GENEVIEVE A. SANTOS | beauty expert - makeup artist & esthetician


“It’s Faster If I Do It Myself”! WRONG!

Building my business as a makeup artist and beautypreneur required a lot of creative ways to drive clientele. Much to my surprise, people weren’t booking me from my website and Facebook!

One of the many ways I promoted my business was getting involved with events, whether sponsoring the makeup & hair during Fashion Week, participating in a bridal expo booth, or hosting a beauty party anywhere from 10 to 50 guests. Each method required a team of people to put this together.

“Well, I can handle this by myself. Why do I need to work with a team?”

Many beautypreneurs fall into this trap. There’s a difference between just making a living in this industry versus succeeding in it. Working and leading a team will definitely make the difference.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to sponsor the hair & makeup for a show during NY fashion week. It is the ultimate way to gain exposure for any business within industry insiders and press. We had to create the hair & makeup look and recruit the beauty team for backstage. Simple, right?

All smiles for the camera!

All smiles for the camera, amidst the craziness!

What you don’t see behind the “real” scenes is searching for artists who would work for free, beg companies for free products, reach out to press for coverage, and putting together the gift bags and booth to promote my company. One more thing, the fashion show had 10 designers.

10 designers!!!

How could I tackle all of this in 6 weeks? Clarify your vision. Amidst the challenge, sponsoring this show was a tool to promote my services to potential clients for paid work. I hired a photographer & videographer to capture our work on- and off-stage.

List the tasks needed to get through this project. Determine what you can and cannot do. While I loved doing makeup, I was not talented in forecasting the looks for the next season. On the other hand, my strengths were handling the business side, such as the logistics, liaising with the designers, and reaching out to cosmetic companies.

Elf Cosmetics was very generous!

Elf Cosmetics was very generous!

Next, assemble your A-Team! Stephanie Flor, seasoned hairstylist and makeup artist (and my BFF, from this post!), shared the same vision to showcase her talent on  as the makeup artist & hairstylist. She had a wealth of experience working backstage for numerous fashion shows, and a list of talented artists that were more than happy to sign on.

Set guidelines for your project for your team to follow. When we assembled our beauty team of 15 artists, we hosted a conference call a few days before to discuss the schedule, overview of the looks, and guidelines, such as dress code and call time. When you set the standards high, your team will follow.nyfc-gotg-team

Keep communication consistent throughout the entire project. Throughout this process, it was absolutely vital to have checkpoints with all parties involved–my partner Stephanie, our beauty team, the fashion show producers, and my videographer/photographer.


Stephanie Flor working
her magic

Amidst the craziness backstage, running around for last minute setup and picking up products, and then during the show prep, the team got the experience and the designers & producers loved our work. Stephanie and I pulled it off, and we had the rights to brag all about it on our blogs!

Coming off the high from the show, we needed to evaluate the results. Just like a football team replaying yesterday’s game, list what worked and didn’t work, along with solutions for the future. Looking back, I would have recruited a publicist to help promote our efforts and a separate key hairstylist. This would have definitely taken the load off my back so I could have focused on leading the team, liaising with the designers and cosmetic companies, and ensuring we were on task.

Imagine doing all of this without any prior experience? At the end of the day, 99% is focused on the WHY, and 1% is on the HOW, since that can easily be figured out.

As for the video? This is a real throwback from 2009! It definitely shows how far we’ve come.

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One Comment : Leave a Reply

  1. Kim Porter says:

    Great post. It provided me with some good insight. I don’t mind working for free to gain experience, and to network. It’s hard sometimes finding the right opportunities.

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