Whether you just made the decision to go to school or graduation is imminent, chances are you’ve looked into the future once or twice and fantasized about what you’ll be doing this time next year. Will you be a freelance makeup artist, finding and booking your own gigs for weddings and photo shoots? Will you be styling hair or makeup for fashion models in Europe? Will you be on your way to owning your own salon, with services in hair, nails, and skincare? If you haven’t figured it out already, the possibilities are endless. However, regardless of if you end up jet setting to Paris or starting your own company in your home town, some aspects of the job are fairly consistent.
If you cut hair, your job will include recommending treatments, washing and conditioning hair, applying color treatments, cutting and styling hair, and taking payments – to name just a few of your duties. Out of school, you’ll probably go on some interviews and get hired by a salon near where you live. To make more money, you should try to land a position in a higher-end salon where services are more expensive and clients tend to tip better. At the beginning your work may be a little slow, because a lot of people who come to the salon will already be loyal to a current stylist. However, over time, as you are given new clients and build relationships with them, you’ll develop a loyal clientele base. If you’re lucky you’ll be really busy and on your feet for a large part of the day, going back and forth between greeting clients, shampooing and conditioning their hair, and then cutting and styling their hair. Toward the end you might apply some products and explain to them what you are using. If you are a good salesperson, they might end up purchasing the products your salon carries. When you are done, you’ll take them back up to the front, where you will either take their payment or a salon assistant will charge them and schedule their next appointment. Over time, you might be lucky enough to go out on your own, taking all your clients with you.
Manicurists and Pedicurists
If you choose to be a nail technician, you’ll start your career the same way hairstylists do – by looking for a job with an established salon. You probably won’t have to wait as long to build up a list of clients, as not as many people come into nail salons requesting a specific technician. You’ll meet a lot of people who are just walking in. You can spend time discussing with them what they are looking for, and they may pick out a specific nail color or opt for a treatment like acrylic nails or a special design. You’ll have to clean the nails first, and if you’re giving them a pedicure, the salon package likely includes some type of foot massage or moisturizing treatment. If you decide you want to start your own salon and have enough clients who are willing to switch to using your new company, you can take out a loan (or, if you’ve saved enough, you might not have to) and look for a location. If you want to be a successful business owner, hopefully you paid attention in school to the topics of customer service, business development, and management.
If you want to be a makeup artist, your career could start in any number of ways. You might start working for a cosmetic company doing free demonstrations for customers in retail or department stores. Or you might volunteer to do free makeup artistry on some photo shoots to get some publicity and make connections with photographers and designers. You could leave your business card at bridal boutiques and photography places and hope that your name gets noticed. In this age of social media, you could also promote your services via Facebook, Twitter, and any number of other outlets. Once you get going in the industry you might develop a specialty for yourself, like beauty makeup. If you’re a good artist, your schedule will soon be packed with all the weddings and fashion shows for which you’ve been booked!