So this post is mainly for people who own their own business, freelancers and anyone who use social media for their work in general. Before I start, let me explain my background in business marketing:
About 2 years ago, my Instagram follower count was nearly 1,000.
I had a Facebook account with hundreds of Facebook "friends", a growing YouTube channel and was very active with my work. Mainly this was because I worked with an amazing company, LimeLight by Alcone (now called LimeLife by Alcone). While working with this company, I learned a lot of tricks for marketing on social media. Everything from how to make Facebook LIVES to interacting with clients, was what we learned with the company. A HUGE part of that marketing training was BRANDING. We actually had to abide by strict rules on how we branded our business, especially since we were using the company's name, who's father company, Alcone Co. was a GIGANTIC granddaddy in the Professional world of makeup & catered to makeup artists, actors, dancers and big name buyers in the film industry.
A lot has changed since then, but as with every learning experience, I want share what I learned so your business can thrive as did mine.
These tips are basics that apply to all businesses, that everyone should know, and these basics will help your business grow, ONLY if you are consistent! Let's go!
1) Know Your Brand
How familiar are you with the term "branding"?
Branding is your brand. It's your style, your colors, your fonts, your photography, and really what you're known for. It's a consistent theme of your product or business. For an example, look at the contrasting differences below from Urban Decay Cosmetics to 100% Pure Cosmetics. What do you notice?
Urban Decay is more edgy, a little darker, Lisa Frank feeling.
100% Pure is a clean, polished & clean brand.
In this post, we are going to keep referring back to these photos, so study them carefully.
2) Choose a Professional Profile Photo
What do both brands have in common?
Notice both for their profile photo have their business logo, very professional and easily recognizable by clients rather that having their CEO's photo or a huge staff of employees photo as their profile. For big businesses this makes sense, but if you're a small freelancer and don't have a logo yet, there's nothing wrong with having a professional, (no selfie vibe at all!!) photo for your profile photo.
One of my profile photos I keep going back to on my Instagram page, is a nice black and white one that a Professional photographer took while collaborating with them on a photoshoot. It's been a staple for my brand. Nothing beats getting a photographer to photograph some nice shots of you working or a nice headshot that best represents your brand.
Dark, sloppy pixelated selfies are not professional, they may give the impression you're lazy and don't care, on top of giving the impression you aren't hard working and may not care about cleanliness. Not attractive, unacceptable and it's not going to attract the clients you want to do business with.
#3) Color Theme
This is a fun one! Notice the examples above again as a reference:
The colors for each brand are consistent.
Urban Decay has as their main theme, a dark purple, black, and white thing going on. 100% Pure chose a nice rose petal pink and white. And we see that theme all through their photos and website.
So colors are a HUGE part of your brand. What main colors have you chosen for your brand? 4 or less is perfect! The most professional shades are black, white, gray and perhaps a gold or nice pastel color depending on your brand. Black and white are classic and you can never go wrong with them. This is probably going to be the most difficult of decisions to make. You want your business to stand out while still being updated and trendy. You want to look professional and organized, but with so many beautiful colors to choose from, what do you do? Pinterest may help as well as Google Images. It may take time for you to know what you like, and that's okay. Your business is growing, so be patient.
How important are fonts and lettering?
Again, look at the reference brands above.
Fonts and lettering tell a big story about you and your brand. It's all up to you.
A few rules of the thumb are to NEVER USE BOLD CAPPED LETTERING, WHY IS THAT?
Bold lettering could give a very negative impression, pushing perspective clients away and that's a no-no. Bold lettering may only be used when announcing a SALE or something IMPORTANT.
That way, when something big is happening, clients are more likely to stop and read the post and act on it.
So lettering is your choice, it's your style, your brand, you make the call. And play with it, see what you like and have fun!
#5) Know What Kind of Audience You Want to Attract
What kind of people do you think the above brands are attracting?
Perhaps makeup artists, makeup junkies, beauty lovers, hair stylists, teens, tweens, and all women of different ages. True, but both brands are still attracting different types, let's look at them closely:
Mainly geared toward the edgy, the risk takers, the lovers of dramatic makeup. Their brand originated in the 1990's and has climbed the marketing quite well since then.
Mainly attracting vegan, plant-based lovers of the earth and environment. The women who love this brand may not wear a lot of makeup, but believe in the best ingredients that feed their skin and isn't harmful for the environment. The contrasting brand above, would perhaps be distasteful and they wouldn't purchase from them.
So how do you attract a certain kind of group of people? Simple, USE HASHTAGS
Hashtags, my good old little buddies who got me to nearly 1,000 followers at one time in history. These little guys are awesome! And they are so many times overlooked by small businesses! You guys, start using them! Please! Hashtags will be discussed in part 2 of this branding series on my blog. Stay tuned!
Have a lovely day and thanks for reading,
Wedding Makeup Consultation Preview
It's March and wedding season is in full bloom! Wedding consultations are something I get asked about quite a lot. In this post, I'll share with you in detail, some of the main components of how I do a consultation or trial with a client. Wedding consultations or trials have become extremely helpful in the past because they minimize any problems with miscommunication, they save time, the bride gets what she wants, the bride is more comfortable with their makeup artist ( in this case, me), and the biggest one of them all... It saves time and anxiety! When you're rushing around with a big bridal party, having enough time & being anxiety-free are vital! Let's get started!
So this is where someone emails or messages me via Instagram or text, and wants more info. We discuss when they're getting married, what look they want and a little on their budget.
Then I'll give them an idea of the price range and check my planner. If I have spaces open, I'll keep that slot open for them as a temporary opening. I don't officially book clients until we sign a contract. Until the contract is signed, I am not obligated to do their wedding.
Then I ask them if they'd like to set up a consultation/trial and it can be at their home or mine. Travel fees apply if outside of Sanilac County. They'll choose and we set up a date.
ALWAYS I ask my brides to PLEASE wear a white top, preferable with a v-neck for color matching purposes and also to see how colors look against her coloring. This is a crucial step that often gets overlooked. And of course, I ask the bride to send me ideas of what she's looking for in her makeup, as well as photos of herself so I can make recommendations. Also, I ask that in the meantime, for the bride to get together what her wedding colors will be.
Day of Consultation/Trial
With Pro Kit (makeup kit) & lighting in hand along with the pre-made wedding contract, makeup application form and Pinterest photos of recommendations, I'm off! Before we do any makeup, I ask a TON of questions! It helps to get to know her personality so she can be herself on her big day! After time spent on questions and suggestions are complete, we come up with a price for the bride, sign the contract and the initial deposit is made before I do any work.
Also, I love it when brides or their friends/family ask me questions, it puts them at ease and helps us all stay on the same page. Don't be afraid to tell your MUA what you want, and please ask questions! I love it when you tell me you don't like something or do like something, I want you to be happy and for you to be 100% satisfied with your experience. Quality & honesty is so important!
Next is makeup, it really all depends on who's present at the trial. Sometimes the mother-of-the-bride is there, or it may be her friends or just her. When that's the case, we may do a sample trial for those in the wedding party. We play around with colors, color match the bride, determining skintype, and ask the friend or who else is with her for a second opinion. That is quite a nice extra, the friend or Mom is usually honest and helps us get the look right.
Mainly wedding makeup is easy, light and natural, but really everyone is different.
After we have the colors own, and the type and shape of lashes, I make a super detailed list of what I used, how the bride liked it and other notes. This is where the time saving part comes in.
We laugh and have fun as we finish up and chat a bit.
Another nice thing about having a consultation, is the bride usually goes out after she get's her makeup done ( who wouldn't want to show off their makeover?). This helps because the bride will report back to me on how well the makeup lasted, how the colors looked under different lighting and what her friends/family thought of the look. The feedback is so nice because now we know what needs tweaking & polishing up.
So there you go, it's pretty simple, really nothing to it.
If you are bride or even if you want your makeup done for a special occasion, ask for a consultation, it really is the best thing you can do to get the most out of your investment and have a memorable experience!
Thank you for reading,
Photos courtesy of Goole Images. I do not claim these images as my own.
What does minimalist makeup mean to you?
Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below this post, I'd love to hear what you think :)
Minimalist makeup is a huge right now. It's attracting people who are into simplifying their life (minimalists), vegans, eco-conscious consumers, busy Moms, and basically anyone who wants a simple non-complicated makeup routine.
Minimalist Makeup Defined
Minimalist makeup may be defined as the basic of the basics. The bare essentials. It may appeal to women who want a natural look that is quick & easy with low maintenance. As Makeup Artists, this is a look we all begin with for our clients and then we build upon the basic foundation until our clients are happy. It's easy, and works for all women. It's classy, chic & timeless. Here are 5 simple ways to achieve this look:
I'm starting with eyes because doing the eye makeup first means easy clean up for eyeshadow fall-out. Using this technique, you won't get fall-out if you're using a cream eyeshadow. Simply use a nice neutral shade (not too light it will age you, and not too dark, it's unnatural). For this type of look try a nice shimmery champagne shade. Easily apply with your finger and blend upward (there should be no visible line). If you have brushes, use them. True minimalists cut down on their use of makeup brushes, that's why I suggest using your fingers.
Eyeliner or brown shadow are rarely used since it's an unnecessary expense & takes up space.
We'll do mascara last...
The main goal of a minimalist look is a natural, even toned complexion with a glow. Minimalists may avoid using unnecessary items like concealers, color correctors, blush, bronzer, a contour kit, and little extras that waste money & harm the environment. They are happy with a simple, light handed application that doesn't mask their natural beauty. Let's not forget that most minimalists don't use toxic, cheap drug store makeup, they no longer bombard their skin with chemical-filled cosmetics, skincare or unhealthy eating habits. Less is more and less is safer for the skin...
So this really depends on you and your skin type. That being said, you may want to try a tinted foundation or simply adding some illuminating moisturizer to your liquid foundation (don't forget to lightly set the makeup). Use concealer sparingly or skip it all together. If you use cream or powder foundation, try hyper hydrating your skin so it's baby soft in order to look more natural and less powdery or dry. The goal is to look fresh, glowing & radiant (not to be confused with looking greasy or shiny). For most women, our skin isn't naturally glowing. So in this case, I can't help but use a wee bit of highlighter on the cheek bones & where else it's needed. It really does make a HUGE difference in how we look. 100% Pure sells a fabulous collection of highlighters. You can also use their eyeshadow shade "Star Bright" which is also a dupe for Mary Lou Luminizer from the Balm Cosmetics. Find 100% Pure here: www.100percentpure.com/collections/eyeshadow/products/fruit-pigmented-eye-shadow
Also, a little bronzer for some natural warmth is a nice touch. Slight hint of blush may be added, but no over kill.
The goal is to keep a natural shape ( no Instagram or drag queen brows here my friends). If you are older and have sparse brows, draw on or fill in your brows according to your natural shape. There's no need to hide your natural shape, that's what makes you, unique.
The look we're going for is a nice bright-eyed, no cakey, no clumply, no spidery lashes look. Apply a minimal amount to lower lashes if desired. The color usually is black or brown black. Personally, I'd opt for black.
Most minimalist own very few lip colors. They may include:
A classic red, a flattering neutral or nude color and a nice pink or plum. Don't forget the chapstick.
The beauty in this type of look is really timeless. You can go anywhere in the world, to any event, any time of day with this look. It's classic. It saves us money. It's easy to apply and it's better for the environment especially when we are using non-toxic green beauty. A top brand I've been transitioning to, is 100% Pure, tap the link below to visit their website.
Also, Etsy offers a lot of choices for naturally made cosmetics. You may be surprised!
I hope this post has helped you and thank you for reading.
Have a most beautiful day lovelies,
Until next time,
2019, a new year full of hopes and dreams. What are your goals or things you look forward to this year?
One of mine is to work extra hard at living an eco-conscious, budget-friendly lifestyle. One way I've been doing that over the past 6 months or so, is by adding good, earth friendly products into my life. Dr. Bronner's soap fits that category perfectly, as it does a lot and replaces things I don't really need like special facial cleansers, hand soap, body wash, shaving cream and anything else the multi-billion dollar marketing companies try to convince us we need. Dr. Bronner's liquid castille soap is perfect for a lot of things. Men & women use it and love how universal it is for the home and everyday life. If you haven't heard of it or do not know much about it, keep reading.
According to their website, basically you can use Dr. Bronner’s soaps for:
3) hands and hair
4) for bathing,
6) brushing your teeth
7) rinsing fruit
9) washing dishes by hand
10) doing laundry
11) washing makeup brushes
12) mopping floors
13) all-purpose cleaning
14) washing windows
15) scrubbing toilets
16) washing pets
17) controlling dust mites
18) killing ants and aphids.
For recipes & dilutions, visit this link: www.drbronner.com/all-one-blog/2017/06/dilutions-cheat-sheet-dr-bronners-pure-castile-soap/
"Dr. Bronner's was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third- generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family." - Dr. Bronner's website. With 150 years and 5 generations of soapmaking, they know what they're doing.
Dr. Bronner's, is a 100% Certified Organic, safe, clean, environmentally friendly business. Most soap, facial cleansers, and brush cleaners contain fillers, harmful chemicals, cancer causing parabens, and harmful fragrances. Dr. Bronner's products contain pure, rich, preservative-free ingredients, not to mention they're biodegradable. Their popularity is growing and for good reason!
So, if you didn't know already, Dr. Bronner's soap lasts FOREVER! Because of the quality and effectiveness of the product, it only takes a teeny, tiny drop depending on what you're using it for. Just think of the money you'll save!
Excellent Brush/Sponge Cleaner
There has only been one true, wonderful product I've loved to clean my brushes with: Young Coconut Milk Brush & Sponge Cleaner from LimeLife by Alcone (original formula from the London Brush Company). It would be the ONLY cleaner I would use to clean my brushes. And if it wasn't out of my price range, I'd still be using it. However after much research on earth friendly brands, I decided to try Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap just to see how it works as a brush cleaner. The same exact beautiful quick, clean and smooth results but far less expensive! Not only are my brushes being cleaned quickly, but this soap leaves them feeling soft and fresh! Cleaning with baby soap or other soaps, can leave brushes feeling dry takes their fluffliness out. Professional brush cleaners my at times be too overpriced and not worth the unnecessary expense.
If you have allergies or sensitive skin, you may want to try the unscented baby one (it's the one with the baby blue label).
Using tips: For now, I've learned that taking 1 tiny drop for every big brush and lathering it up cleans them quite well. You may want to use warm to almost hot water.
So I've tried to keep this post easy to read, informative & to the point as possible. I hope it was helpful. It's scary to think that maybe the soaps we use to clean with aren't so clean after all...
Thanks for reading,
Of course, one can't go wrong with a little additional research, tap or click the next sentence: Cancer causing soap ingredients.
Calling all you busy, on-the-go ladies out there! Nobody got time to spend 30-45 minutes on getting our makeup done every morning! Check out these quick tips for an easy & quick classic look! Enjoy lovelies!
Hydrated & Clear Skin = Happy Skin
Quickly start the day off with your favorite ultra hydrating moisturizer. Skincare routines are a must & easy once we get in the habit.
Brows Speak Louder Than Words
Eyebrows frame the face, they are one of the first things people look at when they see us, next to our smile. That being said, giving our brows extra attention & time is the best tip I've learned & something I want to share with you! Keep them trim & polished & you'll always look timeless.
Lots of Lashes
There's something unexplainable of how a woman looks with natural looking full lashes. That being the case, if you're fortunate to have naturally full long lashes, mascara is all you need. If you're not so fortunate, try lash extensions or try Ardell false lashes (over time, false lashes get easier & easier to apply, you'll be a pro in no time). Ardell lashes look natural, so don't worry about them being noticeable. They can look jaw-dropping if applied correctly.
Classic Red Lip or Neutral Berry Gloss
Classic red lipstick with a flawless face of makeup is so old-movie classic, it gives me goosebumps! Make sure you have the correct undertone & finish for your coloring. And please remember, red lips only look great if face makeup is applied flawlessly with no acne or visible redness or discoloration. As another option, which is what I personally prefer, is a nice berry or close to my lip color shade with a gloss. It's natural & classic without looking too over made up. Bobbi Brown's "Brown" lipstick is to die for! Along with Clinique's almost lipstick in "Black Honey" is perfection! The nice thing about a berry or brown lip color, is I don't feel as much pressure to spend so much time achieving perfect skin through foundation if that makes any sense at all :)
So in summary, try focusing on:
Hydrated & healthy skin
Flawless trimmed, precise natural looking brows
Nice lip color
I hope these tips were helpful, sending hugs to all,
It's November already! Yay! Another month, and it's also a month where the climate begins to change especially for those of us living in the Northern part of the globe. Today's post will be about winter skincare tips for guys & gals alike, it's a universal post that can help everyone of every age! Let's get started!
Do you have a skincare routine?
Most of us do, in fact, a simple routine washing of our face every morning counts. All of us wash our face in the morning & in the evening, and if you don't, that's just nasty... I'm just saying... A skincare routine for men & women, usually consists of using a washcloth, water, soap & afterward using a toner and moisturizer or applying your acne or anti-aging products your dermatologist recommended. The importance of this routine is realized when our skin gets dehydrated & dry during winter months. Here are some tips to keep your skin happy & refreshed day & night.
Try Using a Moisturizing Cleanser
Even using a natural bar soap with avocado oil & a mix of plant derived ingredients, can help our skin feeling softer for winter. Of course, we would want to keep that bar of soap strictly for our face (bar soap is notorious for carrying and spreading germs & bacteria). That's the least expensive way to help our skin, cleansing wise. Another idea is to use a nice super hydrating plant-based moisturizing cleanser from our local health food store, or some of the brands listed below this post.
How About a Good Exfoliator?
Exfoliators or exfoliating cleansers, in my experience & research, are not healthy for our skin, no matter how gentle they may seem. However, they do work when we have visibly dry skin. As long as they aren't used everyday, they are wonderful to keep on hand. Even using a mixture of ground up almonds & oatmeal (my Mom's old recipe) works really well!
Try a Heavy Duty Moisturizer
It all depends on your skin type of course, but it's not rocket science. Always test out the texture of it beforehand. Some may feel too greasy or too thick on the skin. So shop around, read reviews, find your skin type and don't be afraid to ask for samples. Or to save money, my personal favorite is good old Bragg's Organic, un-refined, un-filtered, extra virgin olive oil!
Try Limiting Coffee, Hot Chocolate & Teas
This one's a killer, I know. However, it's a fact that these drinks do drain our bodies of nutrients & water needed to keep our skin healthy & glowing. Water rich, plant based foods will help tremendously! Drinking water constantly will work wonders too. Our skin will show us it's appreciation in the end. We can do it!
Back to the Moisturizer...
Something I've learned as a MUA, is that moisturizers are used by everyone. Because a good moisturizer actually PROTECTS our skin, creating a barrier against the harsh elements outside, it acts as an invisible guard throughout the day. Actors, TV Anchormen, talk show hosts, construction workers, all have it on hand.
Point: When we look good, we feel good & vice versa. So I hope this post helped you in some way, and I wish you the very best. Sending hugs to all,
Top skincare brands to try:
LimeLife by Alcone (Skin Polish is to die for!)
So I thought it would be fun to share what a Freelance Makeup Artist's schedule is like, especially on a huge day with a beautiful bride, her lovely mother & her loyal bridesmaids. In this post, I'm going to take you along on one of my favorite jobs of 2018... Let's go!
Friday evening (the night before) start to prep, clean my Pro Kit, get things in the car & make sure everything is all ready. Foundation shades, work outfit is laid out & extra brushes are packed.
4:00am - Wake-up & get ready for the big day ahead! The nerves & excitement are overflowing as we have all been prepping for this day for months.
5:15am - Time to leave & pick up my lovely assistant for the day. I just love this part! To leave when it's dark out before anyone else is awake is pure heaven! There's something about seeing the morning dew that adds something to the day. So, after picking up Alana, we allow extra time to grab a bite to eat & head out for the 1 hour trip north to Harbor Beach.
7:00am - We're here! The getting ready location is on the lake, yay! So we snap a few early morning photos & get our stuff out of the car.
7:30am - After setting up the lighting, chair, skincare & makeup as well as a nice gift for our lovely client, we are ready to get to work! While my assistant Alana does some filming & photography for marketing & social media, I'm working from this point onward non-stop for the next 5 hours. Our lovely hair stylists arrive to work their wonders on the ladies, which looking at the photos they did a beautiful job! We have lots of laughs, someone puts on the music, coffee and we're good to go!
11:45am - 1 bride, 1 mother-of-the-bride & I think 4 or 5 bridesmaids later, we finished on time, yay! The photographer Christine, from Captured by Christine Photography has arrived, ready to do her thing. Not forgetting to give business cards away, getting everyone's social media & contact info for future jobs, we are ready to leave. The girls start getting their dresses on, and everything starts to look put together. There's a buzz of excitement in the air, as everyone is rushing to get ready. People are coming in & out as the flowers arrive, such fun!
So all in all the day went very well. The satisfaction of seeing your clients 100% happy & knowing you've achieved the look they wanted, feels amazing! Jennifer was truly one of my favorite brides to work with, we got along really well and that's so important when you're working 3 inches from someone's face or personal space. I could go on, but this is all you needed to know. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about this lovely work & the work that goes into helping someone's special day even more special. Until next time,
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