Be a Patient Makeup Artist. Your Journey is Yours.

Have you ever felt like making excuses for your career? “The industry is over-saturated, our field is being destroyed by Instagram FAKEup artists, where I’m located gives me a disadvantage.” It’s time to squash all of that. If you truly feel like makeup is your calling and you can’t envision ever doing anything else, then stick with it! I promise you’re going to be broke, worn down, exhausted and have feelings of defeat in the beginning. It’s all necessary to mold you into an artist worthy of the work this world has to offer and honestly, the possibilities are endless.

Everyone wants to know how I got started, so here’s the scoop. Unfiltered,  uncensored, whatever. I’m an open book and love to share my experiences with all of you fine individuals in hopes of inspiring a young me out there trying to figure out this thing we call life.  When I was about 19-20 (around 2006-2007) years old I had just given birth to my daughter Courtney. I was working at Chili's as a server and attending my first year of college when I learned about makeup school. - Chili's was one of my 5 million jobs I’ve had in my lifetime before realizing my purpose. I seemed to always have “issues” that ultimately led me to quitting whatever job I had. It was a feeling of, I don’t fit in here... or maybe more like this is fine, then it slowly feels less and less fine and I quit. I’ve never actually tried to put this emotion into words so please bear with me! haha - After many jobs I learned that I didn’t like to work for corporations so I stayed far away from them and focused my energy on trying to find family owned businesses to work for. I’d never gone over 10 days without a job since I was 15 years old so getting a job was never the issue, it was keeping it.

One day after work my daughters aunt Amanda asked me to give her a ride to a makeup school orientation and I agreed. I was planning on waiting in the car but for whatever reason ended up going inside too. During this orientation something seemed to snap into place mentally or maybe even spiritually. All I knew is I felt shook. I was INSPIRED. I had always done makeup for my friends and family. I remember in high school often times giving my project partner a makeover rather than finishing our homework. It made sense. I had to do this!

Sadly the makeup school I attended was still new at the time and wasn’t an amazing program. I was left to learn a lot of things on my own through good old fashioned trial and error which I’m more than ok with. I live for the artistic process of life now. Being in school they talked about all the different work opportunities available to an artist or stylist. I was clueless that I could make great money doing something that’s so fun!

I started doing random jobs, friends and family weddings and prom clients for next to nothing so I could  get as much experience as possible. Fast forward to 2010 and I get a really exciting call. The band X Japan was coming to Chicago to play Lollapalooza and they wanted to book me as their makeup artist! If you’re  unfamiliar, Lolla is a large concert in Chicago every year. It was amazing. I was hanging back stage with all the bands, celebs, open bar, free massages, air conditioned bathrooms and Cosmo lounges. A few days later I got a call that the band was going on an international tour and wanted me to come along. I thought for suuuuure this was going to be my “big break”. I was on cloud 9 getting to travel across the US and Canada on a tour bus and jets. Guess what tho? When I got home nothing really actually changed. It was business as usual. Back to my office job. Back to the normal business hustle. It would be 2.5 years more until I decided to finally take the leap and become a full time freelance bad ass.  

I've come to terms with the fact that I have what you could categorize as "impulse issues". I go into a store for example, specifically for a black skirt I need for a gig. 2 hours later I've opened a Nordstrom credit card and spent $600.Impulse decisions can be a terrible thing, but one in particular has shaped my entire life for the best. The decision to not actually go to lunch, but to instead quit my job and leave the toxic work environment I had been dealing with for 2+ years. If you knew me back then you know that leaving my day job to pursue my passion was something I would never shut the fuck up about. I remember it like it was just last year. I grabbed my daughters picture off the desk and headed out to go to Subway, or that's what I said, and I just kept driving. I was terrified. I actually went that day and applied at a bunch of places closer to home but after a few days of being home and working on my computer I started to see results. I was booking things. I decided that this was going to work. The whole sink or swim thing had an effect on me and drove me to call and email potential business partners from dusk till dawn. With time my business gained some traction and things snowballed and now I live pretty comfortably and don't have to answer to anyone but my clients. I like it this way. When the clients are yours, things are different. I love what I do and I love to make people happy by going above and beyond for them.

Working for myself since 2012, almost 6 years now holy shit. 

I spent many years without and agent/agency until recently. I've always known I prefer editorial/print work... this past week my heart was so full after shooting a full spread for Dillard's. I can't wait to share them with you but in the meantime, here are some behind the scenes shots. 

Don't quit. Every experience is a small piece of the amazing artist you're going to become. Keep building.

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- Da Makeup Mediator