Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > New hair/makeup artist with questions!

Hair Stylist

India M

Posts: 5

Lawrence, Kansas, US

I'm India, a hair and makeup artist working in the Kansas City area. I just earned my cosmetology license and work at a salon in Lawrence. I've done a couple shoots as a model and a few as a stylist.

My questions are:
1. What kind of shots make a portfolio solid for a stylist? What are the best projects for a beginner to showcase his/her talent?

2. What are the absolute basics of a quality kit? I only have about $150 to invest in products and supplies to start with, and I need that to cover materials for my first few TFP shoots. I've done some research using inmykit.com and YouTube reviews, but I can't seem to find a budget-friendly compilation of necessities.

3. What are the best methods to build connections as a newbie? Does anybody have advice for the Midwestern scene specifically (besides moving to the coast, hahaha)?

Thank you so much for your help!

Dec 31 12 04:21 am Link

Photographer

Albertex Photography

Posts: 15417

Mansfield, Texas, US

This would probably get better responses here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/t.php?forum_id=10

Dec 31 12 08:29 am Link

Hair Stylist

India M

Posts: 5

Lawrence, Kansas, US

Albertex Photography wrote:
This would probably get better responses here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/t.php?forum_id=10

Oh, okay. I wasn't sure about the etiquette of posting in the makeup artists' board as a newbie.

I've been searching it since I submitted for approval. Many people have asked similar questions to mine but with different circumstances. I'll try starting this thread over there. Thank you.

Dec 31 12 12:53 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5317

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Sometimes the MUA’s and stylists I work with request a beauty shot that showcases their work better than, for example, a full-length fashion photo would - particularly when “extreme makeup,” a floral headpiece or an unusual hair style or body paint is involved.

There have been occasions when an MUA said she’d work a shoot for me if I’d do a shoot with her concept and the model of her choice.

A couple of MUAH’s (who love to do fashion shows) have asked me to only offer them fashion shoots with models who were at least 5’ 8” and a Size 2. (One of them asked me a few days later if I could please arrange for her to do the makeup for a model friend who is 5’ 6”.)

Others prefer to do alternative and themed shoots.

Basically what they want to add to their portfolios is the same as the type(s) of paid work that they hope to attract.

In most cases, they just look at photos of the model and decide whether the model and the concept would benefit their portfolios.

Dec 31 12 01:20 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5317

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Rather than starting a duplicate thread (which would violate MM's rules), it would be better to ask a Moderator to move this one to the appropriate area.

You can do so by going to help menu, selecting Contact a Mod, selecting forum-related issues as the topic and sending a request.

Dec 31 12 01:22 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Tegan Lynn MUA

Posts: 511

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

I hate to break it to you, but $150 isn't going to cut it. I would suggest saving up the money and building a solid kit before trying to do shoots. It's like a photographer trying to get jobs with a point a shoot. Your kit represents the tools of your trade, and $150 isn't very much to invest in a career.
EDIT: This is important to you as a beginning artist. The industry is very small, and word of mouth is going to be your best friend and worst enemy. Do you want to be known as "That new wannabe artist who couldn't handle the job requirements because she cheaped out on her kit"? Or would you rather wait a few months, build your kit and skills, and then come onto the scene as "That awesome artist who is prepared for everything and can work whatever makeup magic you ask of her"? First impressions are everything. Even if you build up your kit as you go, that reputation you got when starting out is going to be tough to shake.

I spent about a year researching products and slowly building my kit to a level where I could handle the vast array of requirements placed on a working artist. It cost me about $2000, and I considered it to be a very basic kit. Still, $2000 is less than a single term of university cost me... in terms of investment in a career, it's a drop in the bucket.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to get practice in, and it's important to do so, I'd just be practicing my skills on friends at this point until my kit was up to speed.

The basics: Foundation. Either get a palette that covers the range of skin tones, or if working with liquid, be sure to get the basic colours you can use to mix together to handle all different skin tones (The lightest and darkest shades in both red and yellow undertones, as well as a few adjusters). INVEST YOUR MONEY HERE. Perfecting skin is the most important part of your job as a makeup artist, and while colourful products are fun to play with, they won't serve you well on most jobs. A good cream based foundation can negate the need for concealer in a lot of cases.

Blush: Get the basics, a nice versatile pink and peach for lighter skin tones, and a brighter/intense colour for use on dark skin tones. A lot of eyeshadows and lipsticks can be used as blushes and highlighters, so look into multi-tasking products, you might not even need to buy blush. Cream based products can be used almost anywhere. I'd honestly say that I spent way too much on different blush colours when starting out. I didn't need to, most of the colours were already on one of my eyeshadow palettes.

Eyeshadow: Get a good neutral palette. This will be the staple of most of your work. Those crazy colours come later. You can get away with cheaper shadows in the beginning, especially if you invest in a good primer.

Eyeliner: I'd recommend a high quality creamy eyeliner pencil in both black and brown. You can use water and a damp brush to transform most eyeshadows into liquid liner in a pinch.

Mascara: Maybelline. No need to spend tons of money here.

Lips: basics are a good neutral, a bridal pink, and a bright red. Instead of spending money on dozens on lipsticks, try a liquid product such as OCC lip tar where you can mix a few basic colours to create any lip shade you need.

EDIT: Brushes: try Crown Brush and Royal & Langnickel, they make very affordable decent quality brushes.

My personal favourite cost effective products:

Yaby cosmetics. Amazing quality for the price, palettes mix and match. The best of both worlds eyeshadow palette will have you set for everything. I wouldn't have been able to afford building my kit when I did without Yaby.

Graftobian HD glamour creme foundation. They make a lot of useful palettes, and a little goes a loooooooong way so it lasts a good while.

OCC Lip Tar. Crazy pigment, and you can't beat a product that's designed to be mixed.

The HMS forums are a wealth of information. Read through the FAQs for more helpful tips.

Dec 31 12 02:14 pm Link

Hair Stylist

India M

Posts: 5

Lawrence, Kansas, US

Camerosity - Awesome tips! I do make floral hairpieces and fascinators that would be nice in a natural, romantic set. My strong suit is the ever-popular pin-up style, and I'm sure lots of models and some photographers would like to do a TFP shoot that's fun and retro.

After I post this response I'll try and have the thread moved to the MUAH board.

Tegan Lynn - The wimpy $150 is just for immediate purchases. I'll be investing about $100 per month until I've got a respectable kit. For the meantime, I'm a hairstylist first. If I'm hired for makeup, I'll make it clear what to expect from my skill level and product quality. Hopefully the honesty won't tarnish my reputation?

Thank you so much for the product advice! I'm in love with Yaby pearl paints and OCC (lip tars look amazing, can't wait to try some). The Graftobian HD foundation palettes look awesome, but I'm not sure which ones to buy in order to cover a majority of skin tones while keeping it a bit minimalistic (to start out). Any advice there?

Dec 31 12 04:23 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Tegan Lynn MUA

Posts: 511

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

As long as you are up front about being a beginner, it shouldn't be too much of a problem... maybe use the word 'aspiring', that sounds a bit better lol. I dunno, personally I found it very frustrating starting out and realizing just how much was needed for a basic look, once you factor in ethnicity and the myriad of skin conditions... not having the right product for the job is a bitch. You end up with photos that you suddenly realize are worthless because you needed that surprise product without realizing in order to make the shot work. The practice is about the most beneficial thing, and that you can get from friends easy. Still, learning experiences are always good.

I'm not sure what the predominant skin tone is in your area, but I'd purchase foundation palettes based on that. If you're not sure maybe start out with the neutrals, and purchase a red and yellow adjuster to use as needed. If you find yourself predominantly adding red... then you know to buy more red based foundations and vice versa. It seems to vary based on the individual artist's area.

And I'm in love with OCC. Lip tar is totally worth the money, I'm actually selling some of mine that are in the old packaging (nothing wrong with the product, I just like the new pointed tips better), if you're interested PM me.

Dec 31 12 05:01 pm Link

Photographer

Chuck Goodenough

Posts: 544

Los Angeles, California, US

India M wrote:
My questions are:
1. What kind of shots make a portfolio solid for a stylist? What are the best projects for a beginner to showcase his/her talent?

My best advice for a hair portfolio is:
1) Work with the best faces you can. Connect with make-up people who know great photographers.  When you see or work on somone who has a great face and hair - try to put together a team to shoot.
2) Get close-ups for your book.  The photographer may have a full length concept.  Close ups will help you a lot more at first.

Chuck

Dec 31 12 05:46 pm Link

Model

Fergy

Posts: 22387

Fenton, Michigan, US

Moderator Note!
Moving to Makeup and Hair Forum

Dec 31 12 10:43 pm Link

Photographer

S de Varax

Posts: 7271

Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

http://inmykit.com/

extremely valuable to the kit-building professional. invest in palettes or certain spectrum of colours and mix and match as needed.
not too sure about hairstyling kits though, I should pay more attention to my hairstylists.

Jan 01 13 01:48 am Link

Makeup Artist

Linda Chudomelova

Posts: 133

Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

You can also check Mary's www.camerareadycosmetics.com

They have a great range of professional products, samples, color matching service and some readily-made kits that I'd be all over if it didn't cost me so much to import them. sad

Best of luck.

Jan 01 13 03:38 am Link

Makeup Artist

MA YE

Posts: 39

New York, New York, US

Tegan Lynn MUA wrote:
EDIT: This is important to you as a beginning artist. The industry is very small, and word of mouth is going to be your best friend and worst enemy. Do you want to be known as "That new wannabe artist who couldn't handle the job requirements because she cheaped out on her kit"? Or would you rather wait a few months, build your kit and skills, and then come onto the scene as "That awesome artist who is prepared for everything and can work whatever makeup magic you ask of her"? First impressions are everything. Even if you build up your kit as you go, that reputation you got when starting out is going to be tough to shake.

Great advice, but a little oversimplified-- if we were all judged this way there'd be a lot more of us who were agency repped.

I'd advise getting a part time job at a counter or Sephora, free stuff!

Jan 01 13 07:26 am Link

Hair Stylist

rick lesser

Posts: 726

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

Don't rush.  You'll get there.  We all have to pay our dues.  Everyone's advice here is right on.  When I needed to buy makeup brushes in the beginning I went to the art supply store.  Great brushes and really good prices.  I collected makeup from here and there.  It gave me a well rounded kit.  Practice practice practice.  Shadow someone.  I too worked the cosmetic counters for Germaine Monte and Lancome.  Do you do makeup in the salon you work in?  If not suggest to the owner that you apply a touch face to clients after the hair service at no charge.  You shouldn't need much of an investment and the salon should help with the cost.  You'll be surprised how something so simple will become so rewarding.  R-

Jan 05 13 12:47 pm Link