Reader Questions about New Clients, Certifications and Writing

I've gotten so many messages of support and encouragement (thank you!!), as well as questions which I'll try to address here. This post will deal with the questions I've gotten the most. I'll get to all the others as fast as I can. Many will be addressed in future topical blog posts - so please check back.

1. Are you taking clients?  / Why aren't you doing pro makeup anymore?

These have the same answer, so I put them together.

I've been doing makeup professionally in one capacity or another for over 20 years. Since my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms started a couple of years ago, in terms of physical symptoms, my hands have taken the worst of it. I have reduced sensation in my fingertips, weakness and occasionally tremors (especially in the summer.)

I managed to get through a light makeup application on a friend a few weeks ago without much incident, but I was sore, shaky and tired the next two days. I was so tired by the end of the session I even forgot to take pictures of my friend! It was so much fun and I enjoyed every second of it -- but I paid for it. And I realized that if I wanted to take pro jobs, I'd have to hire an assistant just in case I wasn't able to finish the application. It's just not worth that to stay in that side of the beauty business.

If I can't finish my own makeup application (on myself), or if I press too hard because I can't judge pressure well, or if I shake too much and have to wash everything off, no one else but me is bothered by it. On a client, I just don't want to risk it.

That said, I will continue to do crazy makeup on myself and occasionally glue things to my face. :D

My effort now is in covering product launches, reviewing products that I think would work well for dancers and other performers, and putting together a guide book for makeup application in the social dance world.

2. Didn't you write for . . . ?

A cropped Polaroid picture of the last issue, in 1997, of Luxe Beauty Report. Thanks to too many moves, that might be all I have left to show for it. Thank goodness for the digital age!

A behind-the-scenes set up shot from a YSL Beauté launch in 1998.

Shockingly, a few of you remember me from the Beauty Buzz days. I was both astonished and flattered by that. :D  I became a beauty journalist in the early 90's first with my own (print) publication, Luxe Beauty Report, and then for other beauty and fashion websites like,, BeautyBuzz and I am writing for Lucire once again, and you can see my latest article - Pat McGrath SkinFestish003 Launch  

3. Are you certified?

No, unless you count Sephora's Makeup Artist training program, in which I was certified. I was also a Fragrance Foundation Certified Fragrance Specialist. But in general, I am what's called a "brand trained" or "vendor-trained" makeup artist, not a cosmetologist or aesthetician. I considered it but I would spend too much of my time learning hair and waxing and other skills that I had no intention of doing professionally, and it wasn't cost effective for me.

I was very lucky to have started in cosmetics in the late 80's when companies spent a small fortune training and retaining their people. For example, I studyied with an aesthetician when I worked for Payot Paris. Training would take months and would continue nearly constantly. I also worked in environments where cross-training was strongly encouraged.  Some brands still spend tremendous resources on training, but they are getting fewer and fewer.

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