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INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL WITH MARY RC

Makeup Artist Chat with Mary RC

INTERVIEW WITH MARY RC

This month on ‘Makeup Artist Chat’ we had the pleasure of speaking with Makeup Artist Mary RC. Mary has been doing makeup in the fashion, commercial and celebrity industry for nearly 20 years. Working with Jimmy Fallon, Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Fall Out Boy, Chevy, Nike, W Magazine, Premiere Magazine and more.

We asked Mary for her thoughts on the top set rules to follow, her absolute kit essentials, building a great reputation and so much more. Enjoy!

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 a 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 front man, 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 in 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 sink hole that will destroy your career.
If you would like to learn more about Mary RC’s experience, please visit her website at MaryRC.com.

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Investing beyond the basics.

Oh, how I wish this was a turnkey business. But it is not. The truth is most people who want to become a professional makeup artist go into it without a clue. I know I did. And I know lots of my MUA friends did as well. So the best thing you can do at this point is to learn from other people’s mistakes and successes.

When it comes to investing into your business there are many things that you can waste a lot of time and money on. Things like excessive makeup, bad portfolio pictures, marketing scams, etc.

Here are three things you can invest in that you may not have realized can help you grow your business and put you on the fast track. We are talking beyond the basics of a website, a makeup kit, application education or products.

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1. A good photographer.

Time is money and money is time in my book. When it comes to testing you’re taking a risk with your time and your money. Having wasted much of both working with inexperienced photographers taught me a valuable lesson. Pay for a good photographer. It is worth it in the long run because you will get what you need and what you want. You will not be subject to crazy lighting gels, weird angles, or all the other things that newbie testing photographer wants to try out. You need that money shot in your portfolio to get you a job. I highly recommend that you find the right photographer and you pay them for their talents. It’ll gain you a great contact and make your phone ring faster I promise.

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2. Business and Marketing Education.

I’m sure I have said this many times before, but it doesn’t matter how talented you are at painting faces.  If you do not have the skills to build a business around your talents you can only go so far. Understanding business and marketing is essential to getting work. Consider taking online courses or reaching out to your local community college to grab some basic business understanding if you have none. Being self-employed is a lot more than somebody handing you cash once you have done their makeup. Word-of-mouth is always the best marketing tool but if nobody knows anything about you, then you need to grasp some marketing techniques to get the attention of those who could hire or refer you.

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3. Travel.

If you are in a smaller market you need to save up your coin to travel to the educators that can provide you with the knowledge you need for your business. So many times people are stumped by a plane ticket and hotel room. When you are saving for a course, work that into your budget. Traveling to receive a proper education will pay off in the long run. I have watched a few artists who have dedicated themselves to their education, regardless of where classes are, blossom and grow their business quicker than those who are stumped by their location.

This list can go on and on..  But we will stop here for now. I promise if you focus on these three things your business will reach new heights. Investment is a necessary part of any business.  Investing properly is the key to success.

Happy investing!  Mary RC

MUA Business Booster – Creating a Profitable List (Part 2)

https://muabiz.com/businessbooster11-mp4/So you read PART 1 of this post already right? Have you done your homework?

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I know, I know it took forever didn’t it? Well, now that you’re on your way to building your profitable list it is time to move onto the next phase.

Your goal is to genuinely engage and develop relationships with those in your industry.

As you know I have had to build my business three times and the tallest hurdle is always gaining connections in a new market and showing them who I am and what I am capable of. You are in the business of selling your talents and gifts as an artist, you need to market yourself. These methods have worked for me and continue to do so in today’s makeup artist market. Proceed with professionalism, integrity and be genuine.

You will do two things with each name on the list and I’m about to break it down for you.

socialSocial Media

The first thing you will need to do is try and locate/follow/friend each name on your list on social media. I prefer Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. As I said in the previous email you are going to need to have “Little Miss Mary Sunshine” type profiles. You don’t want anything too controversial, naughty or outlandish on your profiles. I honestly would suggest that you clean up your existing profiles and keep them “puppy personal” and “superhero business”. Then just create another profile for your online public partying and debauchery.  The less threatening you are to others, the larger your hiring pool.

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Now I’m not saying you gotta be the Church Lady, you definitely need some personality on your profile. I put together a list of daily post examples that have worked for me in this freebie download.

newsEmail Newsletter

Now that you have uploaded your excel sheet into your email marketing program, you have the opportunity to put together some really great content to send to your list.

Why would you do this you ask? This is to get those that hire or recommend thinking about you on a regular basis. Because as I said before, the people who usually do the hiring and recommending call the last person on their mind. And we all want to be that person, right?

However, we don’t want to be that spammy person in their inbox. It’s a delicate balance for sure. So, how do you achieve this? Well, it’s all in the content.  Here are 4 steps to help you send engaging profitable content.

#1. When writing your email the first thing you need to do is create a friendly title. You don’t want to be too salesy. It should sound like it’s coming from a friend. “A Quick Hello from Mary RC.” “An update from your favorite MUA.”

#2. Second, you want to engage the person. Make them feel like you have something in common with them. I personally like to point out things like the weather, holidays and recent events.  Even if you don’t know them, talk to them like you’ve already met.

#3. Third, it is time for a quick show-and-tell. You want to give them a brief (repeat: brief) update on your resume and sprinkle a few great shots or videos that you recently worked on.  Then, share a few of your favorite works with them.

#4. Finally, you want a call to action. And that action is to CALL YOU. Ask them to reach out to you if they need a great makeup artist.  Don’t forget to add all of your contact information and website in your newsletter.

I have also added one of my own personal emails as an example for you in the freebie download.

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I look forward to hearing your feedback. It takes time and consistency to build an audience so be patient and give it a good 60 days. Your bookings will increase as your engagement with the right people increases.

Happy Engaging!! – Mary RC

Not so Glamorous Business of Makeup

When people say this to me I automatically start checking off all of the things that are so NOT glamorous in this business in my head. A few things that come to mind are…

– Dealing with bodily grossness example sweat, boogers, dandruff, food in teeth, bad breath, etc. (help me out here)
– Dragging 120 pounds of “glamour’ around with me everywhere I go.
– Never really having a day off, my brain is always working
– Feast or famine
– What else???

Join my Facebook Group Makeup Artist Biz to join the conversation.

Mary RC

Comprehending Mary RC: Civilian vs. Talent

So I thought I would just explain myself and my lingo a little bit. Years ago I came up with the term “civilian” for people in my chair who are not “talent”. So I thought I would take a minute and differentiate the two so you can understand what I’m saying when I speak like this because I know I can be a little difficult to understand at times. I blame business and children.  Ha ha.

CIVILIAN Civilians are clients that are regular people who do not work in the on-camera industry. Let me just name a few…

bridal clients, special event clients, family picture clients, prom clients etc.

TALENT  Talent individuals are people who work in the on-camera industry. You are usually prepping his people to go in front of the camera to do their job. Here are a few of them for your reference…

models, actors, television hosts, public figures, News and sports announcers, etc.

I hope this helps you understand a little bit about where I’m coming from when I speak in these terms.

Happy differentiating my lingo, Mary RC

MUA Business Booster – Creating a Profitable List Part 1

Whether you are just starting in the business or have been in the business a long time. Creating a profitable list of prospective or current clients is vital to your business. How so? Here are three reasons you need to sit down today and put this list together.

LIST11. When someone is looking for a hair and/or makeup artist they typically call the first person that comes to their mind.

2. Clients like to feel connected to their hair and/or makeup artist. We provide a very personal service. Connectivity ensures client retention.

3. Consistent list building will generate a higher demand for your services and eventually increased rates.

“What is this list you speak of?” you ask. The list I speak of is one that you will be sending your personal content to in an effort to achieve these three goals. You will do this via email and social media.

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I know, I know you’re afraid you will appear too spammy. Trust me I get it. I thought the same thing until I started utilizing my list and getting results. The fact is I have had less than a 5% unsubscribe rate on my email list. That tells me that my clients are not bothered with the content that I am sending.

With that being said, the key is in your content. If you are sending them salesy spammy messages, then yes they will unsubscribe. But if you are sending them updates on the jobs that you have done with great imagery and keeping it on a personal level they will feel engaged with you and feel compelled to book you when the opportunity arises. Thus making your phone ring!

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Even if you have been in the business a long time I would suggest that you sit down, gather the contacts you already have (use your old emails and callsheets) and search for new names for your list. There is always up-and-coming clientele in every market. I encourage you all to continually update your list to stay on top of your game.

There are a number of places on the Internet that you can search for new clientele as a hair and makeup artist. I have put together a list of Google searches for you here in this freebie download. Once you have gathered the names in these categories you will need to do two things with each name.

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1. Find yourself a free email marketing platform like Mailchimp or Infusionsoft to manage your list with. Once you have set this up, my suggestion is that you put together a monthly newsletter to send to your list.

2. Connect with the people on this list on social media. Facebook is a great tool for this. You may need to start a new profile if you are a little naughty, opinionated or overzealous on your current profile. You should have a fairly neutral business persona when reaching out to your list.

Creating a list can be a big project. So this is where I want you to start because I do not want to overwhelm you. This is why I decided to make this a two-part blog post. Next, I will talk about the kind of content to engage your list with.

Be sure to download this freebie to help you get started.

Happy List Building!  – Mary RC

FREE WEBINAR MUA BUSINESS BOOSTER PART 1 — WATCH

Read MUA BUSINESS BOOSTER: Creating a Profitable List Part 2

DID YOU KNOW the weather should be part of your makeup application?

DID YOU KNOW the weather should be part of your makeup application? Why is that you ask? Because the weather can affect how products react on your client/talents skin.

This is why it is so important to not be a cookie-cutter make up artist. A professional makeup artist understands their products and how they react to the environment that they are working in.

THINGS TO CONSIDER
Do you know what products work well in hot weather?
Do you know what products work well in cold weather?
Do you know what products work well in high humidity?
Do you know what products are waterproof?
When is it appropriate to use waterproof products?

These are all questions that you need to know the answers to when stocking your kit. So now ask yourself how prepared are you?

Happy dancing in the rain.
Mary RC

Join my Facebook Group Makeup Artist Biz with Mary RC for business tips and webinars.

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Don’t get Foxed- 3 Tips to Not Get Taken Advantage of as a New Makeup Artist

Are you a new makeup artist looking to assist in order to learn more about set etiquette, the business, and technique? Are you starved for experience and willing to take whatever makeup opportunity comes your way?  That is a great attitude to have my gingerbread friend. Please continue to stay sweet, but beware the Leary Fox!!!

Here are 3 tips to not get taken advantage of as a budding makeup artist.

fewwTIP #1:  Beware of “Working For Exposure”

The right exposure definitely has value to your career. If the job will Expose YOUR work and credit to a large audience or an audience that will hire you, then it may be worth the sweat equity. But if the job is for a no name, no reputation, big fat nobody then NO GO! They’re looking for a sucker!  Be sure to research producers, production companies, and projects/productions you have never heard of.  Chances are if they do not show up on Google, they never will.

TIP #2:  Beware of Assisting for FREE. 

Assisting the right mentor is key to elevating your career.  A good mentor will take the time to show you the ropes, talk you through set etiquette and explain the what where how and why things happen the way they do. If you’re assisting someone and all you are doing is fetching coffee and cleaning makeup brushes your so-called mentor is taking advantage of you. Some bad mentors have also been known to make their assistants do all the work and take all the credit.  Run from these people.

TIP #3: Beware of Bad Photographers

There are just as many bad makeup artists (people with makeup) as there are bad photographers (people with cameras). Be sure to understand and study good photography and photoshop. Stay away from unpaid shoots or concepts that are not book-worthy (example: fetish, boudoir, nudes, glam).   badphotog

There are plenty of wonderful projects out there worth your precious time, energy, and makeup.  Just remember to know what you are getting yourself into and work SMARTER, not HARDER!

Happy Out-Foxing! – Mary RC

 

MUA ADVICE OF THE DAY: Grab a shovel…

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Be grateful for imperfect models and clients.

I get so irritated by MUA’s complaining about models or clients who do not have perfect skin or eyebrows etc. If people were perfect what would we do for a living? When someone apologizes in my chair for their breakout, chapped lips, whacked brows etc. I always tell them to stop, it’s job security for me. I can fix it! While models should be prepared there is only so much they can do for hormones or overworked skin. On set if their skin is broken out, puffy or tired it’s my job to inform the photographer, director etc. about the situation so lighting can be adjusted to compensate. It’s not my job to scold the talent, thereby making them insecure or upset so they do not perform well and the whole shoot is a loss. Be grateful for imperfection, it keeps you employed. And if you can’t handle the situation like a professional, it’s time to look for another career.

Happy Correcting! -Mary RC

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