Engage With Your Clients and Colleagues For More Leads

Keep Your Finger On the Pulse of Your Market

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! So what’s going on in your local business market? 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!


Let Your Colleagues Know You Care

Take the time to comment and engage once e week with your local community on social media. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.  Schedule 30 minutes in your phone right now. Make it a recurring reminder. 

Next, schedule another 30 minutes per week to research your local market's news.  Break down what you find out into 5 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

Creating a Profitable Makeup Marketing List Part Two

Have you read Part One?

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.


Now 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.


Social 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.


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.

Email 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.

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

Creating a Profitable Makeup Marketing List Part One

Every Succesful Makeup Artist Needs a Marketing List

Whether you are just starting in the business or have been in the business for 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.


How Do I Find Professionals Who Need a Makeup Artist?

1. 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.


I Don't Want To Bother People

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!


There is No Magic Button, You Must Do the Work

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.

1. Find yourself a free email marketing platform like Mailchimp, Constant Contact 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 and LinkedIn are 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

Only YOU can make your Makeup dream happen….


That’s right my friends you are in charge of your destiny. Not me, not your kids, not your market, not your spouse… YOU and only you!!

I get so many emails from Makeup Artists who are lost or have lost their passion for this business. Either through life burdens, or they have just stagnated in their career. I get it! I’ve been there!

The only person who can make it all better is you! Nobody else can do it for you. You have to put your big girl panties on, crack your knuckles and get down to business and do your freaking job! How many times do I have to tell you it’s more than makeup?


  1. Research research research! There are always new tips and tricks out there in the marketing world. Things change in business at a rapid pace these days. It is imperative that you stay on top of things. What was working five years ago may no longer be working today. And vice versa, things that were working five years ago that you may have forgotten about, are probably more useful today than they were back then. Use Google, listen to podcasts, read blogs! Get inspired to get moving!!

  2. Network! Time to think outside the box. You may have to actually leave your house to do this properly. But just do it! Because people are NOT going to come randomly knocking on your door saying “Hello, I need a fabulous makeup artist, does one live in this household?” Never gonna happen! Be present in your market! Be fearless! Talk to the people in the industry you want to be a part of. Look for opportunities, make opportunities! Don’t wait, make it happen!

  3. Remember! Remember the reason you got into this business in the first place. Why did it light your heart on fire? Write it down every day in a journal. Make a sign, put it on your bathroom mirror. Keep that fire burning. Because nobody cares about your dream more than you!! It’s the truth, own it!

  4. Ask for help, If you need a babysitter ask a family member or a friend to help you out. If you need a business class, look into your local chamber of commerce or church organizations. There are plenty of free resources out there in your community. You just have to look for them. Ask your spouse to do an extra load of laundry to help give you a bit more time at the computer to do more marketing.

Be bold and be proud of your dream. Don’t Let the naysayers get into your head. Manifest the positive outcome that you deserve.

Pick yourself up off the floor, get your butt off of the couch, dust off your business hat and make this career happen! It’s all you babe and nobody else! Say the words out loud “I am enough!” Because you are enough, and you can do this for yourself.

Happy days, Mary RC

The Easiest Way to Sanitize Your Makeup Palletes

A clean sanitized kit makes for a successful makeup artist.

There is no question that you should always have a spotless kit. Nobody sitting in your chair wants to see a nightmare array of yucky pallets, spilled foundation, dirty sponges and disgusting brushes.  True professional makeup artists make a point to sanitize every nook and cranny of their makeup kit to ensure healthy sanitary practices in their makeup chairs.

Avoid ruining your makeup investment

A question I hear often is “How do I sanitize my makeup pallets without ruining the powders?” While there are many ways to do this, I have found that utilizing an Ultraviolet Sanitizing Wand to be the most effective and convenient way of accomplishing a sanitary pallet of makeup without wasting or affecting the pigment of my powders. Best of all it gives me peace of mind.

So easy there is no excuse to NOT clean your makeup

A makeup artist friend of mine gave me one for Christmas a few years back and boy has it made my life easier when it comes to cleaning my kit.   I like to pass the sanitizing wand over my makeup palettes between clients in my chair. So far it's been great! I have not had a single complaint of infection in my twenty years of business as a makeup artist.

A clean appearance is still VERY important.  This wand in no way negates wiping down and physically cleaning your makeup kit. Don't be a lazy bum...

If you would like to add a sanitizing wand to your gear you can pick one up at a good price on amazon.com and start sanitizing away. I also like to pass this over my makeup brushes just for a little extra precaution.  AAANNNDDD lots of other things too....

Happy Sanitizing - Mary RC

Full disclosure I am an Amazon associate.  I 100% stand behind my review/promotion of this product as I genuinely use it in my business.

Investing Beyond the Basics

MYTH: All I Need is Makeup

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.

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.


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.


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

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

Makeup Artist Biz in an actionable source that partners with freelance makeup artists. Mary RC helps them build a profitable business and navigate the waters of the makeup industry.

My Favorite Makeup Kit And Why I Love It

The Makeup Kit struggle is real...

Every makeup artist struggles with finding the perfect kit for their workflow. trust me I know, I have been through numerous setups in my 20-year career. I have carried everything from a stackable train case to a fishing tackle box. The fishing tackle box was my favorite until it became obsolete and I could no longer find it. Thus continued my struggle for the perfect makeup kit. And we all know... the struggle is real!

Travel Mall!  Travel Mall!   Travel Mall!

As I searched through various makeup forums and makeup Facebook groups I continuously asked the question "What is your favorite makeup kit?” Time and time again the answer was ”The Travel Mall makeup kit!” So I decided to take the leap and I ordered the kit on Amazon.com.

I have to tell you that it was not my favorite set up in the begining. I was still mourning the loss of my coveted fishing tackle box. But it essentially functions very similarly to my beloved plastic box. I'm going to share with you a few reasons why I am now a big fan of the Travel Mall Makeup kit.


It is a lightweight Makeup Kit without any product inside of it.

There is nothing worse than picking up a makeup case that weighs a ton and it doesn't even have a single tube of lipstick in it. Lightweight and easy to pick up is very important to me.  As time goes on, the bending and schlepping of gear gets harder and harder on my back.

It is a quick and easy Makeup Station setup.

I am not a makeup artist who likes to have a bunch of different little bags full of product. The way my clientele works, I do not have time to dig around inside bags for what I need. I like to be able to work out of my kit. Setting up and spreading out on a table is not conducive to my business. I love the fact that I can work directly out of this case with a very minimal setup. If there is no table I can plop it on a folding chair and WHA-LA I am ready to work.

It is an Affordable Makeup Kit

Ordering it off of Amazon is the most cost-effective way to pick up one of these cases. In general, the markup on makeup kits is quite substantial. Makeup cases can range anywhere from $60 to $500 depending on where you pick one up.

Okay okay, so it's not the perfect makeup kit! So here are a few minor cons.

You will have to care for the zipper

The zipper may split easily if you overstuff this case. My zipper split but it was an easy fix. I just took a pencil and rubbed it on the zipper and it was repaired after a few minutes. But because of that, I will occasionally swipe a pencil across the zipper just to make sure it doesn't split and something falls out.

It does not have any Wheels

For me this is a plus because I see Wheels as weight. Since I use a hand truck to carry all of my gear this isn't an issue for me.

So if you were on the fence about buying the travel makeup case at least you have another opinion as to why this is a great Makeup Artist's tool. You can click on this link to purchase if you're ready to buy.

Happy Kit Building - Mary RC

Full disclosure I am an Amazon associate.  I 100% stand behind my review/promotion of this product as I genuinely use it in my business.


I have had numerous aspiring makeup artists reach out to me and ask me to review their portfolios. Time and time again I see a common mistake. These artists tend to seek portfolio inspiration from the wrong places and emulate work that misses their target employer. These days their inspiration seems to come from Instagram, Pinterest or other social media outlets. Now I am not saying that these are bad places to find inspiration. It's great to get your creative juices flowing.


What is the Purpose of Your Portfolio?

However, I want you to take a step back for a minute and think about your goal as a makeup artist. My guess is you are here reading this blog because you want to build a profitable business utilizing your makeup skills.  The goal of your portfolio is to attract potential employers, your targets.  Am I right? So ask yourself, are your potential employers on Instagram?

Think Like Your Potential Employer When Planning Your Tests Shoots

So, now it's time for you to stop thinking like a makeup artist, and start thinking like somebody who is going to pay you top dollar for your skills. This should give you a direction to navigate your portfolio building endeavor. Testing is a HUGE investment of time, energy, money, and effort.  Having a specific target in mind will result in a higher return on investment.

Your Portfolio is a Preview of the MUA You Want to Be


If you aspire to be a commercial makeup artist and your book is filled with neon eyeshadows and semi-nude couture, chances are a commercial producer is going to pass you up for a job because your portfolio does not reflect commercial makeup abilities. If you want to be a high fashion makeup artist and your portfolio is filled with Instaglam selfies it is doubtful you would land a job for the cover of Vogue. If you want to be a high-end Bridal Artist and all you have are snapshots from your phone, you're less likely to have the high-end wedding coordinator book you. You get the picture.

Look for the Money Trail and Make Money as a Makeup Artist


When you are researching and gathering inspiration to plan a test shoot for your portfolio, I recommend that you follow the money trail for inspiration. Research imagery that is popular and being paid for and generating profit. If commercial work is your goal then pull images from advertising that is current and classic. Research websites like ispot.TV and pay attention to the commercials you see on your television at home. If you are a bridal makeup artist research successful wedding planners in your area and the imagery they put on their websites. This is a powerful insight into what they are looking for in a makeup artist. It's even smart to pay attention to commercials that run on social media platforms like YouTube. Open your eyes and pay attention to the advertising that is around you like billboards, social media ads, signage in retail locations etc. Chances are if it is visible in your everyday life somebody paid good money for that imagery. Wouldn't you like to be a part of the team that got paid to create those images?  I would.

Happy inspiration!  Mary RC

3 Reasons Clean Makeup Can Help Make You a Successful Makeup Artist

Clean Makeup is a Must in a Professional Makeup Artist's portfolio

Let's talk about clean makeup and why it is so important to your business. I'm a big believer in clean makeup.  It is the foundation of my skills and business. My clean makeup abilities have gotten me more professional makeup jobs than any of my other skills. There are many reasons clean makeup is so important. And I am going to share 3 of those with you here.

Advertising for Yoga Works

Advertising for Yoga Works

First thing first, what is clean makeup?

Clean makeup, in my opinion, is makeup that you cannot see. It is perfecting the skin and making your talent/client look naturally beautiful. You will not see makeup lines, you will not see contour lines, you will not see blatant traces of makeup.

Advertising for IZOD

Advertising for IZOD

Reason number one, portfolio longevity

Clean, classic make-up transcends time. When you are planning out your portfolio test shoots I encourage you to focus on clean beauty. Not only clean makeup but simple classic natural hair as well. I have images in my portfolio that have withstood the test of time. Some of them are more than 10 years old and I still get work from them. They are professionally shot with simple lighting, simple fashion styling and simple hair.

Reason number two, heavy crazy makeup scares the masses

It is easy to get caught up in the creative process. Things can go off into left-field very quickly. Ideas are flowing from every direction and they can easily muddy the waters and kill your testing investment. Keeping things simple when planning your test shoots will pay off in the long run. Do not get caught up in using every color in that brand new eyeshadow palette you just bought. That is an amateur mistake. While couture intended creativity may appeal to your team at the moment, It generally does not appeal to the masses in the long run. You want your hard work and collaborations to appeal to as many people as possible.

Reason number 3, the people who hire trust natural beauty

Nine times out of ten the person who is looking to hire a professional makeup artist is someone who has little to no experience with makeup. Seeing natural makeup in your portfolio is a great first impression.  It creates a comfort and trust in your abilities and will more likely lead to a booking. Something about heavily overdone makeup in a portfolio scares more than it attracts those who hire professional makeup artists.

Clean makeup is money makeup

Because clean makeup will directly affect your business I like to call it money make up. It will book you on more jobs, create trust with your clients, and your portfolio will last longer.

Happy testing! Mary RC

Perfect Professional Makeup Artist's Portfolio: Keep it Simple

Why keep it simple you ask? You wan't to attract the masses. Emulate what works and sells. Vogue is a great example.

las vegas makeup artist

Take it easy on the concepts and ideas when shooting for your portfolio.  There is a fine line between couture and corny. It takes the right model, lighting, styling, and photographer to pull it off. Don't get caught up in overly made up faces and kooky ideas with newbies. These tests will not land you a paying job.  

I'm not saying you shouldn't be creative and have fun. Showing off your flair has a place here and there to keep your book interesting, but clean simple beauty should be your first and primary focus.

It's worked for me and countless other professional makeup artists.  I guarantee it will work for you.  Mary RC