Since opening the makeup studio in 2008 I've had many students from all over the world come to take private classes with me. Some, from as far a Kuwait, India, and Israel, and some closer to home like Miami, Chicago, Little Rock, Virginia, Atlanta, just to name a few... Well many of them have the dream of coming back and staying here hoping to become a successful Makeup Artist.
What do you mean by success?
Ask yourself this question. What is most important to you?
a. Being the famed, super, mega-celebrity Makeup Artist? or
b. Having a financially rewarding makeup career?
A lot of people think that coming to L.A. is getting them closer to making it in Hollywood. They drop everything at home and spend their life savings moving to California. They give themselves a "year" and if they don't make it before their savings dry out they go back home.
"There's nothing for me and this dream business of mine back in (insert town here)" is what they say. "There is no opportunity!"
If you leaned towards reason (a) then, I guess, you should come and give L.A. a try, but if you leaned towards reason (b) STAY put. Here's why.
1. Coming to L.A. will mean more competition for you. I'm not saying you can't handle a little competition, but honey, you will now be struggling more than ever to book clients. The beauty business in L.A. is over saturated. You can find a Makeup "Artist" easier than you can find a good donut shop.
I mean, here in L.A. anyone and everyone is a Makeup Artist. Everyone is competing to be better at makeup, and under the pressure to charge cheaper, work earlier, work longer, travel further, work with specific makeup brands, do hair too not just makeup, and not to mention, look good, have blue hair, buy lolashoetique, wear high waisted skirts and crop tops, carry a LV bag, drive a BMW, and most of all.... acquaintance "Sam" aka @makeupbySamthemakeupextraordinaireandfashionistatoo who knows the person, who knows the person, who knows the person, who might be able to get your foot in the door, and you don't even like Sam, you hate Sam, that snobby b*tch, her. Lol
2. You're sitting on a GOLD MINE back home!!!! "There's nothing here!" -YOU are there. Make something out of nothing and take it for what it's worth. There's ALWAYS weddings and sweet sixteens. There's always graduations, and proms. There is always a reason to get pretty. It may not be as popular there, like it is here, but what's stopping you from making it popular in your hometown? "Makeup is not the IT thing here." Well, why don't you make it the IT thing there? Do you know how much potential you have? Make the best out of your situation and, I promise, you will be successful.
3. Becoming the famed, super, mega-celebrity Makeup Artist you aspire to be doesn't have to start in L.A. Sure you're closer to Hollywood, but you can reach fame faster in your town. Once you conquer your town, you can conquer your city, then your county, then your state, then your country, and then.... what comes after that? hmmm.... world. You can be a world-wide known Artist right from your computer screen.
Start a Youtube channel and show your unique talent. Tap in to the Wedding Expo's, Charity Events, Non-Profit organizations, Grand Openings, and market yourself and your business. Live by your brand. Attend those parties and be seen. Hello! Have you NOT seen Party Monster?! Seriously, you are news worthy. Start now.
Questions? Topic Suggestions? Comment Below!
There is a huge misconception about Makeup Artist who "work" with Celebrities. We all look-up to these "High-Profile" Makeup Artists. Everyone wants to be them, or wonder how they came to be. Aspiring Makeup Artists end up neglecting their passion chasing their 6 seconds of fame and forget why they started doing makeup in the first place.
Did you know that most of these "Celebrity" Makeup Artists don't get payed? Do you know how many Celebrity Makeup Artists and Hairstylist get ripped off for their talent because most celebs think "we should be honored to work on them and have them as walking advertisements" for our business. You could be stuck doing trade work for recognition for the life of your career if you don't realize your worth.
I could name drop from here to Africa with how many celebrity encounters like this my Artist friends and I have encountered. This is the sad reality of this industry. Don't be fooled. Very few Celebrity "High-Profile" Makeup Artists are actually getting paid for their services. They are doing charity work for someone whom needs it not.
Now, I'm not saying its like this 100% of the time, but I can say 98% of the time, it is. Unless you are working with Beyonce, Madonna, Janet Jackson, or Mariah Carey (to name a few), in the words of Spoken Reasons: yooooouuuuuuu aaaaainnnntttt sssssshhhiiiieeettttt!!!!! - yet.
Don't stray from your passion chasing waterfalls. So many of my student Makeup Artists feel the pressure to push their skill onto celebrity faces. Don't feel down because you're not in the position of your favorite Celebrity Makeup Artist. Instead, make your money doing weddings and sweet-sixteens. Always remember that the "little people" are where the money is. When you feel ready to have celebrity clientele, join an agency (an agency will collect a % of the fees collected by the celebrity) or join networking clubs and recognize that you deserve to get paid adequately.
"Time is money, are you being compensated?" -Fabolous