It’s interesting how life takes a twist. I’ve noticed the higher level of inquisitiveness with many people today. I grew up as a baby boomer, we didn’t ask a lot of questions. We learned from our parents and pretty much accepted life for what it is as we grew up.
Our goals then were different. We planned to finish high school, go to college and get a job that we could potentially have until we retire. I followed that plan for a while, at least until I got the part about going to college. My dream was to work in makeup. The cosmetics department was my absolute favorite to visit. I would go every chance I get, become excited about all the new products and buy things I didn’t need. It didn’t matter if it was a new lipstick or mascara, if it was new, I wanted it.
When it was time to go to college, I wanted to go to makeup school. I lived in New England and the good schools were in NY or LA. My parents were not supportive of my plan to be a makeup guru. Instead, it was suggested that I get a real education in business. Soon I found myself attending a University taking a lot of classes that at the time really didn’t interest me.
What I didn’t know at the time was I did not need formal training to get a job in makeup. As soon as I learned this, I headed to my favorite department store and applied for a job and lucky for me I got the job. What I also quickly learned was the focus of working at the cosmetics counter was to sell products, but the benefit was you had a great chance to work on lots of faces, so learning how to apply cosmetics and use the tools were skills I would never let go.
I didn’t know how to get jobs doing makeup for print or television. These were the jobs I aspired to get but was clueless in the process. I wish I had known how to build a portfolio early on. It would have come in handy for print jobs I had tried to get at the time. I wish I had known what I needed to have in my makeup kit. Like many new artists, I had brushes and some makeup but nothing close to what I have now…a real pro kit. There were jobs I could not do because I did not have the right tools to use.
How much to charge was a challenge, especially when I worked with brides or accepted positions with photographers. At first I simply took whatever they offered, or would suggest an incredibly small fee because I want confident in knowing my worth.
One of the greatest things I actually admire about how people have changed is there is so much more information at your fingertips. Unfortunately not all of the information is correct or true, but the ability to access the information you need is readily available. As a generation we have become more inquisitive. We take more time to research and find things out. We find peers and ask them to mentor. We take classes to learn. In the end we know more about how to work towards our goals and accomplish our dreams.
I wish I knew then what I know now, but I’m happy for the experiences I have enjoyed and the lessons learned.
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