Andrea Samuels is an award winning makeup artist with over twelve years of experience in beauty, fashion and editorial makeup. The paramount influence in Andrea C. Samuel’s life and work is art; she began her creative career drawing and sketching people at the age of two, eventually enrolling in art college courses in The School of The Art Institute at age nine. In 2009, Andrea Samuels enrolled and graduated from Make Up First LLC in Chicago, IL., and has since landed clients including Maybelline, New York Fashion Week, Nike, MTV VMA’s, Elle Magazine and V Magazine. Her work can also be seen in fashion and commercial editorials published nationally and internationally. Read our interview with the lovely Andrea below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always been inspired by art work from different cultures, portraits, facial features and bone structures on women and men. I started off as a painter but makeup became an interest of mine around age 18, I used makeup like a painter and applied it on skin using color theory I learned from my art classes. After eleven years, I decided to open up my own makeup and photography rental studio to create photoshoots and build clientele. (www.chicagoartiststudios.com)
Tell us about your business.
I am a full-time freelance makeup artist, I work with beauty, fashion, editorial and celebrity clients.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
My one year anniversary for my studio is coming up in February, I will announce an event centered promo around the celebration in a couple weeks via Instagram.
VFILES/VMagazine Made Fashion Award: Winner for Makeup Artists
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
- Education! I attended many classes, received a certificate and learned about the proper care and maintenance of working on all types of skin tones and skin textures.
- Assisting! I’ve assisted many makeup artists throughout my career, each artist taught me a new way to approach my skills, as well as new ways to approach my business.
- Social Media! I use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to my advantage by constantly posting my work and new images. I usually receive great feedback and new clients through my social media platforms, it has been very helpful.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I would say the most impactful way I receive new customers is through Instagram, hashtags work really well and gains the attention of different makeup companies and celebrities.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Sometimes taking a leap of faith is the hardest thing to do. I hate struggling sometimes, I hate to hear rejection, I hate to hear a “No” but it usually fuels me to hustle harder and try again until I hear a “Yes”. Sometimes I hate talking on the phone, but I have to push myself to try a new approach by reaching out to someone I never spoke to before. I email, write letters and sometimes call people that I never spoke to before just to hear some type of feedback. They could either say, “Yes, I need a makeup artist, thank you for calling!” Or “No thank you.” It’s always a 50/50 chance, so I try to take that chance.
How did you overcome these challenges?
If I find a good deal on plane ticket to NY, I’ll purchase it and hope for the best. Sometimes I luck out and find new clients when I arrive, sometimes I don’t; either way, taking a risk is something I try to do more often. I constantly try to push myself out of my comfort zone.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I talk to God when I’m unsure about something, I am Christian and I do believe in the power of Jesus. I talk to my mom, my sister, my family and they always help me when I am lost or confused about anything. Sometimes I even talk about not getting a certain job I was hoping for, or the time when ALL my makeup was stolen on social media and to my surprise, there are many people going through the same thing as I am. Some people will thank me for mentioning my struggles in public; being vulnerable during my difficult times is a really hard thing to do, but you never know who it could help. I talk it out, I don’t bottle it in or keep it to myself anymore. If I am going through a difficult time, I ask questions and vent until I can find a solution for myself.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
My work is very colorful, versatile and fashion forward.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
“Breathe.” My mom told me to breathe, slow down, take a breath, and relax whenever I feel frustrated or doubtful about something.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
- Educate Yourself!
- Assist Other Artists!!
- Expose your work on Social Media!!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Books! I read Kevyn Aucoin, Sam Fine and Way Bandy books very frequently, they are all legends in the makeup industry that I respect and admire. Sometimes fashion magazines like Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, etc, are very inspiring for me.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Currently reading Luvvie Ajayi’s book, “I’m Judging You”. Only on Chapter 1 but so far, so good.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Taxes! It’s a very looooooong process.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
One of my biggest goals is to continue to travel internationally more this year, I was able to work in Negril, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in 2016, I’m really hoping to work in more places. I love traveling! My plan would be to get out my comfort zone and continue to reach out to different clients in different cities. I also plan to branch off into education, I currently provide one-on-one classes with students and clients, but I’d like to further my growth as an educator and start teaching full classes in my studio as well as in a few different makeup schools throughout the U.S. In order to achieve this, I will continue to reach out to more people that could assist me in this venture. I know exactly what I want to teach, and how to teach it, I just have to find the right timing and the right team for it all to unfold.