17 Beauty Experts Give Advice to Aspiring Beauty Students

Sep 23, 2014
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Want to succeed as a hair stylist, makeup artist or nail artist, but need a little guidance? We cherry picked 17 professionals in the beauty industry for you and asked them one question only:

 How can an aspiring beauty student succeed in the beauty industry?

 The answers we got will be beneficial to anybody who wants to open their own business, work in a salon or work as a freelance artist. There is no better way to learn than from somebody who’s already gone through the struggles of an aspiring beauty artist. Trust us, these people know what they are talking about! They are extremely motivational and will make you work even harder.

Jamal Hammadi

Editorial, Runway & Celebrity Hair Stylist, Owner of Hamadi Organics

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 I think it’s important to really understand the basics of hair. Learn how to shape, create structure, and know movement. Creating a look or doing hair is like sculpting. It’s an art to me. I am all about movement, shape and structure and form! Which is kind of like building a house – its all about the foundation. If you can build a good structure, you can do anything. This creates confidence. It’s all about being confident and knowing how to do anything, not just straight hot trendy looks. So, my point is that it’s all about knowing the basics and being creative. If you are learning a new style, seek to master it. It’s about learning how to cut a super short straight bang and a super straight sassoon cut, but also about being able to deconstruct, create interesting shapes push the limits while staying current and setting a trend. Don’t be afraid to try something new. In terms of success, it’s up to you. It’s about knowing hair textures as well as being passionate about what you like. As far as success of beauty, that just depends on your knowledge, personality, confidence and a good attitude. If you have a great sense of style, you are golden!!!

danielle williamsDanielle Williams

Director of Hair & Make-Up at Jed Root Inc. Agent of world-class makeup artists and hair stylists

Follow her on Instagram & Twitter

Some of the best advice I can pass along is that in order to succeed in the freelance fashion business you should assist as much as possible. Try to find someone whose career path you would ultimately like to emulate and work to get on their assistant roster. It’s the best way to learn the ins & outs of the business and make the connections you need to develop your portfolio.

jeff pinkJeff Pink

President/CEO at Orly. The Inventor of French Manicure

Follow Orly on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

First and foremost, have passion. Your education doesn’t end with graduation. You’ll learn the technical aspects of your profession in school, but you’ll refine your skills in your day to day work with clients. Don’t give up. Be persistent. If you learn from your mistakes, they are not mistakes.

The most important piece of advice I can give you: listen to your clients and believe in yourself.

rose hillRose Hill

Makeup Artist, Owner of the Academy of Cosmetic Arts, School for Media Makeup Artists. Worked with Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams and Molly Ringwald. Done work for “The Walking Dead” and “Dancing With The Stars”

Follow her on Twitter & Facebook

It all depends on what job you are applying for. If you’d like to work in retail, you would apply directly at the store. Same for Spa work. Theatre and Film or Television would be different. You would need an active portfolio, which contains examples of photographs of your work to show to perspective show producers. Makeup Artists who get the most work have websites with photos and resume of their work. It helps a lot to have before and after looks of your models on your website. There are also Agencies that represent Makeup Artists for a fee. There are trade magazines and sites which can advertise Makeup Artists work at a cost. There are many positions in the beauty industry such as being a trainer or sales representative for cosmetics. Successful Makeup Artists are go getters, professional, and keep up with the newest trends.

rsz_johnniesapongsalonJohnnie Sapong

Editorial, Runway & Celebrity Hair Stylist, Owner of The Studio Hair Salon

Follow him on Twitter & Facebook

It’s all about heart and passion! Mixed with ambition and the will to succeed. You are consistently growing and always willing to learn new things, being able to work as a part of the team and take direction is always valued, but you should also realize that as a professional and an expert you are also always going to be in demand for your ideas. Know when you can say things and when you should hold back. I guess it really comes down to the fact that you should always be nice to everyone no matter who they are or what they do. That’s the simple basis of it. There isn’t much more to it than that. Learn to always have your eyes and ears open to obtain new techniques or new ideas and explore those new ideas. Be mindful of the fact that you’re always only as good as your team, and remember that you were an assistant once. And even though you are out there doing your own thing, always keep in mind that no matter who we are and what we do, we are still sort of staying the same. What I mean is that, of course, you’re evolving as an individual, but you should always learn to walk before you run.

Sarah White

Editor and Creator of Chalkboard Nails

Follow her on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

 My best advice is to be original and innovative. Don’t copy what others are doing; develop your own style that people can recognize you by!

johnathan galeJohnathan Gale

Celebrity & Film Hair Colorist, was voted Hair Colorist of the year by US Magazine

Follow him on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

One can only succeed in the beauty industry if they have PASSION!! My success was driven by it, it was all I thought about, and by the law of attraction the path opened up. Oh sure, there were struggles along the way, tears and huge disappointments and many learning curves. I loved every moment of bringing beauty through me and on to my living canvas, the client.

Here’s my advice: show up, be present, be supportive, pick the brains of your instructor, ask questions, take chances, experiment, challenge yourself, be brave. I practiced on all my family, friends and anyone who would let me. I was doing hair for the whole neighbourhood. If you had hair, I was all over it. I started in London at age 17. I interviewed at a few salons I didn’t know that one
could specialize in color. When I found out that I was hired as a colorist assistant, I was in heaven.

meredith haymanMeredith Hayman

Wedding Makeup Artist, Winner of Bride’s Choice Awards ’10-’14

Follow her on Twitter & Facebook

Don’t think that once you graduate beauty school that you are finished learning – always take the opportunity to learn from other artists around you. Keep up-to-date on new products and formulas that will be beneficial in your kit. Arrive to every job early and with a smile. If it’s a smaller crew and they need an extra set of hands on set, be a team player and work well with your peers – if you are punctual, cooperative, and professional, that is the best way to get more work.

Brittany Graybrittany gray

Owner & Creative Director at Fancy Face Inc. Official makeup artist for So You Think You Can Dance Canada

Follow her on Twitter & Facebook

My best advice for an aspiring beauty student would be to follow their heart when it comes to perusing an avenue within this multifaceted industry. If you love the world of film, pursue that. If you love designers & fashion, go after that. If special effects is your thing, do that. For me, I love all things glamour and beauty. I love making women feel their most gorgeous so they can go out and take on the world full force! The wedding industry & weddings in general is also a huge passion of mine. Due to the fact that I followed my truest passion within the industry and carved a way that was original & organic to me, I was able to grow and expand Fancy Face Inc. much beyond my wildest dreams. I attribute that to practicing hard, striving to be my best, following my heart & making women truly feel like the best selves after an hour or two of working with me.

Home Agency

Home Agency represents makeup artists and hairstylists such as Peter Gray, Kamo & Tom Pecheux

Follow them on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

An aspiring beauty student should always remember these things:

  • Be inventive
  • Be a team player when/if you are creating an image it is all about the whole team and collaboration.
  • When working with one woman/client or many, always make the woman or man feel and look beautiful.
  • A good personality and open and honest attitude will take you far.
  • Experiment, any and all mistakes are a form of growth and experience.
  • Every small contact you make can potentially be a collaborater or client, so treat everyone equally. From the president to a company to the intern getting the coffee.

terri walkerTerri Walker

Hair Stylist at Jed Root, worked with Vogue, Nordstrom, ASOS Magazine, Urban Outfitters, Nicole Richie, Elie Goulding

Follow her on Instagram

Life is education, we are always growing and learning, trust and appreciate it. If you love yourself and love what you do, you will succeed.

candice idehen2Candice Idehen

CEO at Bed of Nails, Celebrity and Runway Nail Artist

Follow her on Twitter & Instagram

An aspiring beauty student can succeed in the beauty industry by staying involved in all facets of their field. Go to industry trade shows and continue to educate yourself by taking classes or researching products on the internet. Constantly engage in higher learning and finding professionals in your field to learn from and use them as a guide to aim for higher career goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and even assist someone who is in a position that you’re aspiring for. Remain humble and you will be elevated. Last but not least remember to be Inspired, Always!

jenna medinaJenna Medina

Makeup Artist & Hairstylist, Owner of Glamology.ca

Follow her on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

Firstly passion and love for what you do is key, this will drive you to perfect your business. Secondly keeping records of everything you do, whether it’s in a notebook or in a photo, records are very important. Not only will you be able to see your growth, you’ll be able to learn from past mistakes and correct them along the way. All business runs through trial and error, everything is a work in progress.

When I first started my business it was very hard to have the confidence to put my work out there for the world to see. As I grew and continuously made progress, I realized that nothing is ever perfect, everything is a learning curve. My clients loved seeing me change and grow as an artist. They appreciated the dedication and work I put in.

Everyone starts at the bottom, it’s all baby steps, setting realistic goals and not being too hard on yourself is important. Lastly persistence with time will eventually add up:)

10584772_1443654302581916_1201713917_nTy Shearn

Freelance Hair Stylist, worked with Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar & Numero

Follow him on Instagram & Twitter

I think the key to an aspiring beauty student is the urge to learn. You should always be trying to learn new techniques and always willing to get your hands into whatever you can to advance your skills! It can be a long road, but if you stick to it the benefits are absolutely amazing. I would also say, never be afraid to ask for what you want and go for what you desire. So many passions go unheard because people are too timid to show their true passion!

eloise cheungEloise Cheung

Editorial, Advertising & Runway Hair Stylist, worked with Neiman Marcus, Pantene & Clairol

Follow her on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

Study hard and practice. Don’t give up. I really didn’t like cutting hair when I first started, but then I started to understand the intricacies of each technique on different textures of hair. The more haircuts that I did, the more control that I had to shape and sculpt the hair and it suddenly became really creative and fun. I would volunteer to do haircuts at the local homeless shelter and these people were up for anything fun! I got to do my first Mohawk there and shave a lady bald. An incredible experience.

Keep an open heart and mind, you never know where you will pick up new ideas and meet new people. You never stop learning. Working on teams backstage at fashion week in London, Paris, Milan and New York I would see how my teammates would approach something in a way that I had never even thought about and it would inspire me to see all sorts of other possible ways and methods.

Prepare and do research. Build up an inspiration library of images that you like. It will help you to understand more about yourself and your own personal taste, your strengths and weaknesses. It will also serve as a reminder of things that you had forgotten about or techniques that you hadn’t used in a long time. Reference pictures are also a very useful way to communicate ideas to clients.

Communication is everything. Building a good rapport with your clientèle will keep them loyal and have them recommending new people to you as well. Make them feel comfortable, discuss ideas with them. Understand their needs, if they are sporty and wash their hair everyday and want zero style maintenance or if they need to wear their hair off of their face for work. When you first start to work with a client you want to make sure that you are both on the same page. Your expertise will be appreciated but don’t bully a client into a re-style that they may not be ready for at that moment in their life. May be suggest incremental changes instead of a big chop. Taking these things into consideration will create a lifetime client and allow you more creative freedom. They will trust in you and your vision for their hair.

Enjoy what you do and stay passionate and true to yourself. Never rush and never compromise.

joanne gair

Joanne Gair

Editorial, Advertising & Celebrity Make-up Artist/ Body Painter. Worked with Madonna, Demi Moore, Sophia Loren & Lady Gaga

Follow her on Twitter & Instagram

The key most important ingredient to succeed is ‘passion’. Aside from your talent your originality, your drive, focus and dedication is my best advice.

Practice makes perfect! Hands on experience will teach you so much. Whenever you can practice on your friends, on all ages, do their make-up, you will only improve!

Creating good relationships with photographers and assisting experienced artists from an early start in the business will let them know you are present. Be patient! Knowing how to be humble, but confident, be aware that it is a team you are a part of so be a team player.

There are many avenues a make-up artist can develop so assisting others for job experience is a good idea. This will give you insight into which avenue you might enjoy and develop further. You may find it is Broadway, Fashion or Film or TV or skincare. You might find you enjoy them all, experience is what will make you grow and develop as an artist so just get out there and make yourself available.

Trust the journey and have fun with it…remember passion is the key to being the best at anything. With passion the possibilities are endless.

Kate Lee

Kate Lee

Celebrity, Editorial & Advertising Hair & Makeup Artist. CHANEL Celebrity Make-Up Artist

Follow her on Twitter & Instagram

Just keep swimming! :-*

Summary: Overall, it seems like some of the keys to success that are common throughout the industry are urge to learn, having passion, being fearless and practicing non-stop! Do you have what it takes to succeed? If you are interested in exploring possibilities in the beauty industry, you might want to look into pursuing professional education. At Cameo College, you can get training in esthetics, cosmetology and nail technology. Contact us if you’d like to receive more information about our programs.

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