I’m not gonna be a Blogzilla and neither will I ever begin blind-item-ing sticky situations I might have encountered as a blogger even though I have the power to on my site, but, yes, I have had my share of mishaps after almost 4 years of blogging. If ever I expressed a grievance or complained in a situation it was due to inefficiency, mostly, and I always deal with whomever directly. Why not share specific stories, you may ask…that’s simple, this is a beauty blog. Pointing fingers, and even showcasing nameless blame is not beautiful and that’s not what the blog is about. Now if you’ve made a name for yourself and are one of the beauty industry’s foremost authorities it would make sense to openly share if some behavior or situation disappointed you but there’s always a proper way to outline it without tearing someone down. Now sticky situations aside what I do hope for all bloggers is that without turning into Blogzillas we begin to humbly understand the importance of blogging while knowing our worth and the value of the content we put out. Believe it or not, I shall mention my mother, who has almost forever been an ExCom member (executive committee) in the country’s top ad agencies and is now with the country’s largest multi-platform content company. She advised me about carefully choosing what events I attend or set aside time for, I believe we were arguing at the time…about a year ago when the blog peaked. That time I just wanted to confirm for every invitation I received, but I was also trying to launch a career as an MUA. Mom advised that while it is true that if you want more recognition and popularity you attend as many events as you can she wisely said there is also value put out there as well when you limit your availability based on what is RELEVANT to you and your blog. That’s why it’s called Beauty Editing, you don’t show or throw in everything just to be able to have something to post…it’s okay to widen experiences but you make the cut where it matters, especially if you want to curate choice content. For today I’d like you girls, bloggers primarily, to take time to watch a video which isn’t visually stunning but the value of the message is priceless. You can’t put a price on wisdom. This image is not part of the video, the lady in the middle is.
Photo from Pixiwoo’s Body Talk Youtube feature w/ Jane Cunningham
Jane Cunningham (center in photo) is a British gold mine of blogging wisdom (imagine being invited to places like the House of Dior in Paris to stay for a few nights and experience new collections). She’s a more mature insider beauty editor who also happens to have one of the most revered beauty blogs in the UK, British Beauty Blogger, and she even admits her photos aren’t always stunning. The value of her blog comes from advanced previews, new collections, availability and sale announcements, and well-written honest opinions about products and even the beauty industry itself. She gets product previews way ahead of everyone else and while she’s not primarily a Youtube-r (she’s quite self-deprecating about herself on video) what she says is pretty much always relevant and meaningful. Here in this video Jane shares about bloggers having to know their worth, it’s very insightful and it touches on a few notes from my mother’s gush of wisdom as well.
I postponed this because I was hesitant to put it up due to everything that was happening in this country, but as time passed I realized that showing a little bit of light is alright. A little bit of light dispels the darkness and lifts sadness. Dad bought me one long string (I think it’s about 10-15 feet) of LED Warm White fairy lights for my room the other day and with some invisible magic scotch tape I put the lights up loosely around my bleached/refinished antique dresser and with the excess taped a heart shape around my light switches. He got me the type with clear wiring so that the string is more or less invisible at night against light colored furniture, they also come with forest green wiring for Christmas trees but I requested clear. I purposely did not tape the lights in a taut/tight boring edge-to-edge outline and art directed them loosely for a vine effect.
This is how it looks in the daytime. Of course I don’t have the lights on during the day, just for show and tell.
My Dad bought the single string of steady warm white LED Lights for Php499 from ACE Hardware he said. I mentioned on Instagram a few weeks ago that I totally detested this antique vanity dresser when it was in dark cherry wood varnish. Before in a dark finish it looked like something out of a provincial Filipino horror movie, I’d freak myself out seeing my reflection walk past in the mirror. However, when Mom finally had the dresser bleached and refinished it totally changed how I saw it and adding the string of LED fairy lights instantly brought a sacred sort of ambience into the room. The lights provide a dim but warm glow which is also perfect for when Mom has our dear massage lady over once in awhile and since the lights are LED they’re safe to use as night lights (which I don’t really need but like) when I sleep through the night, it’s easier to make my way to the restroom in the middle of the night when it’s not completely dark. I also have more mental clarity now when I think or pray in the evening. It makes a really nice background for videos don’t you think? *Hint hint*
Hi! It’s me and I thought I’d put in a normal, blabby, non-beauty bloggery post just to give you guys a primer on what’s been going on with me. At the moment a huge career opportunity has come up and I’ve never been so excited and pensive. It’s a role that is still in makeup and the beauty industry but it would mean a temporary side-step from a fulltime freelance career and a stepping stone leap into the corporate scene. I am still pursuing the path of makeup it’s just that a possible position has opened up that involves a bigger responsibility which involves the makeup professional in me.
By the way the top in no way suggests I might be working for someone scary okay? LOL, they’re just random visuals to support the relevance of a cosmetic job opportunity. Should things push through, my lovely blog readers, don’t worry the blog of course is here to stay! In fact, should this thing land smoothly (I pray it does) I’d definitely have even more insider-y things to post for you because this involves a lot of traveling, skincare, and makeup, however because it’s a more regular job I might have less time so daily posts (which actually aren’t very daily right now) might not be sooo daily, more like 3-4x a week, but I assure you guys this blog will go on as usual giving you, as best as I can, wonderful content. The manner in which it will most likely change, if the position goes my way, is the number of brands I’ll be able to publicly review for all of you may lessen, however, it’s great that I review a mix of both foreign and local stuff so not everything will be in conflict of lockout since some brands I review anyway aren’t available here and that also means more tips, how-tos, travel, and editorial posts. The opportunity that has come my way involves a huge beauty brand so there will be a reasonable handful of limitations on what I can review if I do land the job (God-willingly), but they also completely respect that I’d still like some freedom to feature various brands or products that aren’t direct competitors or even more style, and lifestyle brands once in awhile. So in effect I won’t completely have my hands tied and that’s fine with me.
The reason why I’m hopeful for this opportunity and went gung-ho for it is not because I don’t enjoy being a makeup freelancer, but it’s because honestly this year business for me was not as good as last year…it was a sudden drop and it was quite spotty. The Philippine market is quite saturated with freelance hair and makeup suppliers at the moment. Every major entry point you want to take means the possibility of maybe “supplanting” already very well-loved regulars on jobs they do. Every-other-other person I know has taken a class and though I know I have quite good skills everyone’s got their “manok” as we say here, those who have started several years before our batch. It takes a minimum of 3-5 years to make a name for yourself amongst A-listers because the positions are all currently filled. I’d love to apprentice with someone as well but the people I’d like to apprentice for to my knowledge don’t take apprentices. I felt that because of my goals I didn’t have time to wait and work that long to put my name on the map and I certainly needed to establish myself professionally by working with top people, teaching, working on more faces on a regular basis, and being able to travel more with a stable income, too. I was told that random freelance jobs that come along if ever need not always be turned down as long as it’s a day I can file leave for in advance, so it’s nice to hear they’re quite understanding about clients I’ve already touched base with. I also read this article via Caroline Hiron’s blog about a freelance makeup artist named Katy Messer who took a sidestep of several years with another brand, Laura Mercier and ended up working with the biggest names in the biz, alongside Laura Mercier herself.
CH: When did you get your ‘big break’?
“After working in make-up for 7 years I left freelancing to work for Laura Mercier and quickly worked my way up to the position of International Make-up Artist. That put me in the position to travel the world and I got to work directly alongside Laura herself on some fabulous projects. This opened up so many amazing opportunities and I got to see parts of the world I’d not have got the chance to otherwise.” - KATY MESSER, Pro MUA
CH: What advice do you have for aspiring MUA’s trying to get into the industry?
“Nothing beats experience. You can train as much as the next person but assisting, practise, passion for the art of make-up will hold you in better stead than any certificate. It’s a dog eat dog world and people will climb over you in a heartbeat to get to the top but if you’re truly passionate about the work you do, that will hold you in good stead. For experience, don’t overlook working at least part time for a cosmetics brand. In the right company they will nurture your artistry and it’s also a great way to build your kit.” - KATY MESSER, Pro MUA
So I do believe that, given the right job description, corporate opportunities in the cosmetic industry do not take away from the possibility of becoming an established freelance makeup artist in the far future. My dream job that comes with that, is to be Creative Director for a world renowned beauty brand, or at least an internationally on the map brand, the way Lisa Eldridge does it for No.7 cosmetics, the way Tom Pecheaux does it for Estee Lauder, or the way Pat McGrath is Global Creative Director for P&G Beauty. I’m waiting on God basically at this point after the interview and I’m praying that this is the moment my wheels turn on the runway…I’m ready for takeoff.