If you’ve got makeup on the mind (who doesn’t!?) and you’re the official beauty guru of your group, there’s a million ways to turn your passion into a side hustle so you can start earning those dolla dolla bills! We chatted to beauty influencer Stephanie Bailey to see how this self-taught makeup wiz did it.
1. Let YouTube be your teacher
You don’t need to shell out on formal makeup training, you’ve just gotta log some hours practising and watching videos. “My early makeup education pretty much came from a series of trial and error,” says Stephanie. “I learnt the ropes by reading magazines and practising on my friends. When I was around 19, I discovered Lauren Curtis. You could call me 50 per cent self-taught and 50 per cent YouTube-taught. My game wouldn’t be half as strong today if it wasn’t for Lauren, Chloe Morello and Tanya Burr.”
2. Build your kit
There’s no need to own every beauty product, but there are a few products that are worth it. Invest in items like quality eyeshadow or good highlighters, and save on concealers and mascaras you’ll use up quickly. “My first ever ‘good-quality’ eyeshadow palette was the original Urban Decay Naked Palette and it is still the one I recommend,” Steph says. “My biggest tip is to choose one with as many wearable colours as possible. If you have your nudes, golds, browns and blacks covered, then you have a keeper!”
3. Keep it profesh
While you might only be starting out in your beauty hustle, it’s still important to approach this like a total boss. Maintain your beauty products like a legit artist and give your brushes a clean. Always listen to what your client wants, and have your kit fully stocked with wipes and cotton buds in case of emergency. “My favourite product to clean my brushes is the Sigma SigMagic Brush Shampoo, along with one of their cleaning mats,” says Steph. “Although, a good LUSH shower gel does the trick!”
4. Build a client base
A super-easy way to gain clients is through word of mouth, so offer to do your friends’ makeup for the formal or for a birthday to show off your work. Also, start a social media account for your biz. “I started my channel as a sort of work portfolio,” Stephanie says. “I did some follow-me-around videos, some incredibly embarrassing challenges and then finally decided to try my hand at a makeup tutorial. I guess people must have liked it because suddenly my channel started to gain traction. I started my channel to help me get a job and instead it ended up becoming my job!”
5. Start a YT channel
While starting a YouTube channel won’t initially bring in much coin, it’s a fun way to turn your love of beauty into a side gig. Focus on beauty looks you love personally and talk about topics that inspire you, rather than trying to copy what’s already trending. “Remember to always be your authentic true self on camera and it will all fall into place,” says Stephanie.
6. Get a job in the industry
Another way to get lots of experience is through a casual job at your favourite makeup store. If you’re not old enough yet, you can approach makeup artists, beauticians or smaller companies about gaining unpaid work experience. There’s no better way to learn the tricks!
Sephora is makeup heaven and a killer place to work. Not only would you be surrounded by makeup brands like Fenty Beauty, Benefit and Kat Von D Beauty, but word on the street is that the discount at Sephora is 20 per cent off branded products and 40 per cent off Sephora products. Where do we sign up?!
Much like Sephora, MECCA is makeup heaven. Here you’ll be playing with products from Smashbox, Too Faced and Urban Decay.
For all things skincare and natural makeup, head to LUSH. While all applicants must be over 18, LUSH is a great place to explore the world of green beauty. Plus, it always smells hella good!
Beauty Kit Essentials
Stock your kit with Steph's fave products for a failproof future in the biz...
1. Brow babe
“Firstly, I cannot live without eyebrow products! I have super sparse brows so can’t go anywhere without my Benefit Goof Proof Pencil in my handbag."
Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil, $43, @ Sephora
2. Pimple helper
"Second, I would say a good pimple cream! I have really bad acne and my skin would go to town without it."
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $26, @ MECCA
3. Holy grail hair
"Dry shampoo is what lazy gal dreams are made of! Who has time to wash their hair every day?!"
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, $14.99, @ Priceline