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My Year In Review: A Makeup Artist Life For Me

I'm Natalie, an American born makeup artist & makeup educator based in Wiesbaden, Germany. I truly believe that makeup, when applied well, can transform us in so many ways. My page is a space for inspiration, education, and advice. Thanks for being here & I'd love to connect with you!

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I cannot believe it’s already the end of the year! I am writing a year in review post for you guys, and I also recorded it as a podcast episode in case it’s easier for you to listen on the go. You can click the banner below to listen to “A Makeup Artist Year In Review.” I hope you love it!

You know that I love sharing meaningful, practical, helpful makeup advice and tips, but I also love to show a little bit of the business side of things. I want to be a resource for other makeup artists out there and help them if they’re stuck in a bit of a rut.

Me in my studio! Photo by Jenelle Botts Photography

The Truth About Being a Makeup Artist

You’ve heard me say it before… this industry is feast or famine. You have really busy times and then sometimes you’re like, “is anybody there?” The end of the year is often slower for me, so I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the year.

My relationship with my clients is not one I take for granted. Anybody who sits in my chair is such a blessing to me, and honestly, they provide the fuel I need to keep going!

This post is for them. If you’re in the beauty industry, I encourage you to do something similar! It can be so easy to feel like you’re not doing enough, especially during your slow times. Reflecting on your year is a great way to see all the hard work you did and all of the growth you’ve experienced.

January – Military Balls Galore & Branding for Maggie Giele

We had a Military Ball in my community and I had the opportunity to glam up Karen and her girlfriend Melissa. Karen is a VIP client of mine (turned friend) and we had a fun little party with Sekt in my studio and had a great time!

Karen Hooded Eyes Before and After Makeup | Natalie Setareh Makeup Artist.JPG

I also worked with Maggie Giele, a digital and marketing strategist on a magical, wizard-filled photoshoot to compliment her branding as well as launched the Create Your Signature Look Service, to help align her appearance with her brand.  

Maggie Giele Magical Photoshoot Wizard Wand Frankfurt

Photo: Maria-Ines Fuenmayor
Hair & Makeup: Natalie Setareh
Frankfurt, Germany

Magical Shoot Maggie Giele Digital Strategist Makeup by Natalie Setareh

Photo: Maria-Ines Fuenmayor | Maggie Giele Digital Strategist | Hair & Makeup by Natalie Setareh

February – Roaring 20s Makeup Party in Studio

The Wiesbaden Spouse’s Club had a gala in February and I had my very first in-studio party! I did makeup for four ladies back-to-back and all of them got super fun 20’s era looks. My amazing assistant Katrina helped me with that and we have a video from the party! Check it out here.

March – Eva’s 9th Birthday Party! 

 

I had my very first children’s birthday party! Karen (the client I mentioned previously) has a daughter named Ava who turned 9 this year, and she loves makeup! We had a fun party with her and her closest friends where they all colored makeup face charts with pastels and got makeup looks by me with lots of glitter.

I got the sweetest thank you note from Ava after her party which I hung up in my studio immediately. It reminds me why I do what I do everyday! Makeup is for everybody and it’s a great way to express yourself.

April – First Ever Model Call & Partnership with Glam Up Kosmetic Studio


Photo: Bogi Photography

I did my very first model call in April, and honestly, it was a dream come true. I wanted to give a few deserving ladies a free hair and makeup session. However, there was a catch. They would need to put on their wedding dress. I called it “Once a Bride, Always a Bride” and you can check out the blog post from this fun day right here. I got so many nominations! Even though I couldn’t do them all, we had a blast (despite the super cold weather that day!) It was a great way to pamper some amazing ladies and talk about marriage and what it means to different people. Let me tell you, Bogi at Bogi Photography brilliantly captured these photos. 

Acsa Harper Once A Bride, Always A Bride

I also partnered with Giota at Glam Up Kosmetic Studio and together, we collaborated on two beautiful fashion shoots! One was with former Miss Germany, Nathalie and local bloggers and influencers, Jasmin and Dennis. We work with Zimba Photography and Stefan, two amazing up-and-coming photographers who have a penchant for portrait work. I’m happy to have an amazing esthetician to refer my client’s to when they need manicures/pedicure, IMAGE facials, eyelash extensions, and micro needling. Mention I sent you and you’ll get a special gift! (#friendswithbenefits) Of course, Giota is a makeup artist too, so when I’m not available, I refer all my clients to her!

Lifestyle Fitness Shoot Black & Red Mainz

Photo: Zimba Photography
Model: Nathalia Sun
Hair & Makeup: Natalie Setareh & Giota Malliou of Glam Up Kosmetic Studio

 
 

May Madness: IMATS, Editorial Shoots, Community Events, Corporate Styling

 


May was another Military Ball, so I had a very busy day glamming up some beautiful ladies. I also had the honor of making up Kelly, the president of the Wiesbaden Spouse’s Club for the special scholarship dinner she was hosting. At this time, I wasn’t yet a member of the Wiesbaden Spouse’s Club, but I learned a lot and have had so many clients come from this organization and it’s just such a solid group of ladies. They give a lot back to the community and do a lot of scholarships, so it was wonderful to be a part of this event.

before and after wiesbaden scholarship dinner makeup by natalie setareh
In May, I also connected with my very first German fashion and editorial photographer, Peter Hoffmann, and together we did an amazing fashion editorial shoot in a little airport called Finthen in Mainz. It was cool because this airport used to be operated by the US. It was so much fun and definitely got me excited to do more fashion work in the future!

 

Lastly, and one of my favorite events from May was a corporate styling! Hagen and Sarah of Awen Redaktion hired me for the large-scale shoot, where we made sure this group of financial professionals were HD camera ready for all new website headshots, videos, and branding images. I love this type of work! Corporate Styling Makeup Artist Natalie Setareh Frankfurt Germany

Of course I cannot forget IMATS!! I am professional cardholder for IMATS (something I’m extremely proud of to hold, as it’s not easy to get “in”.) I ventured to London and attended the Kat Von D Behind the Veil Masterclass taught by Tara Buenrostro — it was great fun and I connected with so many talented MUAs and got my hands on SO many fun products. I plan on attending next year and taking another masterclass to hone my skills even more so and learn straight from the best of the best!

imats logo

June was all about prom!! I’m still kind of emotional about it because it was such a beautiful afternoon and I got to glam up two very intelligent, ambitious, naturally gorgeous young women for their special day. Young people are really, really awesome and gave me a lot of optimism for the future. June was also a busy month for private lessons. I had such a fun time educating clients, helping them with their makeup routine, finding products that work for them, and more!Before and After Makeup Natalie Setareh Senior Prom Vintage Glam

Prom Makeup Natalie Setareh Kurhaus Wiesbaden

Before and After Makeup Natalie Setareh Senior Prom

I also reconnected with Peter Hoffmann and model Sandra from the airport shoot, and we did another fashion beauty editorial shoot. You can find photos from this (and our other shoots) all over my website!Natalie Setareh Make Up Artist White Freckles

July – Vacation Time (have brushes, will travel though)!

I was on vacation the entire month! I really didn’t take any clients, and it was awesome. I went back home to the states and had a great time enjoying the Tucson heat. Who goes to Arizona in July?? Me, I guess! While I was there, I got to do my aunt’s makeup. We made some tweaks to her makeup routine, and it was so fun to see the transformation from just a few small changes and upgrades.

August – Back To Werk, Werk, Werk!

 

August was another busy month for me. We had engagements, another ball, more makeup lessons, etc. One of my favorite memories from August was my appointment with Ali. I did her makeup super early in the morning (like 5:30 am early) because she wanted to have her engagement photos taken by this castle and we needed to squeeze it in before her wedding day. We did a tan shimmery lid, and her hair was this braid with curls… it was stunning. Ali had a gorgeous ball gown and the pictures turned out breathtaking. Bogi of Bogi Photography made. it. happen.

ali castle engagement natalie setareh makeup artist 2

September – Shop Launch & White Freckles

I finally launched my shop! Over the years, I have been asked by several aspiring makeup artists for help. So, I decided to put together some bundles that include a bunch of email templates, my questionnaire, and so many more tools that makeup artists can customize and use to make the business side of things easier. You can also get gift certificates for my services in the shop as well as tickets for any workshops I have coming up. You can check out the shop here if you’re interested. This was a big step for my business and I was so excited to launch it.

 
Private Lesson Gift Certificate

We also did some more private lessons and I got the chance to shoot at NOIRstudio, near Frankfurt. It is dreamy, you guys. They had a beautiful area for me to set up all my makeup. I was with Peter Hoffmann and Sandra again, and that was a really fun shoot. We did a couple different looks and for one of them, she wore a red leather dress (omg) which allowed me to do a deep magenta eye with some white freckles, which was more editorial than what I usually get to do.

 

 

October – Falling Into Fall!

It was Military Ball Madness! I think I had five clients in one day… huge shout out to Mary Katherine who agreed to be my assistant. It was a really, really fun day. But it was crazy.

before and after military ball makeup by natalie setareh anne hathaway vibes

before and after military ball makeup by natalie setareh red lips

before and after military ball makeup by natalie setareh glamorous

before and after military ball makeup by natalie setareh bold smokey eye

Jenelle Botts took some beautiful photos of my studio in October, which you’ll see scattered throughout my website, on my Instagram. You should definitely follow her on Instagram. My father, who considers himself to be a photography enthusiast, loves her work. My dad and I aren’t even friends on Facebook (he’s not really into social media), but he went ahead and “liked” her page. That’s saying something.

Let’s not forget I got some amazing Special Effects makeup experience for the Amelia Ehrhardt Playhouse’s Haunted House. I fell into the Lead Makeup Artist role, developing character looks, teaching how to use liquid latex, making gore and blood and warewolf’s come to life. It was so much fun and the team was so talented. 

special effects makeup by natalie setareh

natalie setareh special effects makeup

before and after warewolf makeup by natalie setareh

November – It’s Not Goodbye, Just See You Later!

November was the Marine Corp Birthday Ball. I had another VIP client of mine, Danelle, come into my studio to get her makeup done for the event. I think it’s the third time I’ve done her makeup, which is always great because the more times I work with a client, the better I get to know them and I literally start dreaming up looks for them.

 

Then, Katie Cakes, a local cake baker (she’s kind of a celebrity here in Wiesbaden), told me she was leaving in a few weeks but that she wanted to have her makeup done and get some photos taken before she left. I reached out to Jenelle Botts and we totally made it happen. The photos were stunning, of course. I did a very classic look and a bold lip, which looked so gorgeous with the vineyards in the background. I will miss her and her cakes so much!

I Can’t Believe It’s Already December

My family got photos taken by Jenelle and they’re just perfect. Which is saying a lot because if you’ve been following me for some time, you know I absolutely HATE having my photo taken. As far as client work goes, I have just a few before the holidays. I may run a special for NYE, I haven’t decided yet.


On December 8, I did a fun Sip and Shop event in collaboration with Tine, the owner of the MiaZAYA clothing boutique. Everything in her shop is made in Italy. Her boutique is totally Insta-worthy, and in my opinion, the prices are very reasonable. For the event, I did some live makeup demonstrations and Tine helped style the attendees. It was such a fun day!

Thank You!!

This blog post doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the amazing things I did this year. But what I hope this year in review shows you is that when you look at your life in small doses, it might seem really mundane. It might feel like you haven’t grown or you haven’t made that next step. That’s how I feel almost every day, especially this year. I never feel good enough.

Taking this step back gives me the opportunity to step out of the present moment and give myself some credit for the growth and confidence as an artist that I’ve made over the past twelve months. For so long, I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself and artist and I can finally say that I am embracing that label. Thank you for being with me and trusting me for another year. It means so much to me.

I hope my makeup artist year in review post has inspired you to do the same thing and I would love, love, love for you to let me know what your year was like! I think you’ll be really surprised to see how much you’ve grown. It’s like free therapy!

Be beautiful,

Natalie

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin