I was a professional makeup artist for over 18 years before I became a writer for CW this Fall. Early in my career, I had the privilege to work for a cosmetic company called MAC. For several years at MAC, I worked alongside some of the most fun and talented people I have ever known in makeup!
Today, MAC remains a brand that is both respected and competitive in the beauty industry. I know many makeup artist friends, who use MAC products in their professional kits, and I notice how quickly new MAC collections continue to sell out at stores and makeup counters. I have a feeling that MAC's upcoming Selena makeup collection will be the company's biggest selling collection ever!
Since I was a MAC artist, women love to know my makeup tips and techniques. However, the most popular question I am asked regarding makeup is "How did you get hired at MAC?" Yes, half of those women who asked were aspiring artists, but surprisingly the other half were just curious to learn how I was able to become a MAC artist. So whether or not this is a burning question for you to know as well, I wanted to share and unveil the secret (if you want to call it that) behind my MAC story. So here it goes...
When I applied for a job at MAC, I had very little retail and cosmetic experience compared to other applicants. However, that didn't keep me from trying to become part of the MAC team. Below were the three basic steps I went through as an applicant. I have also included some information that I thought may be useful to those women aspiring to become makeup artists, especially MAC artists.
- 1st Step: The application form- When I applied, I had to get an application from the Department store's human resource office rather than directly approaching a MAC counter, which is the general route, because the MAC counter I was applying for was a new installation though not yet open for business. MAC also has free standing locations, where you can pick up an application form.
- Tips for the aspiring artist : 1) When inquiring for a job application in person, be dressed as if you were arriving to your first work day at MAC . The "MAC Wardrobe" is an all black attire so it's a pretty simple look to achieve. Also, spend a little extra time on your own makeup to ensure your look is flawless! You don't want to be mistaken by a MAC employee for coming in for a makeup appointment that day, instead! 2) Ask to meet the MAC manager working that day so the person in charge can match your face with the name on the application.
- 2nd Step: The Makeup Demo Test- I had to bring a friend along as my makeup model for this next step. MAC is a leading makeup artist brand so it's very important for managers to evaluate an applicant's makeup skills and technique for job consideration. I remember my makeup demo test took place in a hotel ballroom because I was interviewing for a brand spanking new MAC counter that was still under construction. Therefore, the MAC team leaders were interviewing large groups of people at the same time. So it was a little difficult for me not to be intimidated by the many qualified applicants present in the same room!
- More tips for the aspiring artist: 1) Practice on your friend/model before you demonstrate your makeup skills in front of others. 2) Familiarize yourself with the MAC product line, in advance, so you know the best ways to use their products. Check out MAC's website to learn more about their brand and product line. They also have great how to videos! You can also visit the ever popular You Tube website to watch former MAC experts share their favorite tips and techniques using MAC products and other brands. Some of my favorite You Tube channels to follow for this are Jaclyn Hill and Lisa J.
- Final Step: My Face to Face Interview--I interviewed with two MAC managers at the same time for this third and final round of the application process. I remember being so nervous yet grateful that I made it this far. When I get nervous, I smile...alot. However, I like to think that my constant smile could have helped the managers imagine my friendly face needed behind their makeup counter!
- My final tip for aspiring artists- If you don't get hired the first time at MAC then inquire about joining their freelance team. A freelance position is a great alternative to a permanent position at MAC. Though the position is seasonal or part-time, it does offer flexible work locations and hours. It's a great way to receive the same work experience as permanent artists. Freelance artists have the fabulous opportunity to be known well by staff, which helps chances for getting hired as a future permanent member of the team!
It was a dream of mine to work for a prestigious makeup company in the beauty world, and I'm so happy to have achieved that dream early in my makeup career when I became apart of the MAC family. Though there is no real big secret to how I became a MAC artist, I hope my story shows how proud I am to have been apart of a company that continues to uphold high standards of artistry and achievement.
Whether or not you feel called to the makeup world, I hope you are inspired, in some way, to discover or continue in your dream path, whatever that may be. At Created Woman, we just want to help each woman become who they were created to be.