Sunday, 23 September 2012

Guest Blog Post

Building a Career in the Fashion and Beauty Industries
Fashion, makeup and hairstyling are things that cross the mind of a person, male or female as it would apply, almost every day.  Some take it beyond thinking and expand it to a hobby of sort by studying the latest beauty and fashion trends and trying to replicate it on their own.  Then there are those that can’t imagine their mind being occupied by anything less and they hope their passion will lead to a career.
It is one thing to decide you want to have a career in fashion, makeup or hairstyling but it is quite another to be a success at it.  There are things you can do, no matter your age, to make sure you set yourself up to succeed and the steps are quite simple.
The first thing you need to realise is that if you do decide to make a career in any part of the fashion or beauty industries then you have to get it front and centre in your mind that your name is going to be a part of your brand.  That means you must guard your reputation and professionalism as if it were already worth millions of dollars.  One mistake is that people often want to wait to get ready when the opportunity is there when the right frame of mind is to be ready when the opportunity presents itself.  Conducting yourself as a professional with a brand worth millions on the line is important years before the success occurs. 
The first thing you should do is buy your domain name now.  You don’t have to set up a Web site or do anything with it but you definitely need to buy it and keep it and safeguard it.  The cost if you search for a discount code online with a major domain name seller like GoDaddy can be as low as $3 to as much as $14.  You might want to consider buying other domain names such as “yournameFashion” or “yournameStylist” or “yournameMUA” (Makeup Artist) as it would apply to your career goals.  It is up to you but if you plan on being a success don’t wait till someone else realises your potential and buys the domain name out from under you.
The next thing you need to do is remember that what you do now does have an impact on your future.  Clean up your social media presence and keep it squeaky clean and professional from now on.  Make your posts always reflective of your professional brand whether you are a teenager or an upcoming professional.  NEVER criticise anyone or any other brand.  One day you might criticise someone’s makeup and then find yourself working as an assistant to the makeup artist that did that look.  You may forget that little Facebook rant but there is a good chance the MUA Pro did not.  It is just good manners and shows you can conduct yourself both professionally and in private (your personal life) in a manner in which an agency or another professional would want to associate with in business opportunities.
Take advantage of making connections online.  Rather than caring if a celebrity is doing this or that and following them in social media fill your social media time in making connections with those that can actually help launch your career.  Follow agencies, educators and professionals in your field, and the actual beauty editors of trade magazines.  Definitely follow, learn and connect to those that are successful in your field.  Some are quite untouchable while others are fantastic to assist and give advice.  Some great professionals to follow on Twitter are Sam Fine (@SamFineBeauty on Twitter) and Karla Powell (@KarlaPowellMUA on Twitter) both of which are successful makeup artists and are happy to engage with their followers.  There are numbers of fashion designers, fashion stylists, beauty editors, makeup artists, hairstylists, editorial photographers, videographers and nail technicians that are excellent to follow and learn from.  Next time you have a fashion magazine in your hand look for the credits and then search online to see if those professionals are on Twitter ( or Facebook ( .  Follow or friend them and then learn and network.  Take care to follow those that can teach you things related to your industry but outside of it such as a fashion stylist that can tell you what they like in the hairstylists they work with or from photographers that can tell you what makeup mistakes are often made in editorial shoots that appear different in print than in person.
There are also excellent educators to learn from such as agents in your chosen field or those that have made a career of helping freelancers get into the high levels of the fashion and beauty industries such as Crystal Wright the past freelance agent and author of “Crystal Wright's Hair Makeup & Fashion Styling Career Guide” (@Crytal_Wright on Twitter).  She has an active presence on both Twitter and Facebook and shares helpful information to upcoming freelancers.  Following the social media accounts of educators within colleges and programs are helpful as well.
It goes without saying that getting a solid education is a must.  Read as much as possible and study on your own as well as getting as much formal education as you can from those that can help your career.  It might be taking formal classes at a school or college or it might be taking private lessons from a tailor or professional makeup artist.  Seek out internships both for the experience as well as the connections it could offer your career.  Volunteer your services to organisations, fashion shows, and charity events to get more experience and connections.
Record your work and make sure to take pictures so that you have a record of your work but also to study and self-critique.  When you do decide to share your work, whether in pictures, videos or in blog posts, present your work as a professional and use the best high quality images making sure to look beyond the work and at the quality as well as the background of the pictures or videos. 
Network with other up and coming professionals in associated fields to your own. For instance, if you want to make a career in fashion photography then network with nail technicians, fashion stylists, MUAs and hairstylists and offer free pictures for them to use for their portfolios.  Then you are building a wide portfolio for yourself as well as making connections that may carry over into the years ahead.  Always give credit to the other professionals that collaborate with you on projects when sharing your work.
Following your passion and making it your career is exciting.  The steps you take now can either hinder you or set the path for success.  By treating your name and your image, both in public and in your private life, as professional and a brand is the main step in making things move toward a successful career.  Learning all you can and making connections in the right place is another.  The other key aspect to a successful career in the fashion and beauty industries is to keep in mind the path may be difficult and you may find yourself in moments of doubt but it is perseverance and determination that will help you reach your career goals.

Babydoll Lashes is a brand company committed to the technology and development of eyelash products including the world famous Babydoll Lashes™ Lash Lift
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Thanks to Shea for the blog post.
Hope you find it helpful.
Ashleigh xx

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