Makeup and Desk Items

Makeup Education & Business

Optimize Your Makeup Artistry Business with these 7 MUA Systems and Tools

Natalie Setareh's Business Cards in a Bowl

Have you been dreaming about starting a makeup artistry business? If so, you are in the right place! I have so much information to share with you! Let me start with my own story, which — let’s not lie — has quite a bit of context behind it and really merits its own blog post. I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details though and try to keep it short and simple.

Becoming a Makeup Artist

Photo by Anne-Marie Photography

Background

Once upon a time in mid 2014, I decided I wanted to start a side-hustle makeup artistry business because I thought it would be fun and I could have a creative outlet. I had been doing makeup for friends and colleagues my entire life so I thought to myself, “no big deal! I’ll just do it.”

After making sure this decision wouldn’t put a huge financial strain on our family (I googled what I needed to do to start a small business), I just did it. I literally jumped in and figured it out as I went. Lots and lots of wins and mistakes were made during this time. Little did I know I had entered a cutthroat, fierce, and unapologetic industry. 

What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, the website or domain?

Four years ago, I was old school and wasn’t really “on” Instagram or Facebook outside of connecting with friends and family. I wasn’t even really “on” YouTube. I was still in the mindset that I needed to have a professional-looking website first. You will eventually need one, but don’t let that hold you back from just doing the work! However, in my experience, it’s best to do it right and start with a website (hey, that rhymes!)

#1: Secure Your Domain

A Website Requires Two Things: A Domain and a Place to Host

There are many companies who will sell you a domain and host your site for you. Let me tell you, the best accidental decision I made was to keep these two separate. Of course, I had heard of GoDaddy.com and HostGator.com, but GoDaddy bought up a domain I had been looking at on their site. Seriously. When I was ready to purchase it, I realized THEY had already purchased it and they raised the price. Not cool GoDaddy… not cool.

Once I realized that some companies really suck, I needed to find a new, trustworthy place to buy a domain. I will say, I am THRILLED with my choice — it’s still where I buy ALL my domains to this day: hover.com. With the exception of one semi-rude interaction with a customer service person, I’ve been so happy. I am a loyal Hover customer for life!

hover logo

Check out Hover here.

#2 A Reputable Website Host  

(Updated 14 February 2019)

First came Wix. Then came WordPress. Last came Showit!

Wix

I started my business on Wix. Why? Because they had catchy ads on my Facebook feed and they kept offering 50% discounts several times a year. Wix was great. I really can’t complain at all. I think if you are going to establish a business in a place where it’ll be for the long-term, it’s great. It’s all drag and drop, you can have a website up and running in a day, and you can get kinda techy if you want to really dive in. Their support is pretty good and overall, it was a great starting place for me.

So I went to the place everyone said to go… WordPress.org (hosted by Bluehost)

Why did I end up switching, you ask?

I got to a place where I wanted to do more than Wix was able to do… (even though Wix has since improved so much, I probably could’ve stuck it out).

Some of those things are:

  • Some of the blog features I wanted weren’t there — pop-ups, optins, customization… I wanted MORE!
  • “SEO” — lots of people complain about Wix for this reason but to be honest, I popped up in the top three of search engines (because I did set it up); so I switched because people said SEO on WordPress.org was better — and really, it wasn’t. I mean, it was about the same. I just had more control in WordPress.org.

WordPress 

I hired a web developer / graphic designer to migrate my Wix site into WordPress.org. This wasn’t cheap but I knew I couldn’t do it myself. I found a “theme” called Uncode I thought would fit my new brand perfectly. I pretty much gave up all the reigns to my web developer during this time because I was literally clueless and didn’t have the emotional fortitude to deal with it.

Outsourcing the move was good and bad.

The good thing is he saved me a lot of money with Bluehost… but he blocked me into a 36 month deal with BlueHost (I’m still paying for it although I don’t use it). While I don’t have anything really negative to say about them (I love the 24/7 Live Chat feature), I felt like a drop in a bucket. That’s not the best feeling. But it’s also good to know they are so big and have lots of resources that smaller companies might not have. 

LyricalHost

FYI — Lyrical Host is a great alternative to BlueHost. I hosted my now-retired travel blog with them. They are helpful and responsive. I feel like I am their only client (but I know I’m not!) and there’s so many perks; free stock photos is a huge one. They’ll also handle the move from BlueHost to LyricalHost, which makes me happy. You can try Lyrical Host out 10% off with the discount code BWB10.

If I had to do it again… I wouldn’t unless you have a lot of extra time to give a WordPress.org site the attention it needs. 

Showit

So then meet the site you are on today, powered by Showit! I love Showit SO much.

You can legit build an entire new website FOR FREE with one month FREE when you sign up using my referral link. If you’d like to make the switch to Showit and you want to save some money.

Try out Showit for a month for free>

Need a Theme?

I love love love it. I bought a STUNNING Showit theme here (same company who did Jenna Kutcher’s site btw) and well, customized it to the max! Their templates rarely go on sale, so make sure to use my discount code *if* you fall in love with their templates as much as I did.

 

#2 – A Robust Client Management System 

Honeybook Screen Yellow Flowers

In the early days of my business, I used the free version JotForm, which would send queries straight to my inbox. Then, I would respond individually to each client, send invoices through PayPal or I’d bring my free Square reader to events. That worked great for awhile, but as my business grew this became less and less reliable (and not as professional).

I studied the various Client Management Systems that are out there and I ended up going with Honeybook.

Honeybook

Honeybook has allowed me to run my makeup artistry business in addition to my podcast and manage my 1:1 personal coaching services.

If you’re interested in trying Honeybook out through my referral link, not only will you get the steep sign-up discount but I’ll also throw in either my Bridal Email Templates or my MUA Email Templates to you, for free, to help you get started.

Test drive Honeybook out 50% off for an entire year with my referral link.

#3 Email Marketing

 

mailerlite logo

 

What About Email Marketing?

There’s no denying how valuable email marketing is. Social media platforms do NOT belong to us and if anything happens or changes to our accounts, the algorithms, or the platforms themselves, we could potentially lose everything we’ve built and all our followers! Therefore, it’s important to build your email list, at a minimum, in case of emergency.

There are so many options when it comes to email marketing, I know! I started with MailChimp because it was recognizable, trustworthy, and free and easy to set up. It was FINE. Really, it was. 

But I wanted something easier and more intuitive! So I switched to MailerLite. I exported the files per the instructions and voila! It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers. You can use my referral link to get a $20 credit when you sign up and if you upgrade you’re account, I’ll get a $20 credit too. Everybody wins! 

Test drive  Mailerlite with a sweet $20 off discount here>

If you’re not sure what types of emails to write to your clients or how you can monetize your email list, let’s work it out.

#4 Social Media Schedulers

Are your ideal clients hanging out on Facebook or Instagram? Good news! You can schedule your posts from the Facebook Publisher… it is connected to your business account.

But for me, the magic doesn’t happen inside of Facebook or Instagram, it happens inside of Pinterest. And Tailwind is the best app for the job!

No matter where you hang out on social, make sure that you need to set up and optimize your profile(s) with a strong bio and post consistently, with engaging captions and/or content optimized to close deals. Need a sanity check? Hop on a 1 hour coaching call and I’ll get you squared away asap.

 


Download all this amazing info in checklist form here!


#5 Sign Up For Pro Discounts

Now, onto some of the more makeup artist specific things that you’ll need to know when you start out:

Discounts for Makeup Artistry Businesses

This is sticky. Because I live in Germany, getting all my favorite products delivered to my doorstep is quite expensive and challenging. However, I do go to the States at least once a year and I stock up hard core on my kit essentials. There are times, though, where I need to place an order and have the swag delivered to the next visiting family or friend 🙂

Here in Germany, I find myself stopping at Douglas for all my last-minute makeup purchases!

Here are some of my favorite pro-makeup artist retailers: 

Photo by Jenelle Botts

#6 A Virtual Assistant and/or Assistants

It took me over a year — and signing a contract with the wrong person — to find my right hand girl. You might not need someone at first, but eventually you will be so busy doing #allthethings that you find you need help.

I wrote an extensive post on how to outsource help in this post here. << Check it out if you’ve been curious about hiring help!

If you’re like me, you chose this career because you love the makeup side of it. However, the honest truth is the business side of it will end up becoming just as much a part of your day as the makeup. If that doesn’t sound fun to you (or you have a family, like me, and it just isn’t possible for you to do it all) you will want to look for an assistant or a way to outsource some of the work. 

I hired a virtual assistant in 2017, Kari Perlewitz, who has been instrumental to my growth. I don’t know what I’d do without her! If you are getting swamped, outsource sooner rather than later. You do NOT want to burn out!

When I wanted to rebrand a bit and also develop my Makeup Reset Workshop Series, I hired MaryBeth of The Egino Community and she has been nothing short of amazing! 

Lastly, you’ll need professional headshots and photos. If you don’t have at least one professional photo of yourself, make this investment stat! In this fierce and competitive beauty industry, you need to put your best face forward. Selfies are NOT going to hack it!

#7 Attend Professional Networking Events

Relationships matter. Friendships matter. I’ve found that the more I’ve invested (read paid) in furthering my makeup artistry education and/or business, the faster I’ve grown.

  • The Powder Group
  • IMATS
  • The Makeup Show

 

In Closing…

I hope that you found this blog post helpful and that you’ll optimize your business with these trusted systems and tools. If you have any questions, comment below.

 

Side Hustle MUA Promo Graphic

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! U gi

Have a beauty Question?

Been answering your beauty questions since 2014!

When you ask, not only will you get the answer but I'll also add you to my biweekly newsletter.

THANK YOU

Your contact form was successfully submitted and I will be in touch within 48 hours. I respond to emails M-F from Germany time (aka 9-5 UTC+1:00). Feel free to call/text me for urgent or last minute appointments
 +49 151 65874996. 

P.S. If you asked me a beauty question, if I don't immediately know the answer, I must thoroughly research every question I receive, and sometimes do not have an immediate answer or I need clarity on unlisted ingredients in certain beauty products, sometimes getting a clear answer takes up to 3 weeks... have patience, it'll be worth it!

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