Book Review: Assisting Rules! by DeShawn Hatcher

Are you new to the industry like me? Then you NEED this book!

In it the author and makeup industry veteran DeShawn Hatcher spells out exactly what you need to do if you want to start assisting senior artists. Going over everything from set etiquette to doing your market research to emailing the artists you would like to assist, you will find it all in this book.  She lays out golden rules that should be obvious, but may not be to some artists, such as not trying to connect with your key artists clients behind their back. It's a serious no-no. 

Additionally, this book isn't just information, but also provides multiple activities to work through in order to continue your learning. 

If you want to learn and grow as an artist, and further your career, read this book and take its lessons to heart!

Get your copy as

** I purchased this book with my own money and all opinions are my own. I receive no compensation from the above links. **

Top Tips On Sanitation

A very important part of being a professional artist that is often overlooked is working in a clean and sanitary manner. This relates to how you interact with your clients, how you work with your products, and how you keep your kit. 

My Disposable Product Kit

My Disposable Product Kit

While I am not an expert, I have learned quite a bit about sanitation and always try to be on the ball to keep myself and my clients safe. Because let's be honest, when you apply makeup you are coming in very close contact with not just skin, but mucus membranes, and body fluids. Using disposable applicators for some items and always having both clean tools and clean products is key! My favorite site for buying disposable products in bulk is Qosmedix because they have a large selection and the cheapest prices I've found.

So how do we make sure we are keeping everything sanitary? Here are my top tips for keeping it clean.

  • The first thing you should do when beginning a job is wash your hands! I also like to follow up with hand sanitizer in front of the client. Be sure to avoid the very fragrant kinds as they can be quite irritating to some people. Additionally I clean my hands between each client.
  • Keep all your products clean! You should arrive to every job with a clean kit. This means your bottles, eyeliners, palettes, and even your zip bags and containers are as clean as possible inside and out. They shouldn't be caked in powder, splattered with liquids, or have loose pencil shavings hanging out. It doesn't send a good impression and clients will wonder if they should trust the product you're applying to their eyes if it comes out of a dirty bag. 
  • Clean your brushes! It's sad how common it is to see artists show up with brushes encrusted in old products and then just start using them on their new client. *Shudder* Between every job used brushes should be given a deep clean. There are tons of brush cleaners on the market at every price point so there is no excuse for this! Personally I like Dr. Bronner's Bar Soap for deep cleaning. I like the lavender scent but they have plenty to choose from. I then follow up with spritzes of 70% alcohol. Additionally, while on a job you should either have multiple sets of brushes or use a quick drying cleaner between individual clients. I like Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner because of its vanilla scent, but again there are plenty to choose from depending on your preferences. 
  • Scoop out or dispense cream and liquid products! You should never be going back and forth with your brush into a cream or liquid product. Once you do, you've forever contaminated that product as bacteria will start to grow. This goes for everything from cream highlights and blushes, to concealers and foundations, to gel and liquid liners, to lipsticks and glosses. Using a spatula, whether stainless steel or disposable, scoop out a small amount of the product onto a palette or the back of a clean hand and work from that. Liquids can be pumped or squeezed in the same manner. Paw Palettes are great because they fit on your wrist or fingers and it's one less thing for you to hold!
  • For foundation you can use clean tools or disposable sponges. I always purchase the latex free sponges since the allergy is fairly common. There are also disposable lip brushes and lip gloss wands if you haven't depotted your lipsticks and have non-squeeze tube glosses.
  • Use mascara wands! If an artist tries to use mascara straight out of the tube using the brush it comes with, back away quickly unless it is new and they plan to give you the whole tube! You should always use disposable wands for mascara on clients. If you need to get more mascara after the fist coat, you need to use a new wand each time you dip into the tube. There are too many things, from infections to eyelash mites, that could be transferred from person to person and you would never want to risk someone's eyesight! There are all types of wands on the market now. From traditional, to silicone, to unique shapes and even lower lash wands. They only cost pennies each when buying in bulk. 
  • Eye, Lip, Brow and any other pencils should be cleaned and sharpened between clients. Spray the pencil with 70% alcohol, spray your sharpener with the same alcohol, and then give it a few twists to remove that top layer of product.
  • Powder products generally do not need to be dispensed as you would creams because there is no liquid for bacteria to grow in. However giving them a wipe down with a tissue once in a while, or if you prefer a spritz of something like Beauty So Clean, isn't a bad idea. 

Those are my basic tips for keeping a sanitary kit. Hopefully these will help newer artists set themselves on the right path and help clients identify potential artists from which they should steer clear. Your clients and your products will thank you for maintaining a clean kit and it will set you apart from other less hygienic artists. 

Until next time,

~ Natalie

*Some of the above links may be affiliate links. This means I make a small commission if you choose to purchase using that link. You are never obligated to use the above links, but if you do it is very much appreciated.*

Pro Kit Additions: Face Atelier, Viseart, and Senna

Over the last year and a half I've been slowly building my professional makeup kit. I feel like I currently have a solid complete kit but I'm always examining new products and trying to upgrade and add products as budgets allow. Some of the newest additions are Face Atelier Pro Ultra Foundations, Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes, and the Senna Brow Book.

The Face Atelier Pro Ultra Foundation comes in kit friendly plastic bottles with pumps. With a long lasting and much lauded formula, FA gives the skin a beautiful natural finish. I chose several shades from light to very dark in order to cover all skin tones. I can mix and match these to create a custom blended shade for each client or model. In addition I purchased the 0- mixing shade to lighten foundations for the fairest of the fair. I purchased these from Frends Beauty.

I've also finally gotten my hands on the most beautiful eyeshadow palettes created in Paris by Viseart cosmetics. I have had my eyes on these for quite a while now, and when a great sale over at Alcone Company popped up I couldn't resist any longer. To start with I choose the Neutral Matte 01 and the Bridal Satin 03 palettes. These will be great workhorse palettes that will cover the most used shades. These shadows are so buttery and pigmented that I know I will be purchasing more of these palettes in the future!

Last but certainly not least, I have added the Senna Cosmetics Brow Book to my kit. There are nine shades of brow powder chosen by brand creator and brow expert Eugenia Weston that are perfect on their own or can be blended and mixed to create the perfect color. The book also includes a versatile brow wax and brow highlight shade. I think one of the best things about this brow book for professional makeup artists, is that each shade is removable and you can purchase individual refills for your most used shades. I purchased mine at Camera Ready Cosmetics.

So those are just a few of the additions I have added to my kit in the last couple of months. Have you added anything great to your personal or professional kit lately? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

~ Natalie

Reflection and Growth

Something I think is an invaluable skill for a makeup artist, and especially as a new freelancer, is self reflection.

After each photoshoot, job, or test I sit down and ask myself a few questions.

  • How do I feel the the event went?
  • What could I have done better?
  • Were there any challenges?
  • Was there any direction, application technique or product that caused me trouble?
  • Is there something specific I want to improve on?
  • What did I learn?

I do the same thing once I receive the images from the event with the addition of a few questions.

  • Did the makeup translate on camera how I thought it would?
  • How about the colors and intensity?
  • Did the makeup work with the lighting appropriately?
  • For longer events, did the makeup last as long as it needed to?
  • Is the makeup as symmetrical as possible?
  • Should I have added more or less product anywhere?
  • Did the photographer or client have any specific notes?

Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and environment of a job and not realize until afterwards you could have made better decisions. I find that taking the time to write down the answers to these questions causes me to really analyze the work I have done and be able to learn and grow from every experience I have. 

How do you challenge yourself to learn and grow? Let me know down below!

Until next time,

~ Natalie

YouTube MUA's Who Know Their Stuff

In many ways it is both a blessing and curse that anyone these days can start their own YouTube channel and quickly begin dispensing information, advice, and opinions on any number of topics. One of the most popular of these subjects is the world of makeup, beauty, and skincare. 

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Building a Kit

Other than passion and education, one of the first steps I find myself taking as a new and aspiring makeup artist is to build my first kit. Time after time I read seasoned pros tell you that it's a never ending journey. With it comes trial-and-error, examining new beauty innovations and whittling down products to personal favorites that suit both your style and your clientele. In future posts I'll talk about what I've chosen specifically so far, but today I'm talking about how I've acquired the information to start the process.

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Stila Convertible Color Palette Review

From the Spring 2015 Collection, Stila premiered this limited edition palette of their much loved convertible colors. Containing 12 shades, some part of the permanent collection and some exclusive to the palette, these cream products can be used on cheeks and lips.

I've seen many pros stock the convertible colors as a staple in their kit so I had to jump on this palette while I had the chance. 

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