Not only has the Internet helped us pass the time in lockdown, but it has also helped entrepreneurs like Camara AUnique grow her businesses. The makeup artist and owner of Camara AUnique Beauty, a Black-owned lash-extension company, has been using digital platforms to expand her brand. “I finally launched my podcast, an idea I’ve been holding for two years, and I’m teaching virtual makeup classes,” says AUnique, who is based in New York City. “The pandemic has helped me recognize that I am a true creative.” She suggests that others use this opportunity to expand their vision. “It’s okay if you didn’t pick up a new skill,” she says. “But take this time to get to know your desires as an artist.”
“I truly love my own company,” says AUnique. “I have been alone, but I am not lonely, and I love that I’ve grown into that kind of woman.”
CAMARA AUNIQUE’S TIPS FOR QUICKLY APPLYING FALSE LASHES
TIP 1: Grab a handheld mirror, glue and lash.
TIP 2: Look down your nose into the mirror; hold the mirror to your chest.
TIP 3: Apply glue to the lash line, wait 20 seconds, then apply lash, from the outer corner first.
TIP 4: Tilt your head so the lash will fall into the inner corner.
Time away from the set has allowed celebrity makeup artist Jessica Smalls to delve into what it means to be an influencer. When she’s not making TikTok videos or hosting her Afternoon Beauty Chats on Instagram Live, she is learning how to simply be present. “Now that I’m home and not thinking about the next job or making sure everything’s packed for my next flight, I’ve been able to connect more with my family,” says Smalls, who was scheduled to do a press tour with Janelle Monáe for her movie Antebellum before stay-at-home orders went into effect. “And most important, I’ve been able to connect with myself.”
We have face-planted into some uncharted territory, and we need to do whatever we can to keep mentally and physically safe during this time.”
“I’m getting more into my spirituality, doing my best to keep my chakras aligned,” says Smalls, who encourages others to explore whatever it is that brings them peace.
As the severity of COVID-19 became clearer, makeup veteran Tiyana Robinson decided to cancel her in-person Makeup Masterclass series and private 1-1 lessons for Pro Artists. “I issued over $10,000 in refunds out-of-pocket and lost out on the venue rental fees,” she reveals. “Thankfully I had the foresight to diversify my income a couple of years ago, so I was able to absorb the loss.” Since then, Washington, D.C.–based Robinson has been teaching beauty pros through Makeup Mogul University, her online coaching program.
I really believe we’ll see a new opportunity for pro makeup artists to step into the role of ‘pro-fluencers,’ where we combine our technical expertise with digital influence.”
“I’ve been working to help with the transition by teaching online makeup classes, hosting virtual beauty parties and giving individual makeup lessons,” she says. “These are the easiest ways to make money consistently while stay-at-home orders are in place.”
“As artists in the beauty industry, we have a chance to spend this time establishing our digital footprint,” says Robinson.
STEPHEN “SEVEN” HUDSON
Stephen Hudson has made a name for himself in beauty. The Long Island, New York-based creative has worked in and out of salons for the past 11 years while balancing a career in the editorial fashion, commercial, film and television industries—and serving as a platform educator since 2012. The pandemic offered him the perfect time to promote a product that could help clients alleviate their at-home glam woes.
Of course my CTRL Edge gel is for laying those edges, but you can also use it to add sheen and keep your brows in place.”
If you have a special item, make it available to your community, advises Hudson. “Having a product available for purchase and delivery, like my CTRL Edge Control & Tamer, made this transition a bit smoother for me and my business,” he says.
“From annual events like the Met Gala to making house calls for longtime clients, my scheduled makeup jobs in entertainment have gotten canceled,” Keita Moore says. So he switched up his business strategy and is spending more time doing brand partnerships and social media work. The outbreak has shown him how much his followers want to hear from and connect with him—which has been a blessing for Moore, who used to have a slight fear of doing live panels and speaking publicly.
“One thing you can do to make clients feel comfortable is take the Barbicide (COVID-19) Certification Course,” Moore suggests. “It’s a free [short] course about sanitation and keeping you and your clients safe.”
KEITA MOORE’S 5 STEPS TO THE “KILPRITY” MAGICAL GLOW
STEP 1: Start with a good skin care regimen that includes lots of exfoliating and moisturizer.
STEP 2: Mix a drop of liquid illumination into your foundation to match your skin tone.
STEP 3: Layer light cream highlighter on top of your finished foundation with your finger.
STEP 4: Take a medium-size brush and lightly whisk your powder highlighter on top.
STEP 5: Final step: Use a setting mist spray to lock it all in.
Giselle Ali is a celebrity makeup artist and product developer for some of our favorite Black girl–approved brands, so she understands what’s happening on the creative and retail sides. The pandemic has given her the opportunity to help brands think more about sustainability and work on reducing their carbon footprint.
Identify your one beauty hang-up—for example, dark circles—and invest in a good product that is easy to apply. Also, watch YouTube tutorials and give something new a go.”
— GISELLE ALI
“There’s always talk about fast fashion, but we forget that a lot of brands operate in the same way—huge waste and large profit margins,” she says. Ali recommends that professional makeup artists clear their kits by selling online their unused products that still have shelf life, as the sale of natural skincare products has increased 11 percent during the pandemic.
“Sure, glitter or one-time-use mascara wands didn’t cause COVID-19, but it’s all relevant,” Ali says. “We need to demand more transparency from beauty brands.”