What Are You Working For?


Learn Your Craft.

You cannot cook an omelet without eggs (or egg whites for the health conscious folks). In the world of makeup, you cannot create looks without some sort of technique. Please take the time to learn your craft. Hone your skills by seeking out professional classes, workshops, or by talking to experts and practicing what you need to learn.

You need to have good techniques, like knowing how to blend products until they seem to Me Doing Brianna's Makeup“disappear” into the skin, and you need to know basic color theory.  If you struggle with color theory, check out  “Makeup Meets Color Theory” at Beautylish.com. Resources are everywhere, especially for aspiring MUA’s, and if you expect people to treat you like a professional, you have to learn from professionals. No technique means no pay, or very low pay.

Take pictures while you work, and use the flash, which shows all flaws. Don’t be afraid to stop and start over if need be, because a happy client is a repeat client. While no one should be expecting miracles, clients do expect their makeup artists to interpret their vision and make it a reality.

Try out new products that you’ve seen other artists use.  If you need to save up to splurge on luxury brands from time to time, then you need to do that, so that you can have the experience of working with different brands. I’m no slave to any particular brand of makeup but there are some products that just work better than others. Always have your “go to” products as a part of your arsenal of goodies, so that you are always prepared to make up someone’s face at a moment’s notice. Invest in good tools, especially sponges and brushes.

You get what you put into this field of makeup artistry. If you invest in education, devote your time, put forth great effort, and practice repeatedly, this career can be exceptionally rewarding.  Remember that no matter what you study and learn, you have to develop your own signature style and rely on yourself and your instincts to help you create work that you can be proud of for the rest of your life.

I Am Grateful

Me in GlassesThree days ago, my husband and I picked up our good friends who flew in from Texas for a visit. We took them to breakfast and as we were sitting there, catching up, I felt someone bump my chair by accident, as the waiter led the party to their table. I glanced over, and saw that the gentleman who bumped my chair was the one and only Reggie Wells! I think I almost scared my group with my sharp intake of breath, and overall giddiness. My husband and friends got a quick bio from me about Mr.Wells, and we quickly dubbed him as, “The Michael Jordan of Makeup.”

I knew in my heart that I needed to briefly (and quickly) let Mr. Wells know how much he has inspired me to continue to work on my craft, and make my mark in the makeup world. I introduced myself and told Reggie that after hearing him speak at The Makeup Show-Chicago in 2011, I did some self-reflection and realized that I needed to take a leap of faith, and leave the field of education (Reggie’s previous career), and move forward with plans

Picture taken by Tiffany Payne-Griffin, 2011

Picture taken by Tiffany Payne-Griffin, 2011

to work as an artist full-time. We chatted briefly, and after Reggie inspected my eyebrows (I got the seal of approval), he gave me a big hug, wished me well and I floated back to my table on cloud 9. Does it matter if Reggie ever remembers this conversation? No. What matters is that I am so grateful that I had an opportunity to thank Mr. Wells, a pioneer in the field. He has paved the way for so many other artists, especially African-American artists, and shares life lessons every time he speaks.

Pretty Prom Makeup

It's Prom Season!It’s prom season! I love making young ladies look lovely and feel great about going to the prom. What I do not love is prom makeup that AGES young ladies and makes them look less like ladies and more like ladies of the evening! It’s important to remember that Green Eyesteenage girls, although they are on the cusp of womanhood, are still GIRLS, and should look their age, which makes prom makeup a little tricky. As an artist, I want my teen clients to look beautiful, but not too grown, so I play around with fun, youthful colors and styles.

For the looks you see here, I interchanged several brands of eye-shadows to get the look that made my client happy. I started with Magnolia Makeup pigment in Green Tea, and applied it to the tear ducts and inner eye areas on both the upper and lower lids. On the center of the lids, I used MAC shadow in Bitter, and Inglot shadow in 384 on the outer corners and crease. MAC shadow in Naked Lunch was swiped under the brow bone area, and I used Make Up For Ever Aqua Black and MAC Smolder for eyeliner. Since my client chose to get eyelash extensions prior to our appointment, I skipped the mascara. The young lady and her parents loved the finished look, and as her artist, I was happy that she looked fresh and fabulous!Prom Makeup