Social Media’s Influence on MUAs
I get emails weekly from women/men who want to be in my industry. They want to “intern” under me or be an assistant with me on my gigs. Many of them stop responding when I tell them I would love to help you but intern positions with me aren’t paid and assistant positions are filled or they only pay X amount. They also disappear when I tell them that they will be working on chorus or background performers, or just basing clients and cleaning brushes.
Here’s the deal: while I love social media, it has put a filter over my industry. Everyone sees fancy frames and cat ears, and the world through millennial pink colored glasses, but no one gets to see the real blood, sweat, and tears associated with what I do. I want to lift that lens for a second and let you see the full frame of the picture.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to help everyone starting out in my industry. Sometimes, I’m too much of an open book.
I promised myself a long time ago that I would always give help to those who asked. I refused to be like the many artists that wouldn’t give me an inch. I get it. They were protecting themselves and their livelihood. However there’s plenty of work for everyone. I hope that every single artist I help is more than successful than me. You never know where people go in their career. And when that person is at the peak of their career I don’t want them to look back at our time together and think about how I didn’t help. I hope I’ve done everyone justice.
Is being a MUA/ hair stylist fun? Yes! But is it work? Absolutely. I’ve paid 1000’s of dollars on my education and I’m not talking just beauty school. No, I didn’t learn my trade from YouTube. There is a learning curve associated with this business, and you have to start all the way at the bottom before working your way up to the top. You will not graduate beauty school and automatically be able to charge $75 for a face of makeup. You will not be able to work on the stars of movies and the leads in shows.
The difference between a MUA and an INFLUENCER
Jaclyn Hill is so talented and gorgeous right? The following statements are not to degrade the empire she has created but to put it in a different light. She’s not a REAL MUA, at least not anymore. She is an artist but she really is an INFLUENCER. You like Jaclyn Hill? You want to be an artist like her? Then that’s a social media influencer in the beauty industry. She’s a sales person, and her job is not to do makeup on other people as a service, for a wedding, special event, or film. That would make her a make-up artist. Her job, is to put as much makeup on her face as she can to make you fill your shopping cart. And she’s not alone. Other YouTubers like Nikki Tutorials, Kandee Johnson (who I do love), James Charles, and Patrick Star are all the same. They are not all makeup artists, and if they once were, that’s not what they’re doing today. They don’t strap their boots on and hit the pavement like me and many other artists do. Do you know that the average film and television hairstylist works a 16 hour day? That’s on average.
Instead of being behind the camera, working really hard on talent, these influencers flip a camera and do their own makeup well to sell you a dream. Many times the work is photoshopped or filtered (Yes the video is filtered), but even if it isn’t, they aren’t working with average clientele– they’re only doing work on models or themselves. They don’t work with real normal people, productions, and clients with real problems and need beauty solutions. Every day at work is NOT about me. It’s about my client. My job is not glamorous. My job is doing hair and makeup for my clients to go to the GLAMOROUS event. That’s the difference. You are just the help, remember that.
A lot of young artists are coming in saturating our industry with poor skills but their Instagram accounts look great and then they come complaining to me asking why they can’t book gigs. My biggest question for those wanting to be in this industry is are you doing this because you want the most likes and follows? Or the most bookings? Because I promise that bookings will pay your bills a lot better and quicker than likes and follows. In fact, most influencers are purchasing likes and follows– many of the people liking their pages don’t even speak the same language they do! How can they possibly understand the tutorial? They’re just there to make it look like they’re more popular than they really are. Meanwhile, you’re feeling sorry for yourself because you have 300 real followers who book you, when so and so has 333,000 who have no idea what her books really look like.
The reality of the situation, is that if this is your job, your career– you need it to make you money, not in some get rich quick scheme, but in hard work and repeat referrals. I tell people all of the time I strive to do the best work I can do but not be the best in my industry. I strive to be booked, I strive to make my clients happy, I strive to be the best I can be. When you flip your thinking to that I think you will be a much more successful artist and rise naturally as an industry leader. So do you want to be a makeup artist, or a pretend makeup artist?
Message me and tell me how you’re breaking the mold and let’s network! Social media is wonderful for that!