If you’ve looked through my social media and galleries you probably noticed I don’t have any “before and afters” posted. Seems odd when almost every makeup artist’s IG feed is full of the trendy posts, right? Well sit down, grab a snack, and let me tell you why you won’t find them here.
Whether you’re recently engaged, have an important date, or a big party to attend, you’re probably looking to hire a makeup artist. And what’s the first thing you do when looking for the perfect artist? You search their portfolio and social media accounts. You’re bombarded with before and after posts. The before posts are always some gorgeous woman with her hair disheveled, tired eyes, frown face and then BOOM! there it is.. the glorious after. You’re probably thinking “Wow! they made that girl into that bombshell?! I can only imagine what they could do for me, I’m booking now!!”
I have been a hairstylist and makeup artist for over 10 years. I learned and expanded my work in Las Vegas, what better place than that for a terribly good before photo? Most clients were going out the night before, staying up into the wee hours of the morning, their skin would be crying for help from the combination of dry weather and overload of alcohol. In the beginning of my career I was THAT artist, always trying to get the most unflattering angle and never forgetting to capture that “just got done partying all night” look. I was almost always met with the same response from my clients “oh my gosh this is embarrassing, don’t post that” but they hired me because they wanted that amazing after photo look they saw all over my social media. And thats when it CLICKED.
I owe this realization to someone I consider a mentor in my career and life. Before moving to Iowa and starting up on my own, I was working with a well known five star agency in Las Vegas, I noticed they didn’t showcase their clients in, what could be considered, their most vulnerable state. It was then I learned that it was so unnecessary to put my clients insecurities and flaws on display. Since then, the thought of posting the before photo only to intensify the quality of the after is something that no longer sits well with me. This isn’t what my job is about! It isn’t my job as a makeup artist to use my clients for some viral transformation.
I believe it is my job to make you feel like the most beautiful you by enhancing your natural beauty features, not by tearing you down and showing you how “awful” you looked before I came along. Do I get significantly less likes on my social media posts since getting rid of before and afters? maybe. But at the end of the day, my focus isn’t about how many likes my work gets on social media, getting recognized by the brands I use, or going viral because of how my client may have looked before. My focus is truly on my time spent with my client, the experience I treat them to, and how not only I feel at the end of my appointment, but how they feel the rest of their day. I specialize in bridal hair and makeup because of the abundance of gratitude it gives me. I get the opportunity to help people during their most memorable events, why would I want that to be any thing but positive?
At the end of the day…
So let me end with this…it’s the year 2020, you guys! Ditch those before & afters, the viral transformations, and the feelings that come from those posts. I guarantee you’ll be happier. 😘
P.S. I am not against ALL before and afters. There is definitely a time and a place where they are appropriate such as hair cuts/ color transformations, SFX, drag, etc. 🖤
Samantha is a 34 yr old mom & wife who is seriously obsessed with all things weddings. It all began in 2008, living in Las Vegas, she applied as a Cosmetologist at a local salon who also provided on location hair and makeup for weddings and events. It was there that she discovered her passion for the art. Quickly becoming obsessed with the feeling after glamming up a client, knowing she was a part of one of the biggest days of their live. Over the course of 12 years, a relocation to Iowa, and over 1,000+ real life wedding experiences, she has truly perfected her craft.