HOW MAKEUP SAVED ME (A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF THE POWER OF MAKEUP)

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A NOTE FROM ONLINE MAKEUP ACADEMY: The Online Makeup Academy team is honored to work with Madison King, a highschool student (and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor) to fulfill her career goals and dreams of becoming a professional Makeup Artist. Madison has excelled in her work (check out a small sample of her artistry below and be sure to follow her YouTube and Instagram for continued inspiration!). Madison has completed our Essential Makeup Artist course, and is moving on to the Advanced Makeup Artist course - read her story below on the power of makeup and how it has transformed her life:


On February 14, 2018 my world was shattered.

On that fateful day, an angry and deeply troubled 19-year-old former student whose name I shall never mention returned to my beloved high school—Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—armed with an assault rifle and smoke grenades and carried out the deadliest high school shooting in United States history, brutally murdering seventeen students and faculty members, and injuring seventeen more.

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I was in a third-floor classroom at the time—Room #1255 for Creative Writing—one of the classrooms that received the brunt of the gunfire. The number of dead and injured would certainly have been higher had it not been for my incredibly brave teacher, Mrs. Stacey Lippel, who saved as many of us as she could, putting her own life on the line to do so. To this day I don’t fully remember exactly how everything played out, no doubt the result of my brain working overtime to protect me from what my eyes and ears were forced to witness. Every now and then an unwanted memory will blitz its way out of the darkness and into my conscious mind… A flicker of muzzle flash. A pool of blood. Staccato gunfire. A piercing scream.

The cries of my friends…

And then everything will just go dark and quiet.

I prefer the dark and quiet.

Unfortunately, I was unable to return to MSD as a “brick and mortar” student. I tried to go back, but the first time I heard a fire alarm I was immediately transported back to that nightmarish day. Trust me when I tell you, panic attacks and high school simply don’t mix. Now, I keep up with my studies courtesy of technology as an online student.

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And while I’m still on pace to graduate on time with the rest of my classmates, I truly miss the camaraderie of the other students, along with the liveliness of the classrooms—something I didn’t ever think I’d admit to. Cinderella’s song, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” really hammered home—and I’m not even a big fan of that band!

Before that horrible Valentine’s Day event, I was just a normal teenage girl, trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. Dealing with the ups and downs of boys, and friends, and relationships, and acne, and diets and… The list goes on.

Navigating the ladders and pitfalls of social media, filled with trolls and bullies and all sorts of emojis, from smiley faces to poop faces and everything in between. And above all else, wondering just what it was I wanted to do for a living when I got older.


But now, everything was different. I felt like there was no longer any joy in my life, and that there might never be any joy again. Mind you, I wasn’t considering checking out of this world—I just wasn’t considering anything at all. I was just, well, existing.

Then I remembered one of the things that I truly loved. Something I had a genuine passion for. Something I could spend hours learning about, and even more hours actually doing. Makeup.

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Now before you label me as shallow, please understand I’m not suggesting thinking about lipstick and mascara and eye shadow suddenly made all my bad memories disappear. I wish it were that simple. But it doesn’t work like that.

For me, makeup is a wonderful distraction. A vacation of sorts from real life.

A total escape. You see, when I look at a face, I see the ultimate blank canvas—a blank canvas that can become anything. The same way a sculptor views a block of clay, or a chef views an empty pan, that’s exactly how I feel when I see a person’s face.

I don’t see it as it is—I see it for what it can become. More importanly, I see what it can become with my own two hands and my own creativity.

Makeup is my outlet. My one true happy place. And as I’ve learned in the time since that terrible happening, makeup is my coping mechanism. It helps me be me.

When I’m creating, my mind is cleansed of the dark memories and instantly replenished with bright realities. I’m suddenly fully present in what I’m doing, and I feel good about the process, and ultimately I feel good about myself. I’m not dwelling in the past anymore. I’m moving forward.

So that got me thinking… Thinking of the future, something I was unable to do for a long time after the shooting.

And for the first time in what seemed like forever, I smiled. I smiled because I realized that I had found my career path, and to my amazement, it could actually be intertwined with what brings me true happiness.

They say if you do something you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. So I decided to embark on a journey to become a professional makeup artist.

The first step in that journey was the Online Makeup Academy, a technological vehicle that I knew could take me exactly where I wanted to go—and maybe even further than I ever imagined going! They have a number of courses to choose from, and fantastic instructors that have achieved what I hope to someday—a mastery of the artistry of makeup.

I’ll never forget what happened in school that day; but I know that I have to keep on living, and keep my mind busy with the things that embrace the sunlight and shut out the darkness. So if makeup is the route to that destination, then I intend to follow it as far as it will take me. And if all else fails, well, at least I’ll learn the secret to impeccable blending and to creating the smokiest of eyes.

Top New (and Fun!) Makeup Trends To Experiment With

With each year comes new beauty possibilities, new experiments, and new trends. As we reflect halfway through 2017 (can you believe it!?), we are reporting on the new, fun, and exciting makeup looks that have been brought to the forefront this year, and will continue to withstand the test of time!

While these are a set of beauty trends that you can follow and always use as a guide for beauty inspiration, keep in mind to always stay true to yourself (and/or your client’s aesthetic!) and expand on these looks to create a vision that is uniquely your own and artistically you.

Dark Lips

Think wine stained lips, dark reds and brown ombre. There is something about the intensity of this look combined with the fresh eyes that were on the runway. Effortless, with a touch of provocative darkness.

Two-Tone Lips

I’m sure you’ve seen this look on your favorite Instagram stars? We love it! This style may seem more suitable for the runway or editorial department, but with the right color pairings, you can add this to your daily look. The two tones will actually highlight the dimension of your lips (if properly blended), and you really don’t have to go crazy with the colors, a gorgeous shade of matte red on the upper lip combined with a deeper variation on the bottom will do trick. At a distance the two colors will look the same, but from close up, it will give you the playfulness you are looking for.

Blush it Up

This year’s blush look is anything but subtle (and this look is especially perfect for the coming Summer months as we regain our sunkissed glow!). MAC pigment works great for this look, but be sure not to go overboard. A subtle pop of color and flush will go a long way!

Gloss it Up

We are not only talking about the lips, eyelids can even apply here too (and a touch of gloss on the skin lends for the perfect cheekbone or collarbone sheen)! A touch of shimmer highlights the best features and will create the perfect youthful glow.

Watercolor Eyes

Pastels! Think of a mix of lavender, aqua, and gold shadows – you are the artist! This look brings a surreal delicacy to the makeup world; a romantic and artistic fairy world meets fashion, and transforms it into beauty! 

Smudgy Eye

If pastels are not your thing, and you are more of a smoky eye type of girl or guy, then you have to try the smudgy eye. As seen on the runway of Christopher Kane, where a patchy eyeshadow represented cigarette ash. Over at Balmain and Altuzarra where you can see how the black liner was used to create a bold smudgy finish. Meanwhile at Rag & Bone kohl liner was applied to give a "late night, early morning" feel. What does that mean for you? If your liner is a little smudged out, it's no longer a big deal – messy can truly be the new cool (with the right look of course!)

Glitter Heaven

Glitter is definitely still going strong. This is the perfect opportunity to fulfill your editorial dreams, as glitter always photographs so well! Some great new trend tips – used in your cut crease, scattered below your lashline, as a highlight, the opportunities are endless!

Powerful Brows

A beauty staple of the past few seasons, statement brows are here to stay. And what better way to tie your entire look together than framing your face with a beautifully bold brow? They don’t need to be perfectly trimmed or arched – in fact, some extra hairs are a good thing (though we’re not sure how we feel about the “feather-caterpillar brow” that’s taken Instagram by storm) – they should still look groomed. To get the look, try brow gels with fibers for added thickness.

This is the year to vamp up your style with new and edgy looks that take you outside of your comfort zone to truly make a statement. Some of the biggest trends we have seen on the runway this past season have a lot to do with color, being bold and standing out from the crowd. It's like the beauty world awakened and wants to bring the magic back! We love this and can’t wait to see how Makeup Artists continue to take these looks to the next level!