Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Pro Series Part 2 - Diversify

I arrived at the studios this morning at 8:30. My assistant, Erin, and I quickly unpacked makeup, hair accessories and clothing. Erin busied herself cataloging the clothes while I sought out the client to discuss wardrobe choices.

Plastic bags with store logos littered the floor - Gap, Target, Old Navy, The Children's Place, Macy's. Shirts and jeans in every imaginable color and fit hung along the wall.

After checking out the set colors, I was on full blast. Two adult models, two children models and a dog (also a professional) needed to be on set in less than an hour.

No easy feat for me, who had signed up to do two jobs - my normal makeup gig PLUS wardrobe. Why? Because we're in a recession. I've learned two things that have been golden during this financial downturn: Hire a great assistant and make good of all the things I do well.

During the heydays when money was flowing like Pepsi, I was far too busy with my makeup work to even consider doing anything else. But in this economy, I've had to think fast on my feet.

After spending years on sets watching fashion stylists work their magic on the top models, I knew the drill. I knew I could do what they do. I have an eye for color, an understanding of body shapes and the knack for making everything work together.

But unlike a fashion stylist, (technically, I am a wardrobe stylist) I have to remember that the clothes aren't the focus of what I do - the product is.

My job is to find clothes that look good with the set and on the model, but doesn't distract from the product. And I've got to have the open credit (or cash) to float the bill until I am reimbursed or until I return unused items.

Before the shoot even begins, I am at work. Yesterday I shopped for five hours. The day before, I hit the mall for three hours. The client, of course, pays for this prep time, but it's a lot of work finding just the right items.

But I love the challenge. And the double pay.

If you're a makeup artist and you're having a slow period - why not add something else to the mix to make more money? Do you write well? Offer to write beauty fillers or articles for magazines.

Are you great with decorating? Ask if your current clients ever hires prop stylists.
I was once paid $300 to find a calculator, a mug and a mint green men's shirt for a half day shoot. No lie.

In these challenging times, challenge yourself to be creative. Diversify.