Let’s Talk About Attitude and Getting Paid (More)

Hello lovely readers! Today’s post is especially for the hairdressers, but some of this will also be helpful to the makeup artists, estheticians, and even the freelance photographers, models, wardrobe stylists, etc. Particularly those new in the industry.

Let’s talk about money. We all need it to live, and yet, amongst creative people there is a tendency to be ashamed of this fact. Sometimes I see an internal struggle within them, like it is immoral to charge what they feel on another level is the right amount to charge. I don’t claim to not have these feelings. But I recognize them and understand that if I say, “That will be $115 today,” like I am embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid, people will obviously feed off that energy and feel like it is too much. You can’t talk about money with an apologetic tone or else people feel like you might not be worth it. Which is never the feeling you want people to have. If you say, “That will be $150 today,” in a decisive, confident tone, people will generally be fine. Sure, there are some cheap clients out there who always feel like they are getting slighted, but you can’t treat everyone like that, or people who weren’t otherwise cheap and distrustful might start to act that way.

I am not saying overcharge. I am just saying, don’t undercut yourself or the other professionals around you, as that devalues the hard work we put into this industry.

My mother lives in a small coastal town in Oregon and the market for cutting hair is quite different. She pays $15 including tip for her haircut for a very experienced hairdresser with a substantial clientele. There is not reason for her not to raise her haircut from $2 every couple of years. The only reasons I can think of are fear of losing clients or making them upset or being doubtful that it would make a big difference. Who is really going to be that upset over $2? Not many people, and some who grumble will still come back anyway. You might love a small handful, but you would probably still be making more money and working less. Also, people will tip more.

Above all, people want to see confidence in their hairdresser. As I said before, I am still new at all this and this does not come easy, but it has always been important to me to examine the most successful people I meet and see what makes them different.

As beauty professionals we need to have pride for our work and truly believe it is worth what we are asking. If we don’t believe that to be the case, we need to find what is missing and add it into our services. If it means more education, get more education. If it means a more thorough consultation, spend more time! Even go Vidal Sassoon style and take voice lessons if you think that will make a better, more luxurious experience for the client.

Now, my last point is one very important to me! It is related to not speaking with an apologetic tone about money. Don’t talk to clients about your money problems! Never, never, never! On some clients it will make them tip better or feel less bad about paying more, but you never want the client to feel like you are unreliable, like your mind is on other things than their hair, that they are paying because you need it not because the service is worth it. Clients will feel that their hair doesn’t look as good, even if that is not remotely true! They will look for excuses to go to someone else. They will feel like a burden. And most importantly, they will not feel recharged!

People don’t want to give money to someone who needs it. They want to give it to someone who deserves it. They are paying for experiences and for compliments.

Sephora Advanced Airbrush Set

Hello All! I wanted to write today about my favorite Christmas present this past year, Sephora’s Advanced Airbrush Set. Truly, I love absolutely everything about these brushes except their name. I think it is a shame that they feel the need to throw airbrush into the name for marketing purposes, because these brushes are stellar even though they don’t really have anything to do with airbrushing.

These brushes are extremely reasonable for high-caliber brushes, at only $65. It is an impressively concise set. I use each brush on almost every makeup application and not many other brushes. They are synthetic so they work well with cream and powder and they are very durable. They are still like new after countless washing the last four months. These are amazing for a professional kit but reasonable enough that they would be suitable for at home use.

Brushes included in the set:
Airbrush Powder – Extremely soft and durable. Clients compliment this brush all the time. Dense and fluffy, depending on the motion you use you can either sweep light amount of powder or really pack it in with a dabbing motion.

Airbrush Precision Foundation – My favorite brush in the set! Very soft and dense. I save so much product by using this brush because foundation really stays on the outer ends of the bristles and applies as a thin, even layer. No microexfoliation, which is huge! No streaking! With other foundation brushes I either get flaking/microexfoliation or staking and need to dab with a sponge but this brush is amazing at comfortably applying a thin, even layer of liquid or cream foundation.

Airbrush Concealer – The perfect brush for blending out concealer lines! It is a little big for applying the concealer but I have small, cheap brushes for that. I use this one more for blending lines or bigger blemishes. Sometimes I use it for delicately contouring or highlighting with creams.

Airbrush Crease – This brush is a little big for some eye shapes but it is great for softly distributing powder on lids. I always shake excess powder off, though, or there would be a bit of fallout.

Airbrush Shadow – This is a very versatile brush and I actually use it with cream concealer more than anything. It is so dense and tiny so it is great for undereyes and buffing in a thicker cream primer on the eyelid. With other brushes I have felt like they just can’t get cream products smooth enough on the eyelids, like it would just be easier to use my finger to press it in, but fingers are too large and I try to minimize using my fingers on clients. This brush is the answer! It is a great size but the right balance between soft and firm so I can get the result I want without causing discomfort. It is great at packing in and blending out powder shadows also!

“I’m not even wearing any makeup” and other such lies

“I’m not wearing ANY makeup today.”
“It took me, like, five minutes to get ready this morning.”
“I am so low maintenance, I take less time to get ready than my boyfriend.”
“I don’t know why other girls spend so much time getting ready, I just roll out of bed.”

First of all, these statements ARE true for some women, but generally, the women that these statements are true for are not the ones who say them. My low maintenance clients complain about taking five minutes to do something, not brag about it… And really, they rarely mention it unless prodded because they don’t care.

Usually when I hear these kinds of statements it is from people who clearly have spent some time on themselves, and often a substantial amount of time. I do consider myself low maintenance, so maybe it is just that what seems like a ton of work to out in daily to me is very minor to other women, but the statements I am referring to in this post are not relative statements, they tend to be fairly specific and so obviously false. Two things puzzle me greatly about this: first, that some women feel the need to lie, and second, that men believe such lies. Really, I think such statements are damaging to both genders and their relationship with each other. And yes, I am taking this issue far too seriously. The issue itself is fairly benign but it is a symptom of something more serious.

Why do women lie? I have many answers.

The first is something I mention often in my blog because I think it is the culprit of most of the damaging aspects of the beauty industry and that is the inherent competition between females. I wish that as women, and moreso as people, we could be united. I believe that naturally we want to be benevolent but that culture dictates feelings of jealousy and insecurity. I’m not sure how this started, but these feelings are powerful motives to buy, buy, buy, so that is why they are encouraged by the media in sometimes subtle and sometimes extreme ways. In the case of women claiming they have spent an extremely small amount of time on themselves, it is one woman putting herself in a good light through implications that other women do so much more and that such routines are shallow wastes of time. Usually there is an explicit jab at womankind thrown in there but not always. Some men will be inclined to believe this because they don’t know as much about makeup, they just know they’ve seen some girls with way too much on and they don’t like that. When asked, a lot of men will say they prefer women without makeup on, but prior to their first experience living with a woman, I think a lot of them don’t really realize just what women look like without makeup. To see a woman who claims to not be wearing any makeup, but is clearly wearing foundation, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss and blush reaffirms an unreal expectation for what women look like. Some women are just naturally nearly flawless. If they are bare faced and proclaim it it isn’t a lie, but it still has an air of condescension towards other women. And really, even if a woman is not wearing anything that day, there is often a beauty regiment at work.

Another reason women lie about their beauty routine is because natural beauty is very in right now and many men prefer it. But these days it seems to me that natural beauty seems to just mean that you don’t need to do as much in the morning. Permanent makeup, tanning, laser hair removal, cosmetic surgeries and eyelash serums and extensions are very popular these days. I hear people claim to not care at all about their looks and that they are extremely low maintenance when all of these things are in play. I don’t have a problem with any of these things, and some I think are quite awesome, but why not call a spade a spade?

Which brings me to the final point I’ll discuss in this post, that women are defensive about their beauty routines because they don’t want to be viewed as shallow. Which is ironic because statements like those above encourage judgment! Some women wear a lot of makeup, some don’t and it is more apparent on some than others. It doesn’t matter and it doesn’t change who you are on the inside. It is perfectly fine and natural to care what you look like and playing with your hair and makeup is fun and that’s ok! If a woman doesn’t want to be viewed as shallow she should talk about other things, not other women or her “lack” of mirror time. Usually an unprovoked “I don’t do ___________” is cause for suspicion.

Some women like beauty and makeup, others don’t, and that is ok. And while I don’t endorse obsessive or unhealthy behavior, I believe there is nothing to be ashamed in with taking an hour or more to get ready for your day and it does not make someone (necessarily) shallow. Beauty and fashion give people a chance to express themselves and use their creativity and it is a lot of fun and it can be very empowering. I believe that women, especially strong, intelligent and capable women, have a very warped relationship with the beauty industry. They feel it will tie them down. They feel if image is important to them they are not strong, intelligent and capable. They drive a wedge between themselves and the “girly-girls.” They want to be different and better. But in the world and within them image is still important so there is a disconnect and that is where these statements sometimes come from. But there is no dichotomy. There are just people and each person, whether they repress it or not, has some feelings and connections to the beauty industry.

So don’t be afraid of makeup, or your hair. Just have fun with it, as much or as little as you want to, and then go out into the world without judgment and you won’t have to waste your time with lies and insecurity. I know these comments are not intentional or calculated by any means, but when that insecurity has vanished, just think how much time you have to talk about all the more important things in life?

Beauty shots with Paige and Mark Brosius

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Hello everyone! Here is some work from a few months ago. The model is Paige Price and the photographer is Mark Brosius. Let me tell you what products I used for this look!

Skin prep/primer: Embryolisse
Foundation: Make Up For Ever HD with Graftobian Creme foundation for added coverage in places
Cheeks: Ben Nye blush with Tarte bronzer
Eyes: NYX chubby white pencil to prime with Lime Crime’s China Doll palette with Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Seal with the Lime Crime for the liner
Lips: OCC Lip Tar
Powder: Ben Nye Visage Luxury Powder

Smashbox HD Powder

Hello everyone! Today’s post is about my FAVORITE powder. I have extremely dry, sensitive and fair skin and all three of these issues make it extremely difficult to find makeup. I apply the powder with a kabuki brush after moisturizing and then applying OCC Tinted Moisturizer. The coverage is wonderful for a powder and on my better skin days I am comfortable wearing this powder without tinted moisturizer underneath. When my skin flares up with a rash or dry, itchy patches this powder is light enough it doesn’t irritate my skin. It is long wearing and has a great finish. It looks like skin and doesn’t get too cakey.

I love the packaging on this product!

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The compact comes with a mirror and a grinder, so it is a pressed powder underneath and then you grind a little bit out as you need, which avoids a lot of mess and keeps the mirror clean. It is also a great compact for professionals because you can just grind off some powder which eliminates the need to dip into a compact with your brush. It also makes it easier to mix powder colors for professional use. I, personally, don’t use it in my kit because I prefer a heavy liquid foundation with a lighter setting powder, but it is a great product for people that do more wedding and event work. For photo work I prefer other products. I don’t really take makeup around with me but it would be a great compact to take around in your purse.

Let’s talk about price! If you have ever thought about using this product, you probably saw the price and yelped. I have also sought out other, cheaper products. This product runs for just under $60, which is no small price. But if you love this product it is worth it. You get .75 ounces of product, which is more than double virtually all other comparable, high quality brands (such as Laura Mercier, Make Up For Ever, etc.) which run for around $35. And as I said the coverage is great so you don’t need to use a ton. Compare that to Bare Minerals where you get under .3 ounces and you need to use more to get the same coverage and can’t really get proper coverage without approaching cakey-ness.

But the biggest reason I love this powder is that I don’t need to worry about oxidation! Maybe others have experienced oxidation with Smashbox, but it truly wears better than any other powder I have tried, staying true to color and not settling into fine lines or pores. What is oxidation? It is a fair lady’s worst nightmare! Have you ever tried on a foundation, loved it, then looked in the mirror an hour later and your makeup has turned darker? Sometimes there is a bit if an orange tinge, too. Smashbox works well on my fair skin and really blends in and STAYS that way.

Smashbox does not have nearly the color selection of many other brands. I generally use a very yellow based tinted moisturizer layered over the red parts of face to get my ideal color. But even on my days off where I just wear powder, Smashbox does a great job really blending in with my skin tone, which is surprising to me since I am usually hard to match.

As for the claims that it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, I am not sure. I have fairly youthful skin. I do know that it wears well under my eyes where other powders sometimes settle into fine lines.

All in all, this is my preferred powder foundation. It is gentle and looks great and I really feel like my skin looks and feels better when I wear it regularly.