Sunday, March 13, 2011

The MUA Q & A - industry related queries I received & run across with answers I share.

QUESTION: It is ok to reshape splayed synthetic brushes with extremely hot water?

Take the freshly shampooed brush & reshape it using hair gel or firm holding hair spray. Seal the shape with Scotch tape & let set overnight.

Remove tape next day & use gentle makeup remover to clean out all of the gel/hairspray. Rinse. Lie flat to dry.

***Extremely hot water destroys the durability of your brushes because it WILL WEAKEN the adhesive that attaches the ferrule of the brush to the brush handle.***

Your brushes will give you MANY YEARS (I have 20 y/o brushes that I use daily) if you keep them away from very warm or hot temps - especially when they wet or damp during cleansing/shampooing.

*Inside The Mind of A BRUSH WHORE*

QUESTION: What is the best order to do your face?

ANSWER:  I find that you get the most perfection & completion to your look when you do foundation first. Once your BASE is on, you have a totally prepped canvas for all of your other makeup.

People always say they do eyes first because of eye shadow fallout - but I say to practice being more precise in how you actually load shadow onto the brush, tap off excess & then use a more a careful, focused approach when placing the eye shadow.

You will eventually get to the point where fall-out is not even a concern plus you will greatly improve your artistry.

QUESTION: I'm bored with my market/clientele, how do I move up?


Since you used the word 'bored' I must ask. Is that really about bigger markets/clienteles?

I would like to offer you the possibility that you may want to seek ways of growing & expanding your approach to improving your craft which would likely ignite you to the point that you wouldn't even conjure up the word bored.

Inspiration put into action in your own creative environment & sharing/collaborating with other artists, pushing yourself to execute things you never have, styling makeup that is industry aesthetic, yet you are not sure you've seen it somewhere else...

Going out there an making more connections with other creative minds so that you are racking up more & more experiences that contribute to the betterment of your artistry & those experiences are stores set up by you/for you to draw on & be inspired by.

We have to put in more work. More work leads to more opportunity across the board. More work is an automatic road to advancement; an earned road that may not come when we rationalize that it's time - but when we have earned the privilege to travel it.

QUESTION: First time at
The Makeup Show NYC, any pointers?


The morning of the show, watch hashtag #TheMakeupShow to see what other attendees are saying about what's going on from their perspective. There will always be someone who is uber early & they are priceless for getting info on what's going on when you have not arrived yet.

People will be tweeting from their hotels, the subway, from taxis (real-time traffic), from the street, in line at will call - just stay tuned. They can help you map out your arrival.

Arrive at The Metropolitan Pavilion at minimum 1 hour & 1/2 before doors open.

Really go over the program book so that you are constantly aware of the platform presentations. So many good ones & they can get by you between socializing, taking pics & checking out all of the exhibitors. You want to have a balance, the EDUCATION that comes with The Makeup Show admission is INCREDIBLE as well as the Hands-On & Master Workshops (additional fee, bring your brushes) so try not to become TOO OVERWHELMED by the SHOW FLOOR - which is really unrealistic advice because the SHOW FLOOR IS GOING TO BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!

Study the line-up on the website daily so that you get a familiarity before you even get there.
Of course, comfortable shoes, an empty wheeled bag to store your purchases & for easy maneuvering about at the show.

I find it VERY HELPFUL to set event reminders for DO NOT MISS things in your mobile phone. Hope this helps, SEE YOU THERE!!!

QUESTION: Makeup Enthusiast, Makeup Artist - Which one are you & what do you feel makes you either?


Jennifer the Makeup Enthusiast is the one that constantly thinks about makeup, loves to get new mags in the mail so I can see the new cosmetics ads, see the hot trends, & what celebs are wearing on the red carpet.

The Enthusiast in me is also the one who does full foundation, highlights/contours, three coasts of mascara (top & bottom) & KILLER BROWS just to go downstairs & get my mail...and sometimes snaps my own photo because the natural light is so awesome coming through the huge window near the mailboxes.

The Enthusiast is the one at CVS, Duane Reade & Walgreens (as a shopper) talking to complete strangers about the latest products, what's on sale, what's a scam & over-priced, discussing why ___ singer has such pretty skin & where is THAT moisturizer??? LOL! THE ENTHUSIAST WANTS TO TALK ABOUT MAKE UP INCESSANTLY!

Me, the MUA = Student of the craft seeking more & more opportunities to use my abilities in more settings that expand me as a global citizen. The MUA gets equal parts of joy from the income as well as the creative environment where I relish the talents of other artists. The MUA loves to hear how others artists process the thought into actual ART.

I am JHJ & I am a Makeup Enthusiast because I fell in love with it.
I am JHJ & I am a Makeup Artist because I have managed to channel the love & the thought process into something tangible...because I have the respect of many that I REALLY RESPECT in this industry.

DEFINITE ADVANTAGES! The counter is a great place to hone many skills & gain tons of knowledge in:

Makeup Artistry
Cosmetics Chemistry
Cosmetics Formulation
Cosmetics Manufacturing
Customer Service
People Skills (co-workers & the public)
Marketing & Promotions
Logistics Management (Event Specific)
Business Tracking
Public Relations

It's all about your mindset just like anything else.

Reminds me of my blog post:

"I love working at _____!" OH DO YOU? REALLY? REALLY?!

QUESTION: Why don't you do more You Tube tutorials or Ustream?


You may have noticed that I consistently post a lot of information here on my profile & on my FB page HERE.

Also, if you are on Twitter, I share tons of info, tips, tricks & techniques there as well: Follow me HERE.

My fee based sessions via SKYPE Beauty are for those who wish to go into more depth in a hands-on fashion albeit via the Internet.

So, I would have to say no on Ustream & I do have some snippets planned for You Tube. Having added educator to my career, I think it's only fair to students who do pay, that I not give "everything" away.

I pride myself on being free with information & an extent. LOL. :-)

QUESTION: I need investors for my new business. What do they want to know?


I once asked Russel Simmons what he thought the biggest mistake start-ups make. He said, under-capitalization.

With any business plan, you must include a financial breakdown & extensive plan of how the business will be financed & how those finances will be utilized...

From A to Z including:

Operating Costs
Petty Cash
Expense Accounts
& much more!

...for 18 months to 3 years. That's a time-line that is somewhat standard allowance for beginning to produce a profit for many kinds of new/start-up businesses.

In essence, you need to have all of this in great detail so that investors know that you understand the financial aspects of running the proposed business. Makes them feel safer in the potential investment.

New businesses need start-up capital (financing) because they have not yet proven to be profitable. Capital investment is central to businesses being able to operate to their capacity...


QUESTION: Full brows, wax, threading or tweezing are not an option, what can I do so that this does not take away from the makeup?


Some tips about brows. If you are working with full brows & tweezing nor any form arching will be done or is not an option, try this:

_Use a clear brow gel to add a touch of grooming to them.
_Use a colored brow gel to groom, add polish & soften their look.
_Use 2 different colored brow gels (1 close to brow color, slightly lighter & another several shades lighter)
 ~Apply the lightest shade to beginning of brow (near bridge of nose)
 ~Apply other shade to highest part of arch & extend to the tail
 ~Use a spoolie to make both blend in a gradient
 ~The dimension this will add makes a huge difference

In both instances, brush brow up & out towards temples (vs brushing across) to give them a more open look. Brushing them up automatically gives you more exposure of the brow bone which improves how the completed look will convey.

QUESTION: What are the guidelines/examples of what should go in my portfolio?


People say don't compare yourself to others but I think it is a HUGE MISTAKE to not compare yourself/your body of work to that of those who lead the industry. Being realistic about where you want your career to go requires understanding the dynamics of the industry & applying certain aspects to your career. Protocol, hierarchy - so much comes into play. SO EDUCATE YOURSELF!

Of course as several mentioned, Crystal Wright is THEE leading industry expert in these matters who offers instruction about obtaining INDUSTRY AESTHETIC in your body of work & how to turn that into career advances. (Books, DVDs & Workshops)


These are some of the TOP AGENCIES IN THE WORLD. You'll see when you look at their rosters. Definitely a 'Who's Who' in the MUAs, Stylists, Hair Stylist & Nail Tech worlds.


QUESTION: New business cards, should I put myself on them?


but Ask Crystal Wright about your pic on your business card.

MY MAIN POINTS about NOT putting yourself on your card is because it automatically categorizes you. Your card automatically has a local feel vs a global feel unless some very strong dynamics are in place. I think that it lumps you into a category of MUAs & slows down careers & this is why:

The main reason this occurs is because the photos that are often chosen are not super-high quality head-shot caliber, fashion caliber & the make-up typically isn't killer enough to really make an impact statement. (if you can achieve all of that with an image of yourself, than by all means proceed) You can automatically get taken less seriously with a lack-luster card that has you on it vs a very strong, simple & sleek card with just your info on it.

Simple, clean or a few multi-ethnic images that reflect your strongest area of makeup are more memorable & way more impactful. Think, instead of myself, when someone sees my card I want _____ to come to their mind: Clean beauty, timeless bride, edgy fashion, pretty skin, gorgeous lashes, sick eyeshadow, killer bright lips. IMPACT, NOT "OH HE'S/SHE'S CUTE".

If you are in the process of revamping cards or getting new cards, you should run your mock-up by someone in another creative industry that will give you an honest opinion.

You are better off asking the opinions of people in marketing & advertising, fashion stylists, hair stylists, fine artists & architects or your favorite style maven because you know they have a much better eye for impact than your FB friends, or family who don't really know but just want to support you & sometimes cosign mediocrity.

QUESTION: What do you do if asked to do a TFP shoot w/ 3-5 models & photographer's work doesn't wow you?


Sometimes it's about what you stand to GAIN vs what you can GET.

Being able to do 3-5 models in that environment is an opportunity to push your artistry, try some things, learn more about editorial makeup, really hone your craft & refine some techniques for when you do have the chance to showcase them through the lens of an awesome photographer.

I wouldn't choose this gig over a paid one of course, but if your bookings are not consistent - why not give yourself the chance to improve in ways that experiences in the testing realm can uniquely bring you.
Experience is a huge benefit! 

If you had the spare time...look at your body of work. Look at your artistry. 3-5 different models so the potential to get 1, JUST ONE photo for your portfolio is safe to say, probable. People that do makeup - WHO REALLY ARE ARTISTS can easily influence photo shoots to better outcomes.

Are we that good AT OUR PASSION (I say that mockingly because so many MUAs say its our passion) to turn down an opportunity to do what WE SAY WE LOVE? ARE WE REALLY THAT GOOD? ARE OUR PORTFOLIOS THAT TIGHT THAT WE TURN OUR PASSION OFF LIKE A FAUCET because the photog is not that great?!

Could our portfolios use a pic of a totally fresh face (1 of the 5 might be gorgeous)?

OK, erase everything I just said. Do we love doing makeup on other people or not??? Just askin'...almost everyone is so quick to say no when NONE OF OUR PORTFOLIOS ARE TIGHT LIKE THAT! (this Q&A is from a chat forum)

QUESTION: I have a client who is blond with black tattooed brows, what do I do? 


In similar situations - I have covered the same as any tattoo using peachy toned concealer to completely neutralize & block out the black brow.

I love being left with a completely clean brow bone in order to create pure brow magic.... This is a win-win. 
Also, after you create the brow in the perfect color with powder, go in with a slightly darker SUPER SHARP brow pencil of the same color family and draw fine hairs directionally congruous with the texture of the hairs in her hairline.

QUESTION: Why do MUA discussion threads have to get so heated? 


I think with most disagreements in forums - people still have been pretty civil & the discussions end up diffusing on their own.

Again, I think debate is healthy & anyone/everyone involved in or who reads threads like this & all the dissenting opinions can learn plenty from it. They can learn about the industry & its tone, a little politics & of course makeup artistry technique.

If we never strongly disagree, I believe we miss the opportunity to acknowledge, consider or grasp thought processes that may be different from our own...then the learning potential decreases. That would be the most tragic thing of all.

Growth in & from forums is ultimately as much about character & maturity as it is about makeup knowledge, as it should be.

QUESTION: Could you further explain this tip? 

★ #MUAs: #GraspTheMastery #40: In mastery of highlights/contours - HIGHLIGHT 1st so you can better judge depth of contour.


Sure. If you apply the highlights to the high planes of the face (down center of nose, tops of the cheeks, center of forehead between brows) you can better judge the depth at which you should apply the contours.

Seeing the highlights in place first let you better judge the balance between the two.

You never want to apply the contours with too much intensity so you get a realistic look to facial sculpting - essential to beauty makeup.

QUESTION: Should I remove old work from my portfolio?

I say YES! You should tweak & update your portfolio as your body of work expands & improves.
Nothing wrong with keeping the old images for personal historical & reference purposes.

QUESTION: How do I begin to understand the different styles of makeup?


_I would say the FIRST place to begin researching the topic would be Google images. Just put in your search terms. (have a note pad ready) Include search for industry people (past & present) who are known for certain looks within the individual genres. MUAs, models, photographers, cinematographers, fine artists, lighting designers, costume designers & many more industry related jobs should be a secondary focus in your study.

_Next, make some time to go to the library and check out books on makeup history, beauty, fashion, fashion photography, history of film & the jobs I mentioned above. Totally commit to becoming a student of the industry & you will begin to get a very clear picture & gain tons of understanding of the intricacies.

_Also go to | | This is where you can see descriptions of different educational workshops with focus on particular styles of makeup including the ones you asked about. The trade show education is great because you are receiving tutelage from working pros with real-world techniques & experience to share.

_I recently wrote a blog about another approach to obtaining makeup artistry education: ∯ Makeup School......ROAD TRIP!!!!!

_Keep in mind that there are still many grant opportunities associated with educational institutions that FOCUS ON MAKEUP ARTISTRY. Their admissions offices are very helpful in guiding you in locating funds you may be eligible for. Hope this helps. :-)

QUESTION:  Do I need a license?


In my many years as a beauty professional, I have held Nail Technician & Esthetician (both) licenses in the states of MI, GA, VA & NY. The only instance where I was asked to produce any of THOSE credentials was in salon environments. The laws on the books & their lack of enforcement can work as two way streets in terms of making things harder for MUAs & sometimes easier across the board.

__As many of you know from my posts, I am troubled that our industry seems to have a deaf ear (NOT EVERYONE) to the importance of sufficient education in INDUSTRY HISTORY, COLOR THEORY, BASIC ANATOMY, INTRODUCTORY ART CLASSES & OMG YES SAY IT AIN'T SO - S.A.N.I.T.I.Z.A.T.I.O.N. (nooooooooooooooooooooo)

__If MUAs at every level don't get on the ball, I just see many who have not prepared themselves appropriately to soon get left behind in an industry that is affected by advances in technology like many others. As an educator, I plan to do my part by extending EVERYTHING I have learned to any/every MUA who is open to receiving what I may have to offer. In the social media realm & in the classroom.

__Special circumstances in the MI economy have allowed me to soon be able to offer certifications in different aspects of MU Artistry education & training under a state accredited program - a huge step in assisting MI MUAs in seeing the light of day on these issues.

__It is going to take individual actions by many of us to get this all straightened out. In the meantime, we have to get some THICKER SKIN & continue to POLICE OURSELVES. (Each other)

QUESTION: How can I make the most of my next photo shoot?


Try to find out what kind of camera the photog will be shooting with; then you can do some investigation into which types of foundations work well with it & learn how the particular camera sees aspects of color theory. That way you can adjust your color choices for a very productive shoot. (See Receding & Aggressive. See Color & Light in COLOR THEORY section of INDUSTRY TERMINOLOGY document within this group)

CONCENTRATE on including a simple, neutral palette beauty shot that is executed to your best ability. If you want, you could go for a slightly edgier one by using a mono-chromatic palette for a less traditional shot. Practice your contours & highlights so that they are blended well & appear as if they are actually coming from beneath the skin. Be very aware of your model's bone structure & watch the brows, they shoot much heavier than they look at times. (Keep them softly fading into, not beyond the bridge of the nose & consider using a lighter brow powder or pencil than you normally would)

At the shoot: If lighting conditions are not good enough in the area you do the makeup, ask photographer if you could be moved to better light to work under or if he could set up something temporarily. Get 'reads' of how your work is coming across through the lens by asking the photographer to show you some of the pics once he starts shooting. Be there when he begins so that you can see your work in the lighting he has designed in case you want to make adjustments (add or take away)

I have a lot more so ask if anything concerns you.

QUESTION: Why don't many beauty artists understand stage makeup?


THAT'S OUR PROBLEM! WE DON'T STUDY OUR OWN INDUSTRY! Even though I know it to be true - To hear someone say that beauty artists don't understand stage makeup is heartbreaking to me.



This thread is also a great example of the importance of reading the whole thread so that you respect EVERYONE'S opinion who commented as you want your comment respected and heard.
I hear MUAs often say "MAKEUP IS MY PASSION". As a self critic & critic of the MUA community as a whole, I question the passion if some of us would be willing to believe that a master MUA like Sam Fine would commit a huge blunder like giving Monique stage makeup accidentally. I say that because with thorough evaluation of his body of work & that of other masters of makeup artistry (something we should be extremely familiar with) & a duty to KNOW OUR OWN INDUSTRY; it's disappointing that this even came into question by so many of us.

I encourage EVERYONE to push beyond the boundaries of your view & always be open to the possibilities that exist for our learning. We love 'artist' on the end of our title & have a duty to keep its integrity. So let's not just do the verb - BE THE NOUN!


QUESTION: How do I create a creased look on a hooded eyelid?


I create what looks like a really deep set eye by placing intensity directly on the area where you can feel the eye socket itself. (Gently use your finger to feel around their eye socket for correct placement) 

Also noting that placement is ABOVE where eyelid ACTUALLY CREASES so you're fashioning a crease based on facial anatomy. Then, blending the distinct shape of the eye socket so it fades towards brow - but not so much that I close off the brow bone too much. 

Leaving that protruded look to the brow bone accentuates the depth of the 'created crease' even more so.

QUESTION: I'm a beginner & have been asked to do an unpaid pageant job, Should I?


When you have NEVER had an experience or NEVER been in an environment AS A WORKING MUA & OBSERVER - that's enough to see it as something worth participating in. Everything in life is not about what you may be able to GET

The sheer experience is such a great teacher & what you gain for yourself in that realm is priceless. You just have to go into with the positive attitude that you can learn something & YOU WILL. I have had some awful situations ultimately be some EXCELLENT learning moments.

QUESTION: How do I begin to charge a client I previously traded with?


Compose a great letter to them & include a fee schedule, your comp card, business cards & a thank you card/note reminding them how greatly you worked together. ESSENTIALLY A PRESS PACKAGE. This would clearly indicate that you are OPEN FOR B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S & expect to be compensated for the services & customer service that you dutifully provide. :-)

QUESTION: Is a MUA hindering themselves by only doing eyes one certain way?

I always say look at the industry as a WHOLE & what parts of the industry are actually going to PAY for certain looks - that is if the industry is even supporting certain artistry or not.

That kind of artist will likely be restricted to a certain segment which is very limiting. The most successful MUAs do makeup that has a global appeal, so if your brand's bread & butter style of makeup does not have broad appeal - you have a very good chance of staying "local".

Also too, it depends on the style of "cut crease" My personal attraction to them is the degree of dimension & transformation of eye shape that can be achieved with different cut creases. Here are some images that I believe argue my point about the importance of the cut crease itself & also the importance of its style to the who look.

Madonna by Kevyn Aucoin:
Trish Goff by Kevyn Aucoin:
WinonaRyder as Elizabeth Taylor by Kevyn Aucoin:

I purposely picked Kevyn's images because his cut creases were so masterful & to rebut a forum member's assertion that the makeup in his books is dated - uh, NOT!!!

So I'm all for cut creases - I am not for an artist limiting ones self IN ANY WAY! Just eyes does not make in income. Lack of complexion perfection does not result in an income. So I guess you could say it's about how far a MUA wants to go into certain segments of the industry.

The style of makeup I believe you are referring to doesn't make it onto any magazine covers & rarely do celebs (not reality TV personalities) with a craft & some talent pay top dollar to have a MUA make them look that way.

QUESTION: What makes mascara worth it? The wand or the formula? 


I think MORE of the value is in the formula. I have found differences in the formula from mascara to mascara. I think price point can have something to do with it sometimes... but from my experiences - the high end (drug store high end) the moderately priced ones (dept. store moderate) seem to have a lot of REALLY good ones. (formula & applicator in one) 

Test this theory yourself by trying different formulas WITH THE SAME DISPOSABLE WAND that has your favorite brush. My all-time favorite is Lancome Definicils for being smooth & non-flaking, velvety finish, dense brush w/ med length bristles & medium set up time for combing & separating. I wish I could buy disposables JUST like the ones included with it.

Another example for the argument that there is more value in the formula...anyone use that MAC Lash Fan? (#205 I think, mine rubbed off) An exceptional tool with any mascara but the use of it distinguishes the better formulas from the mediocre ones because that tool allows you to more readily see the benefit of thicker, smoother & non-flaking mascara over the ones that are more fluid (lower viscosity) which just aren't substantial enough to do everything you want mascara to do. 

A good wand/spoolie/applicator does not change this. Like Telescopic Explosion, that formula is so crappy to me even when I use my good spoolies & other tools...but when I take its applicator & use w/ other mascara with formulas I love, MAGIC. I actually purchased 6 of them to extract the applicator as it is a washable/sanitizable tool that I now rely on. Having said that, the applicator did not sell me on the formula but good formulas can sell me on an inferior applicator.  

If I had to choose between the two, give me the superb velvety non flaking mascara that is a rich not too shiny blacker than the blackest black LOL that performs. If wands did not exist, I would just paint each individual lash with an eyeliner brush or what ever tool would apply it. #TeamFORMULA

QUESTION: I'm not a fan of loose powders.


OMG! LOOSE POWDERS ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN PRESSED! They have less oil & no binding ingredients to interrupt perfect adhesion to primers & foundations. Mastery of loose powders is a must for every MUA. Especially in the advent of such advanced photographic equipment technology.

QUESTION: What's this MUA Reverse Assistant Program you are working on? Mentoring?


What I am working on now is very different from mentoring. It's a Pro to Pro situation (different levels) meant to strengthen MUA relations globally & to exponentially elevate the level of craftsmanship across the MUA community. The focus is on the more senior Pro catering to advancing the other MUA within that MUA's own work setting. Stay tuned!

QUESTION: Would art classes help me?


Art classes would definitely help. Any aspect of Fine Art in the form of education, I highly recommend. Introduction to Art, Foundation, Art History, Mixed Media, Illustration...& many more.

Have a look here: then research what's available from educational institutions in your area. You will find many programs that allow people to take courses without entering into a full degree program. Make phone calls & find out how through admissions their departments.

We have that 'A' at the end of MUA - I say more of us take that seriously & actually tap into the artist within us.

QUESTION: How do I increase longevity of makeup in hot, humid climates?


To preserve makeup, you must blot with tissues every step of the way. After moisturizer & primer, again after applying foundation (before you set with powder). Use an open plain facial tissue (don't ball it up or use as a wad). Lay it flatly over the trouble spots (t-zone, area around nose) & gently, smoothly with moderate pressure rub over surface of tissue to effectively pick up excess skin oil & product oil.

You then want to seal the makeup against sweat, humidity & moisture. There are several sealers available that help makeup last & render it transfer resistant. "Model In A Bottle" & "Final Seal" by Ben Nye. Both are tops in the industry. Another option is a plant based hair holding spray (aerosol). Go to drug store, beauty supply, retail salon & pick up one that has mostly botanical ingredients & make sure fragrance is very near the end of the ingredients list. Hope this helps.
If you do decide on a SKYPE session, I can show you even more tip & tricks on makeup durability & we can extensively cover highlighting/contouring techniques.

QUESTION: When doing multiple clients, should I use foundation brushes or disposable sponge wedges?


Another reason to employ sponges is because of the flawlessness you can achieve by patting/pressing foundation once it is in place. You CANNOT achieve the same perfection with a foundation brush - they inherently leave streaks... because of the way the fibers are.

Please invest in a magnifying glass so that you can see for yourself. FOUNDATION BRUSHES LEAVE STREAKS! (links for magnifying glasses in "Resource Panel")

I am ok with using them to place foundation, but for smooth blending no way! Again if you are skeptical, scrutinize your work with a magnifying glass. The whole notion that foundation brushes are better because they don't soak up product is a sales tactic within the retail environment. If you lay the foundation then perfect with sponges, there is no concern with product being soaked up because the sponge is not used as a product conduit (as the brush is) but a refining tool.

Another reason sponges work so well for perfecting foundation is that they will "hold" a bit of product which is conducive to the foundation being more evenly distributed. Sponges will release much of the so called 'soaked up' product as you go.

For sponges, I highly recommend Sonia Kashuk's & Beauty Blender because they have no harsh edges - which I prefer for facial work. I keep wedges for other work and to create details.

To maintain sponges that are not disposable, (like the ones I mention in above comment) shampoo under warm running faucet with Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Wash or a lathering, clarifying facial cleanser.

Soak them with water in the palm of you hand, add hand wash/facial cleanser & continuously squeeze under running water. Repeat until sponge is free of any remaining foundation when water runs clear. Air dry on fresh paper towel.  

QUESTION: How do you keep brushes clean for the next client?


This troubles me: Quote - "i just don't like how the eyeshadow from the last client gets on the new client lol" (comment from forum thread)

If you have ever transferred color from one client to the next - YOU HAVE LIKELY TRANSFERRED BACTERIA. You must NEVER use the same brush on multiple people without THOROUGH CLEANSING.

Please reassess your distaste for using lots of brushes or REALLY TIGHTEN UP ON YOUR SANITIZATION PRACTICES. I would hate for you to get into trouble (sued) for passing an infection from one client to another. YOU HAVE TO PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR CLIENTS WITH STRINGENT SANITIZATION OF PRO KIT & INCLUDED TOOLS. You should also invest in enough brushes where you don't have to clean any while working.

If you must clean brushes that you need to use again right away, Parian Spirit Brush cleanser cleanses, sanitizes & conditions brushes - dries in minutes.

Personally, NOTHING MAKES ME HAPPIER than 200+ dirty brushes at the end of a work day. $$$

*This is a continuing post that will be updated as I come across & retrieve from the past more interesting questions that I feel that I have given a really helpful answer for. Updates will appear at beginning of post.


Jennifer James | MUA
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  1. thanks so much for this post! i especially love you saying that MUA's with a global appeal tend to be more successful. while i understand that most people tend to gravitate or cultivate a particular "style" or "niche" whether it be in makeup artistry, writing, sewing, etc., i also believe in being versatile, as your versatility will create more opportunities and most likely more chances to earn more income. having worked as an independent seamstress for several with a main background in garment sewing and design, i can honestly say that had i not delved into home interior sewing, costume sewing, quilting and special occasion sewing i would have missed a HUGE number of opportunities to earn money. the key: learn about EVERYTHING as much as you can and learn to do a few things very well!

  2. thank you so much for this! it's great--keep it coming...blessings

  3. Lots of valuable info. You really should consider writing a book. Thanks so much! I hope I get the opportunity to meet you one day.

    Donte' Sparks