Next month the largest pro-only makeup event in the United States, The Makeup Show, which has already taken over four cities will culminate here in Chicago. For 2 days, Saturday November 7- Sunday November 8, beauty professionals will get the opportunity to network, meet beauty pros and media talking about them with each day featuring a keynote from Melanie Mills and Jake Broullard. We had a chance to chat with both Melanie and Jake on how they got their start and more advice for aspiring pros and more.
SociaLifeChicago: Many aspiring beauty professionals today think that you can get on instagram and Bam! you will be a renowned makeup artist tell us a bit about your journey?
Melanie Mills: My career started 20 years ago. I stumbled upon a makeup school in Milan Italy with some friends and was shocked to realize, you can make money doing makeup! Though I never got to attend that school ,as my nana was over funding my “dream searching”-I had been bouncing around Europe going to different schools trying to find my niche. I came home and told my hairdresser how I almost went to makeup school; she advised me to talk to her roommate who was a local 706 makeup artist at the time. Randomly THAT SAME NIGHT I ran into my hairdresser and roommate at a bar and a few days later Michelle Warner, who was “the roommate” got a call to intern on a film. Michelle was way beyond this so she referred me, she even drove me down to the set on Hollywood blvd; The makeup and hair girls were just so desperate for any help – they asked me my sign and I guess being an Aquarius got me in-They told me to go and get a makeup tool belt and I literally went to Home Depot and bought a tool belt!! I learned from these girls and did a makeup course, then started assisting Lori Baker the hair dresser. Everything kept rolling into another project.
This career I truly feel, was meant to fall in my lap and from that point on I started to climb the industry ladder. Back then we hardly had cell phones let alone instagram. Getting your name out there was and still is in the TV/movie industry world all about word of mouth/ who you know/ your work- how good you are/ your personality and last but not least your work ethics. I love instagram and think it’s a great outlet. I got on board the Insta train late and am still in awe of its power. I think it’s been a wonderful tool for the cosmetic industry. I notice the more followers I have the better we do with e commerce sales and sales in general. It’s become a money making tool for sure however I still hire people based on recommendations and talent.
SociaLifeChicago:How did you land your role?
Jake Broullard:I started with NARS as a freelance makeup artist working in various stores in the Chicago market. Before long, I began to travel outside of Chicago. I absolutely loved the brand and the job. When the opportunity presented itself, to join the brand as a Makeup Stylist, it felt like a dream come true. I have been with the brand on the corporate team for more than 10 years. I grew with the brand, and I’m currently a Lead Makeup Stylist. Through the years the team has become like a family to me. I love how we all support each other’s growth and celebrate our successes.
SLC: How long had you been in the industry before your Emmy win?
MM: I won the emmy in 2008 and had been in for at least 12 years before that. In 2007 Entertainment Weekly named me as one to look out for under 40 in town. Since then, I’ve had 9 nominations, an Emmy and a cosmetic line.
SLC: What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
JB: Over the next five years I will continue to focus more of my energy on building my portfolio. I will also balance my time teaching emerging talent.
SLC: What advice do you have for the next gen of makeup artists toiling at the counters or working every “fashion show” opportunity
MM: Have a great attitude. Be on time. Assist whenever and wherever you can. Post your work on instagram. Create a beautiful clean kit and make sure you are able to handle everything!
SLC: Advice you’ve been given on your career journey so far?
JB: François Nars, the Founder and Creative Director for NARS Cosmetics, gave me the best advice of my career. He told me to never do the same look twice, always keep learning and growing. He also told me to never settle, to be demanding and have high standards. NARS as a brand is always ahead of the curve and as an artist I strive to do the same.
SLC: 5 must-have items in your kit?
JB: 1)NARS skincare (properly prepping the skin is essential before applying makeup), 2)NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – the formula is incredible, it covers and blurs imperfections without looking like makeup, 3) The NARS Multiple – this multi-use product can be used on eyes, cheeks, and lips adding color and texture. 4) NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks, a versatile product can be used as a shadow or a liner. You can use a smoky tone for drama or a brighter tone for a fresh look to the eyes. The formula is longwearing, crease-proof, and won’t budge. 5)NARS Audacious Lipsticks – the creamy formula delivers full-coverage pigment. It can also be pressed on for a stained effect or paired with a gloss. The shade range is incredible; I love to mix them to create my own new colors.
SLC: It is a large investment for makeup artists to stock their kits, what advice or cost effective way can you give?
JB: Keeping your kit looking good and photo shoot ready can be an investment. It’s essential that to keep it looking good and stocked with items that will feel and look good on our clients.
My advice for artists is to invest in great products that will last you a long time. The most costly part of a makeup kit is when things break. Condense everything and anything you can into smaller plastic containers and palettes. This will make your kit more compact and durable.
The makeup show’s Keynote on Saturday is Melanie Mills from 11:00-12:30 & Sunday Jake Broullard from 10:00-11:30. The Business Forums will also feature pros such as AJ Crimson, Orlando Santiago, Ashunta Sheriff and Viviana Martin, James Vincent and seminars. Click HERE for tickets and more info.