You Can Do It.
We promised a lot of pep talks, and this is one of them.
We get a LOT of email from bright, intelligent people who loooove makeup, and want to start careers as makeup artists. They're fun, friendly, motivated, and they would make great MUAs.
And most of them are totally overwhelmed with self-doubt. They want to make makeup their life's work, but they don't know if they can do it.
If you're one of these people, we have a message for you:
You can do it.
You can totally do it.
It may take some time, and it may take a LOT of effort, but you can do it.
Um, You Don't Know Me, How Are You So Sure I Can Be a Makeup Artist?
It's weird that we say that, isn't it? We don't know you personally. How do we know that you can do it? You could be a train wreck! How can we say "You can do it" all the time, and mean it?
Because if you truly, truly want to be a makeup artist, you will find a way to make it happen. It doesn't matter who you are. If you keep trying and refuse to quit, it's only a matter of time before you get what you're going after.
So we can say, "Yes, you can do this," not because we know you personally, but because that's the way the universe works: If you keep trying, and refuse to quit, it's only a matter of time before you get what you're going after.
Will you be skillful when you start out? Probably not.
Will you be respected early in your career? Nope.
Will you have a full schedule of interesting jobs at the beginning? Nope.
Will you make a ton of money as soon as you declare yourself a MUA? Another fat hairy nope.
Will you experience a TON of obstacles, hear from all sorts of people who say makeup is a bad career choice, and sometimes feel like you want to quit? Most definitely, yes. You'll get a LOT of that.
But here's the thing, and here's how we know that you, reading this on the subway, or in class, or at your friend's house, will make it: if you keep trying... and keep trying... and keep trying, you will eventually live the life and have the career that you want to have.
Other Men and Women Have Done It
Some of the most important people in fashion are people who simply refused to quit.
And that's their secret. It's so simple! They just refused to quit.
Some Real World Examples
It's thrilling to think about, isn't it?? That all that stands between you and the life you want is the willingness and the effort to make it happen?
If you need a couple of examples to show you that people can overcome incredible odds and do incredible things, here you go:
Estee Lauder grew up in Queens, NY, to immigrant parents. She had eight siblings, and she worked at the family's hardware store. She came from pretty humble beginnings, but she had big aspiration, and her childhood dream was to become "an actress with her name in lights, flowers and handsome men." She became a saleswoman, and experimented endlessly trying to make her fragrances. For years, her business floundered. But she refused to give up. She kept trying. And now? Guess how much the Estee Lauder Company is worth: $32 billion dollars. Yes. That's billion, with a "b."How much would she have, if she quit? Not a dime.
Pat McGrath was born in Northampton, England to a single mom who had emigrated from Jamaica. She received no formal training in fashion or makeup, and in fact, the only makeup class she only took was an art foundation class at a local university. So what's she doing today? She is one of the most sought-after makeup artists alive, and she has been called "the most influential makeup artist in the world" by Vogue magazine. You can see her hanging out with famous people here.
Sophia Amoruso was working out of her aunt's basement, trying to create a clothing shop with an eBay account. There have been plenty of people who have tried that, and MANY people who have failed. As a college dropout, Sophia's main job---when she wasn't working in the basement---was checking student IDs at a local college. Not very glamorous. Today, Sophia’s company, Nasty Girl---the vintage clothing company she started in the basement---is worth $250 million dollars and growing. There were many, many people telling her that gambling on eBay to start a company was a bad idea, yet she simply refused to quit.
Some People Have It Harder Than Others
There are, of course, some situations that may make it harder for some people than for others. Maybe you have kids and a really difficult schedule. Maybe you live in a very remote area and it's difficult to get experience. Maybe you already have a full-time job and freelancing is really hard.
If that's the case, and the cards are stacked against you, you'll have to get creative. You have to find a way to make it work. You will have to say, again and again, "I am going to make this happen, and there is absolutely nothing that will stop me." You have to decide to keep trying.
And THAT is not talent---that's a choice.
Some People Have It Easy
Yes, there are some people who seem to have success gently float towards them. "Oh, I was vacationing in the Greek Islands, and some talent scout found me, and now I do makeup for runway shows in Milan."
First of all, that's irritating. Don't be showy. Nobody cares about your boat trip to Greece.
Second, the people who say things like this REALLY want you to think that they're so special, so magical and gifted, that wonderful things just happen to them. And, maybe, for .1% of the population, that's true. But for the rest of the 99.9% of successful people you see---the ones doing makeup on glamorous jobs with glamorous people---they WORKED for it. They earned it.
And you know what? THAT is something you can do. No matter who you are, you can choose to work, and work HARD. You can earn it. You can practice. You can go to school. You can make a promise to yourself to do whatever it takes to create the job---and the life---that you want to have.
If you do that---if you keep trying and never quit, it's just a matter of time.
You can do it.