There are many perks that come with being a makeup artist. One of them being the great conversations I get to have with my clients. I can honestly say I have had some of my best conversations with women whom I have only known for the few minutes she's been in my chair, and we end up talking about any and everything under the sun. But the most interesting part about these conversations I have, are some of the questions I get asked. A lot of the time clients are meeting me for the first time and will often ask me questions to try to get to know me , to simply start conversation, or get some makeup tips. I recently thought about the questions I get asked and I realized I get A LOT of questions. Enough to write about. So I decided to do this blog post where I will list and answer all of the questions I get and answer them for anyone who may care to read! I figured since I know there are people who don't know much about who I am, I decided that this would be a good place to start. I answered each question honestly, in hopes that this will help my readers and future clients get to know me a little better.
Happy Reading :)
1. How long have you been doing makeup?
I’ve been doing makeup since 2011 when I was a student at Southern Illinois Univ. in Carbondale. When I first started , I was only doing lashes around campus for $5. Late on I started experimenting with eye shadows and I would just do it for some of my friends and members of a modeling team I was a part of . (S/O to Essence Fashion Models) Looking back at some of the pictures I have of the looks I used to do, I was so terrible and I thought I was really doing something! (Here's a picture of makeup I had done on a friend back in college. I really thought it was cute then but I wouldn't dare do anything like this now on a client)
I didn’t really start doing makeup professionally until 2013. I had moved back home from college and a good friend at the time was enrolled in makeup school and suggested that I go as well. I took her advice and enrolled at Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry in fall of 2013. I started practicing what I was learning at Makeup First on friends and began posting my work on social media. Not too long after, I ended up being asked to do makeup on a local Chicago based rapper "Katie Got Bands", for a photo shoot and that's when I began to get more followings and more bookings. It was all so crazy to me because I didn’t even think I was that good for people to actually want to book me. But because they were booking, I realized that I wanted to be better. I ended up having to take a long break from makeup school after having a really bad car accident. It took me 2 years, but earlier this year I finally finished school and became a certified professional MUA!
2. Why is your social media handle 'Kiara Kardashian'?
Back when I started using social media heavily to promote my work, most of my pages were open and public and really didn't feel comfortable using my full name. Not that I had anything to hide, but I wanted to keep some anonymity because I was still working in a corporate setting. Therefore, I wanted to keep my social media separate, and keep employers from being in my business lol. At the time it just so happened the show Keeping up with the Kardashians was becoming popular and all of their names started with a K. That's when it hit me that so did mine, so I felt that I fit right in and that was the start of Kiara Kardashian. Over the years it just kind of ended up being really catchy, and matching my persona and so it's been my alias ever since.
3. Why don't you work at places like MAC or Sephora?
At one point I really did want to work at a makeup store/ counter, thinking that it would be the perfect job for me. However, I realized that would mean working weekends and not having a set schedule. Weekends are when I take majority of my own clients and so I knew that would not work for me. I also knew that jobs like that usually require you to sell product more so than doing makeup, and I didn't want to sell anything. I'm so horrible at it and I didn't really want to have that type of pressure to keep a job. At the end of the day I know I personally just really want to do makeup and in that case I knew working at a retail store wasn't for me.
4. Do you do makeup full-time?
As of right now, I do not, but it is one of my long term goals. I currently work full-time at a company down town Chicago during the week. I love doing makeup but I do find at times it can be so up and down, and I haven't stepped out on faith just yet lol. I do eventually plan on becoming a full-time artist once I am a little more established and I have built a steadier clientele. But for now I really enjoy having two sources of income and balancing my corporate work life with my creative life. I realize as I get older that you have to do what works for you and your life and not what everyone thinks you should be doing.
5. Do you offer classes?
I get this question a lot and it surprises me because I didn't realize so many of my clients were interested in a makeup class. I have thought about hosting a class but because I feel like I'm still learning and perfecting methods myself, I always think maybe I'm not ready to teach others just yet. I do plan to do one eventually since so many have inquired, but really I want to take my time to plan it out and make sure as an artist my methods are clean enough to pass on to others. However, for now, I do offer one on one lessons for girls who just want to learn the basics of how to do their own faces, how to perfect certain methods and what to use!
6. What are your favorite brands ?
Currently my favorite brands of items in my working kit are MAC Cosmetics, Ben Nye, AJ Crimson and LORAC Cosmetics. My favorite brands of items in my personal makeup stash are ColourPop, MAC, Lancome and L.A. Girl.
7. Where do you shop for makeup ?
I am a big online shopper. I love to sit in bed or on the couch with my laptop and shop for makeup via online retailers. I find myself ordering things a lot more online than buying in actual stores. Some of my fave online vendors are makeupmania.com, Morphe.com, and ColourPop.com, because they have things most mua's need for affordable prices, and that you sometimes can't find in stores. Everything else I get at my nearest MAC counter, Sephora store or local beauty supply.
8. How long did it take you to build up your makeup kit?
When I first started , I legit only had a few eye shadow palettes, a few brushes , 1 color of liquid foundation, (which was actually my color and I used to just try to make “work” for everyone) and some bare minerals powder foundation. I was so lost starting out and had no clue about a professional makeup kit at all. I honestly didn’t learn the importance of having variety in my kit and the importance of investing in good quality products until I started makeup school. This is why I feel if you choose not to go to a pro school and you’re self-taught you still have to take it upon yourself to LEARN AND STUDY ALL the aspects of makeup to be a true professional because even when you think you know it all, there is always something else to learn.
Money was not flowing when I first started, so I would just buy a bunch of cheap things from online vendors and think that I was ok. However over time I found that cheap didn’t always mean it was good. And because of that my work would look bad quality in pictures. So from then on, every month I would just dedicate a portion of my money to buying a few things at a time and over time my kit became more professional, where I could cater to any type of clients for any type of event. Granted my kit still isn’t where I would love for it to be but it’s gotten a lot closer. It definitely takes a lot of product research, INVESTMENT, and trial and error to find things that work for your personal artist preference but also work for your clients as well. The best makeup kit’s do not happen overnight !
9. How long does it take you to do your own makeup?
A lot of people assume that because I am a makeup artist that I go above and beyond to do my own makeup and that it probably takes me forever. In actuality that is definitely not the case with me. For one I don't wear makeup everyday, because when I did it ruined my skin so bad to the point I NEEDED the makeup. So now that I am more aware of how important it is to take care of your skin, I have backed off of wearing it so much. Now, I only wear it when I go out or if it's a special occasion. It takes me about 30 minutes at most to do my face, and I usually just do winged liner, lashes, foundation, highlight and a lip. Very simple and low maintenance. I also I don't know how to do my own eye-shadow as well I can on my clients, so I only wear it when I can take my time, blend and do it right.
10. Why did you choose to do makeup, especially since so many people are "makeup artists" now?
I didn't choose this makeup artist life, it chose me haha, but I have always loved makeup and pretty things. I used to buy magazines and I would put the MAC ads and the covers on my wall because I used to love the makeup on the women in the pictures. I was the biggest girly girl when I was younger and I still am, so that mixed with being a naturally creative person, came a makeup artist. There has been times where I didn't want to do it anymore because i felt it had become "too trendy". Everyone was doing it, and because I know it's hard finding your own niche, i understood why. A lot of people will just do what they see other's doing to be successful, and try to do that too. But I've learned that you CANNOT, CANNOT, CANNOT be concerned with what everybody else is doing. You can't try to compete with or compare yourself to them because it keeps you from being successful in your own right. You have to stay in your lane and focus on doing your own thing. I realized that everything that I have accomplished thus far shows that I have true passion for what I do and I shouldn't stop doing what I love because of "other people". I love doing makeup and I am so glad I found a way to put my creativity and love for being a girl to good use!
*Here is one of the MAC Ads I used to have on my wall when I was a teenager . I was obsessed with the makeup in this picture. I think this is what started it all :)
Until the next post….
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(¸.• ´ (¸.• ´ .• ´ ¸¸. •¨¯` •.*~* Kiara