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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Building your personal Empire: Getting the gigs you want!




Greetings all!  One of the most frequent questions that I am asked is, "how do you book all of those gigs?"  I have a few responses to that, which I will tackle in this blog.  While I do not have ALL of the answers, I would like to share with you the methods that I have found to work for me.

First thing is first!  When you are working as a freelance makeup artist (or in any position within the beauty industry), you must establish in your mind that you are an INSTANT entrepreneur!    You are the owner of your business, which happens to be your makeup services.  You become a one-man show--leading your marketing/advertising and public relations.  You just don't have the luxury of having a full staff.  No worries.  It just means that you have to work smarter, not harder!

  • The most important piece of advice that I can give is to BE PROFESSIONAL!  I cannot stress this enough.  Dress appropriately, preferably in classic black.  Your hair, makeup and grooming should be near perfect and stylish!  Your image says a lot about you and you want to give a great impression to your clients!  Make sure that you arrive early to gigs.  You never want to be the one to hold up a production.  Time is money and you don't want your tardiness to cost you a gig or interfere with your networks.  Never, ever--under any circumstnce be a NO CALL, NO SHOW.  You put the entire creative team in a bind.  Remember, the industry is small and word will spread.  I was just speaking to a client from New York that said during fashion week, a number of makeup artists just did not show up.  Keep your word!

  • When dealing with clients, you must keep the lines of communication open.  When you book a gig, make sure that you call or email a couple of days in advance to confirm that you are ready for the job.  You may also want to clarify the nature of the job, payment and call times so that there is no confusion the day of!  After the job is complete, email or call your contact and the other crew members that you may have met to thank them for the experience and to contact you should they need a makeup artist for any other projects!  It sets you apart from the artists that never follow up!  Also, when your freelance gigs slows down (which will happen--do not PANIC) contact ALL of the people that you have worked with on prior jobs just to say 'Hi!  I'm here and I'm available and ready to work!" Send them links to your updated porfolio as well so they remember what you are capable of doing!!

  • Make a lasting impression.  Be social on set and with clients.  Through conversation, you learn more about one another's ventures and witness each other's professionalism.  Now you have opened the doors for more networks and they may call you for other projects or recommend you to friends/business associates.  Have business cards ready or if you want to be eco-friendly, exchange info via twitter, facebook or email! 

  • Take advantage of social networks.  A large portion of my clientele first saw my work online, whether it was my blog, online portfolio or the pictures I tweeted from previous gigs.  I have also had people contact me for bookings because one of my facebook friends or followers on twitter forwarded my info and portfolio to them.  Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with Rosemarie DiLorenzo, Co-Founder, Owner and CEO of Swimwear-Anywear, Inc. while she was in town for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami.  One of my facebook friends passed along my information to one of her colleagues after they saw the link to my portfolio on facebook.  Two or three times a week, I post my updated information to all of my social networks.  Once people familarize themselves with your work, they may even begin to re-post which means more exposure for you!

  • Other makeup artists and creative team members are your FRIENDS!  I cannot tell you HOW MANY makeup artists think that the industry is hardcore competition to the point that they alienate themselves from other makeup artists!  In this industry, you have to personable.  Put your ego aside and offer to assist another artist.  It is my personal opinion that you can learn a lot from other artists, no matter their skill level.  In the event that this artist is unable to show up for a gig, they just might refer you!  I have booked a ton of jobs by being referred to the client by OTHER MAKEUP ARTISTS!  Once they work with you, they feel more comfortable referring you because they are confident that your professionalism and skill set is up to par--since it is their reputation on the line if they are referring you.  One of my dear friends and colleagues booked a fabulous job with Nike, on location in the Caribbean, because she was referred by a makeup artist that she has assisted!

  • Think like a client who is in need of a makeup artist.  If you were in need of a makeup artist, but didn't necessary want to venture into a department store, how would you find one? Where would you look?  There are a number of possible answers.  Contact them all! The Hair salon?  Hotel concierge?  Event planner?  Send an email with your information, rates and samples of your work---follow up.  You may not see the results right away,  but you may get that unexpected call sooner than later!

Never be afraid to aim high!  Do you page through a particular magazine and wish that your work were on the pages?  Do you wish that you worked with a certain photographer or model?  What's holding you back from contacting them and sending them links of your work?  We,  MOST OFTEN, create the barriers that keeps us away from our own dreams.  Be fearless.  Be persistant. Take the steps in the direction that you want to go, otherwise you find yourself just standing still.  I believe that I found a lot of success in the industry because I am no longer afraid to hear the word "no."  If you show no confidence in yourself or in your work, why would another else bother?  Go for it BUT make sure that you are able to DELIVER!

If any makeup artists would like to shadow or assist me with future jobs, send me your name, a short bio and samples of your work to ambition_drives@yahoo.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

GET THE LOOK: Naturi Naughton


Hello, once again loves!  I recently had the pleasure of getting Miss Naturi Naughton red carpet ready for the opening night party for the American Black Film Festival 2011 that took place at Club Play in Miami Beach.  You may know her as a former member of the group 3LW, Denise in the remake of Fame and probably most notably for her role as Lil Kim in the film NOTORIUS.  The multitalented New Jersey native also made her mark in theater, playing little Inez in the musical, Hairspray. 

Naturi was a joy to work with!  She knows her makeup stuff!!  We spoke mostly about makeup and skincare techniques and products.  Naturi has FLAWLESS brown skin!  When I inquired about her skincare regimen, she responded that she uses a brand of products called Dermalogica (http://www.dermalogica.com/) to keep her skin in check with traveling and environmental stresses.  The products leave her skin clear, even toned and hydrated, so I didn't need to use a lot of foundation on her.

I first primed her skin with MAC Prep & Prime skin to ensure that the foundation would remain fresh and long-lasting underneath red carpet lights and the humidity of the club atmosphere. 


Generally, during a makeup application, I like to begin with the brows and eye makeup.  In the event that there is any eyeshadow fallout or darkness, I can clean it easier from bare skin that trying to correct it on top of concealer.  Naturi's brows were already a nice shape, but just to give her brows more definition I used a MAC 263 brush and Espresso eyeshadow.  This also accentuated her arch, thus opening up her eye space for big, dramatic eyes!


photo:AJ Shorter Photography

Next, I primed her lids with MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork to eliminate creasing over time.  Naturi's Miami-style blue mini dress screamed glam and she wanted her eyes to match without competing too much with the dress!  We settled on golds and blues, with winged liner and lashes.

First I applied concealer as her brow highlight.  Using a concealer versus a highlighter gives a more skin-like look and doesn't compete with the shadows as we wanted the attention to fall on her lid space.  Then I applied MAC eyeshadow in Amber Lights to the lid with a 239 Brush so that color would pack on to the lid.  In her crease, I used Brown Script, a mid-tone warm brown to blend, with a 224.  The season is about random "pops of color" so I snuck in a bit of Electric Eel (vibrant, satin blue) to her outer lid space and a touch of Carbon (black).  Naturi loves to create an appearance of an extended eyelid, so I created a wing with E.L.F black gel eyeliner with a 263 Brush.  Finally, to complete her eye look, I used feathery Red Cherry lashes.






For the face, we didn't want the elements of foundation, concealer, blush and lips to overshadow eyes so I kept it simple.  I applied Makeup Forever HD Foundation to to the outer perimeter of her face and MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in a lighter shade underneath her eyes, center of the forehead and the bridge of her nose for a highlighting effect.  I dusted MAC Matte Bronze Bronzer over her face with a 150 (Large) Brush and applied Pink Swoon blush to her apples for a light flush.

Naturi wanted a lip that said 'Miami,' and that would appropriately fit her overall look.  I suggested pairing MAC PRO Lipstick in Show Orchid with MAC Cremesheen glass in Partial to Pink to the center and she loved it!  NOTE: Skipping lip liner gave a more muted, natural look.


Naturi and I discussed the need for more women of color to experiment with brighter shades.  I personally think that women with darker skin tend to bury themselves in coppers and browns because they fear that color would stand out too much against their skin!  It may, but its all about referring to a professional for the correct products, textures and application methods!  You can rock vibrant colors, you just have to own it and not over do it!  That's where I come in! 


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Living the Dream..when two loves collide



Greetings loves! It has certainly been a long time since my last post!  I apologize sincerely, BUT I have wonderful news!  I have since successfully released the first issue of Ikons Magazine, as their new BEAUTY EDITOR!  Those of you that know me, are aware of my love of writing!  One of my many dreams, was to become a beauty editor for a publication.  I am here to let you all know that dreams come through as long as you keep a positive mind and work hard towards whatever that dream may be! 

Ikons Magazine is a quarterly publication, based out of New York City and is a women's magazine.  Our core audience is the lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgendered community, but there is something in the magazine for every woman!  We focus on the latest in politics, fashion, lifestyle, beauty and much more.  Be sure to check us out at http://www.ikonsmagazine.com/  www.twitter.com/IKONS_Magazine and "LIKE" us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/ikonsmagazine08



I remember the day I got my personal copy of Ikons Magazine in the mail.  I quickly opened up the Beauty Section and it was an intense and moving experience to see my name there in print.  True, I am a published writer and had been the managing editor of another national publication, but this moment felt different.  I am in a new city, with new dreams and goals, new networks and to see the result of my two loves, the beauty industry and writing in one project as overwhelming.  No that was not a tear.  I had something in my eye! (Smile) I was flooded with the feeling that things were indeed coming together..my personal "Ah-Ha" moment.

We are currently working on the next issue and will go to print soon!  I hope that you all get a chance to check out my Beauty Section and support the Ikons family overall.  We work extremely hard to bring you a great magazine and website! 

Thank you all for your continued support, encouragement and words of wisdom!  It truly means the world to me!

Be sure to connect with me through my artistry and my journey as a Beauty Editor.  Peace and Love

Krystal Danielle


Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Taking a Moment to Give Back to the Community...a Special Announcement!



Personally, I’ve had a long history of volunteerism and raising awareness on causes that are important to me nationally and globally.  I find it very rewarding to be a part of a cause, whether it be volunteering, donating and/or raising awareness about the things that we believe in.  As the founder of Age of Aquarius Artistry, I have decided to use what I love the most, my makeup artistry, to raise money and awareness for a different cause every three  months.  I would like to announce my first project!   Beginning Monday, February 7, in honor of Black AIDS Awareness Day, Age of Aquarius Artistry will donate 30% of each service fee to the Black AIDS Institute for the next three months.
The Black AIDS Institute is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999, focusing specifically on the prevention and awareness of HIV/AIDS in the African American community.  With statistics showing that African Americans are being infected with HIV at alarmingly higher rates than any other race, something has to be done.  Women are also disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS! 

FACT:
·         In 2008, African Americans accounted for 52% of new HIV diagnoses and almost 50% of AIDS diagnoses
·         Among women diagnosed in 2008, African American women were infected at a higher rate than other races at 77%.   74% infected were Hispanic/Latina and 65% were White
·         More than ONE MILLION people in the United States are living with HIV
·         1 in every 5 people, DO NOT know they are infected
·         Every NINE AND A HALF MINUTES, someone in the United States is infected with HIV
Are these statistics alarming enough?  It is time to stop ignoring the facts and talk about the realities of what HIV/AIDS is doing to communities and families.  Instead of playing the blame game, it is time to open up the doors to healthy conversation about how to prevent HIV statistics from continuing to rise.  I believe that the Black AIDS Institute is making some very significant strides in encouraging testing, prevention and education.

Age of Aquarius Artistry is committed to being a part of the solution!  Please join me and support!  If you would like to donate without booking a service through Age of Aquarius Artistry, please email me at aquariusartistry@yahoo.com for more details!!


OAN: Please make sure that you are practicing safe sex through the use of condoms and dental dams.  Get tested frequently so that you KNOW YOUR STATUS!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Disable your fear to ensure your success

     Happy New Year, ladies and gents!  It's been a long time!  I extend my sincere apologies!  I have been up to a lot since the close of 2010 and even within 2011, including the official re-lauching of my "LIFE AS A MAKEUP ARTIST" blog.  However, I just wanted to drop in to give a few words and I couldn't stay away!  I missed blogging to you all! LOL In any event, I hope that the new year is finding each and every one of you in great spirits and with high aspirations!

                                                    Photo by: NYC to Miami Photography

     As you know, I love to offer my advice and encouraging words to my fellow artists, whether they be just beginning a career in makeup artistry and the fashion world, or whether they are experienced.  We all need a boost, right? Lately, I've been chatting with a few good friends, who are also involved in the beauty industry.  One dear friend, is an amazing artist, but fears rejection which hinders her from pushing herself to her limits.  Another friend of mine has taught me so much about artistry and life, but she is working to balance her career as an artist and her family life as she tries to venture deeper in the fashion world.  In giving them words of encouragement, I also make sure I continue to practice the same advice in my own career: never let your fear hold you back.  Whether it is fear of rejection, fear of the unknown or fear of your artistry not being 'good enough', you have to find the courage and the strength within yourself to keep pushing forward.  Turn that negative energy into something positive because negative energy can and will create a negative outcome!

     I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret!  When I moved to Miami, almost a year ago, I was beyond insecure.  I was in a new and bigger city, an unknown market.  I didn't know anyone here, but I relocated with my job on a part-time position.  Sure, people knew my name and my work back home.  I worked with some of the hottest designers, photographers and models, but in Miami, no one knew Krystal Hardy!  Talk about insecurity!  The first few weeks, I stayed on Twitter, did internet searches for the Who's Who of Miami and reached out to a couple of people by sending out my resume and samples of my work!  Being an entrepreneur, which is basically what freelance makeup artists are, is not for the weak or discouraged!  I cannot tell you how many times I got no response----or sometimes even a rude response.  I once had one of Miami's most well known managers of Hip Hop artists and video vixens, tell me flat out that my work wasn't good enough to touch any his client's faces.  Just like that!  I can laugh about it now, but talk about a crushing blow to my ego and my artistry!

     In that moment, I could have crashed, burned put away my brushes.  I could have retreated to my shell, but I developed a thick skin overnight and told myself that if he didn't think I was good enough, I was going to PROVE I was good enough!  Not because I wanted to be good enough for him, but I wanted to be the best at what I did, for myself!!!  I  spent every free moment I had networking, linking up with photographers, passing out business cards to anyone in the industry that would take one. I started to get call backs and went full-speed ahead into updating my portfolio.  When I felt that I was ready, I leaked photos on every social networking site that I had an account with and people began contacting me regularly.

     Fast forward to a year later and I've had the pleasure of working with some amazing talent such as rappers Pitbull and Trina, International recording artist Ester Campos and supermodel Claudia Romani, to name a few.  These days, I still lack sleep because I'm still always networking but at least I have peace of mind knowing that I'm pushing myself regardless of the feedback I may receive.  I look at each opportunity as a growing and learning experience.  I still get rejections, but I do not let it stop me.  I am an artist and artistry is ever evolving!  I do not let anyone define or determine what my failures or successes are as an artist and there is wisdom in knowing that success is a state of mind!

     We all have goals and dreams, but if you are crippled by fear and doing nothing, then a dream will remain a dream!   View it as a challenge.  One day the person who said 'no' to you will see your growth, your passion and your professionalism and they just may contact you with a 'yes!'

Here are just a few tips for you to shine:

  • Never be 'too good' to assist another artist.  It doesn't matter how many years of experience you have in this industry, there is always more to learn and it is a good way to build connections!  In the event that the key artist is unavailable for a gig, they may just reach out to their assistant.
  • Take advantage of social networking sites!  It's a new day and the world is obsessed with technology!It's not just for uploading pics of your weekend adventures or posting funny statuses about your day!  Use it to let people know who you are and what you can do!
  • Do not limit yourself to solely one market!  Make connects in other cities.  When you go on vacation, dedicate a little time to work and a little time to play!  Take your kit along and you just may stumble upon a great gig!
  • Be aggressive!  One of the reasons that people are ineffective when it comes to networking is that they exchange business cards and keep the cards laying around in a drawer somewhere.  After you meet someone and exchange business cards, feel free to FOLLOW UP with a 'nice meeting you' or 'hope to work with you in the near future'---kinda message and attach copies of your work!  It makes you stand out!

                                             The Sky is the Limit as long as you own it, loves!  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guess by Marciano fall fashion show at Miami's hot spot The Pink Room

The Guess by Marciano fashion show on Friday, August 27th, was amazing!  The models looked superb in the latest Marciano fashion, hair by Gregory Q and the makeup, of course, by me.  Fashion shows are already stressful enough, but my original assistant cancelled the day of---which meant my blood pressure went up!  No worries, though, you always have to think fast in this industry, so I contacted another great artist and colleague, Miss Bianca Acosta!  She definitely saved the day!

My inspiration for the model's super glam look was old, Italian starlet beauty.  I prepped the skin with MAC Deep Ultramoisture Cream from the Lightful collection and Prep and Prime skin, to make the skin dewy and glowy.  Then, I used one of my all-time faves, MAC Face and Body foundation, a water-based liquid foundation, with a 190 brush.  Guess reps were adamant about having rich-looking, luscious skin.  I melted Studio Sculpt concealer into the skin with my fingers, to the areas that needed more coverage.  Models were finished with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural with a 129, placed strategically, as to not take away from the overall hydrated look.

The eyes were prepped with MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, with generous amounts near the lashline and blended up towards to the browbone.  Paint Pots are great for building eyeshadow color and to keep shadows from creasing.  With models strutting under hot lights and high-tailing it backstage for wardrobe changes, I wanted to make sure the shadows stayed fresh!  Brows were defined with Lingering eye brow pencil and Omega eyeshadow with a 266 brush.  I wanted a strong, defined brow to balance the smoky eye.  Carbon eyeshadow was packed on to the lid, while Wedge and Brown Script shadows were blended into the crease with a 224 brush.  Feline eye kohl was smudged into the top lash lines and MAC Pro Chromagraphic Pencil in NW20 was added to the waterline to create, big, dreamy eyes.  Generous amounts of MAC's new Haute and Naughty Lash, which hasn't hit stores yet, were applied to lashes.  It is a must-have, creating definition and length!

A beautiful, pouty mouth was created using MAC Boldly Bare lip pencil (a limited edition..sorry guys), Viva Glam II lipstick (what I call the perfect nude lipstick) and Glamour for All lipglass (also limited edition).  It was close to my heart to use a Viva Glam lipstick to support MAC AIDS FUND, 100% of the selling cost of the lipstick goes towards helping women, children and families who are affected by AIDS/HIV.  Plus, the color ROCKED and the models looked gorgeous!

My colleague and hair genius, Gregory Quadagno, gave the model's sexy volume and curl by setting their hair in hot rollers, teasing and sculpting with a curling iron!  It was a funny sight, with random bursts of hair spray backstage and teasing combs flying.  But, let me tell you!  He is magical!  We've worked together before on shoots, but there was a whole other realm of chemistry during the fashion show, which is why I adore Gregory and his work!  It's can be difficult to find people who compliment your work style, ethic and professionalism, but I will definitely be contacting him for other projects! 

It was a pleasure to work with Guess by Marciano, please visit your local Guess by Marciano store!  The clothes this season are to die for!

It was also a pleasure to work with Syama Reyes and the Pink Room Miami (http://www.pinkroommiami.com/).  The nightclub/lounge has great music, a great ambience and beautiful people to party with!  So if you live in the Miami area or will be visiting, it should be on your list of places to go! 

For PICS please check out the Pink Room gallery at : http://picasaweb.google.com/pinkroommiamiclub/GUESSByMarciano2010FallFashionShow#

Video and more pics to come!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cheers to the Beginning! My first Blog Post!

Good afternoon, people! Welcome to the first entry of my new blog. SUPER EXCITED! I’d like to introduce myself, to those that may not know me very well. My name is Krystal Hardy, a professional makeup artist and founder of Age of Aquarius Artistry. I started Age of Aquarius Artistry last year, to “brand” myself and my artistry. I am experienced in makeup for photo shoots, TV/film and fashion show. I body paint and do some ‘light’ hair styling. I am not represented by an agency (yet), but it is something I am aiming for. Ultimately, I would like for Age of Aquarius Artistry to become a network for makeup artists to gain more work and experience. Age of Aquarius Artistry is my baby, a project that got its name from my astrological sign, the Aquarius. Aquarius personality traits are very much artistic, that of a humanitarian, rebellious and non-conformist---ME, in a nutshell and very much my ideology of makeup as art.

Ok..so a little more about myself: I am a native Milwaukeean (please hold the cheese and beer jokes) and current Miamian, since February of 2010. I relocated to Miami to further pursue my dreams as a makeup artist. Miami , which I’d visited often, was a beautiful city and seemed to be full of opportunity, so I packed up and moved. I’d never really been away from Milwaukee , except to study abroad in Mexico for college, so this is probably the bravest and scariest thing I’ve ever done. You know what? I love it and have no regrets! In my short time here in Miami , I’ve met and worked with some amazing models, stylists, recording artists and photographers. It was a chance meeting with staff writer Joanie Cox of Miami ’s weekly paper, City Link that got the wheels turning to create this blog. I had been entertaining the idea for quite awhile, but Joanie was right! Now is the time! So here I am!

I want this blog to become a portal into my life as a makeup artist and in turn, I hope I can offer great insight to aspiring makeup artists. I will also be interviewing other talented and creative industry professionals in hopes of giving tips and advice to anyone looking to break into the fashion/entertainment industries. Take the journey with me through as I blog about photo shoots, planning fashion shows, working with models/photographers, sharing makeup tips and much, much more. I’m here to share the good, bad, ugly, uplifting and depressing. No worries. It is never to be discouraging. Wisdom comes from falling on your butt!



This blog also serves as my other love and creative outlet, writing! As some of you know, I am a published journalist and aspiring beauty writer. This blog is ‘next’ level for me, as you will see me open up in a way that you’ve never seen before. LOL In any case, I hope that you will be entertained and informed, but more than anything, I hope that you will become inspired!


Peace and Love

Krystal