Nowadays, the pursuit of the American dream has dwindled to nothing more than a vain ambition. Luckily, members of Generation Y are blessed (or maybe cursed) with levels of ambition previously unheard of: we are three times as likely to want to save money, compared to our parents and grandparents. Simply caching money in an everyday savings account won’t elicit wealth, though. Here are four immediate steps to achieving solvency--affluence will come shortly thereafter.
1. Prioritize debt and pay it off
Some forms of debt are more cancerous than others. While student loans may not have matured yet, revolving debt on credit cards infects and dissolves checking and savings accounts faster than paychecks can be deposited. Evaluate these factors when prioritizing debt for repayment:
- Interest rate--That exclusive rewards card may feature some exciting perks, but none that aren’t paid for by interest. Save the most money by paying off revolving debt on high-interest credit cards.
- Maturation date--While some debt is immediately payable, other debt accumulated in some types of loans doesn’t become due until a later date. While this debt is important to pay off, focus first on the immediately due amounts (the reasoning should be obvious).
- Debt amount--Minimal debt accumulated on credit cards is much easier to pay off than large amounts of debt tied to assets like a vehicle, house, or college degree. Paying off the larger debts will feel much more financially liberating, though.
2. Save a percentage of regular income
No, simply saving money isn’t the only way (or the best way) to achieve wealth, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. Creating a disciplined savings plan to deduct a portion of every paycheck (let’s say 10 percent) and placing it in a savings account will help accumulate a good amount of savings. Heck, some financial institutions even allow for automated savings deposits from paychecks, making the process even less painful and more convenient.
3. Invest a percentage of regular income
Similar to saving--but more adventurous--is investing. Choosing the most personally beneficial vehicle is important, though. Mutual funds are known to be less risky, while stock options can be incredibly volatile (and just as rewarding). Whichever vehicle they choose, all investors must ensure that they invest money they can afford to lose.
4. Contribute to charities and philanthropic causes
What goes around comes around, right? Maybe. Some are firm believers of this ideology, and fewer of those are exemplars of the effects of karma. Whether in an effort to secure fortuitous financial blessings or to take advantage of the charitable contribution tax write-off (as long as it’s still around), giving when we have little will help us feel happier with our financial gains. Such generosity is also indicative of those who will give when they have much.
Ultimately, the process is simple: pay down, save, invest, and contribute as much as you can to earn long-term riches. What other “get rich” strategies are out there?
When the mercury dips to levels only polar bears can contend with, mere mortals crank the heat. Home heating represents the biggest piece of the expense pie--up to 35-50% annually, especially in chillier states. Homeowners and renters alike can benefit from a few simple tricks and maintenance tips to help heat bills fall like snow.
Don’t touch that dial. Put the heat to bed with the rest of the family. Even minor adjustments are big winners--save 2% on the heating bill for each degree lowered for a minimum of 8 hours a day. On the same thread, turn the heat down to the lowest possible degree (especially if freezing pipes aren’t an issue) when leaving on vacation.
Spick and span. Regularly check and/or replace heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters. Common sense rules the roost: if the filter is dirty, replace it (or ask your landlord to help), but do so at least every three months. A dirty filter slows airflow, stresses the heating system, and pumps pollutants into the atmosphere. A clean filter, conversely, prevents dust and dirt from building up in the system, reduces maintenance, and increases efficiency.
Out with the old, in with the new. If the heating system works overtime but the home still isn’t cozy, it may be time to supplant. Cut down on utility payments--up to $200 annually--by petitioning landlords to upgrade your heating system, or make the swap yourself.
Duct, duct goose. Unfortunately, ducts commonly leak 15-20% of the air that passes through them. Sealing ducts--focusing on those in the attic, crawlspace, unfinished basement and garage--costs a bit up front, but can reduce heating costs by 20%. Renters or homeowners with a handy touch can secure seams themselves with duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape. Wrap the newly sealed seams in insulation to keep them cool in summer and hot in winter.
Bundle up. Nothing feels better in winter than a blistering shower. Ensure efficiency in water heating by insulating natural gas or oil hot-water storage tanks. Do not cover the tank’s bottom, top, thermostat or burner compartment. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s directions. Additionally, don’t forget the connective parts: insulate the first six feet of pipes that connect to the tank.
Use it or lose it. Heating systems aside, use creativity and common sense as efficiency tools. Close doors and vents in seldom-used rooms. Open windows daily to capture radiant heat from the sun; close them nightly to retain daytime warmth. Keep heat vents free from furniture, rugs or blankets. A regularly used humidifier will help also, as dry air can often make a house feel cooler.
The lure of the big city is easy to understand. Having concerts, art, and amazing restaurants at your fingertips can be enough to draw anyone in. Unfortunately, those things take money, something students and recent grads usually lack. But you don’t have to deprive yourself. With a little planning--and some discipline--you can paint the town red while staying in the black.
You have to know how much you have before you can figure out where to spend it. Try an online budgeting service like LearnVest, Manilla, or Mint, which can help you automate your finances so nothing gets overlooked. But make sure to set cash aside for entertainment; if your only fun money comes from what’s leftover, you may be tempted to charge it to a credit card or pull money from a savings account to cover a last-minute splurge.
In a large urban area, your biggest expense is likely to be rent. Dealing with landlords and roommates can be tricky, but being bold can save you a lot of money. Keep home finances fair by using Splitwise, which offers calculators for things like dividing rent between roommates and selling old furniture. When renewing a lease, score a lower rent increase by reminding your landlord how good of a tenant you were or mentioning parts of the building that are in disrepair. The worst thing that can happen is that you’re turned down, but success could mean saving big in the long run.
Public programs like outdoor concerts, pay-what-you-wish weekends at museums, and street fairs are growing every year, and choosing a gratis event over a ticketed one gets you the experience without the cost. Big cities like New York (nycgo.com/free) and Los Angeles (eyespyla.com) often have dedicated sites for free events, but Eventbrite or Meetup offer listings for cities nationwide.
Asking about student discounts everywhere, not just in obvious places like movie theaters and bookstores, can be another way to save. Sneaky post-grads can try to stretch their tuition even farther by hanging onto IDs after leaving campus.
If you live in a popular tourist destination, you can earn money when you’re not even home. List your apartment on Airbnb to rent a room to travelers while you’re away. You can look for daily, weekly or even monthly houseguests, so everything from a weekend out of town to going home for the summer can be an earning opportunity.
No matter how busy you get, always focus on your life’s priorities. Students are probably familiar with choosing two of these three things: grades, social life, and sleep. A similar idea applies to young adults in big cities: location, luxury, and lifestyle. Living in a brand new, centrally-located apartment may mean working more and going out less. A long commute can afford you bigger digs and guilt-free nights with friends. Decide what’s important to you, and plan accordingly.
Most importantly, spend money on what makes you happy. Why live in one of the world’s greatest cities if you always stay home in fear of spending your last $20? Scrimp where you can so there’s enough money to treat yourself, whether it’s on a fancy dinner, event tickets, or a shopping spree. Your city may be expensive, but remember why you moved there in the first place.
Quite frankly, the quality of LinkedIn profiles for people 25 years old and younger is underwhelming. What gives? Apparently everyone forgot to read Makenzie Marineau’s article in the Winter 2011 issue of brass. Those who didn’t read it missed out on a really key point: LinkedIn can be used to connect with industry professionals and to brand oneself as a business samurai, so to speak.
No matter how hard everyone tries, they’ll never get anywhere on LinkedIn without adding some real quality to their profiles. The following are four critical areas for leveraging LinkedIn to create a glowing personal brand.
Of course, most people don’t have the dough to go get professional headshots taken; it’s OK to start small when selecting a profile picture. The picture I use on my profile was taken by one of my college roommates, who just so happened to be a film major (this also meant he had the best DVD and BluRay collection in the world--I was lucky).
He made me stand at an angle, tilt my head, protrude my neck, and smile maniacally before closing the shutter. After some Photoshop magic, the final picture was surprisingly impressive. Everyone should start by looking for people who actually know how to take good pictures (note: these aren’t the people who flood Facebook feeds with “hip” pictures of every “vintage” brick wall they find).
Use resume content
Here’s a fun fact: LinkedIn is great for sharing resumes with recruiters. Users should just put all of the details from their resumes--and then some--onto their profiles, making sure the important stuff included (like job duties and achievements) is measurable--use numbers everywhere! Recruiters and interviewers love numbers. Throwing percentages, dollar signs, and raw data at them in bullet points as liberally as possible (while maintaining relevance and quality, of course) is an effective strategy to catch some attention.
Connect with people
Every high school class has one kid who everyone knew would grow up to be a millionaire, and he probably already has a LinkedIn profile. By connecting with the high school “most likely to succeeds” on LinkedIn, users can build a good professional relationship; eventually, this type of connection could yield job leads or other opportunities to network with industry leaders.
Users should also hit up college professors, high school teachers, and anyone who they’ve worked with before. Making sure to focus on the quality of each connection is important, though; LinkedIn isn’t the place to accumulate “friends.” To add value to their personal brands, users should establish quality connections.
Interact in groups
Another great way to find new people to connect with is to join groups and interact with members. For example, users who want to find a career in accounting should join the Big Four Accounting Consulting group.
Have you ever been on a vacation and wished you didn’t have to go back home? Well for many travel enthusiasts, they don’t. The idea of backpacking has evolved into permanent travel for many. People set out for years at a time to travel. These adventurers aren’t necessarily trust fund babies or lottery winners. Many have to work while they’re traveling the world to keep their journey moving on. Here are five jobs you can land while seeing the world and tips for getting them:
You don’t have to speak another language to be able to teach English all over the world, but you do have to be a native English speaker. Depending on your program, your living arrangements and/or expenses may be taken care of in addition to a salary. Some programs require certification.
If you’re planning on sticking around a country for a while and have previous child care experience, you can apply to be a nanny through an agency. Having a close relationship with a native family can give you an in-depth view of the culture, while time off can give you a chance to explore on your own.
Travel Writer or Photographer
The income from travel writing and photography can vary greatly, but if you work hard, you can earn money while you’re on the road. Pitch various publications, sell your photos online, and although it can take time, start your own blog to earn money from advertisers.
Waitress or Bartend
Waitressing or bartending is a common job travelers seek. It is flexible, has decent pay, and allows you to still meet people and enjoy where you’re visiting.
If you’ve gotten to know a certain area pretty well, you can earn money by becoming a tour guide. Even if you’re not fully familiar with the area, you can still give tours based on a topic you are knowledgeable in, like architecture, wine, or art.
A few tips on finding the right job one the road.
Find out what's required
Depending on the type of position, you may need to apply for a work visa before leaving home. Each country has different regulations on how you can work there so do your research.
Set up an online resume
Create a website or simply sign up with LinkedIn. Having a detailed resume online with recommendations, up-to-date contact information, and what you’re looking for is easier than dragging around your resume wherever you go.
Just like you would do at home, network to find any leads on jobs. Finding groups of people also traveling can be a good lead to finding an opportunity.
Have a back-up plan
If travel plans change or the job doesn’t work out, try to have options for a plan b. Have an emergency fund so you have money while you search for a new job.
In the High Rockies of Colorado, snow has finally fallen. Snow seems in some way symbolic, like the undulations of the mountains have been granted a fresh start.
Now, turn away from the picturesque winter scene to the bowels of a cluttered house. The New Year looms closely overhead like a stuffy, old uncle with no concept of personal space. The approach of 2013 is as symbolic as the first snow – use it to cleanse the body, the house and the planet.
Unclutter the home
1. Outdated grub: Dump the expired soup and bags of flour that never made it into a cake. Organize and clean cupboards, making it easier to see and use the remaining food.
2. Old, unused stuff: Junk and memory boxes from elementary school can hit the road, creating storage space. Say adios to crusty hairspray bottles from the dawn of time, old deodorant and dull razors. Seriously, how many jugs of smelly lotions does one person need?
3. Lost time: Install a hook for keys or create a folder for unpaid bills. A little organization helps--a survey conducted by Britain’s Daily Mail shows folks spend 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for stuff over the course of a lifetime.
De-junk the body
4. Fewer calories: Obesity in America is no myth--it’s rising faster than the ocean levels, as 68.6 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. Try turning down a second soda or helping. Little stuff adds up; losing five to seven percent of one’s total body weight strongly affects blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
5. A bad attitude: Half-full glasses contain real benefits. Studies say positive thinking can increase the life span, provide better resistance to the common cold, and even reduce risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Unclog the planet
6. Bottled water: Bottled water costs 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water. Also, 14 million tons of plastics were generated by the U.S. as containers and packaging in 2010, of which bottles play a large part. Filter tap water instead to conserve money and energy.
7. Disposable products: Trade in plastic wrap for Tupperware, paper napkins for cloth ones and Styrofoam settings for the real thing--after all, one Styrofoam cup takes 10-20 years to decompose. Instead of adding to landfills look for items that can be reused again and again.
In America, New Year’s is a holiday of action. Americans create resolutions, a motivating tradition started by ancient Babylonians who sought to earn the favor of the Gods. In 2013 – whether or not to garner the favor of the Gods--use this opportunity to live more simply and fruitfully.
In the summer of 2011, I drove 10,000 miles with a group of friends. To answer the obvious questions: from Miami, Florida, to Washington state and back; we drove a minivan; got pulled over once; yes, we still speak to each other. It was an amazing experience, but I’m doing things differently next time. Let me help you learn from my mistakes.
Do plan ahead
Vacation is great, but it takes place in the middle of real life. Start researching destinations, transportation, and who you’re going with at least a few months in advance. Things like this can get complicated fast, especially when multiple opinions get involved, and you’ll want to have it figured out by the time you leave.
Do you have a jam-packed itinerary in front of you? Cut it by a third. Having to stick to a timetable is sometimes necessary, but the best parts of road trips happen when you least expect them. Make sure to leave time for exploring, getting lost, and driving aimlessly. The five-week trip I took should’ve taken three months. I had fun, but in retrospect I wish I’d slowed down a bit.
Do bring what you need
You will get hungry and tired. Stock up on prepackaged snacks that aren’t too terrible for you. Not only will you feel better eating granola bars and beef jerky than truck stop nachos and candy bars, but you’ll save money by buying in bulk (Pro Tip: stash ‘em in the trunk, that way they don’t vanish before you cross the state line). Trying to sleep in cramped positions and bright lights isn’t fun, so bring pillows, a bunch of light blankets, and even eyeshades to make sure you can rest.
Seriously reconsider bringing any large item if you don’t plan on using it every single day. You want to be comfortable, but cars fill up fast. If you need an everyday item while on the road, chances are that you’ll be able to pick it up for about the same price as you’d be able to get it at home. Any specialty items can be borrowed or rented temporarily. Trust me—you don’t have to cart around the boogie board because you might use it that one time you go to the beach.
Do make a budget
Know how much you have to spend before you leave, and get a ledger book to record every expense while on the road so you can watch where your money is going. If bills like gas and hotels are being split with friends, this is also a good way to maintain transparency so nobody feels cheated.
I scored huge discounts on an all-day whitewater rafting trip in Colorado and a local delicacy in California by signing up for daily deals emails for the cities I knew I’d be visiting. Sites like Groupon, Living Social, Scoutmob and AmazonLocal also offer coupons for practical things like hotels and restaurants, so a bit of advance planning can save a lot in the long run.
Do scrutinize your travel buddies
There’s a big difference between a good friend and a good driving partner. Close quarters, long hours, and short tempers can leave you wanting to push your closest friend out of the moving van. But on the other hand, late night talks that start as a way to stay awake can turn into deep, meaningful conversations that catch you by surprise. Put a group together carefully so you can minimize the former and maximize the latter.
Don't get cliquey
If you’re traveling with more than three people, make sure that everyone gets along with each other and that you can mix and match. It’s nice to be able to spend time with each member of the group, and make sure you get some alone time.
Most importantly, remember that this is a vacation! Try new things, eat local food, take lots of pictures, and do something reckless every now and then. Some of the best stories end with “I can’t believe I did that,” so make sure to step outside your comfort zone. Trips like this can be once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so take advantage.
A friend of mine, “Luke,” had a birthday outing this last weekend. After several rounds of pool, I ended up in multiple discussions about student loans, as most of us were college grads with an array of loans and not enough money to pay them off.
Someone mentioned the Income-Based Repayment Program (IBR) and the Promise of Forgiven Loans after 25 years. We ooohed and aaahed and praised the government for getting our backs, but, unfortunately, no one knew the specifics of the program or requirements, so the conversation fizzled.
Not one to give up, and with tens of thousands of dollars in loans, I’ve been researching the program, and it’s quite phenomenal. ibrinfo.org, a nonprofit source of info on forgiveness programs and federal loan repayment as well as part of The Project on Student Debt, has all the info you’d need to find out if you qualify for the programs, as well as a loan calculator, FAQs, U.S. Dept. of Education links on the programs, and a quick-hits video on what it’s about. Check it out. For realsies.
Here’s my quick summary:
Federal student loans (Direct or FFEL) qualify if you’d have to pay “more than 15% of whatever you earn above 150% of poverty level to pay off your loans” with a standard 10-year repayment plan. Your new IBR payments will likely be no more than 10% of your income, and after 25 years of payments, any remaining debt is forgiven.
This program, separate from IBR, is for those working in public service–for the “gubment,” or 501c3 nonprofits. After 10 years of making loan payments while working at the qualifying job (IBR can be used during those 10 years also), any remaining loans are forgiven.
Again, that’s a brief retelling, but check out the IBRinfo site for everything you need to know. In homage to the immortal words of Ice Cube, check yourself before you wreck your bank account payin’ those things off.
Inflation isn’t one of those things that only affects “grown ups” with 401(k)s and serious money plans. It affects everyone.
According to the BBC, “Inflation is the rate of change of prices for goods and services.” Basically, that means it’s how quickly prices change over time. For example, when a brand-new book costs $15.99 in 2011 and the same brand-new book costs $16.99 in 2012. But this isn’t necessary bad: as Jens stated in this article about inflation and deflation, “steady, controlled inflation stimulates economic growth.” So there’s a silver lining in there.
One way inflation affects twentysomethings like us is that increased inflation will make stuff cost more year after year (hopefully, this includes our paychecks). That means groceries, rent, gas, etc., are going to be more expensive. You can use this great inflation calculator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics when budgeting for next year’s purchases.
But inflation’s biggest effect is for retirement planning. This may seem like something that doesn’t concern us, but it should—if you have a paycheck now, you should be stashing some of it away for when you’re retired! The Simple Dollar explains it perfectly:
Let’s say you make $40,000 a year and you’re thirty years from retirement. Using a quick rule of thumb, you figure you’ll need $1 million in your retirement account to retire. Not so fast. You’re actually figuring that million dollars without thinking about inflation. The truth is that with 4% annual inflation, you’re going to need $3.24 million in thirty years to equal what $1 million is worth today.
Inflation is going to be an ever-present factor in our financial lives—from the food we buy to the houses we live in to how much money we have to live on after we retire. All it takes is a little extra planning to make sure we don’t get bitten by the inflation bug years down the road.
For the upcoming November issue of our parent publication brass magazine, I got to chat with some incredibly creative and talented hair and makeup artists on what it takes to break into the beauty industry. Here, we have the good fortune of publishing the extended interview outtakes that we couldn’t squeeze into the article. Read on for tips on networking, polishing your craft, and getting your foot in the door.
Beth Schneider, barber
Beth is a barber at Birds Barbershop in Austin, TX, which has been named one of the best salons in the country by Elle magazine
How did you get into barbering?
I have been cutting hair since I was a teenager. I was a punk kid and used to give everyone cool cuts. Barber school seemed much more my style than cosmetology school. I am much more attracted to the relaxed, family-style environment at barber shops than the sometimes dramatic environment salons can have.
Barbering is a true trade passed down from generation to generation. While things go in and out of fashion, being a skilled barber never does.
What training did you undergo?
I learned every type of men’s cut there is, from tight fades to military cuts. I also learned how to do straight razor shaves. The training has much less of an emphasis on women’s cut and color.
What tips would you give for being successful as a barber?
Practice, practice, practice. Finding a job can be hard, of course, but it is all about putting yourself out there. Make yourself available, work hard and offer to cut hair for everyone you meet. Network as much as possible and get your foot in the door somewhere.
Rubi Jones, hairstylist
Rubi is a Paris-based freelance hairstylist. She has styled hair behind the scenes for runway shows including Chanel, Valentino, and Jason Wu.
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
While in college I did a semester abroad in Paris. I remember seeing the tents in the Tuileries during fashion week and so badly wanting to be a part of that world. After my study abroad, I spontaneously enrolled in beauty school, and absolutely loved it from day one. A few weeks into it, I learned that I could do hair for fashion shows and magazines and began to pursue this part of the hair industry.
What would you say separates hairstylists who do fashion and editorial work from those who don’t?
I think it’s a matter of goals, ambition and talent, in that order. When I moved to NYC, I knew other hairstylists who wanted to do the same but didn’t for whatever reason. I think everyone who wants to do something can do it and in my case, I sold pretty much everything I had and moved across the country because I felt like I needed to live in NYC for my career. Once in NYC I worked at a very prestigious salon that was extremely cutthroat. The hairstylists who weren’t talented enough or didn’t have tough enough skin for the environment didn’t last longer than one year in the salon.
How do you find freelance jobs?
All of my jobs are through people that I know in the industry, mostly word of mouth and from emailing agencies that represent hairstylists. I constantly email agencies that represent hairstylists I want to work with.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that my jobs are never longer than one week long. I love that I am constantly surrounded by creative people and I especially love that I literally get to play dress up for work.
Lazarus Jean-Baptiste, makeup artist
Lazarus’ work has been featured in magazines including Glamour and Vogue Germany, and his clients past and present range from 50 Cent to Camilla Alves to his favorite author, Anne Rice.
How did you transition from working at a makeup counter to the fashion and editorial work you do now?
I wanted to build a book, so I started to do testing with photographers. After hearing for a year that I should be in New York, I had a chance of being an editorial artist–-so I quit my job and started working in editorial in New York and building a portfolio. I started assisting, and I eventually got an upstart agency to give me a try.
How can makeup artists get assisting gigs?
Contact every agency in your area. Send out an email to an agency, say hi, and be specific–say, “My name is so and so, I’m a new makeup artist, I’m starting to work on my portfolio book, and I would love the opportunity to assist one of the artists at your agency. I particularly like the work of so and so, so and so, and so and so.” That way you’re giving the agent some guidance as to who you’d like to be paired with, whose style you like.
A lot of times you’ll be volunteering, sometimes it’ll be paid, but you have to kind of pay your dues–a lot of times the assistant will get little to nothing. What you’re there for is to learn. You’re going to learn different techniques from the person you’re assisting; you’re going to learn protocol on set. It’s subtle things like that that you learn–those little nuances of the business.
What seems to hold new makeup artists back the most?
The most difficult thing, I think, is that people get disillusioned with their idea of what the business is. I think that people think it’s easier to make it than it is, and when they find out how difficult it is to sustain a living as a makeup artist, they walk away.
I would say speak to and spend as much time with makeup artists as possible to get a realistic concept of what it is to be a makeup artist. And stay committed to it if this is REALLY what you want to do. Sometimes people just think, “I’m gonna pick up a brush and start doing models….and I’m gonna be doing Vogue. And I’ll give myself two years for this to happen.” That’s not realistic. It CAN happen, and it has happened, but you need a horseshoe for that, you know. People don’t set out for medical school and think they’re gonna be the chief of surgery in two years. You have to set realistic goals and find a way to support yourself doing it–whether it’s doing weddings, working in a department store, or working in a salon.
How should makeup artists network?
Some people can be aggressive, as in they want something from every person they meet. They’re not bringing anything to the table, but they expect you to be their contact. You can smell a person like that a mile away. People will be like, “Can you connect me with them?” And I’m like, “Are you serious?! I just met you dude!” Most professionals stay away from those people. It’s more important to establish your skill, and show yourself to be a nice person.
The biggest thing is to know how to market and brand yourself, because in our day and time, you’re a brand. Everything from how you look, to how you speak matters in the amount of work you get. How you present yourself, the way your website looks will determine how much work you get. If you have poor hygiene, bad breath, body odor, I don’t care how beautiful your makeup work is–people are not gonna want you within 10 feet of them! You’re in somebody’s personal space! I know it sounds kind of basic, but you’ve gotta tell people stuff.
Mark Hopkins, makeup artist
Mark’s resume includes years of experience in the corporate world for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and as a senior makeup artist for the brand.
What kind of personality traits does it take to be successful as a makeup artist?
I think personality can help or hinder, and you find all different types. My personality is a little bit softer spoken. I listen to what clients are saying, because that’s the most important thing–listening, and honing in on the client. As a makeup artist, it’s not really about you being this huge personality and coming in and wowing everybody. It’s really through your brush that you show what you can do. But, there has to be something about you that makes people want to see what you can do, as well–-whether it’s the way you look or the way you dress, or just your personality, your confidence. You can be really quiet and subdued and still exude confidence.
What is most challenging about the industry?
The industry can be kind of fickle, and fashion can be fickle, and you just have to learn to step with the personalities that you encounter. That’s probably the biggest stress. And working under pressure, working while a hairstylist may be yankin’ on your model’s head, while you’re trying to do eyeliner on her, and literally you have to get it done. You have no choice. It’s having that perseverance, and that “Can-do” attitude. If she’s not done, and she can’t hit the runway because you didn’t get her makeup on, then it’s your fault.
What do you love most about what you do?
I find that as long as I have a brush in my hand and someone to paint, I’m happy. It’s the times when you’re trying to figure out what to do or who to work for next that are tough. Working with people and making people pretty, and knowing that you did something to make someone feel good about themselves is always rewarding.