In the world of makeup artists I am an oddity.
Every makeup artist I’ve ever met has a kit full of an incredible amount of product from innumerable brands of all different quality levels, categories and price points. You know the kind I’m talking about: The ones that have so many pallets that the bottom of their case is a veritable graveyard of forgotten colors. Add to that all of the tools (blending sponges, brushes, air brushing kit, eyebrow stencils, etc.) that they own, yet only use a fraction of, and it’s no wonder that the average woman watching them is intimidated.
Heck, I get intimidated!
I wasn’t the girl growing up that loved all things makeup. The only makeup I was permitted to wear growing up was the stage makeup required for the various types of musical productions I was cast in. So, by the time I reached high school, I wasn’t really interested in everyday makeup. In fact, I didn’t start wearing makeup until halfway through my junior year when I mistakenly found myself in a beauty pageant; mistakenly because I did it with a friend as moral support, assuming she’d be chosen, then I ended up getting the call. I didn’t even realize it was a pageant until too late! I thought it was just an interview for a scholarship program.
Needless to say, it should come as no surprise that I would approach being a makeup artist in a different manner than most.
When I started out in business nine years ago, becoming a makeup artist was not the plan. I got my Skin Analyst Certification through a renowned prestige skin care and cosmetics company with dreams of building an in-home skin analysis and treatment business in mind. Then, as a result of goals I hit making product sales, I won a trip to my company’s beauty institute and had the privilege of sitting through a makeup artistry training with a professional makeup artist that worked the runways at New York Fashion Week.
My dream changed after that.
I had just gotten back to the U.S. from a trip to Austria and Germany before going to the beauty institute in Michigan. The day I got back in the country, my purse was stolen; cash, cards and cell phone gone. I went from the best month of my life, into a season of literally having nothing but late-paid bills and dwindling credit score for months. Yet, in the midst of that I made the choice to go to Michigan, I made the choice to step out in faith, and I started to develop My Image as a freelance makeup artistry business.
Every time I thought about what I wanted My Image to be, I never saw a big business. My dream of big business was replaced with this deep, heartfelt desire to touch the lives of individual women. I wanted women of every income bracket, of every walk of life, to know that they are beautiful and that they have been created for greatness.I wanted every woman and young girl that sits in my chair to know that they are valuable, that they are strong, that they are fierce and that their life means something; that someone notices them.
So I became a makeup misfit.
I am brand loyal. Unheard of in this field! There is only one product brand of skin care and makeup in my kit. Why? Because every woman, no matter their story, deserves the best. So, I made the decision to only use the number one (occasionally number two!) prestige, naturally based, pharmaceutical grade brand in the world. If it’s good enough for the New York Fashion Week runways and for the Miss America Pageant, then it’s good enough for any woman that sits in my chair!
Then there’s the issue of pricing… I am intentional about keeping my service prices at or below average, and constantly running discounts. The longer I do this, the more I realize that there should never be a bride or homecoming hopeful that doesn’t get pampered because they can’t afford it. That fact has been particularly bothersome to me in this past season: That brides, especially, miss out on something so deserved simply because it isn’t in their budget. God has been working on my heart in this area this past year, so expect to see some drastic changes to the pricing info in coming weeks!
Location? Oh, I don’t have one. That is, I don’t have just one. I work out of my home (which quite a few of my brides have been brave enough to come to in spite of my very strong willed, social toddler!), but I mostly work on-location. So, I’ve gotten very used to hotel rooms and lobbies and random hallways and backstage areas… Oh, and there were those couple times I drove to the middle of nowhere to random cabins; once to one that didn’t have electricity for the first hour that we were there. It’s always an adventure!
I’ve had numerous beauty professionals (and others) tell me that it’ll never work. I’ve been told that there’s simply no way to have a real beauty business using only one product line and not having or renting salon space. I’ve endured many skeptical conversations and negative nay-sayers. I’ve noticed the “professionals” that give me sideways glances when they see what’s in my kit.
Two years ago, I almost let those voices win…
If not for my sister-in-law (same one the spoke into my marriage!), I might have quit! She somehow knows just how to say things to change my perspective. Might be all the education and training she's hustled through? But she made this statement to me: “If it’s not fun for you anymore, then by all means get out. But if you still find joy in it, if you still love doing it, if you still believe there’s purpose in it- then who is anyone else to define what your business should look like?”
So I choose to be a makeup misfit.
I will continue to be brand loyal, I will work hard to be affordable, I will continue to operate as a predominantly mobile business and I will continue to elevate the health (mental, emotional, physical) of every client I have the privilege to serve above all else. I am equal parts wife, mom and makeup artist; therefore, I will continue to develop a business that is more service oriented than profit driven- making skin care and makeup artistry services accessible to every wife and mom that deserves to be pampered and encouraged.
Bottom line for me: I have a calling that is greater than making youtube videos and reviewing other people’s businesses and product.
My business exists to impact every woman that trusts me enough to sit in my chair.
That is my dream. To make an impact. To leave a positive mark in the lives of as many women as I can. And to teach my daughter the importance of doing the same.