Graduate Success Story - Makeup Artist Jessica Thomas

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Online Makeup Academy graduate and Certified Makeup Artist Jessica Thomas is taking the steps to create her dream career; but not without working hard to establish her portfolio, education, and even building her own personal makeup brand (Bombshell Beauty)! We had the honor to meet Jessica during a visit to NYC at Nina Mua Makeup Academy (our physical NYC school), we sat down for an interview and photoshoot - where she created one of her signature makeup looks! Read below for her video + written interview, behind the scenes during our photoshoot, and the final stunning editorial beauty images!

Jessica is a true OMA Success Story; her hard work, talent, and dedication shows through in everything that she does - from studying to receiving her Physics + Electrical Engineering degree (a double major!), to following her artistic dreams and delving into professional Makeup Artistry; working at MAC Cosmetics, and creating her own makeup brand - Jessica shares with us her educational and career journey, her career milestones, and words of wisdom to inspire your own creative dreams and career success!

Online Makeup Academy: How did you find and pursue your network of creatives to collaborate with?

Jessica Thomas: I started reaching out to people within my personal network first and then branched out to using social media to find like minded creatives. From there, I would introduce myself, my brand and inquire about creative collaboration for the future. Eventually, I was able to get my name out there and be invited to participate in Ohio Fashion Week and featured as a key artist in Haute Ohio Magazine.

Online Makeup Academy: How has creating editorial beauty images changed your outlook on makeup artistry (how do you bring this inspiration to your freelance clients, etc)?

Jessica Thomas: I believe that creating editorial beauty images has taught me there is no true definition of beauty and there are no rules to makeup application. With every job, I try to push myself to take looks to the next level and continue to elevate to not only create beauty editorials but art. Just recently, I did an entire makeup look with sugar and it has been one of the most creative, fun, and interesting shoots to date.

Online Makeup Academy: How do you suggest reaching out for collaboration for other artists?

Jessica Thomas: I think stepping out of your comfort zone is key. For myself, I had to get comfortable with talking about my brand in conversation and handing out business cards as well as reaching out to  creatives I was interested in working with. Another suggestion is to also invest in your craft and yourself. I have scheduled photo shoots with photographers just to get my foot in the door and build that initial relationship for future collaboration.

Online Makeup Academy: What has your experience been launching your own cosmetics company along with being a makeup artist?

Jessica Thomas: Currently, I am still in school so I have not been able to release as many collections yet but with the collections currently on my website, I have quite a few recurring customers.  After graduation, I plan to take my cosmetic line to the next level and combine both my love for physics/ engineering with makeup artistry and create products like no other.

Online Makeup Academy: How did you begin working with MAC as a makeup artist?

Jessica Thomas: After taking the course and freelancing for a while, I decided to apply to be a MAC freelance artist in the Cleveland area. I think for myself I was very fortunate to have a great connection with my managers from the moment we met as well as having the talent that MAC requires. To anyone looking to become a MAC artist, I would suggest being your true authentic self and wear all black during the interview process!

Online Makeup Academy: What were you doing before deciding to pursue your Makeup Artistry career / education through OMA?

Jessica Thomas: Before deciding to pursue education through OMA, I was practicing on my friends, family and anyone who would let me practice on their face using different products.

Online Makeup Academy: What inspired you to break into the beauty industry?

Jessica Thomas: Ever since I could remember, I was interested in makeup. In high school, I started to wear makeup and build up my own personal makeup collection. From there, I fell in love with the process of putting on makeup and the freedom to create any look or style. As I started working on other faces besides my own, I realized that through makeup I could do so much more than create a beauty look; I had the ability to also inspire, encourage and uplift others.

Online Makeup Academy: How did you decide to pursue professional Makeup Artistry / how did you discover OMA?

Jessica Thomas: I decided to pursue professional makeup artistry because I found a genuine passion in it as well as uplifting others through my artistry. To ensure I could be the best artist I could be, I searched for a makeup course that would be able to teach me about the different aspects of the beauty industry and proper technique/etiquette for makeup artists. Luckily I found OMA while scrolling on social media and I immediately enrolled as OMA was one of the few courses that had excellent quality and flexibility.

Online Makeup Academy: How did OMA stand apart for you?

Jessica Thomas: I was very attracted to OMA because of the quality of education the course offers. I was amazed at the range of topics/lessons covering the fundamentals such as makeup artist etiquette to classic looks such as red lip and wing liner applications.

Online Makeup Academy: What was the moment that you felt that Makeup Artistry was your calling / how did you feel after you received your professional education?

Jessica Thomas: I think there were a series of moments where I was not able to stop thinking about the next look I wanted to create and then one day I just told myself that I was going to give it my all and try to pursue makeup artistry. After I received I my professional education, I was extremely excited and proud; I hung up my certification in my studio and added it onto my website.

Online Makeup Academy: What is your biggest achievement in the beauty industry so far? What are your continued goals/dreams?

Jessica Thomas: My biggest achievement in the beauty industry thus far has been able to take Sir John’s masterclass in Chicago. He is one of my biggest inspirations and I am a huge Beyonce fan so it was such a great opportunity learning from him and listening to his experiences in the industry. A goal I have for the future would be to work at NYFW as a makeup artist.

Online Makeup Academy: Do you agree that online education can be as valuable as offline courses?

Jessica Thomas: I believe online education is very valuable and I think what I loved personally about OMA was that I could refer back to the course module system while practicing my application on my model or family member.

Online Makeup Academy: How has your OMA certificate helped you reach your goals/provided value for you as you pursue your careers in the beauty industry?  

Jessica Thomas: My OMA certificate has helped me feel more secure and competent in my artistry. I also think being a certified makeup artist has established credibility with my clients. I have also been able to apply for pro cards with my certification through Sigma brushes and Frends Beauty.

Follow Jessica’s work on Instagram for additional editorial beauty inspiration:
https://www.instagram.com/__bombshell_beauty__
https://www.instagram.com/jessicathomas.mua/

Spotlight on Makeup Artist + Influencer Svetlana Kobaliya

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Svetlana Kobaliya is a professional Makeup Artist, Hairstylist, Esthetician, and beauty influencer. She first attended college majoring in management and after graduation began work in the engineering and legal fields. Although successful in her day job, deep down she knew that she needed to follow her passion for the beauty industry. Svetlana then took a leap of faith - entering the industry in a roundabout way by applying for an administration position at a day spa (always take those first steps, no matter how far they seem from your ultimate goal, to find your way into the field you love!). It was there that she confirmed she had found herself in the right environment and was determined to continue to pursue her goals and dreams of realizing a career as an artist in the beauty industry.

Svetlana then studied to become an Esthetician, and while specializing in skin care she surrounded herself with knowledge (education is key!) in all things beauty. However, her ultimate dream was to become a Certified Makeup Artist, as her true passion was applying her artistry through makeup on herself and others. “I wanted to learn more and wanted to be validated [in my artistry], that is why I wanted to have the certification. I know that this passion for the industry will not go away for me.” The rest is history!

Through the Online Makeup Academy she was able to fulfill this dream, and add another credential to her ever growing professional resume and educational platform. She has excelled in her talents and continues to inspire others through her artistry in makeup and hair (her YouTube channel includes full makeup tutorials and hairstyling tutorials as well as reviews and inspirational content!).

In her YouTube video below Svetlana explains in detail her experience with our OMA Makeup Artist course and Pro Hairstyling course (she has both courses under her belt!). Her star continues to shine and she has become a sought after beauty influencer (for good reason!) - be sure to follow her Instagram @svetakobaliya + YouTube (video links below!)

“If you really want something, you have to help yourself achieve it. There is nothing like being surrounded by like minded people everyday and going to work doing something you love.” - Svetlana Kobaliya

Svetlana continued her education with the PRO Hairstyling course, reviewing the course kit and styles covered throughout the course!

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We’ve loved working with Svetlana and are so excited to see her artistry and platform as an influencer and beauty professional soar to endless heights!





TOP TIPS TO MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AS A MAKEUP ARTIST

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When you’re just starting your career as a makeup artist it may take you more time to finish a makeup look than if you are a skilled professional with several years of experience. This is pretty normal, as with practice you will manage to eventually create the same look in a shorter period of time and figure out ways to increase your productivity, which will quickly become your signature tricks. 

Sometimes you may need to speed up your makeup application for a client depending on the project and time restrictions; imagine the situation when your client has only 30-40 min for her makeup to be complete and she wants the same full glam look she gets from you every time with a perfect application and blending! Or maybe you have booked a bridal party of 6-8 bridesmaids who need to be ready in 5 hours. All of them! What can you do?

You have to find ways that will make your work faster, more efficient, and most importantly without sacrificing the quality. Here are a few professional and time saving tricks to help guide you and make your work more practical as you take on more clients throughout your career:

1.          Remember that if you always have everything from your kit in the same order every time you’re doing a client’s makeup it will make it easier to find a certain brush, pencil, or any other product! Organization is a huge time saver.

  • It is very convenient to have all groups of products in one plastic bag (they are sold online or as a part of a makeup case/bag). Eye shadows in one bag, bronzers, blushes, highlighters, liquid lipsticks, etc. Brushes can be conveniently placed in the brush case in a certain order that you prefer (from first application to last is a great tip!)

2.          To save time for your client to choose a product color/type (lipstick, blushes, foundations, contour, eyeshadow, etc!):

  • Depot all of your products into a palette. They are sold by different companies (vueset.com is a favorite of ours!) and you can choose the one that will work best for you. A client that sees all of the available product colors/types at once will make a decision much faster than when you have to open every individual lipstick or other products separately.

3.          Doing eye liner on a client can sometimes be the most difficult process in makeup application, even for skilled makeup artists. Find the easiest and fastest way of doing it, for you and your individual application process and technique. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gel or liquid eye liner:

  • Eye pencils sometimes are easier and faster to apply. Even when you apply it not so evenly the first time, you can go over it with a flat synthetic brush afterwards making the line smooth and maybe even a bit smoked out. Just drag the brush with the rest of the product left on it outwards prolonging the line and you will get a nice soft wing. Perfect eye liners made with gel or liquid products are really time-consuming and need practice – therefore this trick can really save you and your precious time!

4.          If the look your client is going for is still a sharp and edgy eye liner:

  • Use tape to perfect your angles for the perfect line. Just remember to stick it couple of times on your arm to reduce the tackiness (they also make cosmetic / styling tape - which we highly recommend over traditional tape!), then attach it at the right angle kind of prolonging the lower lash line outwards and it will be much easier for you to draw a perfect wing without taking a lot of extra time for perfection when applied completely freehand. After you’re done remove the tape and apply concealer if the tape budged some of your previous application.

5.          If your client is looking for a smokey eye but you are short on time:

  • Use cream eye shadow. You can take a soft brown color or even a color with shimmer to it and apply all over the lid, blend the edges with a synthetic brush, maybe apply a tiny bit of lighter eye shadow onto the center of the eye lid to add dimension, highlight the brow bone and inner corner, and your smokey eyes are done! It will definitely take much less time than to create smokey eyes by blending all these eye shadows in the crease creating a definition and ombré effect, and achieves a very similar application when complete.

6.          Applying mascara onto the natural lashes after false lashes are applied will save you time as well.

  • You will skip the step where you apply mascara first and then apply falsies. Second, after you applied falsies you need to press natural lashes into them to make your lashes more natural looking. This way, if you apply mascara after the falsies are on you will save time twice.

7.          If for any reason you have to go darker with eye makeup and you have already finished the look:

  • To save it from eye shadow fall out use Shadow Shields. Using a tissue in this case and press it every time you apply darker eye shadow will be very inconvenient and time consuming. Also, these shields can be used as a tape for the perfect wing we were discussing about above.

8.          If your client wants a look with glitter:

  • Do not apply loose glitter as it will be all over the client’s face and it will require additional time to clean any fall out. Instead, use a pressed glitter or a glitter in a tube (like a glitter eye liner). They will apply perfectly onto the eye lid without any fall out and will stay all day and night!

9.          Good light will save you a lot of time as you will see how you apply and blend products onto a client’s face right away, without the need to ask her to come “into the light” for you to see if everything looks good.

  • The top time saving tip? Invest in a good (and portable) lighting system. Especially if you work on site and do not know what the light will be in every job that you will have.

10.      Also working in a more comfortable position means that you will save energy and will be working faster than if you would need to bend all the time to the client’s face, you will soon get tired and even exhausted, your back will hurt, your hands may get shaky and makeup application can turn into something really hard to accomplish.

  • Get yourself a makeup chair (we actually recommend portable chairs from Ikea or other stores as they will be more comfortable and sturdier than a traditional director’s style chair). When a client’s face is on the level of your face it will make your work more pleasant and thus much faster (and you will feel so much better at the end of the day!). Always remember to take care of yourself, too!

 

Top Makeup Misconceptions

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We are always hearing about new makeup tips or makeup products that are worth trying from all the mass media sources: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc… it can be overwhelming! Are they all worth it? Should you really follow all of these tips or use every single product that is recommended?

Sometimes media confuses us by convincing us that most famous makeup artists are using a certain product or technique when they’ve actually never actually practiced it! For example, once social media claimed that Mario Dedivanovic was using Banana Powder by Ben Nye on Kim K for under the eye area and the truth is that he actually never did! You know what happened anyways? The moment that everyone saw this article they swept this powder from the shelves in a second to try to achieve the same look. The same can go for makeup tips and techniques, sometimes we are blindly following trends because we read or heard somewhere about them without even understanding why and the basis of the technique, especially when it doesn’t do any good for our appearance! Since all of us have different face and eye shapes some techniques or products will be good for one and a disaster for another; this is something you should always take into account when following your favorite tips and buying into the hype!

Here are some makeup misconceptions – remember always stop and think before applying!:

1.      We think that to get a better coverage out of foundation we have to layer a thick layer of it at once. The truth? It will look extremely cakey! It is much better when you are needing to obtain coverage, you instead apply a thin layer of a product, wait for it to melt into the skin, then apply another layer and check if it is enough and your complexion is evened out the way you want it to. This is how you will get perfect coverage without looking like you are wearing a ton of foundation.

2.      Using your fingers for blending your foundation instead of a brush or sponge. You can’t blend it perfectly with your fingers as sometimes you will press harder, sometimes more lightly. You will also be using way too much product with your fingers! Use a brush or a beauty sponge to blend out the foundation. These tools will help you blend the foundation seamlessly so that it will look like “no makeup” on your skin.

3.      Choosing the right foundation shade on the back of your arm. The color of your arm will always differ from your face! So the truth is you have to even out your complexion with reference to your neck and chest. If they are all different colors you should match everything to your chest (if you are wearing something with a low neckline) and to your neck in all other cases. You will always test on your jaw line to see if it works. Yes, this is the toughest part but is key in helping you find and match the right shade of foundation.

4.      Setting a foundation with powder otherwise it will melt away! It is not true at all. Sometimes women have dry skin and powder after foundation will make their skin look patchy and even drier and they will feel tightness throughout the day making it not comfortable to wear. Use powder only if you feel like you have to use it, for example, if your skin is oily or to get rid of tackiness, or use it only on some areas (like T-zone); you can leave other parts of your face free from powder. Another benefit of not using powder? It will give you a glowing skin effect that is so popular right now.

5.      Highlighting the tip of your nose will make it look slimmer and more glamorous. The truth? This may look good in those social media selfies (if you like the look) but it will look very weird and it will elongate your nose in real life. Add highlighter only to the bridge of your nose!

6.      Thinking that smokey eyes/defined lower eye lid will make your eyes smaller. Or applying eye pencil into the waterline will make them smaller. The truth? This is actually the opposite - “smokey eyes” is a makeup technique which actually makes your eyes bigger and more defined, but you have to do it the right way! Do not leave any harsh lines unblended; every eye shadow has to be blended perfectly into each other making the transition into your skin seamless in order to add more definition to your eyes. As soon as you perfect smokey eyes technique you will use it most of the time as it is the easiest and fastest way to enhance your eyes.

7.      Believing that thick eye liner will make your eyes bigger. The truth? Dark color pulls your eyes back meaning it may make them appear smaller. If you want to accentuate your eyes draw a thin/medium line, not the thick one!

8.      Thinking that eye shadows cannot be the same color with your eye color. This is a misconception. The truth is choosing different hues of the same color of your eyes can make your eyes pop the same as the usage of contrasting colors! You just have to experiment and find the right ones.

9.      We were told for years that you cannot use shimmery eye shadows on elderly women. This is so not true! Shimmery eye shadows chosen wisely will look beautifully refined (as well as on all other ladies)! Just remember that shimmer should not be chunky, instead the shimmer should provide subtle highlight and be finely ground, this is the key to making it look great!

10.  Over-lining your lips will make them look fuller. The truth? If you over-line your lips too much they will look unnatural! To create an illusion of bigger lips try an ombré technique by applying a lighter shade in the center of your lips that will diffuse into the darker one in the corners of your lips. Also you can use highlighter on your cupid’s bow and use wisely a contouring shade right above and below your lips to create an illusion of a shade. These tricks instead will definitely help your lips appear to look bigger.

11.  Choosing High Definition (HD) powder for your face will make you look flawless in pictures. The truth is powders with silica (and this is the main ingredient in these types of powders) will help blur imperfections on your face giving an airbrushed effect but at the same time even the smallest amount of powder with silica will cause a tremendous flashback. This doesn’t mean you cannot use HD powders at all, as they have amazing benefits in terms of makeup making your skin look flawless. You can wear them on a daily basis or for a photo shoot either in a studio, for example, where they use special equipment to diffuse the light without it being too harsh causing a flashback or if you or your client is going to a photo shoot taking place outside at daytime. There will be plenty of natural light and a flash will not cause the flashback and the dreaded white spots in the photo on your face. However, if you are going to any event where photographers will mostly use flash photography and it will be inside or in the evening you may look like a ghost with white traces of powder all over your face! The key is knowing what kind of light will be used on the event, so you may choose the right product to avoid. Keep in mind, silica is not the only culprit for flashback - titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide (which usually are a part of makeup that has SPF) can have the same effect as silica, but usually are not as extreme. A lot of primers or foundations contain SPF so if you know that you or your client will go to the event that will have mostly flash photography just don’t use these kinds of products. If your client insists on using some products with SPF you may lessen its flashback effect by applying a colored powder on top of the foundation. Otherwise you will end up with not flattering white spots on your face when being photographed.

The most important tool to always remember? Practice, don't worry, and have fun! Continued practice and experimentation will always make perfect. If you make mistakes, you will always learn from them and it will help you to continue to improve your craft. Some techniques will work for you while they may not work for others; makeup is an artistry and each individual artist will have their own different forms of expression!