Skip to content Skip to footer
0 items - $0.00 0
0 items - $0.00 0

The Makeup Show NYC: Breaking Down Barriers and Building a Career

With Maurice Stein, Michael Devllis, Crystal Wright and James Vincent.

This is the last installment in my seminar series from The Makeup Show New York. A really helpful seminar especially for artists, getting career tips from legends is great because you get to learn from their real life experiences 😉

Living in secondary markets 

Maurice. S  Be the best you can be in your market.
Practise each individual technique 3 times. If you do, you’ll never forget it. 

Micheal D. You will not be a big NY makeup artist if you don’t live in NY. What you can do is be the best MUA where you live. My point is not that you cannot work in NY but its that you should not compare yourself to a MUAs that live in NY. 

Crystal Wright. I know a lot of artists that live in secondary markets and have stopped allowing the travel to be a barrier. If you don’t want where you live to be a barrier, stop telling people where you live. You can get a P.O box that says you live in NY and if you are willing to get on a plane or a train to get there, then it is no longer a barrier. You need to make the decision to do whatever it takes. Part of that is getting out of your comfort zone and doing what it takes.

Makeup & Hair or Just Makeup?
Crystal W. There are some segments of the market where you will be expected to do both, like  places where there are few celebrities and no high fashion, but in others like NYC and LA you can easily do just makeup. You need to take the time to pencil out areas where you will need to do both and places where you won’t. Then, you will need to either elevate yourself to the level of the Billy B’s and Sam Fine’s who only do makeup or learn to do both.

Michael D. I agree. Chicago, Miami and San Francisco are examples of secondary markets. where you will be expected to do both and if you can’t you won’t get the job.

James V. I only do makeup. On jobs where there is no budget for hair I might bring a hair person with me and split the the pay if the job is worth it, or I’ll have my agent tell them they need to get a hair person. At the end of the day you need to decide what you want to do.

Maurice S. Don’t allow yourself to get intimidated by the production. In film and television there is always a budget for each person, I know that for a fact. The same people telling you they don’t have a budget will end up at a restaurant spending more money on a bottle of wine than they would have on a hair person. The more they can save the more they get to share at the end!

Crystal W. I teach my PYP grads to stop asking people what their budget is, their budget has nothing to do with your rate. The moment you ask that you’ve already lost. If you ask more questions than you answer and listen more than you talk, then you will get people to tell you the things they don’t think you have sense enough to ask about. And its after all you’ve gotten all the details that you should give them your rate. Don’t feel compelled to answer every question somebody asks you at that particular moment.

James V. It’s ok to say no. It isn’t always about saying yes to the job. Its ok to say no when you are approached with work that isn’t the kind of work you want to do, this way you leave yourself available for the kind of jobs you want. Its also ok to say you are not available, if your schedule is too tight, tell them you are not available and if they really want you they will make it happen.
You need to be able to say (to yourself) “There is value in what I do”. Your rate is your rate, it doesn’t matter what their budget is.

Maurice S Many times we get jobs because of our qualifications but then we loose them because of our mouths and what comes out of it. Never say you cant make a job because of my kid…. just say you are booked. Do not elaborate, they don’t care why u are not available. Every time you do a good job you can get 2 more jobs from that, but each time you blow it you’ve blown 10 jobs. 2 vs 10, use your mouth intelligently.

Website, Portfolios. how important is it to have each/ both

Maurice S. I want to see the picture of just the face, if i am looking at the quality of your work I want to see it. You can have the full figure on a secondary photo but in the main one the face needs to be 75% of the picture   

Crystal W. Facebook is not your portfolio! And you are as amateurish for showing it as your portfolio as those photographers you are pissed at because they won’t take their logo off your pictures. With all the affordable website services available there is no excuse for you not to have a website. And don’t not let your cousin Mookie make your website because you will still be waiting for it this time next year.

Michael D. My rule of thumb: if I can cover your makeup with my finger don’t send me your work. Also when you send people to your Facebook page as a website, they can see your work as well as the work of any of your many MUA friends in addition to the fact that you look like an amateur for not having a proper website. Model mayhem is also not your website. Your website is your name .com. 
Do not brand another company while you are branding yourself. Don’t put Facebook on your business card and don’t put it on the front age of your website.

James V. I think the website is curtail to what we do right now but it is still important to have a hard copy portfolio. A website is more affordable. These days if you don’t exist on the internet you don’t exist. I never hire people who don’t have websites.

Micheal D.  In order to get yourself to the level confidence you need for the big jobs you need to surround yourself with that level of confidence and professionalism, whiter its at The makeup show or the BYP workshop or in a class taught by one of the 1st pros in the industry. network and know people so that when you need to call on a really good hair stylist you will now one to call.

James V. This show is pro only. Every one in here is a potential contact. Talk to the people t the booths cos these are the people you need to know. They are people you can reach out to for support and education you will need to take your career to the next level.

Final Word…
Micheal. D  Make a list of all the barriers stopping you from aching your goals. Before you start write Time, Money & Location because they are definitely on the list . If you write them down it helps you start to find ways to overcome them. Then work on them and strike them off one after the other.

Crystal W. The idea of my book 30 days at 100% is that if you look at the barriers and you say “I am 100% when…”  figure what what you need to do to be at your beat and do it. Remember discipline is doing what you are supposed to do whether you like it or not.

Maurice S. Two words network and practise. If you really truly want to get better try improving your skill with a practise group. Put together a small group of (3-5) artists you can trust, preferably artists better than yourself. Practise on each other, this way you can correct each other especially since you are more likely to have different strengths and weakness.



  • Khadine (Cosmetic Passion)
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    EXCELLENT recap Stella! I was there at the seminar and you touched on all the important points. Felt like I was back there listening live again! 🙂

    p.s. What Crystal Wright kept referring to was "PYP"…an acronym for "Packaging Your Portfolio," which is a career-building workshop that she offers 😉

  • Stella
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Thanks hon, correction noted xoxo

  • Adedolapo
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Am not a Make Up Artist-Am a seamstress-but I read this and learnt loads!

  • Ebs
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    Thank you so much for this Stella. I couldn't go to The MakeUp show (pro issues) but I have already learnt a lot from this. Thanks again.

  • Stella
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    You are most welcome…x

Leave a comment