On becoming a successful makeup artist

Article was written by our guest Natasha Katrina

It is the love of beauty for me; the glamorous beauty, the understated beauty, the creative beauty, the beauty that stirs that warm and fuzzy feeling inside when you hand your client the mirror and they say “wow”. That is my why- I want to make every single person I touch feel beautiful in their own desired way. My name is Natasha Katrina and I am honored to be known as a full time professional makeup artist. When I decided to change careers from the bustling world of hospitality and customer service to beauty and fashion, I was initially filled with a lot of self-doubt. How would I make sense of my 4-year business education? How would I be able to make a living? How would I be able to afford the products and tools to have a professional kit? So after a day (or week) of worry and anxiety, I decided I would take this one day at a time. That’s the thing about going after what you want- at first it’s a far-fetched dream, then it transitions to “maybe” a small possibility, then you go back and forth battling the fear of the unknown and then one day, you have the courage to shoot for the moon and aim to land amongst the stars.

I look back at where I started, giggle at the bold moves and conversations I had, and ultimately feel proud and fulfilled at my decision to become a full time artist.

"I learned many lessons, some good, and some hard, but it’s the difficult decisions and hard lessons that made me grow the most and find success in making this my full time career."

I believe that being an artist is more than enjoying makeup, it’s a fully encompassing business with equal parts creativity, clear communication, and the most important, excellent customer service. This is, of course, my personal point of view, but the lessons I learned in business are the same ones that I apply to my career now and I believe have led to me finding success. I believe that when deciding to pursue artistry as a full time career,  there are a few things to keep in mind. Funny enough, many of these things are also the rules of doing business in most settings.

Makeup

First things first, it’s true when “they” say that first impressions are the most important. From the first correspondence with a potential client, the way you present yourself when arriving to a job, and even the opening page of your business website or social media. In an industry with so much competition, focusing on making a great and lasting impression is imperative. I like to think of corresponding with a potential client, and even my agent, just like we (should) do in business- promptly. Early in my career, I asked another makeup artist to shadow and to my surprise, she agreed! I was elated and she asked me to send her some sample work, my social media site, and some details of what I wanted to learn in our time together. I responded back promptly and told her I’d send it all that night and continued my day, it was a long one, I got home tired, and ultimately got back to her 3 days later with all the info requested. To my surprise, she got back to me right away, but with a hard lesson-she turned me down. She (very kindly) taught me one of those lessons that would stick forever, if I wanted to be taken seriously in the industry, I would stick to my word. If I said I’d send the information that night, I should have sent it, and if I needed extra time, I should have written her so. Sigh- that was hard, but I will always remember her words and now, I stick to my timelines. If I tell a client to “standby” because I am with another client at the moment, I get back to them, that day. Even if it’s by text or pushing it back to the next day; staying on top of communication and being transparent in doing so is not only a part of doing good business, but definitely a part of being a successful artist.

Next, and possibly the most important part of finding in business, is customer service. How many times have you been in a store or restaurant and experienced bad customer service? I bet you’ve thought of that experience every time you’ve been back, if you ever went back again. Customer service in an artist setting can mean anything from your demeanor while you’re working on your client, the types of conversations you might be having (especially those you think nobody is listening to), how often you might be browsing your phone while working, and even how you follow up after the job is complete.

"I believe in treating every single person on-set with respect, showing up with a positive attitude and checking any emotional baggage at the door, honoring my commitment by showing up on time and staying through completion, and giving 150% effort to fulfill the job."

Remember, art and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so setting a clear and aligned vision with the client is an integral part of bringing it to life. Likewise, being flexible to adjustments while working is a must- if something isn’t working for the client, be quick, kind, and shift focus to something that works better.

Makeup

Lastly, and perhaps the most obvious part of finding success as an artist, is to truly hone your craft. Whether you are a self-taught artist, transitioning from retail to freelance, or are on your way to getting certified in a specialty, make sure you are an expert in your field. Understand your target market as an artist- Are you focusing on special event and bridal? Do you want to work on movie sets or in theatres? Are you destined to join the union? Whatever discipline you are going for, educate yourself heavily. Invest in the best quality products for your segment to build a fully inclusive and comprehensive kit. Connect with other artists in that field and learn from each other. Don’t ever stop learning new techniques, new ways of keeping yourself and your clients safe, and new ways to operate your business to stay efficient. Know your value and never give up. Every single day doing something you love is truly a blessing, so treat it that way! Wishing you lots of success and happiness.

XX Natasha Katrina

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