In a word, no.
This is something I get asked all the time as a makeup artist, although not quite so bluntly. All too often I get asked to attend shoots for free or on a time for prints basis. Given, while I was still training in makeup artistry I used to work for free quite a lot and would find myself rushed off my feet with 12 clients to make over in a few hours. It was hard work and it taught me one thing: working for free was something I couldn’t afford to do anymore.
I spent time and money travelling, buying products and even rallying around giving lifts to people, and although I don’t mind this the majority of the time, there comes a point where you really need to start expecting payment for the hard work you put in.
Working on the lovely Lydia at the studio
Any makeup artist knows that time invested in a shoot, no matter how big or small, means using up our quality products that we spend a lot of money on maintaining or replenishing every so often. It also means wear and tear on our brushes and more time spent afterwards thoroughly cleaning our kit and making sure our brushes are spotless for the next job that comes along. It’s not simply just a matter of rocking up on set with a kit, applying the makeup then merrily skipping away home again. It’s a process and an art form that cannot be rushed along and that must be done properly to obtain the best results.
Don’t get me wrong, should Charlotte Tilbury call me up out of the blue and ask me to help her out on the catwalk makeup or La Chapelle needs and MUA at short notice, I’d be there in a shot, because this kind of work would advance my portfolio from what it already is and give me more valuable experience of working with some of the people whom I admire.
It always astounds me when people contact me asking me to travel miles to shoots where the model is being paid, and so is the photographer, but they “don’t have the budget for the makeup.” I think this is terrible for two reasons; for one, it really devalues something that is quite essential on a shoot – you can have the most gorgeous clothes, the best hair stylist and the most amazing photographer, but throw in a bad makeup artist and you may as well kiss that winning shot goodbye. And for two, it’s extremely insulting on somebody who has dedicated years to training and perfecting the art of makeup.
Even the smallest jobs mean wear and tear on brushes
I’ve found a few things have really helped me in gaining recognition and building up my reputation in the makeup business, I’ve highlighted a few below that I hope will help you too.
Training and qualifications
Today, there are so many amazing makeup artists who have never received formal training and are in top positions right now. You don’t necessarily need a qualification to be a makeup artist, but it helps. I trained at The Beauty Academy where I received my Complete Makeup Artistry diploma – I found that this gave me a good grounding in makeup and also gave me knowledge on skin types and how best to treat them.
I gained most of my experience by working at my Dad’s photography studio, Divers Photography, and working for Illamasqua. Throughout my time at Illamasqua, I was trained by their fabulous team and the sheer amount of customers we got allowed me to experiment on a variety of different skin types, eye shapes and lip shapes. It also taught me how to deal with very different personalities!
At the studio, I made models over for Boudoir shoots which gave me a good understanding of how makeup comes across on camera, it also taught me how to apply makeup precisely due to the detail the cameras pick up. I’m fortunate to have an extremely loving, caring Dad who’s all too happy to bring a model in for me to make up so I can practice my work – he then does the photography and together we can critique the results.
From time to time, you will be asked to work for free. It happens, and sometimes it’s okay to accept this. For example, if you truly feel that the work you are going to undertake will help you to develop professionally or improve your portfolio, then by all means, take it into consideration. However, if the results will be amateur at best and will not benefit you, it is probably better to politely decline.
Social Media and Advertising
Social media is your best friend in Makeup Artistry. See it as free advertising that reaches millions of people worldwide. You never quite know who is reading your blog or looking at your facebook or twitter pages. It’s worth uploading images of your work onto your social media channels and networking with the people who share your similar interests. A note of caution: if you do intend to use your social media as your virtual shop window, it’s important to uphold your professional image and ensure that you don’t share or write anything that can be deemed as offensive to anybody. I prefer to keep my facebook page mostly professional and I am always aware that companies that I want to work for may one day come across my page, and I want my image to be a positive one. Sure, keep your personality, but make sure to keep your integrity.
Making a profile on a website such as PurplePort is also great as it’s a virtual portfolio and social networking site in one.
Make sure that your potential clients feel that they can approach you easily. This works in two ways; number one, ensure your contact details are displayed prominently and are easy to find on your social media pages. Number two, be nice! Having a beautiful personality will mean that people will want to be around you. Make sure to always be polite and courteous and once again, treat people with the respect that you would wish to be treated with. There’s nothing nicer than feeling valued.
One of the beauty images we shot of Lydia at the Divers Photography studio
Setting up in makeup artistry can be a daunting task and sometimes it can take a while to see the results of your hard work, but it’s worth remembering that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. And if it’s worth doing right, it’s worth being paid for.
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.
Every single day I check my email inbox and feel a horrible lull of dismay, once again, the PR emails have miraculously piled up within hours and once again; I need to plough through each and every one. From the usual press releases about new designer collections and preview invites, to informing me about a pair of self-heating socks or lollipops filled with bugs that I really need for Christmas…my inbox bulges with them. Maybe I’m not being completely fair here, once or twice I might come across something quite useful and relevant, which of course I’ll follow up, but this doesn’t happen all too often often.
Amongst these mostly irritating emails, I often find review requests sprinkled in between which sometimes spark my interest, but here’s the annoying part, hidden away in small type right at the base of the email is this: “We don’t have samples, but I can put you on the waiting list if you require some.” Well, of course I require them! How on earth could I review a product without even seeing it or trying it for myself? I’m proud to have built up a trust with my readers over the years that I have written online, and to write a ‘review’ of a product that I have never encountered would be counterfeit and a complete violation of that trust – this is not something I would allow to happen.
I’m certainly not alone in my aggregation, I know many people in the blogosphere who encounter the same problem daily.
Sometimes, I will even be asked to provide written work for companies or incorporate one of their site features into my own website. The problem I have here is not with the asking, I am very open to hearing from people and welcome every personal request with open arms, the thing that gets me here is that the companies expect me to do this completely free of charge.
This is something that really aggrieves me to the point of fury. Asking me to write for free is like asking your hairdresser to style your hair free of charge, or walking into Waitrose, picking up your shopping and then strolling out without paying for your goods. At the end of the day, you are asking for a professional writing service, and should expect to pay for this service just as you would expect to pay for any other service in this world. I have spent years perfecting my writing skills and I have also worked for free in order to build up my portfolio – I’ve been at the bottom and worked my way up, I’m not about to hit a snake and go tumbling back down on the board again. Sure, if the written work will complement my portfolio or will help me to develop my writing in any way, I’m all for it. But this hasn’t been the case thus far.
Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to encounter some lovely companies in the past who have sent me samples without the obligation to blog about them, or who have provided me with a service in the hope that I’ll write favourably about them. These are the companies who are business-savvy and who are also recognising the fact that the whole blogging phenomenon works both ways. It goes back to a simple saying that I’m sure we’ve all heard thousands of times but that plenty of people don’t take heed of; “Treat others as you would expect to be treated.”
Over the years, bloggers have become invaluable to companies – what with their savvy knowledge of niche industries and many devoted followers, in many a case, they can help to either make or break your brand. Bloggers have mastered the finesse of writing for the web and targeting the relevant audiences so much so that some of them have achieved an almost celebrity status.
The bloggers of today are a knowing bunch of dedicated people who are clued up not just on the writing side, but in their knowledge of social media, SEO and how to get the results they want out of their time online. For many bloggers this is their full time work, their profession, and so to ask them, or indeed me, to provide our services for free, is frankly, quite insulting.
Do you think bloggers should expect to be paid?
Should bloggers expect to work for free?
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.
As you’ll know if you keep up with my blog regularly, I recently took the plunge and had my eyebrows tattooed by the fabulous Sarah Colton (you can read this post here). I explained to Sarah how I wanted to have a really natural look, but with careful definition to help to frame my face. Sarah worked her magic and gave me the brow shape that I’d been lusting after for years and I absolutely love them! I have a beautifully defined look that is so natural that it’s hard to tell that I’ve had any help in the brow department whatsoever.
Just recently, I was introduced to the Professional Eye & Brow Palette* by HD Brows. The palette, which retails at £29.95, features all six shades from the best-selling HD Brows Eye & Brow Palettes that are all long lasting and anti-smudge and will also stay fresh for up to 24 hours. Perfect for work or special evenings out!
I was really keen to try out the palette and see what strong, defined looks I could create with my new brows.
First of all, the palette is so sleek that it’s easy to carry around in my makeup bag or even in my kit, and the compact mirror makes it easy for touch-ups or application en-route. I also love that the palette features a double-ended brush – an angled brow brush on one end, with a dome sponge on the other for precise application and blending.
HD Brows professional Eye & Brow Palette colours
HD Brows professional Eye & Brow Palette colour swatches
The first thing I noticed is that the colours are extremely highly pigmented which means a little goes a long way, and that there’s a great colour payoff. The six colours that the palette features are; Ash Blonde, Warm Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Rich Brown and Carbon. The two colours that I used were Ash Blonde for the beginning of the brow blended out into Rich Brown at the tail of the brow. I found that these two colours were perfect for my colouring and with the variety available in the palette, I’m sure that anybody could find a colour to suit them.
I’ve added a few images below to show you the difference between my natural hairstroke tattooed brow compared to the HD Brows powdered brow.
HD Brow (left) and Natural Hairstroke tattooed brow (right). And a hint of a post-bath hair turban…
Natural Hairstroke Tattooed brow compared to a HD defined brow
As you can see from the images above, it’s so easy to create a much different look using the HD Professional Palette. I love both of the looks and it’s nice to be able to be so flexible in which way I choose to make up my brows!
These brows were defined using ‘Rich Brown’ from the HD Brows set
For anybody who likes to experiment with their brows or prefers a more defined look, I’d really recommend the HD Pro Palette. If you’d like to take a look at the palette in more detail, you can view it on the HD Brows website here.
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013
Another crisp, cool winter night is upon us and tonight, my thoughts drifted to considering just how much my makeup bag staples have shifted over the years. No longer the teen experimenting with Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse or Maxfactor’s Colour Adapt foundation – which FYI, never did quite adapt from it’s orange hue to my pale complexion – I find it quite ironic how lately, I’ve gone back to one of the first ‘proper’ foundations my Mum ever treated me to: Double Wear.
Now, I think this is a brave choice for two reasons – number one, the last time I used this foundation again for the first time, my skin broke out terribly and I cursed Lauder for the inconvenience, number two, my skin is prone to dryness in the winter and as a general rule, matte foundations like Double Wear are better suited to normal to combination skin. However, I’m pretty happy that I’ve reverted back to my old failsafe.
I tend to go through stages, and usually, I’m a MAC girl through and through, but I’ve found lately that it just won’t stay put on my confused skin. Hence a little route through the makeup case to find my old favourite.
Anyway, all this got me to thinking about the rest of the makeup that I use daily and I thought I’d quite like to share my staples with you seen as though I enjoy reading these types of posts on other blogs.
First of all, welcome to one of my favourite little areas of my home…my dressing table…
I find that this the perfect area to experiment with makeup and get ready for the day! My Dad actually gave me the fabulous Hollywood mirror from his studio because the lighting in my home is pretty terrible – this ensures that I have great lighting to be able to apply my makeup at any time of the day.
As for the makeup part, I have a number of failsafes that I have used for years such as the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara or the Urban Decay Naked Palette. These are items I’ve strayed from in the past but which I keep coming back to time and time again. Below are a few images of a few items I like to have to hand at all times.
Estée Lauder Double Wear in Cool Bone
Estée Lauder Double Wear Mineral Rich Powder in Intensity 1.0
MAC Harmony blush (for contouring)
Illamasqua Lover blush
Soap & Glory Glow All Out Luminizing Radiance Face Powder
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
MAC Matte lipstick in Dangerous
KIKO Super Gloss in 105
Sometimes I also like to add a black liquid liner to the mix to add that gorgeous cat-eye flick, my preferred make is Illamasqua’s Precision Ink in Abyss. I also use a No7 eye pencil in Brown for my brows but it’s that tiny that I didn’t think it looked very nice in the image!
As you can see from the images, I like to use a selection of makeup brushes from Real Techniques, Crown and Illamasqua. I find that the Real Techniques brushes are beautiful for applying foundation, powders and blush, but for the eyes, I never tend to stray away from my trusty Crown brushes.
Although this is the makeup I wear most regularly, my makeup drawer is actually packed full of tons of other products that I might use every other day to spice up my regular look a little. In fact, I have to clear it out weekly and sort through what is really a ‘must have’ for that week and the rest gets taken back to the makeup case in my dressing room.
Something I do wear every single day without fail is perfume – I just don’t feel polished without it and I couldn’t imagine venturing out without a spritz of my favourite scent! My signature scent is Givenchy’s Hot Couture which I have absolutely adored for years. My other firm favourites that I wear in rotation are; Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolph, Si Lolita by Lolita Lempicka, The One by Dolce and Gabbana and Bombshell by Victoria’s Secret.
I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek inside my makeup bag! What are your makeup staples?
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.
Behind the deep cherry red hues of lipsticks lined up screaming to be tried on, and the sleek, elegant packaging of many a beautiful beauty creation could lie a sorry tale of cruelty and suffering. When you look at a new beauty product, what do you consider? The price? The colour? The brand? How about which animal might have died for the sake of vanity?
Animal testing has long been a huge issue in the beauty world, and indeed the fickle world of fashion, and for anybody who has followed me on my social media channels will know, I cannot stand it. The idea that a poor, helpless animal might have died in sacrifice for my flawless finish base really sickens me to the stomach.
So much so, that in an ideal world, every single makeup product that I used would be cruelty free – a process I am working my way through at a rather quick pace.
Today, while I was browsing through the internet updating myself on the latest cosmetic news for a client campaign, I came across something that gave me a huge surge of quiet elation, there in front of me in bold black and white, was a beautiful piece of writing informing me that China has finally started to make a forward push to phasing out its animal testing requirements. Yes. China’s Food & Drug Administration is planning to phase out its current requirement that domestically manufactured cosmetics be tested on animals which will come into play from June 2014. I am thrilled at the news, but rather wish it was to be a little sooner.
Maybe this comes as a surprise to many, that the barbaric act of animal testing is still very much alive? As The Independent reports, “although cosmetic animal testing is already banned across the European Union, Israel and India, and the EU implemented an additional marketing ban this year, people are often amazed to find out that testing lipsticks, soaps and skin creams on animals remains legal in more than 80 percent of the world. Up until this announcement, China was the only country in the world with mandatory animal testing requirements for domestically manufactured cosmetic products.”
Although this is positively good news for the bunnies and mice of the World, it’s also a healthy little boost for commerce too; many a brand who have stayed true to their cruelty free ethics, such as the long-campaigning LUSH and The Body Shop, will be able to trade in China, and Chinese brands will be able to sell in the EU. I can’t help but think; two birds, one stone.
I feel that once again, The Independent summed it all up wonderfully, “let us not forget this: right up until the day the EU ban on cosmetics animal testing came into force, industries and commercial brands insisted animals were ‘essential’ and a ban would have ‘dire’ and ‘catastrophic’ consequences. They were proved wrong. The EU has got its beauty cruelty free and this latest change shows that one day China will get it too.”
Feature image courtesy of Maggiesemple.
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2013.