Archive for September, 2013
So you’ve just graduated from QC Makeup Academy and are now faced with the challenge of entering the professional world of makeup artistry. You’ve spent time learning and honing your craft, and now it’s time to get out there and make a name for yourself!
Check Your Attitude
The makeup industry is full of competitive professionals, which is why it’s so important to put your best foot forward from the very start. Put a smile on your face, deck yourself out in a professional outfit, and walk into every client meeting with a great attitude. This will make all the difference. The relationship between a client and their makeup artist can be a very personal one – even if it is brief – and it will leave a lasting impression. Make sure that lasting impression is a good one, and it will lead to rave reviews and referrals.
Talk to any successful makeup artist, and they’ll tell you that networking is the key to their success. The most important thing we want you to remember is how effective word of mouth is. Don’t underestimate the power of a spoken referral from your client to one of their friends. That one rave review might just be the thing that skyrockets your career.
Look into creating a website and linking it to various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. If you’re a current student, we go into detail on this subject in the Using Social Media guide found in the Career Center of your Online Student Center.
Design and print a lot of business cards, and take them with you wherever you go. Leave a business card with your clients at the end of every session, and get creative when thinking of possible connections. Approach places like wedding and event venues, wedding planners, and hair salons and ask to leave a stack of your business cards with each. Wedding planners in particular are usually seeking talented makeup artists in their area to keep on call for their brides. Just remember that your business card will be speaking for you, so invest some time and money into making them stand out and ensuring your message is clear.
Ask Advice and Job Shadow
Through your training with QC Makeup Academy we’ve given you all the tools and skills you’ll need to work as a competent professional in the makeup industry, but that doesn’t mean you’re journey will be hiccup free. You’ll still have a lot to learn about the work environment.
The best way to become acquainted with this fast-paced work setting is to grab some advice from a fellow professional. Ask them how they began their career, and even inquire to see if they would be willing to have you shadow or assist them at their next job. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn. Just make sure the advice you get is coming from a seasoned professional who has your best interests in mind; we suggest contacting a makeup artist who works outside of your area (i.e. they’re not in direct competition with you for clients) and who has a few years of experience under their belt.
In this ever-changing, dynamic field it’s important to keep up to speed with top industry news. Subscribe to beauty and fashion magazines, well-known blogs, and any industry related publications. Also make sure to keep your skills and makeup knowledge up to date with continuing education options like our new Pro Makeup Workshop with Nathan Johnson. Never stop looking for inspiration!
Starting off in the makeup industry can sometimes be a slow and frustrating process, but once you get your foot solidly in the door you’ll find yourself working in a successful, fun, and rewarding career!
If you’re a current student, don’t forget to check for updates in the Career Center of your Online Student Center – we continually update the information there to ensure you have the best resources at your fingertips. If you’re not already enrolled with us, get in touch with our Support Team. They ‘re always happy to answer any questions you might have about our Academy!
Have a bad case of writer’s block? Not to worry, it happens to all of us. Sometimes we fall into a bit of a writing rut, and we find that the best way to break free of it is to open up our minds with some creative writing prompts. Scroll down to get inspired! Who knows, this might just spark an idea in you for the next best-seller!
2. Jump in and finish this story!
It was pitch-black and Darla couldn’t see a thing. As she eased herself forward she scraped her hand on something sharp and slimy, and shivered as she heard a splash behind her…
3. 10 year-old Mike is running home in the rain and gets hit by lightning. He survives, but seems to have a strange new ability…
4. Sandra was starving! But as she settled into the restaurant booth and opened up the menu her brow furrowed. She had never even heard of most of the foods before!
5. Start your story off with “There was once a chance I never took…”
6. Write a story based on the following paragraph:
During a short afternoon hike, a young couple finds themselves face-to-face with a strange creature. It’s nothing like anything they’ve ever seen or heard of. One of them is scared and wants to high-tail it home, but the other seems to be mesmerized with the creature and wants to follow it. So they do…
7. In 300 words or less, write about a day in the life of an inanimate object.
8. Samantha and Beth are completely broke and didn’t pay this month’s phone bill. The strange thing is, the phone keeps ringing and ringing…and ringing. Every time they pick it up the same automated message plays. A woman’s voice softly says, “Call 819-267-5151. I have something you need.” They don’t recognize the woman’s voice or the telephone number. Samantha is creeped out, but Beth convinces her to call the number.
9. Imagine you are eating the most delicious meal you’ve ever had. In no less than 500 words, describe the experience.
10. The meaning of life has been discovered.
Did you enjoy getting creative with these writing prompts? Share your stories with us in the comments below!
To be a professional organizer, you’ll need to have a knack for the neat, tidy and organized. Good time management and interpersonal skills will be essential, as will the ability to remain cool-headed under pressure and in areas of clutter. In this post, we’ll overview the description of a professional organizer including education requirements, working knowledge needed, average salary, sample career path, working conditions, and regular duties. If you’re interested in learning more about a career in the fast growing industry of professional organizing, be sure to check out QC Design School’s Advanced International Organizing Professional course.
The field of Professional Organizing experienced a mega boom following the introduction of shows such as Hoarders and Hoarders: Buried Alive. It’s important not to confuse the duties of a professional organizer with those of a therapist or hoarding specialist – they’re not the same. A professional organizer is someone who goes into a space and clears out the unnecessary, then creates a neat and tidy organizational system. Someone who specializes in hoarding or provides therapy to people with OCD and “hoarding” is someone who has completed medical training.
The education requirements for professional organizing are vague, and technically no formal training is needed in many areas of the world. Having a certificate of completion showing you’ve completed voluntary training in the subject, however, will help you set apart from your competition. Whether you choose to study professional organizing from home or at an in-class school is up to you. Having proof that you’ve completed training in the subject will help to land you clients and give them extra confidence in your abilities.
In your career as a professional organizer, you’ll be expected to be able to create different organizing solutions and systems for a host of spaces, ranging from closets and pantries to bedrooms and mud-rooms. Having the ability to quickly identify necessary and unnecessary objects in a room is essential. It’s recommended that you have a basic working knowledge of furniture placement, available storage solutions, and common names for closet organizers, storage boxes, bins, as well as a list of places (online or off) where these items are available.
A professional organizer’s pay is dependent on his or her experience, knowledge, and skill level. For junior professional organizers, the salary is typically somewhere between $25,232 and $39,832. After 1-3 years of experience, you’re more likely to be in the range of $30,701 and $61,000. Later in your career, you can expect to earn an income between $80,000 and $100,000 – if not more. Having professional training in the subject and being dedicated to making your business a success will all work together to get you up to the higher range of income faster.
Sample Career Path
Below is a sample career path of someone looking to establish themselves as a self-employed professional organizer:
Working as an assistant organizer or junior professional organizer, building a client list and getting experience.
Working as an intermediate professional organizer, continuing to build client list and slowly inching up the hourly rate.
Working as an experienced professional organizer, working with mainly referrals earned from your past stand-out work. Ability to charge a higher rate and earn more income with a more flexible schedule.
Owning your own successful business, perhaps with junior professional organizers working beneath you and taking on more of the smaller tasks, reserving your time for jobs needing your expertise.
A professional organizer’s working conditions are fairly self-inflicted. As an organizer, you’ll be in charge of setting your own schedule and will likely work the first few years of your career from a home office. You’ll have to be able to work in stressful conditions and may find yourself surrounded by clutter for most of your work day. It can be a little nerve-wracking, so do your best to fight anxiety and give yourself time to cool off and unwind in the evening and over weekends!
Many people struggle with organization, particularly in their personal lives and homes. Even people who are the most organized at work can live in complete messes! Your job as an organizer is to go in and help put some order back into your clients’ lives. It might be creating a closet organizational system or it could be setting up an organizational system within an office space. Your duties will change often and will depend on the specific job at hand.
Interested in becoming a professional organizer? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at QC Design School today and learn about its Professional Organizing course. The school accepts students from around the world and allows them to study from home and at their own paces.
Have you heard? One of 2013’s biggest travel trends is food tourism – a travel experience based entirely around local food and drink. Read on for a brief explanation of this growing trend, and for some tips about how to incorporate it into your services as a travel consultant.
What is food tourism?
Food tourism, also known as culinary tourism, is a growing trend in travel that’s happening alongside the foodie trend and local food movement. Food tourists are interested in finding an authentic experience through local food and drink, which helps them better understand and connect to the unique culture of a new place.
It’s not necessary to go to the far reaches of the world to have an authentic culinary tourism experience. A lot of foodies plan for a staycation and enjoy trying out the options in their local restaurants, or surrounding towns and villages.
What does this mean for travel consultants?
As a travel consultant, you can certainly cash in on the food tourism trend. In fact, some food tourism companies are starting to pop up, offering travelers unique trips to food-famous places like Italy, China, and Peru. These specialized tours often incorporate hiking, bicycling, and visits to other important cultural and historic spots of interest.
As a travel agent, you can create your own food-centric travel packages. Just make sure you understand what your clients are looking for. Food tourism is not necessarily about dining in five-star restaurants every night. The true definition of food tourism is taking part in authentic, local flavors. Of course, this will be a lot cheaper than fancy restaurants, but also more difficult for average tourists to find. That’s where your expertise comes in. Get creative! Keep in mind that if they’re interested in eating, they’re probably also interested in how and where food is made. Here are a few places you could put on their tours:
– Local markets
– Fruit fields
– Craft Breweries
– Tea factories
For more advice on how to break into niche travel markets, check out QC Travel School’s at-home courses!
In this day and age, everyone needs to be able to write clearly and communicate concisely – regardless of your career field. When you’re an author, it’s your job to write. That makes having the ability to write effectively and efficiently even more important. In this post, we’ll explore how to improve your writing skills so you can say what you mean faster and better, and become an all-around better communicator.
When you’re looking to become a better writer, one of the best ways to spend your time is actually reading. Reading books at different levels of difficulty will challenge you to refresh your vocabulary and become familiar with words you may not currently use. A good tactic for testing your abilities is to choose a message and try to write it at least five different ways. Adding more words to your lexicon, and doing so on a regular basis, will allow you to get better faster.
Another way to improve your writing skills? Improve your speaking skills. When someone’s reading your writing, you want them to be able to hear a voice in their head saying the words. What better way to perfect your tone and explanation skills than to actually speak to another person! Practice this by explaining different concepts, talking about the news, or debating a subject with someone else. This will also allow you to pull from your expanding vocabulary – the one you’re building while you read.
Write a page a day. Try to write about different topics each day to practice your range. Doing this will help you be able to write about anything – regardless of your knowledge base. It will also allow you practice different tones, devices, and styles. When writing in a professional setting, you’ll want to employ an informative and concise tone. When writing for entertainment, you’ll want to be engaging and sweep your readers up, away, and into your story.
Lastly, improve your writing with a friend. Even if it’s a pen pal (or the digital version of one), have someone else look over your writing and give you constructive criticism. If you consistently use the same handful of words or fall victim to run-on sentences a little too often, a second pair of eyes will be much more effective at catching your faults than you will be. We write as we’re used to writing, so to break a bad habit you need someone to bring it to your attention in the first place.
Looking to brush up on your writing skills? Visit www.winghill.com for more information on our at-home courses
There are many ways to spend a wedding’s budget, and many wedding planners spend lots of time debating exactly how one should be spent. Our argument? Don’t forget the importance of wedding photography. Yes, high quality photography can be expensive – but there’s really no point in spending the bulk of the budget on decor or apparel if you’re not going to get high quality pictures of the decor or apparel in action. That’s why, aside from decor, wedding photography should be one of your focuses when breaking down a wedding’s budget, and that of any event really.
A professional, experienced wedding photographer will get all the right shots, capture you and your partner at your best, and knows what they’re doing. We never advise anyone to take wedding photography into their own hands – it’s just not something that should be a DIY. If budget is an issue, there are many other ways to save. Consider toning down the reception and having a buffet-style dinner instead of plated. Consider offering a certain number of drinks included, and then switching to a cash bar. Perhaps you could save on venue or do some of the decor yourself. If you’re able to save a few hundred on your dress or the guys’ tuxes, you could re-allocate that money to photography.
Having stand-out photos will make for beautiful wedding albums, framed photos, and will give you something to look at for years to come. Sure, anyone can hold a camera – but not everyone knows how to adjust the camera’s settings to get the perfect amount of light, stay in focus, grab a shot at the perfect moment, or edit your photos without overdoing it. Not only that, but you don’t want to feel awkward or have a hundred photos in the same pose. A professional will get you talking, make you feel comfortable, get you to loosen up, and will be able to coach you on different poses, snap you during candid moments, and capture photos in high quality HD – the best option for editing and printing.
While you might want to grab some of your own shots during the day, and that’s okay, what fun would it be to spend your wedding day with a camera in hand? You can’t exactly photograph yourself saying your vows, dancing your first dance, or cutting the cake. And, what’s stopping Uncle Andy from accidentally putting his finger over the lens, blinding you with a bright camera flash, or taking an out-of-focus photograph? You only have one first dance. You only cut the cake for the first time once. You only have one chance to grab the perfect post-ceremony kiss photograph. An experienced photographer does this regularly. Uncle Andy could be so excited and emotional that he completely forgets about the camera!
If you’re not sure who to hire to be your photographer, there are plenty of options – and help – out there. Try sites such as Project Wedding, The Knot, and Wedding Wire for vendor listings in your area. Scour the classified ads and visit wedding shows – photographers are in no short supply. Whoever you choose to work with, we wish you the very best on your big day. Remember to soak it all in, spend time enjoying the fact that it’s your day, and leave the rest of the details to the professionals.
For more helpful tips on event and wedding planning, or to learn how to become a wedding planner yourself – visit QC Event School today.
Makeup artistry is an exciting, challenging, and incredibly rewarding career choice. While many set forth to become makeup artists, we regularly receive questions asking what it is exactly a makeup artist does, and what sort of working conditions she or he will have. In this post, we’re happy to share with you one version of the job description of a makeup artist. We hope this information helps you in making a wise career move, and invite you to contact us at QC Makeup Academy with any questions you might have. Our friendly team of student support specialists will be more than happy to provide you with more information.
The education requirements for a makeup artist vary based on region. In certain countries and states, you must have cosmetology license to work as a makeup artist. Since cosmetology programs typically touch on makeup very briefly, most aspiring makeup artists find it helpful to also pursue makeup-focused training, such as the online makeup courses offered by QC Makeup Academy. Other regions require no certification or license to operate as a makeup artist. It’s best to do your research in the area in which you’re hoping to work to ensure you’re well prepared and have all necessary documentation to get started – even as a freelance artist.
As a makeup artist, you’ll be the go-to person for product recommendation, advice, and makeup tips. It’s expected that you’ll be familiar with the most popular types of both pro and drugstore makeup, have a good understanding of application techniques, and know how to use different types of makeup – think: liquid foundation, powder foundation, cream foundation, etc. You’ll also need to understand basic color theory and have the ability to match skin tones to complementary colors. The same makeup will not produce the same results on all face shapes, skin types, complexions, or skin maturities. Knowing how to create a personalized makeup application for each of your clients is essential, and will come from hands-on practice as well as theoretical training.
The average salary of a makeup artist is a figure that’s incredibly difficult to pinpoint, largely because there are so many variables. If you’re working freelance, you are paid per hour or per project and can work more to make more, or work less and make less. If you’re salaried, there’s a little more stability – generally between the $27,000 and $35,000 range. Working in film or for television makeup could mean making between $60,000 and $90,000 – whereas working at fashion shows, for celebrities, or for a cosmetic brand’s HQ could mean $100,000 or well above.
Sample Career Path
Below is a sample career path of someone looking to establish themselves as a self-employed makeup artist:
Working as an assistant makeup artist for a more experienced makeup artist, may take on side-jobs as your skills improve and when you feel you’re ready
Working as a freelance makeup artist, building reputation, building client list
Working as a senior freelance makeup artist, perhaps employing your own assistant at this point
Employing more than one assistant or intermediate makeup artist, perhaps working for a cosmetics brand or in a consulting capacity, continuing to take on preferred projects (with more experience comes more choice)
The working conditions of a makeup artist are always changing, and are completely different from one job to the next. You could be setting up in a hotel room to get a celebrity looking their best for a red carpet appearance. You could be asked to fly to a remote location for an on-location photoshoot and have to do makeup under the hot, hot sun. You could invite clients to your at-home studio or be visiting brides at their parents’ house the morning of their weddings. What you can bet on, however, is that there will be plenty of travel! You’ll need to be able to manage your time well, work under pressure, and be able to deliver your best on a tight schedule.
A makeup artist’s duties largely involve applying makeup. This could mean makeup for someone headed to their prom, a special event, or a wedding. It could be a special event makeup, makeup for television, or makeup for photography. It could be makeup for fashion show models, performers, or character makeup for the theater. At some point in your career, you may become a “Key Makeup Artist” or “Makeup Designer” and act in more of a designing, consulting capacity rather than a hands-on application capacity. There are many different options available to you – which is fantastic, as it gives you more control over the future of your career.
Interested in a career as a makeup artist? Don’t delay. Get in touch with QC Makeup Academy today and learn about its innovative online makeup courses – available to students around the world.
Meet QC Event School graduate Michelle Panton. Michelle was able to turn a passion into a career in 2010 after completing QC’s Wedding Planning course. She is now the owner of Belle Weddings and Events, a thriving Australian wedding planning and styling business. She now lives her passion each and every day by creating personalized, unique, and memorable experiences for her clients. Read on for Michelle’s story, and to take a look at some beautiful photos of her work.
Company Name: Belle Weddings and Events
Description: Wedding planning and wedding styling specialists
Region: Melbourne, Australia
What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?
I have always loved hosting and creating special events. I am passionate about design and decoration, food and ambiance, organizing and creating memorable occasions. I was looking for a career that brought all of my passions together. After completing the QC Wedding Planning course I realized that wedding planning and styling was exactly right for me! I was so motivated and confident once I graduated that I could not wait to start my career in wedding planning.
What are some highlights of your career so far?
Definitely the friendships and close bonds that have developed from working with our couples. There is nothing more special than a couple contacting me after their wedding day expressing their gratitude for creating the wedding day of their dreams! This is so rewarding and makes all of the organizing and planning worthwhile.
I’m also happy to have the opportunity to work with amazing and talented people in our industry and the chance to work in completely different and unique wedding locations and venues. From a converted country convent to a glamorous city venue, beach locations, and historic homes and gardens – every day is different.
How did your course prepare you for working in the field?
The course has been invaluable to my career in the wedding and event planning industry. It gave me the confidence to start my business and also gave me the support of the tutors when needed. It also gave me knowledge and understanding of so many aspects of what it takes to organize a successful and flawless event, such as a wedding.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?
The QC course is so helpful in gaining knowledge on all aspects of wedding and event planning and preparing you for all issues that can and will arise! Do your research and meet with other wedding professionals in your area. Have confidence in your own abilities; if you love what you do it will show in your work.
Be patient and understanding with your couples, and always listen carefully to their wedding day ideas. Remember that it is an honor to be involved and work with couples who are embarking on such a special day in their lives!
A look at Michelle’s work…
Photography by Wheelhouse Studios, where watermarked
The early 2000s were almost synonymous with “bigger and better”, “suburban”, and “luxury”. Houses had rooms that were never used, additional space was wanted even if it wasn’t necessary, and people were leaving urban centers for “just around the corner” suburbs to achieve these goals without breaking the bank. The recession of 2008 and the world’s subsequent recovery, however, caused a dramatic shift in how many people think about housing – and how they prioritize their housing needs. If you spend a few hours watching HGTV – Home and Garden Television, you’ll see how many people regularly struggle to decide between staying within budget and maximizing space. You’ll see narrower rooms, taller homes, smaller spaces, more open concept layouts, and multi-purpose spaces (think: dining room and kitchen combined). With such a suburban to urban shift, decorating small spaces has become the norm for many interior decorators. In this post, we’ll discuss how decorating has changed from the early 2000s to today as well as how you can best position yourself to take advantage of the small, urban space niche market.
One might assume that a smaller space equals a smaller budget, and often times that’s true. However, the price of housing in an urban center, even if it’s small, is often much higher than a suburban one. So, while a space may require less actual decor, you might still find yourself working with a decently sized budget. Decorating a small apartment or condo will require more careful planning and space allocation, so you may even find yourself working longer on such a project than you would a larger space.
While the goal of larger homes is generally to tie the rooms together and to keep everything looking spacious, inviting, and luxurious, the goals of a smaller space are a little different. Most spaces will need to be multi-purposeful, meaning more than one activity can be carried out in a space. A living room might become a living room/office mixed use space. A kitchen might become a kitchen/dining mixed use space. The goals of a small space owner are generally to maximize the space available and take advantage of each room’s potential.
While larger spaces can get away with being decorated with darker colors, smaller spaces can end up looking even smaller when dark colors are introduced. Lighter colors produce a larger feeling space, more airy environment, and are most commonly used in small urban spaces. Often, also, small spaces are very open-concept and many different spaces are visible from a single area in a home. This means you want everything to flow and look as though it’s part of a single home, and want to avoid too much competing color or distraction.
The size and amount of furniture you use within a space changes when you move from a large space to a small space. Suddenly, 5-seater sectionals are less convenient and take up far too much space. Arm chairs are unnecessary, and large sprawling coffee tables are awkward. King sized beds are downsized to queen, and 6-seater dining room table and chair sets aren’t really an option. Keep in mind the size of the space with which you’re working when selecting furniture, but be even more careful when you’re working with a small urban space – particularly one with mixed-use rooms.
To learn more about interior decorating and the very lucrative design industry, visit QC Design School to learn about their at-home design courses.
Bold eye makeup is always in fashion. A bright pop of color framed by darkness is both sexy and unexpected, like this look I created below. If pink is not your thing, have no fear. It can easily be replaced by any color you choose. If you are not feeling bold, try replacing the color with a more neutral shade. By taking the following steps, and playing around with the colors, you will have an infinite number of new looks at your disposal. Read on to get the look…
Anything you do to your eyes, cheeks and lips will only look better if it is set on a flawless face. To perfect the canvas, try Natural Finish foundation by Cover FX and Magic Salmon Concealer by Eve Pearl. When set with a fine powder, these two powerhouses deliver a flawless, dewy glow.
To maximize the pop, start with white Flash Color by Make Up For Ever. This opaque cream will completely cancel out your skin tone and allow the truest read of color on the lid. With the white applied from lash to crease, tap in Cherry Bomb Loose Color Concentrates by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. This little pot of magic is the find of the century. The pigment load is so high that these babies last all day and glide on like a dream.
In the crease and along the outer corner, sweep Onyx Eye Color by Make-up Designory. Using an angle brush, pull this color along the upper and lower lash lines to define the eye. The last step on the eyes is Mascara. Three coats to the upper and two to the lower will bring those lashes to unbelievable lengths.
on the cheekbone and inner apple area. An extra touch on the bridge of the nose, the chin, forehead and under the brow bone will add extra pop.
For a bee stung look try Vamp Lip Glistens by Beauty Society. A sheer coat really shows off the sexy pout!
That’s how easy it is to get this beautiful bold look.
Photo by Thomas Cantley
Written by Nathan Johnson
Nathan Johnson is a film, television, celebrity, and real women’s makeup artist with 18 years experience in the industry. Nathan believes in education and empowerment – his personal mission is to make America more beautiful one woman at a time. He brings product reviews, makeup tips, and personal experience to the QC blog.