It’s 2016 and the beauty industry has seen its biggest influx of growth in a long time. With the overwhelming increase in social media, encouragement to pursue a career you love, and the rise of entrepreneurship, more and more wonderful people are gracing the beauty industry. From makeup artist and manicurist, like myself, to the fabulous hair and fashion stylist, amazing models and photographers, countless creative individuals are coming together to collaborate. As a team there are so many areas to dominate, there’s bridal, award winning films, breathtaking magazine editorials, and many more. So what does the business of beauty really take?
Here’s the truth…
Before even getting to the artistry of it all, considering a career in this industry is so much more than just “doing makeup”, “doing nails”, or “styling.”Before you truly get to showcase your craft there many facets of your personal brand that must built; legal protection, creating a brand identity, becoming a trendsetter, etc. There’s also going to school, becoming licensed, continuing education, following state board regulations, staying ahead of trends, product knowledge, pricing, conducting administrative duties, effective communication skills, investing, traveling risk (usually out of pocket), engaging, building and retaining clientele just to name a few!!
It is truly a whirlwind of ups and downs, struggling, and doubt to do what we love! Believe it or not the beauty industry is one of the toughest industries to survive in. Thick skin, creativity and a hustle unlike any other is key! Why? Because between building a brand, looking for clients and keeping up to date with new trends there’s always someone better and cheaper right around the corner. But for those that remain motivated and steadfast, they become successful in their own right.
In the business of beauty you work 24 hours, 7 days, 12 months with no real days off. For the editorial artist like me, you travel back and forth taking low paying to no pay jobs to get in where you can, until you can creative something so impressive you no longer have to introduce yourself. And at times you will have to defend your career choice! You study the fashion bibles like W Magazine, Bazaar and Vogue. You build relationships in hopes of being mentored or finding work. You pull inspiration from art, movement and museums. You persuade clients to pay you what you’re worth. Sometimes you have to take endless gigs to fill gaps to make ends meet. Other days you fill your schedule with test shoots – collaborative unpaid shoots testing new models, photographers, artists, techniques or concepts and hope you get photos back…that year or period.
You do all of this because there’s no ‘normal’ work day for an beauty artist. Some days you may have call times as early as 4am, while some weeks you have no guaranteed work. While another day you may be answering 80 emails. Other times an artist is paying their way to get to another state for an opportunity that could make your career. Whatever the schedule calls for, we make sure we pull ourselves together, arm ourselves with a massive kit ready, and prepare to professionally engage with clients, art directors, photographers, models/talent, other artist, managers and the list goes on for a job that could last 1-hour or 12-hours. Head home, clean, re-organise and repeat.
But through this all, you’re actively practicing and perfecting your craft. You’re finding a niche and working towards your goal. You maybe do something crazy like move to Paris to assist another artist and live off of bread. All while praying you’re doing what you’re supposed to and loving it.
The beauty industry is unique and organic. Inexplicable to those not in it. But rewarding to those who are diligent and determined.