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Philly Make Up Artists Spotlight

Attention Philly beauty addicts and glam enthusiasts! We’ve got the industry scoop from the city’s best makeup artists: Jasmin Rahman, Lanette Aloi, Payal MUA and B Wilson. Our conversation dives into launching a beauty career, female empowerment, crazy beauty trends… and, of course, social media!  


PPRG: When did you know a career in beauty was for you?


Jasmin: I fell upon the beauty industry quite accidentally! I was in college working at Macy’s in the cosmetics department and my customers would want to hire me for their weddings or events outside of the counter. Once I realized I could be profiting I took the jump! That was 7 years ago and I couldn’t be more grateful!


Lanette: It wasn’t an easy decision to be on my own doing what I love. Any person who’s thought about turning a hobby or passion into a career will know what I mean. I tried to do the “normal” career thing. I went to beauty school, worked in salons learning about hair, took two years of classes in college, even sold health insurance before I figured out that doing just any job for the money was not for me. In between each new career, I would have a lull in work and go back to doing makeup, it never failed to make me happy. I’ve always been creative and feel most comfortable when chatting and forming relationships with people, so I finally let my heart choose my career and not a day goes by that I’m not thankful to be doing what I love (and getting paid for it)!


Payal: I officially started my career in beauty in 2011. It wasn’t until 2016 that I realized I could turn this into a full on career. I had always pursued beauty as a side career, but knew there was a passion inside of me that I could not run away from. I especially knew that beauty was a career for me when I realized how much happiness and satisfaction it brought me. It was as simple as applying my own makeup, and feeling the confidence it gave me, which I wanted to do for other people.


B Wilson: I knew in high school and college, I was always more into beauty than I was my actual studies. I always wondered how did artists get to work with magazines and on fashion weeks. It wasn’t until I was laid off from a job after college that I started working in a salon who did NY Fashion Week and I was able to break into the industry.

Look by: B Wilson


PPRG: As an entrepreneur, how have you utilized the power of social media for your brand?


Jasmin: Social media is KEY for my brand when it comes to showcasing my work, who I am so clients see who they’re hiring, and marketing overall. It’s the fastest way to connect to a large audience of a wide age range in a time where people are looking for “quick fixes”. I love being able to connect with clients and maintain relationships with them via social media.  


Lanette: Oh, social media. I was just having a conversation with someone recently, we were joking, “I never thought coming up with Instagram captions would take up such a big portion of my time”. I mean, seriously, how many times have I written “bridal glam” this week? And is that one too many?


Jokes aside, social media has helped me in so many ways. As a makeup artist it is imperative for a client be able see your work before hiring you. No portfolio, no job. I’d imagine more people visit my Instagram to view my work than my website. Additionally, social media has created a super easy platform for networking. If I see a model or photographer that I’d love to work, with I can just drop a line introducing myself and boom, connection made! Social media has made it so easy to collaborate with other creative people, all while advertising your own services.


Payal: Social media was one my biggest obstacles when it came to marketing myself as not only a makeup artist, but as a brand. As I picked up on the ins and outs of understanding social media and marketing, I took advantage of what it was capable of offering me. I went from posting photos of my clients to posting makeup looks that I created on myself, and then teaching myself to film and edit to make YouTube videos. As an entrepreneur, social media has contributed to about 90% of my business.


B Wilson: All the time, with so many of my clients using platforms like Instagram and Pinterest I have to make sure I have a solid following on both.


Look by: Payal MUA

PPRG: What is most rewarding part of working with your clients?


Jasmin: Being able to make a person feel their best by enhancing their natural features that make them uniquely them is the most rewarding part of my journey. 


Lanette: Fueling someone’s confidence is my favorite thing. Teaching someone how to perfect their wing liner or red lip so they can rock it and feel like a total babe is so fun. I love knowing that I had something to do with a girl feeling her very best. Providing a look that makes my client feel amazing is a priceless feeling as an artist. On the flip side of my girl-power-bad-ass clients, I’ve also worked with amazing women who are suffering from debilitating diseases, and those are some of my most rewarding experiences. Those are the days when I realize it’s deeper than makeup, it’s is an opportunity to bring normalcy and happiness to another person. Working with those clients and giving them a reminder of their beauty is such a fulfilling experience.


Payal: The most rewarding part of working with clients is simply their reaction when they look at themselves in the mirror after getting their makeup done. There have been moments where I’ve had clients tear up and say “I can’t believe that’s me”. That’s when I know I’m doing my job right; especially when a bride feels as beautiful as ever on their wedding day, it is the perfect moment for me. That confidence and happiness that shines through in each client makes me feel good about what I do.


B Wilson: Working with clients who never saw themselves as beautiful and seeing how a different hairstyle or makeup can actually boost their confidence.


PPRG: Beauty companies are beginning to expand their products to fit the needs of women of all shades and sizes. This season, we’ve seen successes (Fenty Beauty foundation by Rihanna), but we’ve also seen failures (Dove Real Beauty Bottles body wash). What potential does the industry have on empowering women?


Jasmin: The beauty industry has a longgg ways to come when it comes to inclusivity and being truly global to empower all consumers of beauty products; not just women! I think we’ve made strides in the right direction with celebrities such as Rihanna and Huda Kattan who created beautifully diverse campaigns to address the lack of shade range in mainstream cosmetics brands. However it’s not enough to create 40 shades, there are people who have different skin types and textures who also struggle to find products that suit their needs and bigger mainstream brands also need to follow in their footsteps. It should be standard for brands to wish to empower all people to feel and look their best, with the power of social media and influencer marketing it’s totally possible for the beauty industry as a whole to become inclusive and diverse.


Lanette: There SHOULD be foundation colors for every skin tone. There SHOULD be clothing that fits every woman’s body. It seems condescending when companies who don’t make products that vary from shade to shade or size to size create “inclusion” products. Something that the industry could do to empower women is to remind women that it’s perfectly fine to be themselves by not making a big deal of their foundation shade or clothing size. There is no need to treat women with skin tones or body sizes at either end of the spectrum differently than you’d treat everyone else. Having a deep skin tone is normal. Having a fair skin tone is normal. So is being a size zero or a size twenty. Acceptance is what we’re lacking. Putting women into a category organized by size and color is what’s slowing the industry’s progress.


Payal: I believe this industry will only continue to grow and empower women. Beauty is not just about applying makeup anymore. It is about feeling good inside and out. The concept of empowering women will only expand especially with brands like Fenty Beauty creating over 40 different foundation shades; no skin tone left behind. Also, as I have seen this industry boom over the last few years, I noticed that many CEOs of small or large beauty brands are female. Estee Lauder for example was a rare case for her era, but there are a handful of female CEOs that only set an example and encourage future business women. Lastly, the beauty blogger world allows for the everyday girl to start a brand on her own right in the palm of her hands – social media. I only believe that this industry will get more creative, and continue to grow.


B Wilson: The beauty industry has all the power in the world when it comes to uplifting women and showing beauty in all forms. The question is do they care enough to make the necessary changes. Rihanna’s Fenty line did not break the mold in having 40 shades but what they did do was make the line all inclusive of all women which is something other brands have yet to do.

Look by: Lanette Aloi


PPRG: Makeup trends come and go (e.g. the squiggly eyebrow). What has been a recent favorite of yours?


Jasmin: I have never been keen on “trends” in makeup.. I think I’m an old soul when it comes to beauty. But I am loving the runway glossy eyelid look currently being done more on the red carpet!


Lanette: The squiggly eyebrow stresses me out everytime I see it. Actually, most eyebrow trends do. Also, have we seen the nose hair extension trend that’s been going around? I refuse to even believe that one. Anyway, I know it’s not for everyone but I absolutely love a glossy eyelid. I have eye/face gloss in a few colors because I can never get enough. It’s unexpected and really cool without being over the top. You can wear it on a regular day and still fit in while running errands (while looking, like, super trendy).


Payal: I know this trend has been overly played out, but I am still into highlighting and contouring. Brands are coming out with new concealers, highlighters, and a wider range of bronzers or contour sticks. I could contour everyday!


B Wilson: NONE OF THEM, I literally cannot stand any of these trends. To me real artists don’t fall into these social media traps. Classic beautiful makeup with never go out of style.

Look by: Jasmin Rahman


PPRG: Name three makeup items can you not leave the house without.


Jasmin:  Tarte Quench Lip Rescue in Nude, waterproof mascara (I have sample sizes in every bag and in my car), and Nars radiant creamy concealer.


Lanette: These are my faves that I can’t live without for a healthy, natural glow that doesn’t look like makeup: MAC Patentpolish lip pencil in It’s Really Me, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and MAC Face and Body foundation.


Payal: Concealer (Tarte Shape Tape), Mascara (Stila Cosmetics Huge Extreme Lash Mascara), and the perfect nude lipstick.  

B Wilson: Mascara, a great nude lipstick, and blotting papers.


 Share your favorite makeup trends with us in the comment or on social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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