Recently, we had a hair/makeup session with Mikaela. Here are some photos of our process & the final result.
We started by curling her hair & pinning it up to cool. We used a 1.5 inch curling wand & a light hold hairspray. Pinning it up to cool helps the hair hold the curl for as long as possible - it also gets the hair off of her face so that we can move on to makeup. Scroll down for a complete list of products used.
For Mikaela's foundation we used Lorac #'s 3, 4, & 5 to provide a flawless coverage & to highlight & contour her face simultaneously. We used MAC's Pro Longwear concealer to hide any imperfections. We set the foundation with a translucent-light setting powder. Mac matte bronze to set the contour under her cheekbones, Alexis Vogel radiant blush in the shade "Tipsy", & Becca Highlighter in the shade "Moonstone".
For Mikaela's lip color, we used Alexis Vogel's lip stain in the color "Barely" & a clear gloss.
The eyeshadow colors we choose came from Urban Decay's Naked 3 palette. MAC's Fluidline in BlackTrack. Ardell's 110 lashes & Covergirl Lashblast mascara. To help frame her eyes, we used Anastasia Beverly Hill's DipBrow eyebrow pomade in the shade "Taupe" to lightly fill in & shape her eyebrows.
For bookings & inquiries, contact C. Johnson Makeup at www.cjohnsonmakeup.com
All photos were taken by Christy at C. Johnson Makeup
I just wanted to take a moment to clarify how professional makeup services are priced. I’ve read many posts on various forums & heard comments from clients expressing confusion about pricing. It seems that many people just don't know about all of the reasons makeup services are priced the way they are. For special occasions, getting your hair & makeup done helps take the stress of getting ready off of your shoulders. With a skilled & competent makeup artist you will feel relieved to know that someone is taking care of you on your most important days, & you will feel pampered. Your hair & makeup experience should be enjoyable, relaxing, & confidence boosting, with you looking & feeling amazing when all is said & done. Professional makeup services also ensure that you are not going to get pink eye, or some other infection from a novice who hasn't been educated in the proper sanitization procedures. Professional makeup artists also understand how makeup reacts with different skin types & can make sure that your skin isn't negatively impacted by low quality or harsh products. Finally, a good makeup artist understands how makeup & photography work together & can ensure that you get the absolute best results from professional photography. Of course, there are different types of makeup & hair services & a variety of venues you can use, all at different price points & levels of quality.
Department Store Makeup Counters or Stand Alone Cosmetics Stores:
Getting your makeup done at a makeup counter in a department store or at a cosmetics store (MAC, Estee Lauder, Origins, Sephora, Merle Norman etc…) may cost in the range of $50 to $75. The fee can be paid outright or in some cases, you are required to purchase a certain amount of product to receive your service for free. This fee is set to account for the time that the artist is spending away from the floor with you instead of making sales with walk-in customers. After all, it is a retail location where makeup applications are considered a courtesy. In the state of New Mexico, it is not required that these individuals are licensed & are likely trained on the job. I do not recommend that you take a chance with someone at a makeup counter or stand-alone store for your important events unless you have worked with them in the past & are happy with their results. Additionally, these locations generally do not offer hair styling services so you will likely have to go from location to location to get all of your beauty needs met before your special event.
At these locations, artists are paid either a flat hourly rate or by commission. Most often, they do not get a bonus or added perk for taking your appointment. Tipping is generally accepted & appreciated by these artists, & contributes greatly to how most of them make their living. If you were satisfied with the service & your artist, then you should tip. 15% to 20% is standard, just like you would tip your server at a restaurant. However, if your service was inferior or your artist was unprofessional, you should never feel obligated to tip.
Many hair salons also offer makeup services which is convenient for clients getting ready for a special event. Makeup applications at these establishments generally range in price from $40 to $85, possibly more if it is a very high end salon. Please keep in mind, however, that a higher price does not automatically mean you will get better results & makeup is usually not a priority for these establishments because the majority of their income comes from hair cutting & coloring. It is important that you research your artist to make sure they understand your personal style, have good interpersonal skills, experience applying makeup, & that he or she is willing to listen to you.
Keep in mind that only a portion of the amount you pay is going to go to these artists directly. Artists who work in salons typically pay a fee to rent out their chair or, a certain percentage of what they make is automatically deducted from each service. Once again, tipping is accepted & appreciated for these artists.
Freelance Makeup Artists:
Freelance makeup artists face the most confusion in regard to pricing; however they offer the most flexibility, customization, personalization, & the most hassle-free experience. Freelance makeup artists work for themselves & come to you, on location for all of your special events. When hiring a freelance makeup artist, pricing will depend on a number of things. I will expand on this below but they include: your location & travel required, the type of event & services required, & the size of your group.
Location: In every region there is a market standard rate for makeup artists, hairstylists, photographers, etc… Higher cost of living will always equate to a higher cost for services. The overall cost of starting & maintaining a business sets a standard rate for artists & if an artist quotes prices drastically lower than industry standard then they would be undercutting fellow artists & making it harder for all artists in the area to earn a living in their profession.
Travel: The main cost associated with freelance makeup artists is travel. Travel is a luxury service provided to help ensure you experience a stress-free day. The benefit of working with an artist who will come to you is that you are able to get ready with your entire group in one location, eliminating scheduling issues, individuals getting lost or being late, etc… For this type of tailored service prices are adjusted to compensate for travel time to & from your venue, kit preparations, gas, parking, tolls, valet, etc…
In addition, travel is extremely hard on a makeup artist’s makeup kit. When travelling, makeup items take a lot more abuse – items break or might melt in the heat; they can get lost, or even risk being stolen. Because of this, freelance makeup artists generally have a higher insurance rate which is also factored in to price.
Type of Service: There is a difference in pricing for brides, bridesmaids, prom applications, personal photo shoots, etc... Makeup for brides typically costs more than makeup for prom or bridesmaids because brides require more time & special attention. Leading up to the wedding, brides usually require many hours of preparation & correspondence. Keep in mind that for every email you send, your makeup artist is working to reply quickly, get answers, & work on scheduling. These tasks add up to many hours working for you, behind the scenes. On the wedding day, brides are the focus of the day, & the main concern for makeup & hair. A good artist will ensure that you feel pampered, your makeup looks lovely, & that it will last all day, through photos, the ceremony, dancing, & tears of happiness. Additionally, the artist will spend a substantial amount of time with a bride compared to the bridesmaids or any other type of service. They will typically take their time, & possibly take a few extra steps to complete bridal makeup. Bridal makeup applications usually include additional services that are not included for other types of makeup applications. Pricing for personal photo shoots tend to be higher, closer to rates of bridal makeup, because certain steps & product are required for the makeup to photograph wonderfully & for you to look your best on film. These steps add a little bit of time onto the service & the products used to achieve the looks are an added cost to the artist to keep stocked in their kit.
Group Size: For a wedding party, some artists offer wedding packages for larger parties. It helps the party save a little bit of money & guarantees the artist a certain income. Some artists also have luxury packages available where he or she will spend all day on site to touch up the bride & wedding party throughout the day, truly guaranteeing you flawless makeup from start to finish. With this type of service, you will definitely get what you pay for & part of the value is that it ensures one less worry for you. The fee accounts for the hours that the makeup artist is spending on site.
Cost of Maintaining a Kit: A makeup artist who owns their own business literally builds it from the ground up. They supply their own business cards, pay for & often design their own websites & social media, pay for their own advertising, business insurance, etc... The products that makeup artists use to makeover their clients can be very expensive. Quality products do not come cheap, often have to be ordered in bulk, & are not always found locally. A professional makeup artist, providing excellent results, cannot simply stock their kit from the makeup section of a drugstore & call it a day. One makeup brush can cost upwards of $50 & I have at least 30 brushes in my belt. A simple, basic, beginners’ makeup kit costs thousands of dollars & then must constantly be maintained. Therefore, when we set our prices, we need to keep in mind that a certain amount of our fees is going right back into our kit.
Travel: Travel includes cost of gas, car payments, maintenance to account for the added wear & tear of using our vehicles for work, & cost of insurance. Our car is how we get your event & most fees are set to account for a certain portion of travel. If we are travelling over a certain distance or we have to take a flight to the location, we must require that cost to be covered by our clients. Otherwise, we’d essentially be paying to go to work, & would end up in a deficit.
Now, the biggest question comes to tipping. For a personal service (bridal, prom, personal photo shoots, etc...), unless gratuity is included into their pricing, tipping is accepted & very much appreciated if you feel that their services were satisfactory. How much you should tip is really dependent on the cost of the service & how satisfied you are. Word of mouth & a recommendation for future work is perhaps the greatest tip of all. That is how we stay in business & keep food on the table. Freelance makeup artists have no job security & really make their own opportunities so guaranteed income from future clients makes us very happy!
We look forward to working with you & understand that weddings can be very expensive. We want to provide you with the most beautiful hair & makeup services that you've been dreaming of for a price that you can manage & we are always willing to work with you to get you the best possible value for your special event. Visit www.cjohnsonmakeup.com for more information.
First of all, can I just say... Victoria & Peter, C. Johnson Makeup's newest clients are the nicest couple. EVER. Just so so nice. Anyway, now that I've gotten that off of my chest, let's talk about the makeup. Victoria has such a lovely bone structure & a great natural eyebrow shape. I filled in the brows ever so lightly, just to give them a totally polished look. We also used a fun, bright pink color since the rest of the makeup was so natural. With a smokey black liner & some AWESOME, thick & bold lashes the look is complete.
Enjoy these photos of this sweet couple. I feel like these photos really captured the love between these two, as well as each of their kind, genuine personalities. Photos by Affordable Wedding Photography of New Mexico.
Recently I was on location, doing makeup for a bridal party & my clients began commenting on the size & components of my makeup kit. We all giggled as the girls 'oohed & ahhhed' over all the beautiful products. This happens often; probably about once per week. People generally ask me how much I've spent on my makeup, how long it took me to accumulate so much makeup, or make jokes about the sheer quantity of products I carry in my kit (usually a fella). A few weeks ago, one of my clients' husbands compared my kit to his toolbox (which is a pretty fitting comparison, if you ask me). Anyway, all of this got me thinking about my kit, what I've spent, & the nitty-gritty of what I've got in there. Here are the basics of the case I use to store all the glamorous & wonderful makeup goodies. I am using a professional rolling makeup kit with the dimensions 27.5"H x 12.5"W x 8.5"D. Empty, it weighs about 11 pounds. It has some heavy duty locks with dual keys (which I often do not use because I almost never find a situation where I am not within arms reach of my kit at all times). The case also has a telescoping handle, similar to a lot of large rolling luggage. It also had wheels to help with transport. I purchased my case used online at an amazing deal. These cases usually cost about $100-$200 new & can be found many placed online, including EBay. These cases generally come in black, but can also be found in silver, grey, or pink. I would have preferred a black case because I feel that it would be more professional looking, but I like pink well enough & couldn't beat the deal.
As you can see from the photo, this case has lots of buckles & hinges; that's because the whole box comes apart or opens up for ease of use & versatility. The top third of the case detaches completely & can be used alone or with a shoulder strap. The interior of the small upper box has two pull out shelves & a deep bottom for a variety of differently sized products. For a simple event where a huge number of products are unnecessary the top box is perfect. If you decide to use the two separately, this case comes with a second box lid that you can attach to cover the lower compartment. The lower compartment works very well for larger items & I have packed it with all the little extras that I've learned to bring with me 'just in case'. I will go into more detail about what exactly I keep in my kit further down. Inside the larger bottom box, there is a shelf & a pull-out compartment that rests atop the shelf. This portion of the box also features a drop down wall for ease of use (so you're not having to reach from the top all the way down to the lowest items). Here are some more photos to help illustrate.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this case fits all of my products, particularly once I got good at taking advantage of all of the vertical space by organizing all of the products standing with the tallest side up & down (smaller organizing baskets have been very useful with this).
This is a birds-eye view of the very bottom of this case, with the top & middle sections removed.
Ok... so now that I've explained the case that I use, I'll talk a little bit about what's inside & my suggestions for building your own kit. Starting with the top, moving down; I use the removable top case to hold & organize eye shadow, pigments, mascara, disposable mascara wands, gel eyeliners, eye primers, & dusting powders.
Opening these shelves reveals the lower compartment where all of my palettes & lip pencils & eye pencils are stored. I also have tweezers & small scissors here (small scissors have come in handy for me more times than I can count).
The next compartment contains all of my foundations (tipped upside down so that the colors are visible to me from their labels which are on the bottom). I also keep a hair stylist cape in this compartment in case I'm working on someone who is wearing their event outfit. The rest of the items are Beauty Blender sponges, concealer palettes, makeup setting spray, bronzers, blushes, HD setting powder, illuminizers/highlighters, skin primers, & facial moisturizer & cleanser. Essentially anything that could be needed for a client's skin.
At the very bottom I keep replacement & backup items. Washcloths so I can clean & sanitize as I work. Makeup removal wipes, nail polish removal wipes, hair clips, extra sponges, oil blotting sheets, a nail file, hand sanitizer, mints, makeup brush sanitizing spray, instant tanning spray, rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle (to sanitize makeup between uses), extra mascara wands, cotton pads, gentle eye makeup remover, small empty containers, my makeup brush roll & brush belt, band aids, a hair brush, travel size hair spray, business cards, a credit card scanner, a pen & small notebook, small empty bags for trash, a mixing palette, & a small hand mirror.
Here is a basic list of what a beginning makeup kit might require:
- Foundations of multiple colors & tones (rose, gold, olive, neutral). Fewer are needed if you are skilled at custom blending colors; however this method can be wasteful &/or time consuming if you are unfamiliar with custom blending.
- Multiple concealers or a concealer palette. Creams work differently than liquids; depending on your clientele you may want to have a variety of formulas.
- Foundation primer (clear or green are my most used)
- Basic skincare: Cleansers, Moisturizers, Gentle eye makeup remover, cleansing cloths, cotton pads, acne cream. Again, choose according to your clientele & build up as you expand.
- Blushes of multiple colors & tones
- Highlighter. A light yellow/gold is often the most versatile. I prefer loose powder, but these also come in cream formulas.
- Bronzers. Typically I only carry one or two. Often time, a versatile shade can work on many, many skin tones. Matte bronzers are more versatile than those that contain shimmer.
- Eye primer. I typically only carry one or two of these; one dark & one light or white. They do makeup skin tone shades, but a skin tone shade wont enhance the color of the shadow like white or black primer.
- Eye shadow: This is something that you might have many, many of depending on your own preferences. I suggest starting with a palette that contains many neutral shades (browns, greys, blacks, whites, & nudes) & another palette with brighter colors. Brown & grey shadows can also be used for eyebrow filler.
- Multiple eye liner pencils & gel eyeliner (my most versatile & commonly used. They can also be used as primer for eye shadow). I do not use liquid eyeliner because it is impossible to properly sanitize.
- Mascara, both waterproof & a standard formula. Disposable mascara wands are a necessity for sanitization.
- A variety of false eyelashes, if this is a service that you would like to offer.
- Lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss. I personally feel that lip primer is unnecessary, lip balms are sufficient.
- As for random/generic items that you might consider adding to your kit: hair clips or bobby pins, a nail file, nail polish removal wipes, I have heard of makeup artists carrying feminine hygiene products, but I personally don't; a razor, instant tanning lotion, washcloths, a cape, small scissors, safety pins, & aspirin.
I often skim images of 'makeup' on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc & have noticed a trend toward bold, colorful, thick, & heavy makeup, similar to what is often worn behind the counters of the MAC makeup store. While I can appreciate the technical skill that goes into a look like this, I just don't believe that it is the most attractive & beautiful style of makeup application. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every girl who works at MAC is overdoing it, or that this look doesn't work on some people in certain situations. I'm just saying that this style doesn't align with my personal makeup philosophy. I believe that makeup should highlight YOUR own unique, natural beauty. Gorgeous cheekbones? Let's highlight those suckers. Beautiful eyes, let's frame them with well-defined eyebrows. Beautiful lips, beautiful bold lipstick. While there are some universal makeup tricks that work well on everyone there are a lot more makeup styles & applications that aren't great for everyone. Let's face it, granny probably wont look great in Kim K's smoked out eye.
Now that I've highlighted what I think doesn't work how about I tell you what I think does work. I believe that every. single. person. is absolutely gorgeous in his or her own way. Even if you have concerns about the condition of your skin, or maybe the fine lines around your eyes there is something about you that is beautiful & attractive. Obviously we all have insecurities & makeup is a wonderful tool to minimize those issues, but I feel it's an even better tool to highlight the things we love about ourselves. That's why I always chat with my clients to determine what she likes/dislikes & how I can formulate the perfect makeup look for her. I always custom blend foundation color to ensure a perfect skin match. I always adjust makeup to suit the client & I work really hard to listen carefully to exactly what she is asking for. I do commonly find myself making suggestions, of course, & often recommend something my client had never tried or considered & turns out to absolutely love. That's when I pat myself on the back & say 'job well done, Christy'. My goal is to make each client happy while appreciating & elevating her natural beauty, without applying every product & every makeup trick in my bag.