Tag Archives: professional makeup artist

Time to create digital products!

Like I mentioned in my last post, the one celebrating the relaunch of my website, that was one of my three goals I have been working to get crossed off in 2014.  Yay! I think it came together quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and helped me proofread and get everything perfect. Congrats to Kelley and Nell, the winners of the 2 Smashbox kits that I gave away on that post.

A few people have asked what is next? What are the other 2 big things I am trying to accomplish this year? Well, both involve April Bowles-Olin with Blacksburg Belle, a fellow creative lady entrepreneur also in VA.


One of the things I want to do is more personal than professional, I am looking to launch a lifestyle blog that is more of a creative outlet and something to do in all my non-existent spare time. Just as soon as I can sit down for 5 seconds, I am going to take April’s Creative Live Course on how to Build a Successful Creative Blog.  This is an older class of hers that I have already purchased and will be using all the info she dishes to launch the new venture. Im thinking that she is probably going to have plenty of magic sparkles of genius for me to incorporate there and also jazz up this old blog and probably Money Making Makeup Artist too!


Speaking of Money Making Makeup Artist, that is what my next project is about! That was born just before I got pregnant with Silas and was thinking of ways to work a little differently than I had been doing for years before. I am constantly getting messages on social media and emails from girls and guys who want to start their own successful businesses as stylists/ makeup artists and want to know how I have done it. I LOVE to talk business and entrepreneurship strategies! I love it as much or more some days, than doing hair and makeup, if you can believe that!

Without much a plan, I decided I was going to create a program to help people do exactly what I have done. I launched said program and it was pretty successful, but much more work than the passive stream of income I was hoping to generate. Thru some trial and error, which is the way I approach most things, I learned that what I needed first was to create some digital products that people could buy and do on their own before committing to 6 weeks of Emily bootcamp. The program was great but it was not inexpensive and required a big time commitment from both myself and the participants. It was a big chunk to take on. Which brings us to…

Why I want to learn how to create and sell digital products?

1. People want and need this information!  People are adding onto the email list MMMUA and emailing me everyday for help and I need to create a way to efficiently give them this information in a way that is easy for them to access.

2. I have already created the content! I think the program that I had created before was awesome but too much to bite off for someone just getting started. So I have reformulated it into snack sized portions so people can digest little by little and get the information as needed. If they have the digital info this way, they can do it in their own time and not need me to walk them thru it.

3. Selling digital products will help me help more people without them making a huge investment! Don’t get me wrong, I think you need to invest in yourself if you want to grow into that dream you’ve got. But I want to get this information to as many people as possible and having a big ticket 6-8 week course wasn’t getting the info into as many hands as I had hoped.

Being a freelance stylist and makeup artist is an awesome job and I am so grateful for all the cool experiences that I have had because of it. BUT I am not as young and spry as I was a decade ago and I find myself wanting to be home a bit more, especially as our family grows.


You may have caught this mentioned in the about me page of the website or on the contact page, but this guy is going to be a big brother early next year! Which means that now more than ever, I want/need to get this created so I can have this income stream to help me stay at home a bit longer with Baby #2.

Here I am, sharing some things I’ve been keeping to myself. This bump, I’ve been hiding under voluminous clothes for the last 4 months. And my last 2 goals, which if I don’t share publicly, I fear will fall by the wayside in my endless list of chores and other work. These things are important, so thank you for letting me share them with you. And for being excited with me, even on days when it feels like too much.


UPDATE: We found out the gender this weekend!!!! See that news here!

A few months ago, I applied to be in the live studio audience for April’s Creative Live Course, Create Digital Products While you Sleep.  I was shocked that I was accepted to be a part of such a cool experience! I was even more disappointed when I had to decline the opportunity due to some previous bookings and family commitments that don’t make travel to San Francisco that week possible.

Since I can’t be there in person to take this course (I am seriously so sad b/c it was kind of my birthday wish to be able to go), I am going to be camped out in front of my computer to do it as live as possible from my home office. That is the next best thing, right?

Please feel free to comment and share your thought on the website or the 2 goals that I just shared. I would love to hear words of advice or encouragement!

If you are a creative entrepreneur, blogger or just like a fun blog to follow, check out April at Blacksburg Belle. She is a delight! Thanks so much, April, for sharing your knowledge and hosting this fun blog tour (my first!) so we can all get to know each other.  Check out the list of other creatives who are participating in the tour here. 

Are you ready to make your creative work more lucrative, stable, and sustainable in the long-term? Join April Bowles-Olin for an introduction to digital products and how they can enhance your creative business. This course will show you how to produce and position viable products for generating multiple revenue streams and passive income. RSVP right here to watch it live and get access to the workbook for FREE. This post is part of the Create Digital Products blog tour.April_Bowles-Olin_Google-_1000x566-620x350

It is FINALLY here! The website update is live!

Can you tell that I am a little excited!?!?! I am trying to play it cool but with MUCH sweat and tears, mostly tears, the new website is FINALLY here and I am pretty darn proud of it.

As a creative person and super busy working artist,  I am not a techy expert. I really struggle in this department. Thankfully I pulled in some support from good friends who gave me their perspective. Between that and searching for answers in the Squarespace forums, emailing them for help and spending hours on the phone with tech support, it is done.

Some things you may notice are new images in the portfolios, it had been awhile since I had added new images. The old website wasn’t on the easiest platform for me to manage. Squarespace is MUCH easier. My last website and blog had my photo from 2010 and I had long dark hair with purple bangs! I have probably had 1,000 hair changes since then. Shouts out to my husband for taking a nice photo of me to add to my about me page. 


This was one of 3 big projects that I am trying to work on before the end of the year. I will update you on the last two when they are complete. I am on a roll now! Im hoping to get the next one started before my birthday, at the end of the month.

In honor of my birthday month, and accomplishing this big goal, I want to give you a treat. Some really great Smashbox makeup goodies!!!

All you need to do is check out the new website here. And leave a comment to let me know what you think. Feel free to point out any spelling errors or broken links or anything that I need to get cleaned up.

Congrats to Nell and Kelley! The 2 winners of the Smashbox kits that we gave away this week!!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to give a big old thank you to my dearest of dear friends who took the time to edit and proofread to catch my spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Why is it that you can reread your own writing 1 million times and not see that you typed the twice or spaced things weird. You need those fresh eyes to catch those mistakes that your eyes just won’t see. THANK YOU FRIENDS!

Have you missed me here? When my son was born last year and life got so busy after I went back to work, I neglected the blog. I used to post daily but now I am going for 1-2 solid posts per month. I would love to know what type of posts or videos you would like to see from me now? I am also working hard to update content at Money Making Makeup Artist.

Are you interested in working together on an upcoming photo or video shoot? Send me a message here and I will check availability. Thanks!

Finalist for the Kevyn Aucoin Re-Making Faces Competition 2014

Can I just take a minute to say a big old thank you for the awesome support and kind words that you guys shared on the last post about my prepping for to go to the Makeup Show in Los Angeles this weekend!?!?! THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU GUYS! (if you are feeling like you are behind, you can go back and get the full scoop on my prep stress/excitment here). This entire process has been an emotional roller coaster!

My flight leaves out at 5:25 am tomorrow (I know, I didn’t even know any planes left before 5:30) so I am frantically packing and getting things in order around my house now. I don’t think it has really hit me yet that I will be spending the night (4 nights actually) away from my sweet baby for the first time ever. It is quite strange how hard yet easy, but totally stressful it is to pack for just myself. This is the first time I am not packing for my entire family and schlepping every necessary infant item thru the airport like I have for the last 10 months. I’m going to feel so light!

You are probably picking up on my excitement and wondering when I am going to just spill the beans already on whether or not I have heard who the finalists are for the Kevyn Aucoin Re-Making Faces contest…..(drumroll please!!!!!!)


As I mentioned in my last post, I have ZERO face chart experience. Thankfully I am one of those crazy people who gets so fixated on things that I become obsessed and don’t stop until I figure it out. I can’t tell you how many YouTube videos I watched on making face charts! Its also a good thing that my pal Nell (previously mentioned here) recently reminded me that I was the one had informed her, more than 15 years ago, that we were excellent (practically experts!) at everything that we haven’t tried yet. Thanks pal. You are right. 2014 is the year of stepping up the game and accepting more challenges. I needed that.

Below is the image that I used to create the look for my face chart and the shoot we did with Aubri. It is from Kevyn’s Face Forward book and is call Birds of Paradise. More on the process of why I chose elements of reinterpretation here. 

"Birds of Paradise" from Face Forward

“Birds of Paradise” from Face Forward

Like I mentioned before in the last post, normally I would never enter these face chart contests because I don’t do face charts (because I’ve never been trained to or required to do them). I am a makeup artist and excel at working with people, not paper. I can barely read my own handwriting and can barely draw a proper smiley face.

Even though I was terribly disappointed to see they had revised the original rules and no longer wanted the image,I am glad that I had decided to enter anyway. I figured by teaming up with Todd and Aubri, I would have a solid image and could wing it with the face chart. Since the shoot was already booked and I had invested so much time (and a small fortune on feathers to make those brows!), I was grateful that we still did the shoot and that I was allowed to submit it along with the face chart. This is going to be a great addition to the portfolio!

Doing the shoot, between the prep (I did this 10,000 times on myself and my friend Julie too) and doing the look on Aubri for the shoot was so helpful to me in creating the face chart. I know that sometimes artists use the face charts first to plan looks for events or shoots, but since I am not a face chart person this way really helped.

I submitted the images the day before the original deadline, last Friday February 21. That night I was so excited to see that The Makeup Show used my face chart on their Instagram post announcing that the contest had been extend to Monday. I was honored but also a little stressed because I had expected to hear the finalists announced on Monday.

photo 3

According to the original rules, the finalists would have to provide their own model and do the look live at the event on Friday. Being the super preparer that I am, I had already began the hunt for my model and had someone lined up. So while I waited, I was going back and forth on how I needed to whether I was a finalists or not since that changed whether or not I packed my kit (and these feather brows!). Packing everything to do the model there seemed like a big challenge but I was up for it! When they emailed us yesterday to let me know that I was a finalist, I was so happy. Then when I reread the email and figured out that I didn’t have to do the look at the event, an enormous weight was lifted!

Now I can go pack and get everything in order to head out tomorrow. During the process I wondered 10,000 times why I was doing this, why I was putting myself under all this stress instead of just enjoying attending the event. Answer: I LOVE a challenge. I was disappointed that the rules changed to not consider the photo shoot, but if I can be honest I would have to say that without the photo shoot part I would have never done it. I was disappointed (like 1/2 a second) that I would get to show off on my model at the event. Then I remembered that this makes it so much easier for me to just show up and enjoy the event.

The work has been done, now I am off to enjoy myself! I get to wear fun, clothes (no yoga pants or work clothes!) and even carry a real purse instead of a diaper bag!

Tori Burch silver bag

I never could get this flipagram to embed, but I would love to share this play by play that I documented of the process. Its on Instagram, I would love to know what you think!

My list of thanks goes on and on but I am very grateful to my husband for cheering me on and putting up with my swinging emotions throughout this process. I am so thankful to my fabulous mother in law for coming here to be with Silas and hold my house together so that I can fly across the country to be a part of this. Thank you to my girlfriends Casey, Julie and Sara who gave me constructive criticism on the 10,000 pictures of every face chart I attempted until I finally had one that I was okay submitted. And of course, photographer Todd Wright and the gorgeous Aubri with Modelogic Wilhelmina for bringing my vision to life.

Next up, I will be sharing what I picked up at the show. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see keep up with me while I am there. Best of luck to all of the finalists!

Preparing for The Makeup Show, Los Angeles 2014

Its hard to believe that in a week, the Makeup Show L.A. will be over and I will be headed back to Richmond. There is so much to do before I head out for this exciting adventure. Which is great because that takes my mind off of waiting for them to announce the finalists for the Kevyn Aucoin Re-Making Faces competition.

For the last 2-3 weeks, I have been obsessing with perfecting my entry. My mind has been racing with every emotion under the sun. Every year there, in every city there is a face chart competition and the entries are always pretty darn amazing. Normally I would never even dare to think twice about entering, but this year was different. The original contest rules called for submitting a photo of a model, along with a face chart, of your teams reinterpretation of an iconic Kevyn Aucoin image.

Why would I never go near a competition like this? Because I can’t didn’t think I could do face charts. I have never worked anywhere that required them so I have never learned how to do them. The whole putting the makeup on paper thing was so bizarre to me and honestly I just didn’t really get it. I watched this interview on YouTube with Billy B. and he totally said the same thing, so that made me feel a bit better. I can’t even read my own handwriting or draw a stick figure either.

What made me want to go for it? I am not the only makeup artist who has been inspired by and looked up to Kevyn Aucoin. He is a role model to many people in this industry. But I always felt connected to him. Maybe because he grew up in a small town in Louisiana, near my little hometown in Louisiana. I figured if he could make it big and do great things, so could I. My longtime gal pal/partner in crime, Nell, gave me this for Christmas in 2003. I had just finished Aveda Institute and was about to move to Los Angeles to take over the word, at least that was my plan!

Nell writes the sweetest words..."To my Emily, the light of my life and my Kevyn Aucoin of hair. I am proud to know you. Love, Nell"

Nell writes the sweetest words…”To my Emily, the light of my life and my Kevyn Aucoin of hair. I am proud to know you. Love, Nell”

Everyone should have a friend like Nell. Someone who has known you forever and will always cheer you on when you most need. She is pretty fabulous and you will probably get a kick out of her blog (filled with amazing home decor tid bits). But I digress…

In addition to his amazing talent, what really made me want to be like him was the way he connected with people and how people talked about working with him. Yes, he was an amazing artist, but he touched people in a special way and really made them feel so beautiful. And that is far more impressive than simply creating beautiful things. I aspire to be remembered this way.



After 10+ years of following Kevyn and building my own beauty biz, I wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity to stretch myself as an artist.

First my pal, the talented photographer/director, Todd Wright, agreed to be on my team. Then our friends over at Modelogic helped us out by booking the stunning Aubri to be the face. It was like the stars were aligning and insisting that I go for it.

So I went thru Kevyn’s books, about 1,000 times, trying find the image that spoke to me. It didn’t take long for Todd and I to decide on the Bird of Paradise image from the Face Forward book (page 160). I adore that glossy blue lip color!

"Birds of Paradise" from Face Forward

“Birds of Paradise” from Face Forward

Once our inspiration had been decided, we picked a date and everyone was on board. The dream team, me+Todd+Aubri. I knew with a strong model and photographer, I would have a really strong image. Then I would have to figure out the face chart business. And wow, all I can say is wow. My team rocks!


This is my reinterpretation of Kevyn’s Birds of Paradise. I kept the glossy lips but made mine emerald with a pop of gold and also added emerald around the eyes. I also kept the yellow and orange around the eyes but went with a stronger, more opaque color wash instead of sheer. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to incorporate the feathers. After trying several options on myself, I decided to use these feather eyebrows I had made from a bag of loose, individual feathers (thanks Hobby Lobby!).

photo 1

Now to tackle that Face Chart. This was my big challenge.

As it turns out, just as I had suspected, you can teach yourself how to do pretty much anything by watching YouTube videos, visiting those talented MAC counter girls for tips and practicing 10,000 times. I am too embarrassed to even think about sharing the first few tries.  But I am very proud of the end result! I made this flipagram of the step by step process. If you saw it on my Instagram, please give it a like and let me know what you think! (I’m trying to figure out how to embed it…)


If you follow me on Instagram (seriously you probably should), you may have picked up on how excited I was to see that The Makeup Show had used my Face Chart in their post about the contest on Friday. The deadline has been extended tomorrow and they used MY  image to announce it! Ok, so that kind of feels like a solid win right there. I’m pretty proud of myself, considering I am the girl who can’t doesn’t do face charts!

Now I need to retire for the evening and get some much needed beauty sleep. Hopefully they will still announce the finalists on Monday, even though the deadline to enter has been extended to Monday. There is so much to be excited (and grateful) for this week. I can’t wait to attend the show and the extra blogger events that I got invited to attend. I hope my brain can hold all the info that I will try to absorb!

Its hard to believe that 10 years ago I moved to Los Angeles to start my life and career as a stylist. I learned so much in my time there and connected with some amazing people that I can’t wait to revisit. I will report back on everything ASAP.

Wish me luck! I can use all the good vibes I can get.


Building your Portfolio as a Stylist and Makeup Artist

For years, I have been confused but this term “off-season”. I still am. Yes, there are a lot of wedding events  in April/May/June and again in September/October.  I have brides with weddings every month out of the year and the months leading up to the busy spring/fall events, we are slammed with trials and portraits. Not to mention the commercial work, teaching classes and workshops, and running the everyday maintenance that goes a lot with being an entrepreneur.

This winter, I did I have the opportunity to do a handful of stylized and portfolio shoots that I normally am not able to fit in. Boy, am I glad that I did! These rendered some beautiful photos to update my website, Facebook page and blog. But also were published on some pretty awesome sites, like Green Wedding Shoes and two were featured on Ruffled Wedding blog (one here and one here).

I love this shoot that I worked on with Tori Watson from Marvelous Things Photography. It was perfect timing to capture the stunning backdrop of the fall leaves in Richmond! These are some of my favs but check out Tori’s post here to see other details (like the dress, florals, accessories, etc)

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The photographers (Tori Watson, Laura Gordon and Katelyn James) also featured the photos on their blogs. Because they have such a captive audience, that introduces my work to even more potential clients, which I love. These photographers have great style and I love working with their clients so its a win-win all around.


In addition to working as a stylist/makeup artist, I coach other artists on how to build a successful business of their own. Creating a portfolio and networking with other vendors is a HUGE part of getting your name out there. I was just posting about that here. For more information on how how to build your business as a successful Money Making Makeup Artist, visit the site and make sure to get on our email list for lots of freebies. 

Do you want to work with me? Enroll now for the last group training offered until the Fall. Now is the time to build that business you want!

Are you a wedding professional? What do you do to keep clients interested in booking upcoming dates with you? How do you set yourself apart from other people who do what you do?

Are you a bride or a client looking for a makeup artist/stylist? What do you look for in a stylist?


Aren’t the florals in this shoot gorgeous! Great job by Janie Medley with the Brides Cafe. Her work is always stunning.