre-order and get it for just $19.99!

To preorder, head over here and use the code PRESALE, this will be available for a limited time so act fast if you want to save $10. 

This course is for you if you want to see what I actually use in my real working artist kit. I will show you how I pack and organized my products and which specific products/tools I use and why I chose them.

This course is NOT for you if you want me to tell you how to “get cheap products”. Building a kit to work as a professional artist is an investment in your craft. Your products should be chosen with your ideal client in mind and I don’t think anyone would describe their ideal client as a girl who wants “the cheap stuff”.

I work in special events (brides), portraits and commercials/tv so that is what my kit is build for. If you are building a kit for special effects or body painting, this course is NOT for you. I do some editorial and high fashion shoots, mostly for personal projects, so I will chat about that but we will mostly focus on what to put in your kit to work (and make money) as an artist.

What you can expect in the videos….

  • Getting started
  • How to chose the right bag or case.
  • Storage
  • Brushes and Tools
  • Complexion
  • Color
  • Definition
  • Lashes
  • Lips
  • Airbrushing

Of course I’ve got some good bonus info for you! Here are some of those extras…

  • Hygiene Tips
  • Product Expiration
  • Handling Mature Skin
  • Working High Def
  • Bridal Musts

You can order pre made kits to get you started but I feel that building your own arsenal of carefully curated products and tools lets you show up and work as a true professional. There is not one way to do this. Your kit will be unique, (think beautiful snowflake!), just like you as an artist and your fabulous clients.

I would love to give you a video tour of the kit that I have built over the last 13 years.

Pre-Order HERE and Save $10 Today!

Use the code PRESALE (for a limited time) and save! Once the course is live (April) it will be $29.99 and some extras will not be included.

Know a friend who is struggling to build her kit? Be a pal and pass on this info!

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Name that Biz!

Naming your business 

This is one of the top five things I get asked to help people with when they are starting their business. Unfortunately, recommending a name for your business,  is pretty much impossible. Especially if I don’t know you, who you consider your ideal client to be and what your marketing strategy is.

Naming your business is important, and it does require some thought so take your time!

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Remember when I told you that your ideal client profile and the types of work you wanted to do were super important things for you to think about and that both would have a big impact over so many decisions in your business? Naming your business is a great example of one of those decisions you will have to make. Think of your ideal client and the services that you will offer.  If your ideal client is engaged and work you want to do is bridal, then name your business something that brides would be attracted to and want to hire.

You can use your name, but think about whether or not that will change during the course of your business. I started working as a makeup artist long before I met my husband and even though I was open to meeting a great guy, getting married and changing my name, it never occurred to me that I would be anything other than Emily Hudspeth.

So I invested a great deal of time and money, branding myself and my business as Emily Hudspeth, hair design and makeup artist. That is where you will find all information about my business. I am listed as Emily Hudspeth, LLC. My website is emilyhudspeth.com and all of my social media is /emilyhudspeth or @emilyhudspeth.

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Sure I could change all of those things but I have been know as Emily Hudspeth, a successful working makeup artist in 4 markets across the United States. If I just one day decide that I am going to be Mrs. Emily Greenwald, hair and makeup,  I would have to work really hard to people to recognize my branding under a new name.

Think about the long term goals of your business. Do you see yourself being the lead artist on every job that you book or do you want to have teams of artists that you can contract out to several events in a day. If you have plans of growing your business to be more than just yourself, that may be another reason to avoid using your first and last name. You should also consider whether or not you would want to sell your business to another artist one day. Using your own name makes selling to another artist a little more tricky.

Be original but don’t be so out there that it doesn’t make sense or people don’t get what you do.  A name like Glitter Girls, probably isn’t going to make people think of timeless, bridal beauty, but a name Your Big Day Beauty, may be more in line with that image.

You also don’t want to be so generic either. Certain names may be more in line with the type of client you are attracting but you don’t want to be one of 10,000 makeup groups with that name in the world because when people search you online, you will be lost in a confusing sea of people with the same name. Do a quick search and see how original the name you are thinking of actually is.

If your name is Betsy and you know you want to build a rocking business with awesome teams of artists who can go out do hair/makeup/nails/tanning/skin care/all things beauty for all types of special events, then maybe the perfect name for your business is Betsy’s Beauty Babes, or the Glamour Girls on the Go. You get the idea. Names like this paint a clear picture of a team of beauty experts that come to you!

You want a name that is unique but not crazy weird and clearly defines what you do. In today’s world, being known online is super important so you want people to find you.

What will your url be? Is it easy to spell? Will people be able to search for you easily in Google and find you. Make sure it sounds good when you say it outloud. Think of successful businesses like Whole Foods, it is pretty easy to understand what they are all about, even if you have never been in their store before. Brand names like Coca-Cola roll right off the tongue.

Here’s a little truth bomb for you. Spelling is important! Using slang or creative spelling of words will just make you harder to find. Naming your business something like “Painting Phaces” or “Glitta Gurl”  isn’t going to make you look unique or creative. It is not going to make set you apart in a positive way. It just makes people think you are unprofessional and can’t spell.

As far as what you should do to legally register that name as a business, you will need to check your local regulations and state laws to determine what steps you need to take to legally set up a business under that name. If you are in the United States, check with your Secretary of State’s office. Check in with a legal and tax professional for information on how to set up your business in the area that you plan to work.

While I am all about sharing my experiences and lessons that I have learned becoming a Money Making Makeup Artist, I am not capable of or interested in giving you legal or tax advice. Please seek out someone you trust that is local to you to help you with that.

Want to stay in the loop with the latest posts and guides that you can download from Money Making Makeup Artist? Subscribe to the email list and follow our Instagram page!

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Let us know what you are thinking about naming your business. Leave a comment and share your ideas and some insight on who your ideal client is and what your marketing plan will be.

Check out the Shop page for the latest downloads available. Buy the Ideal Client Guide and Market Yourself Guide together and save 10%. 

Buy Now!

Stay Focused! I’m proud of you!

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Artist Interview: My chat with Face Off’s Ve Neill

One of my favorite moments from The Makeup Show in Los Angeles this year was having the opportunity to sit down and talk with the one and only Ve Neill!

20140301_192935You may know her from  SyFy’s Face Off, a great reality show where special effects makeup artist’s compete in fascinating challenges to create the best human artwork you have ever seen. The show gives you a look into the process that goes into what it takes to create special effects characters, like aliens and horror characters,  that we see in the movies.

If you haven’t see the show (you should watch because its fascinating!), you may not have seen Ve Neill, but you have seen her work for sure. She is the master of makeup behind some of our most beloved characters, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Edward Scissorhands (I think this was one of the first movies I saw in the theater and it was life changing!) and Beetlejuice. She was the creative genius behind the looks we saw in the Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean and the first Star Trek film. Her thirty year career is impressive and it was an honor to sit and talk with such an amazing artist.

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I wasn’t expecting to be able to have the opportunity. It first day of the Makeup Show, and I was fighting the exhaustion of the previous day’s travels from the East Coast. It was easy to keep going because there was so much excitement around me from the amazing education to the products the brands had to offer. As a blogger, I had a press pass and I got an unexpected invite to a press event that evening right after the show ended that day. The event was put on by Crown Brushes and was hilighting the new brush line they had for Ve’s brushes. I wasn’t going to miss that!

20140301_181349 Luckily, I had the forethought to jot down a few questions in my notebook, JUST IN CASE, I had the impromptu chance to talk with a pro that you may be interested in. I had no idea it would be her! Below are a few questions that I asked her…

What would you choose as a career or job, if were not a makeup artist?

She said she would either make jewelry or have an antique store. I thought that was a pretty brilliant answer! Then she shared with me that she used to make jewelry for fun, and as a hobby…can you believe this woman has time for a hobby?  A little known fact, the beads that Johnny Depp wore in his hair for Pirates of the Caribbean are from her jewelry making collection!

What is the project you are most proud of? Or a project that was most challenging or most fun?

She has done so many impressive projects, I was embarrassed to ask this question! She did tell me that she is very proud to have created brushes for the everyday woman to use. (You can check them out here, Im seeing like 10 more that I want now!)

I also asked Ve what is next for her, she said that she would love to have an exclusive line with a department store like Nordstrom. She also wants to create tools and products at a price point that would make them available to students. Ve believes (and I agree!) that students must have great tools available to them to excel! I would love to see Ve create a product line, how about you?

What is your must have, can’t live without tool or product that is always in your kit?

Ve loves this Kabuki brush for applying liquid foundation and liquid products. She is never without it!

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone at any phase in their journey as a makeup artist?

“Never compromise your art!” She added that you must be flexible enough to make adjustments but do not compromise your art! I love this. Thank you, Ve Neill!

20140301_183350 Just having the opportunity to talk with such a talented artist and legend in the industry was an honor! Seeing her new brush line, by Crown Brushes (shown above) was amazing. But watching the talented special effects artists, work on these characters, live at the event was super impressive.  If you have the chance to make it to the Makeup Show in Orlando this weekend, do not miss it! Its the last one of the year, so if you can’t make it, plan to visit one next year.

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Im thinking about trying to make it to Chicago in June or Dallas in September. Which one will you be at?

Thank you, Krystal from Beauty By Krystal, for sharing your photos from that evening with me. I met at The Makeup Show in Los Angeles, she rocks!. See her post on her chat with Ve here. 

Did you enjoy these interviews? Click to Tweet and share with your friends!
Tweet: New post on #MMMUA of my interview with @veneill at @TheMakeupShow @crownbrush event earlier this year. http://ctt.ec/ZdbN1+