How to work with your client: Top Do's and Don'ts!

OMA STORIES - How to work with your client.jpg

Let’s be honest, no one is perfect! We gain our experience through hits and misses, trial and error, we learn our lessons, and it is ok! I wish there was somebody right beside me every time I did a client’s makeup when I first started working as a freelance Makeup Artist, who told me what to do and what not to; but this is real life, and I’ve learnt a lot through my own experiences, practice, and by being very observant, reading and asking! Sometimes a client’s face can say it all (and sometimes you have to ask)! Your main goal is to always make your client happy and never frustrated; especially on her special day!

Being a Makeup Artist is a hard job as you always have different faces, different skin types, different expectations and different tempers in your chair. You have to be able to deal with all of them to become a really good artist! To achieve this you will need to constantly practice and try to improve your game by cruising the web to find answers and connecting with fellow artists from around the world, learning creative tips and tricks, or by randomly playing with makeup and trying/inventing new techniques. Some techniques or tricks will work on one client but they won’t work on another; you will need to perfect these techniques and "see it to believe it" (ie: practice!) before glamming them up!

In this article I will share with you my top do’s and don’ts while working with a client that I have collected personally from experience. This list will prove especially helpful if you are new in this profession as it will save you time and will help you a lot to avoid some critical “newbie” mistakes:

1.     Listen to your client! Always ask your client to show you a makeup look that she is into, as you have to see what exactly she means by “soft and natural”. Each client interprets a look in a different light. For some girls it will be a really soft makeup look using 1-2 eye shadows, a tiny bit of contouring, a thin eyeliner with a small wing and a nude lipstick, while for another one it will be Kim Kardashian’s full glam look with Kylie Jenner’s over lined lips! You have to be on the same page. This way you will do your job professionally and your client will be happy after once you are complete!

2.     Never do your client’s makeup in bad lighting. It is very easy to be tricked this way. You will see that makeup is perfectly blended and applied well but the minute your client steps outside in the daylight or in a better lit atmosphere, you will see that it is a disaster! Invest in a ring light or any other light you can take with you on location, this is a crucial tool of the trade and will help with your client’s makeup application always! Also, you always have to ask your client about the event she is going to attend as if it is in the open air (you will probably need more light foundation, you will use less contouring as daylight will make makeup accentuate skin’s imperfections even more and you will want her to look fresh and light) or if it is inside (then you can go a bit heavier with makeup).

3.     Always make sure that foundation is of the right color. You have to make sure that her face, neck and chest are of the same color. If you see that her face and neck are much lighter than the chest (especially if she wears an open dress) you have to take foundation that will be the same color as her chest and bring it down to the neck as well. If only her face is lighter, then use foundation that matches both neck and chest only on the face!

4.     Contouring is great, I love it! However, it is a great technique only when it is applied onto the right areas, properly blended and not visible. It is an illusion of shades and lights but not something that you are meant to clearly see! It is so easy to go overboard with it, especially on older clients. Take contouring shades that are not too warm as shades are cool not warm. Here comes the rule that we all know: less is more. Start with less contouring, you can always add if necessary.

5.     When highlighting do not chose a concealer that is too light, as if you take one that is 2-3 shades lighter it will look as though your client sunbathed in sunglasses! Also you have to apply it correctly: from the tear duct down to the nostril and up to the end of the eye (in a triangle shape). This way you will cover dark circles as well as brighten the whole under eye area.

6.     Brows are extremely important, they frame our faces. Do not neglect to fill them in especially if your client is wearing a full face makeup, without brows she will look strange and her face will be washed off. However, don’t be fooled by the new trend on Instagram for brows, brows have to look natural and not like you just painted them all with one color. Your inner part of the brow has to be much lighter than the tail. In this case, it is better to use a brow pencil or powder! You can always add extra product if you need your brows to be more bold for some reason. Today, bolder brows are a trend but always ask your client if she is ok with you making her brows a bit thicker because she may not be into it at all!

7.     Never experiment with something new on a client’s special day. You can do it on a trial, that’s what they are about; for example, choosing bolder colors on the eyes, or lips, or trying more dramatic eyeliner (of course if it is something that your client was looking for but never tried and would like to see if it suits her or not). Keep in mind, if it is an emotional day and she wants something she never wore before, it will be better to talk her out of it in a polite way as she may regret it and you will not have time to fix everything. She will have pictures of this event for the rest of her life and she doesn’t want to remember bitterness of this day instead of happiness! For this type of special day, it is always best to convince your client to choose a makeup look which will enhance her face features, looking more like herself.

8.     Make sure that the makeup that you create for your client will photograph well. It means that when they will be photographed with a flash there will not be any flashback (it is caused by SPF in moisturizer or foundation, or loose powder that has silica [it’s not the same as silicon or silicone]). Make sure your products are free of these ingredients, if possible (and test out the makeup look with photos as well)!

9.     Always hydrate your client’s face, under eye area and lips before putting on makeup! This way you will prevent foundation and concealer from being patchy, it will blend easier, as well as bold lip colors will look great on soft lips rather than on chapped ones. I would say skip the bold colors on the lips of your client if they are too dry.

10.  Highlighter has to be applied on certain areas to make your client glow from within rather than greasy! If you put highlighter on the tip of the long nose you will make it look even longer; if you apply too much highlighter onto the forehead it may look as though your client is sweaty! Stay away from chunky highlighters, they look unnatural on a face and may photograph unevenly making some spots on your face white.

11.  If your client has watery eyes opt for cream eye shadows, or waterproof eye shadow sticks, which will stay put much longer. You can also apply individual lashes on her or maybe it is a great idea to skip false lashes at all as the glue will be dissolved by tears.

12.  Do not bake! Baking makes your skin imperfections look more visible, as well as your older clients will see their wrinkles much better after baking! Do not do it, especially on under the eye area! You want your client to look younger not older after you’ve done your work! I would say use less powder. Apply just the right amount to set foundation but not to make the skin texture visible.

13.  Always ask your client if she is happy with her makeup. If you see any hesitation on her face insist on her telling you what you can change to make her 100% happy! Listen to her. And do exactly what she wants, not what you think would be better! (Though as the professional and artist it is always okay to kindly suggest options to your client).

Creating a YouTube Channel To Showcase Your Work

OMAStoriesYouTube.jpg

Once you have established your Makeup Artist education and have experience with professional makeup application, either from freelancing or creating makeup looks for your own platform and page promotion, and have also established your business by creating your website portfolio and/or an Instagram page, and have begun to receive engagement from your online/social media presence - you may be thinking, why not begin to expand your work onto other social platforms to reach and inspire an even wider audience? We suggest: go for it!

The best way to expand your business is to start creating videos! Some people may hesitate to create videos, thinking that they are a more expensive investment; but keep in mind, videos are far more informative than a picture, and much more engaging. You can start creating videos even on your smartphone, don’t be afraid to start small and grow as you learn! 

Your first venture into video creation can be exploring the video platform on Instagram. Creating videos where your followers become engaged and interested in how you may have created a certain look from a photo that you shared. However, Instagram gives you only 1 minute to show how you created a makeup look and definitely is not enough time for your audience to understand the full step by step process.

With that said, the best option will be to apply your step-by-step videos to a YouTube channel, where you are able to show the entire process. You can give your followers a sneak peek of your work on Instagram (this is always highly recommended!) so that they will then “click the link in your bio” to go straight to your YouTube channel to see the full process with details and explanations. If your audience enjoys your videos, they will subscribe to your channel, and will then become the first to see your new videos. Once you create this sense of engagement and following, you will see that your audience will look forward to your content and ask for your new videos, and maybe even make specific video requests! 

Things to think about before creating your YouTube channel: 

1)    You already are creating your channel with an advantage – you know the dedicated theme: makeup and/or hair (or both)!  You will have to be consistent with the content as people who are looking for makeup related videos won’t like, for example, a vlog from your trip to the mountains, or anything else not connected with makeup. You can choose any aspect of the beauty industry that you want, including makeup, hair, and more; from describing how you created a certain look to reviewing makeup products and providing your thoughts, or creating unique hairstyles. In fact, reviewing makeup and/or hair products is a great idea especially if you know that people are interested in purchasing a particular product (for example: if it’s a hard to find new release!) and will be specifically looking for a review. You can also upload makeup tutorials. Creating the content that is most effective will be a bit of an experimentation to see what works best for you and your channel, and will take time.

2)    Very importantly, you will have to carefully think about the name of your channel, as it will be impossible to rename later. The name should be catchy and an identity that you like from the beginning, you can also use your name from a platform people already know you from (for example: if you’ve created your Instagram following and want to be sure your followers can easily find you on your new YouTube channel!). Prior to creating a name, be sure to check if there is a channel with the same name or very similar to yours, as you don’t want people to get confused and head to the wrong channel.

3)    Another important tip: The maximum video size cannot be more than 128 GB and is not to exceed 15 minutes in length; although if you verify your YouTube account they will let you upload longer videos (up to 11 hours – but keep in mind that it is important to keep your videos as concise as possible, as you want to keep the interest up from your viewers!).

Your first steps to create your YouTube channel:

1.    A google account is a requirement at YouTube; go and register there if you don’t have one already, and then you can proceed with creating the YouTube channel.

2.    Choose a picture that will represent you and your work. The channel icon is usually taken from your google account while the channel art can be created by yourself. This option can be a favorite picture of your work, or the logo of your business, etc. 

3.    Write a description for your channel. In this space, it is important to share who you are, how you got into makeup, what you like, or it can be any details that represents you! Don’t forget to add direct contact details as this will make it easier for people to reach out to you to offer a business partnership or collaboration!

4.    You will have to make your account public otherwise it makes no sense as other people will not see your videos.

5.    Choose a category where your videos will best apply to the topic of creation, likely this will I be in the “HowTo & Style” category since YouTube doesn’t have a specific category called Makeup or Beauty.

6.    You may also be able to eventually earn money from YouTube if you let them monetize your videos. This can be allowed in the settings of your channel. Monetizing your videos means you let YouTube add ads to your videos and they will pay you accordingly based upon the quantity of views. Keep in mind, this is something to aspire to grow to - since April 2017 it doesn’t work for videos with number of views less than 10k. It’s frustrating, but should encourage you to build and grow your channel as best as possible! 

You will definitely need to create videos that will make people interested in watching them to gain more views – engaging your audience from the first few seconds is very important! This also means that you should create an introduction that will interest people to stay on your page and watch the video for the longest amount of time, and maybe even they will decide to watch your other videos and/or subscribe to your channel! YouTube will rank your video higher on search results if people watch your videos longer!

In order to make your followers interested in your channel you have to constantly and consistently film new videos. Film as much as you can, creating new content for your viewers. Try to make them interested in what you do, you can see what interests your audience by the number of views you receive on every video you upload, as well as the comments! Engage your viewers and try to figure out what your audience likes best – ask questions! Ask for feedback! 

As you begin to film videos on a consistent basis, your techniques will also improve and you will learn to find your own style, which new viewers will appreciate.

Additional tips, tricks, and thoughts on creating the best possible video content for YouTube:

1.    Make sure you are speaking loud enough during the video, or your voiceover can be heard well, as no one will continue watching your video if they hear nothing. You have to be in the center of the shot while you are filming, talk directly to the camera so people will feel that you are talking to them! 

2.    Use music for your videos, it can be softly on in the background, in between cuts, and while you are showcasing the makeup application. This makes the “waiting time” a bit more pleasant while you are blending your eye shadow (for example). It’s important to only use non-copyright music as otherwise YouTube will block your videos. YouTube even has a great selection of non-copyright music available to you – you can search for your favorite here: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music  

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 9.34.19 AM.png

3.    Protect your videos from other people stealing them and using as theirs by adding a watermark or light text (not taking away from the video itself!) throughout the whole video. It’s also very important that this watermark is placed somewhere where it does not block your face or hands while you are trying to explain a technique. You can add this watermark in any of your video editing software. 

4.    Of course you have to edit your videos by cutting unnecessary parts, leave only what matters! You can also speed up some parts of the videos to make a same step pass by faster. Free video editors can be downloaded from the internet or can be found in your phone applications. We highly recommend the free applications that come already installed in your desktop computers; Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (https://www.apple.com/imovie/)

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 9.35.48 AM.png

5.    Every video has to have a name! Think of a name that will draw people’s attention so that they will want to click on it and watch it and maybe even subscribe to your channel!

6.    To help people search for your videos on YouTube you can add hashtags like you do in your Instagram channel. Make sure that these tags will apply to your video content. Type less used tags as otherwise your video will be lost in abundance of other people’s videos. By this we mean you can narrow your tags from #makeup to #eyemakeup or #cutcreasemakeup. for example, or you can even create your own tags (your name or business name!) and this way keep your videos together and very searchable!

7.    You can also add links to the products you used in your video in the description bar below in order to help your followers find them more easily (and if you work as an affiliate for a brand, be sure to add your direct link!). Exclusive coupon codes and partnering with brands is also a great way to promote your videos and receive more engagement – everyone loves a good incentive!

8.    Always interact with your followers, it is very important on any social platform! If you receive a comment, you should always like and/or reply to it. Followers that feel appreciated will be more likely return to your channel and continue to watch your content! You can even ask your followers some questions, for example, if they liked your video and see what will they comment below. This way you can also improve/grow with the help of your audience!

9.    Don’t be discouraged if you receive negative comments from time to time– just ignore the comment, delete it (if applicable) and move on, it means nothing to you! As these comments may distract your followers from the channel content you can remove them. However, some comments may contain constructive criticism so think them all over and make your next video even better!

10.  Some people prefer a schedule for video uploading, while other vloggers will upload randomly, you can choose what works best for you by experimenting with uploading time.

11.  You can also add links to your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter accounts or any other social media account to your YouTube channel in the bottom right corner of your Channel Art to promote your entire social media network.

12.  After you have created the YouTube channel and started uploading videos you will need to constantly and consistently promote your channel and videos on your other social platforms so that people know that you have your channel! You can add a link to your channel in the bio or write under your teaser Instagram video that people can see a full version with all the steps and details on your YouTube channel and providing the link. This is very important as people will not know it if you don’t tell them.

YouTube, like any other social media platform requires a lot of dedication and time to grow, you already have the talent and education – so just be patient, and with practice, continued experience, and time your social media presence will continue to grow and the investment that you have made in establishing your business and brand through a social media platform will be well worth it!

 

Building The Best Reputation as a Makeup Artist

Besides your portfolio, there's nothing that will take you further in your career than establishing a reliable and excellent reputation from your clients. This is a business where who you know and who knows you, and the impression that you provide to others, truly matters most. Establishing a career as a professional Makeup Artist is about talent and education, but also a lot about recommendations and about people wanting to work with you again and again. Basically clients (no matter if they are fellow industry professionals such as photographers, private clientele, or even celebrities), people will prefer working with someone that they have good chemistry with and who they are able to trust. This is why word of mouth and always being on your “best behavior” and on top of your game goes a long way!

Now, you might wonder how do you begin to build the best reputation? 

It's simple, follow these and you will be well on your way!

1. Work Hard

This goes without saying! The idea is to always be prepared before a job. Have a plan for the look/looks you are going to create (this is why client consultations are always important!) and always have a backup. When you show up, be efficient and get the job done the first time. Also, be ready to adjust if necessary. Clients will always change their mind, and you must be ready to listen and offer them what they want at a moment’s notice.

2. Sanitize

There are numerous Makeup Artists that lack in this department. This is one of the first things you will always learn in school, but industry horror stories are always shared from models and clients. Part of your job as a Makeup Artist is to keep your client safe from infections and skin disease (and with all of the products on the market, there is absolutely no excuse to take the time to clean each and every tool and include disposable products in your kit at all times!). It is of utmost importance to take the necessary precautions, disposable mascara wands, cleaning brushes, etc. You know the drill. Remember: word travels fast and nobody wants to work with a Makeup Artist with questionable hygiene.

3. Be Nice

In general, people like to work with people who have good energy, and are positive and always seek the best solution to any problem at hand. It makes the long days on jobs pass faster. Clients like people that they can easily communicate with. Remember your job is to work on emphasizing the beauty in each individual, you have to make them feel confident, so your attitude and energy are vital

4. Don't Gossip

As a Makeup Artist you'll always be around models, celebrities, photographers, and private clientele (which includes members of your community!). You'll hear numerous personal conversations and work with different faces, some with different skin issues and personalities. Now, what you have to understand is that what you hear on the job must always stay with you, you must keep all of your work confidential. Nobody likes a gossip and people like working with trustworthy professionals. Keep all information to yourself, be loyal, and you'll build the right network of clients that will always love working with you.

5. Build An Online Reputation

This requires a bit of strategy and work, but a good online network will bring attention to your brand! If you have an amazing online presence, with a professional website, and a well curated Instagram and Facebook account and engaging following, you are bound to attract the right clients. Be active, pick a theme, use hashtags! The number one rule is that you are as strong as your network, so use cross networking with the help of the photographers, models, and clients you’ve worked with. The strength of social media is in numbers and who sees you where. By growing your social media presence, your reputation will get a boost!

6. Advance Your Skills

This is not a requirement, but more of a little tip to take your career several steps further. Specialized training or a certification can help advance your skills and career. Specialized training can include learning special effects applications, corrective techniques, fashion, bridal, etc. Certifications earned can help build a loyal clientele. Makeup Artists with advanced skills will also have the potential to earn more income.

Most importantly, keep in mind that a strong reputation will not be built overnight. It's a step by step process that will eventually bring you to the level that you want to be with hard work and great people skills and networking. Starting on the right foot will lead you to the right track to building the best reputation and establishing yourself as a true Makeup Artist professional. At the end of the day, it is the work that you put into your craft, maintaining good relationships, which will in turn improve and create the best brand image for your business!

 

SECURING Your CLIENT NETWORK

Once you’ve completed makeup school, put in the work, have practiced and perfected the techniques, are comfortable with the application, and have a small portfolio beginning to grow – you may feel ready to have your first client (and you’ve earned it!). The thought excites and scares you at the same time. Believe us, we get what you are feeling, every Makeup Artist has been in your shoes. However, as you probably know, everybody has to start somewhere.

 The question that probably keeps running in your head is: where do I start? 

1.      Start Small

As I’m sure you already know, beggars can't be choosers. You are just starting out, and being too picky won't really be most beneficial for you in the beginning. Of course, it's good to have an idea of what type of client you want to work with eventually, but there's no shame in starting small. Also, with little to no experience you might want to offer your expertise for trade, to do some portfolio building work; working with a small brand and beginning to build a good relationship with them. The idea is to put yourself out there. Which takes us to step 2.

2.      Get Out There

We live in the time of social media. A good professional Instagram, Facebook, or website will help you gain some traction and spread the word of your talents. Keep in mind, the way that you’ve laid out your online presence and work has to be easy to find and it has to look good, so be mindful in how you wish to present yourself and your work to the world! If you are taking a before and after of a look you made, then make sure the light, focus and framing are professionally executed.

3.      Word of Mouth

As a beginning Makeup Artist there is nothing that will help you more than word of mouth. This business is all about networking, about who you know and who knows you. This will help you now, but also later in your career. Polish this skill and your communication carefully!

So what can you do?

Ask for referrals. Let's say you worked with a photographer in order to build your portfolio, if the experience was good, don't just ask for photos. Let people know that you are looking for referrals, and more work! 

This is the time when you can't be shy.

Stay in touch. With clients, but also with other freelancers. While you shouldn’t be too pushy, a friendly thank you note after a job should do the trick. As for other freelancers, you never know if they’ll reach out to you last minute asking you to fill in a job for them.

Use your community. 

Everybody prefers to work with people they like and know. So be that person that people love, put yourself out there, and let people (subtly) know what you do

4.      Pass the Consultation Test

Before your first makeup consultation, ask the right questions. You have to be on the same page, regarding what look they want and what you can offer. Communication is key here as the client is the one that has to be happy with the results.  A few key aspects that you can talk about are

·         Look and inspiration

·         Occasion (will there be pictures taken, does the makeup application have to last the whole day, will you be in studio or natural light). Think ahead!

·         Where will you do the makeup, your own workspace or do you have to travel?

·         Budget

As this is your first client, it might be difficult to set up your rates. So have a clear pricing model, taking into consideration time commitment, kit fee and products used, any special requests, travel time, etc. Also do a bit of research into what are the normal rates for the kind of job that you will do (rates will vary based on location). As a general rule: too high or too low can hurt you in the long run. A ridiculously high rate might scare potential clients and a low one can do that too, as you might not cover all the costs.

5.      Be Professional. Be Prepared.

Once you are on a job, cover all of your basics, be there on time, it’s better to be a bit early and be prepared. Have your kit organized and spotless. It is the first impression that counts, and looking like you know exactly what you are doing will make the client feel more comfortable. Also, if something doesn’t work out, be ready to think on your feet and adjust as required. Doing a good job on your first client will help you get your second one, and so on.

Work equals more work, always remember that!

Now that you are bit more informed, go take the leap!

This is an exciting time for you and the first step in your career.