1. Give us a glimpse of your day on set as a professional makeup artist?

Well, it starts the night before, prepping for the job. I review all of my talent’s needs, add any extras to my kit and load up my car. I always make sure I am well-rested because I may be spending 12 plus hours on my feet the next day. I am very careful about leaving for work on time, but a good breakfast is a top priority. (It might be provided by production, but sometimes the meal arrives late and I need my morning fuel!) I always plan for traffic, even if the call time is 4am. Arriving at least 30 minutes early to unload my gear and set up is a must! However, my set up is minimal. I prefer a kit I can work out of versus one that has to be laid out. Everything has its own spot in my kit so I’m not hunting for what I need. I know my kit like the back of my hand! This enables me to do makeup quickly (full face in 30 minutes or less). I review makeup expectations and Go By’s with the powers that be. I’m big on communication—I repeat the client’s requests back to them just to be sure we are all on the same page. If changes need to be made, I never have an attitude or take it personally. Being accommodating has always worked in my favor. I also pride myself on being efficient. I make sure production is never waiting on the Makeup Department! When I am on set I search for my sweet spot, which is a position where I can see the shot and the monitor. I zero in on my talent’s head and how it relates to the shot. After all, my job is to maintain the look I created for the client. I always keep post-production, continuity and the final product in mind while I am watching the set. The makeup should always look fresh! I am also known for being very tentative. There are numerous lazy artists out there and I do not want to be pegged as one of them.

2. You have done makeup for several celebrities. Do you have a favorite celebrity you’ve worked with? Is there a celebrity you would like to work with?


Spending a day with Jimmy Fallon just before he started on the Late Show was so much fun! We laughed and laughed and he introduced me to Twitter. Actually, I believe I was his 110th follower. I am not really one who gets star struck, which I think has worked in my favor. Celebrities are just people, so I treat them the same way I treat everyone else. I don’t need their attention. If they need mine, they will ask for it. I’m there to fulfill a need for the job we are working on and make the talent feel confident. But, I will say, I love working backstage at music award shows! I love music and watching rehearsals is one of my favorite things to do.

Hmmm, a celeb I wanna work with… I have one. I want to hang out with the Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl. He seems like he would be fun!

3. When you’re on the set, what are top 3 rules you follow?

  • Production never waits on makeup.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before your call time
  • Communicate with the right people.

4. How big is your “set bag?”

I am a minimalist. My set bag is quite small compared to other artists I’ve worked with. I use one small clear bag for each talent on camera and store the bags inside a larger clear Makeup Bag.

5. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you first started your career?

I would tell myself not to take myself so seriously and build more relationships with other artists. I was so damn competitive at the beginning that I didn’t embrace my community like I should have. When I finally dropped my guard I made some lifelong friends. To this day my closest friends are my competitors and business partners. I love being a part of their success! I’m there to pick them up when life knocks them down, and vice versa. A few days ago I was given the choice to work with a well-known, female rock band or work alongside one of my bestie MUA’s on the same day. Bestie over celebrity, hands down! (Pictured with Celebrity Makeup Artists Barbra Jo Batterman and Song Lopez)

6. What made you decide to work in the commercial, celebrity and fashion makeup industries rather than bridal or film? What are some of the pros and cons?

When I embarked on my career I wanted to do it ALL—and I tried! I was a jack of all trades and a master of none. Because of my strength in clean, beauty makeup, commercial makeup quickly became my favorite medium. I also like to be hired based on my body of work. What you see in my portfolio and reel is what you get. Despite Photoshop, I am still very detail oriented and that has always helped me build a loyal clientele. I feel gratified by my final product whether it’s a national commercial or a stunning face on the red carpet. Working in the commercial/fashion/celebrity vein will always be a hustle. There is always another artist willing to take your place, and maybe even stab you in the back for it. You have to be careful who you align yourself with! Bad days on the job are never allowed and your reputation is fragile, so always make sure you are meeting the expectations of those who hired you.

Originally, I set out to be a film artist but quickly learned it would be tough to do in my market. Having a husband and little ones at home wasn’t making it any easier, either. Episodic work takes a lot of time and commitment. A movie or show can film 14 hour days, 6 days a week, for months at a time. The life I built before this adventure doesn’t jive with the film industry. I will day-play from time to time to help out makeup artist friends on film sets, but I do that just to be with my peeps.

While bridal can be a very lucrative business, it isn’t an environment I thrive in. Wedding days are not my jam and I’m not comfortable booking 6 months in advance. Weekends with my family are more valuable to me than the money. You just can’t do it all and do it well at the same time.

7. How many years of assisting, networking and donating time did you have to do to build up your reputation and gain referrals? What was the toughest part?

Breaking into this business is like going to college and getting a degree. Four to six years of spending money, working for free, networking, educating yourself and building your body of work is normal. If you can break even financially by year four, you are on track. I definitely lost money my first three years, which was SO tough and financially draining. But, you have to pay your dues! Artists who shoot to the top quickly have little longevity and fall hard, fast. Networking and building a foundation of relationships will sustain you long term. Stepping on others for gain will create a sinkhole that will destroy your career.
If you would like to learn more about Mary RC’s experience, please visit her website at

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3 Secrets Successful MUAs Don’t Want You to Know.

So you’ve been busy building your kit, finding faces to practice on and testing with photographers, but you’re still struggling to book the jobs you need to make ends meet. You ask yourself daily, “What the hell am I doing wrong?“. Honestly, this is a question every career Makeup Artist asks themselves on a daily basis. The struggle is real and… I hate to break it to you… never-ending. But there are three things that every successful Makeup Artist does not like to share with newbies.  But, I’m going to share them with you.

Sucessful Makeup Artist Secret #1

Successful Makeup Artists don’t like to share their clientele. If you ask them to they will happily cut you off quicker than you can count to three. As you are networking, NEVER EVER ask them to share their clientele with you. No matter how nicely you ask, you will be seen as a threat and they will make sure to tell all their MUA friends to stay away from you. A successful makeup artist goes about finding clientele on their own. Poaching clientele is a good way to get blacklisted in your market. So don’t give the successful MUAs in your area a reason to blacklist you.

Successful Makeup Artist Secret #2

Listings and directories. There are several online directories, listing sites and organizations that you can join to get your name and your link to your website out there. You need to think like the people who are hiring you and places they may go to source your services. This is not something successful makeup artists are immediately open to telling newbies because they get a lot of business from these resources.

Successful Makeup Artist Secret #3

It’s more than makeup. Successful makeup artists spend more time and money learning to run their businesses and nurture their brand than they do filling their kits full of the latest and greatest products and watching makeup tutorials. These makeup artists spend every minute of extra time they may have building their portfolios and marketing themselves. They would rather you spend your time at the beauty counter and watching influencers on YouTube while they are busy doing business and booking jobs.

The kitties are out of the bag.  I hope you take these secret tips and apply them to your business to achieve success.

Happy secret keeping.

Mary RC

Day 9 of 10 Find 10 Entertaining Social Media Posts

Today is the fun day. It’s almost like a play day. So we all left to be entertained right? Well, that includes your colleagues/clients.
Today I want you to comb through memes, gifs and fun videos that might be particularly entertaining to the people on your list. I like to find things that are relatable to the industry that I work in. Not just makeup entertainment, but things that my colleagues would find funny as well. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.

So once you’ve done that you’re going to go ahead and schedule them into your social media for the month. See, I told you that you would be plugging in all those holes in your calendar. Happy entertaining

Happy entertaining! Mary RC

Day 8 of 10 Find 10 Informative Social Media Posts

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! So what’s going on in your local world? Do you have any idea? Well, I want you to sit down and see what’s happening in your market regarding your corner of the industry.
You should always take the time to know what’s happening to your coworkers and particularly to those who hire you. Is there a local strike happening with the union? Is the weather affecting filming? Are there new bridal shops opening in the area? Is unemployment affecting your business? did one of your colleagues/clients receive an award?A good business person knows what the heck is happening in their market at all times. Good and bad!

Take the time to break down what you find out into 10 informative posts for your social media marketing. This will let your colleagues know that you care about what’s happening in your area and you care about them. It will also create engagement and awareness of you and your business.

Happy informing! Mary RC

Day 7 of 10 Create 10 Engaging Social Media Posts

Crack your knuckles and loosen up your fingers because it’s time for you to sit down and set up your engagement with your audience/list on social media.


I want you to come up with 10 quick engaging posts all about you and your work. If you have some lovely new work to show via imagery or video or fun behind the scenes shots now’s the time to break it out. Tell your audience a little bit about your experience regarding the photo. Don’t forget to give credit to those involved in the making of.

If you do not have fresh content, break out some old content. Throwback, way way back if you have to. People love to see your old stuff as much as they love to see your new stuff. They even love to see the bad stuff as much as they love to see the great stuff. So do not be afraid to show a disaster because the goal here is to engage with your audience. And it’s okay to share an experience that you learned from that maybe didn’t go so well.


Now that you understand your social media management platform you should be able to plug in these posts over the next 30 days. Spread them out nice and evenly because the next couple of days were going to fill in some holes you may have.

Remember always have fun with it and to be personable not cocky!

Happy engaging! Mary RC

Day 6 of 10 Set up your social media management platform

So depending on how tech-savvy you are will depend on how difficult this day will be. But it is important for you to acquire and get to know a good social media management platform.

So let’s talk about a social media management platform, what the heck is it?

With a management platform, all of your accounts are in one place.  You can post on multiple accounts at once and schedule your posts to hit automatically and at high traffic times.  Some platforms will also regulate your engagement so you can see what is working for you and what isn’t.  I think it is a must have marketing tool, because I can’t always be on social media when my clients are.

Consistency is key when it comes to social media marketing.  Success has proven time and again that if your audience sees you regularly, you will be on the forefront of their mind when the need for an MUA arises.  Social media management is vital to consistent marketing. These programs allow you to sit down and schedule/map out your social media posts in say 30-day batches so you are ahead of the game with automated posts and you have guaranteed consistency.

There are a number of platforms available. I personally use HootSuite. But here is a great article about other platforms that are available.
So today’s homework is for you to sit down and really understand the program that you are using. Go through the program’s tutorials they have available so that you can make sure you are efficiently using the product correctly.

If you are already familiar with the program look for any extra updates that may have come available recently. I want you to be prepared to pull the trigger because later in the week because you are going to have a ton of content ready to distribute.

So put your glasses on and study up. You got this! It is good to learn new things.

Happy learning!! Mary RC

Day 5 of 10 MUA Business Boosters

It’s time to grab your drink of choice, sit down at your computer and get ready to connect. No time like the present is better for you to start connecting with the people on your… Guess what? LIST!
Today is your day to make new friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Grab your LIST and look these people up on social media and connect with them. Search thoroughly and make sure you grab the right person. If you cannot find them on the platform, visit their sites and look for their social media links there.  Lots of creeping going on today.
For those that you are already friends with it’s time to visit each person’s individual page and catch up with them and see what is happening in their world. Take the time to read up and respond to their posts. Particularly those whom you have much in common with. Again, your communication should not be forced it should be genuine.

When you are networking with someone new it is important for you to get to know them on a personal level. It’s not always about them knowing how fabulous you are. You want them to know that you were interested in them as a person as well, not just as somebody who’s going to get them a job.

Happy friending! Mary RC

Day 4 of 10 MUA Business Boosters

Okay, it’s time to do some housecleaning on your social media and take out the trash. If you are using your personal social media accounts to make business connections then you’re going to have to keep your feeds clean.

I am a big advocate for separate social media accounts. One for business engagement and one for personal fun and debauchery.
When utilizing your social media accounts as a clientele connection you want to make sure that your posts are generally neutral in nature. I advise you not to share extreme political posts, sexual content or excessive grievances. You never know who’s going to hire you and you never know what’s gonna rub them the wrong way. It is better to stay on the safe side and keep it squeaky clean.

So dig through your social media.  Go back a few years and delete the dirty stuff. If you do not want to do this then take the time to establish new accounts to connect with new clientele.

Happy house cleaning. Mary RC

Day 3 of 10 MUA Business Boosters

It is song and dance time. Yes people, it’s time for you to put together your newsletter.
By now you should already have your email marketing platform set up. So now sit down and showcase you! This is an opportunity for you to genuinely connect with the people on your list.
“Genuine?” You ask. What I mean by genuine is, just be you. Talk to the people you’re reaching out to you like you know them and like they are your friend. Because ultimately that is what you want them to be, a friend and colleague. Don’t think of these relationships as a rung in the ladder of your community. Be the real you, be personable, have fun with it and go with good intent.

In this freebie download you will find an example of one of my newsletters that had a super successful open and click through rate.

So it’s time for you to sit down and tell everybody what you’ve been up to since the last time you reached out to them. You can do it I know you can. If you’ve got a lot to say on social media you can say just as much in your newsletter, if not more.

Don’t forget to hit send when you’re all done!

Happy writing! Mary RC

Day 2 of 10 MUA Business Boosters

I know what you’re thinking…  20 NEW LEADS?! I guarantee they are out there.  There are always new clients, I promise.  Visit or revisit this Freebie Download for a basic list of google searches you’ll need to do in your area.

Comb through Google.  Start on page 10 if you’ve done this recently, there are good clients that do not always have the best search engine ranking.  Sometimes they’re drowning in a sea of paid Google ads.sea

Remember to think outside the box for new leads.  Revisit the last few jobs you have done and write down the names or job titles of others who were part of the project.  Whoever hired you, may have hired them.  These colleagues can be great leads.  I have been referred by caterers, DJs, location managers and motorhome drivers for excellent gigs. You never know where your next referral will come from.

Senior man in motorhome sitting by steering wheel

This is easier than it sounds to accomplish.  With a bit of effort, you will have 20 plus names on your list in no time.  You got this!!

Happy harvesting!  Mary RC

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