Wow, where has the time gone? It's almost been two years since I officially started Makeup and Martinis Chicago. As a matter of fact, it was August of 2011 when I held my very first event to be exact. What many don't know is that I began freelancing as a makeup artist in 2006 while I was working as a school social worker. As I was advertising my services, I would invite people over to the clubhouse in my subdivision of where I lived to get their makeup done and enjoy a great martini. This was all prior to 2011. I would do these gatherings once a year but it started getting a little overwhelming and I couldn't handle all the women wanting to be serviced so I brought on more makeup artists.
The early years before Makeup and Martinis Chicago was born
Hence, this is how Makeup and Martinis Chicago was officially born. It was a simple idea that was also a gift and passion of mine that I wanted to share with others. As I continued to do what I loved, I started getting more and more ideas and concepts. It's amazing how you can start off by yourself and maybe 4 or 5 people attending a gathering. And then in a matter of 2 years, you're no longer by yourself. I now have 5 makeup artists on my team including myself, 1 hairstylist, 3 nail techs, 5 massage therapists, a bartender, a really cool photographer and videographer, a creative consultant and an amazing network of supportive business professionals.
At this stage in my business, I'm kind of like a toddler. I've mastered how to stand on my own two feet. I can walk, I can run, I have quite a few words in my repertoire, I'm understanding the basic business concepts, I'm making connections and I'm truly absorbing everything like a sponge. I'm also making the distinction between what's right and what's wrong for my business and I'm really learning. I'm in my foundation building years and I'm truly appreciative of my amazing team and the many supporters of this company. We have so much to do and share with you, one step at a time.
And for some of the aspiring entrepreneurs (because we're all entrepreneurs believe it or not), I was thinking of stating some things that have helped me along the way but honestly, I'm still learning and growing so I don't have any definitive answers. But some things that I try to apply to my daily living is to just understand how blessed I am. This means subtracting money, titles, the people I know, the things I have acquired and understanding that after all of that is taken away, I am still blessed. Why? Because I'm choosing to focus on things that give me reason to believe that I am. I cannot create an earth, a sky, rainbows etc but it's there and I'm able to wake up to that. As long as I have that, everything else is icing on the cake.
There's so much that I have that I don't need but it's there for me. So when I'm navigating my business, I think about the business as just the icing on the cake. It doesn't define me, it doesn't control me, it isn't the end all be all, it isn't my life. It is something I'm choosing to share with the world because God gifted me with the talent and the knowledge base. Of course, I want to succeed, of course I want to acquire money and things while doing it but that's only one aspect of my purpose. There are many times I have to reevaluate and/or restructure, reflect, take a break and rejuvenate. This helps me to see business with a different mindset. When I view it from that standpoint, I'm much more happier and I see success as an ongoing process.
Remember to be certain of who you are and that God has gifted you with so much more than a brand and/or an image. You're more than that. Your business is just the icing on the cake. So with that being said, here's to almost 2 years of learning, growing, stretching, crying, being overwhelmed, being frustrated, and being confused. But also maturing and understanding hard work, building relationships, praying, stepping out of my comfort zone, setting boundaries but also taking risks, sometimes being contradictory, being knowledgable, being honest, being friendly and sharing. The answer is there is no answer because it's a journey. And it can be a very rewarding journey if you choose to sit back, relax, sip some tea, pray and know that your business is just a small portion of your purpose. Cheers!
I was talking to a friend the other day who seriously had me laughing out loud. She was talking about a man she found extremely attractive for some time now but then she had the opportunity to look at him up close and she said, "You know, he's flawed just like I am. His teeth aren't all that straight and he has wrinkles too."
It's funny because we put a lot and I mean a lot of pressure on ourselves to be so perfect and for what? Even some of our favorite celebs are flawed. With the right lighting, angles, airbrushing and photoshop, of course you could look perfect too. But would you really want to? All I know is once you see these images of some of your favorite celebs up close, you may not be as hard on yourself. Everything from bad makeup jobs, crows feet and wrinkles, stained teeth, female mustaches large pores, major blemishes/breakouts and everything in between, you'll be amazingly surprised! Enjoy and don't be scared :)
click on image to enlarge
Well beauty lovers, it's that time again... The Makeup Show Chicago will begin tomorrow, June 9th-10th at the Bridgeport Art Center and I'm so excited! I'm truly looking forward to restocking my kit with some definite beauty must haves, meeting and learning from fellow makeup artists in the industry, seeing celeb makeup artist Merrell Hollis
in action and just conversing and having an amazing time. I hope to see you beauties there! For more info visit http://www.themakeupshow.com/makeupshow/CH/index.html.
For those of us artsy and creative folks, we're always inspired by something or someone that sparks us to create. It can be a beautiful landscape, it can be the use of colors or it can be a person. Many makeup artists haves muses and I think I have found mine, yaaay!!!
I'm not a huge reality television show fan but a while back I was watching an episode of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta (lol, don't judge me :). But there's an extremely beautiful woman on this show by the name of Erica Dixon
. Now I thought she was beautiful on the show but when I saw some of her modeling skills, I was blown away. Her look is just so exciting to me. She has nice almond shaped eyes, very full lips and nose and gorgeous cocoa skin. She truly inspires me artistically. So Ms. Erica if you're viewing this blog post, have your people call my people (i.e. me, lol) and let's create!
Makeup and Martinis Chicago extends a very warm thank you to all that attended and supported our first Mother's Day Brunch which took place in Joliet, Illinois at the beautiful Lakewood Prairie Clubhouse. We're so excited to hear the amazing feedback from our southwest suburban beauties of Chicago and we're also excited that you're looking forward to more events like this in your area. Again, we thank you. Please enjoy this amazing recap of the event. Cheers!
The perfect mother's day gift...
As we approach mother's day, we want to gift one special mom with a free UrbanSitter's babysitting gift card. This is your day and we want to provide you with the ultimate gift! Just submit a brief essay in 100 words or less stating why you or a special friend deserves a couple of hours of relaxation to go to the spa, run errands, read a book, have a girls night out or a much needed nap.
Entries will be accepted until May 8, 2013 at 5pm CST. Please send entries to
firstname.lastname@example.org and put "UrbanSitters Gift Card" in the subject line. You can either attach your essay or type it in the body of your email. Please include your first and last name, U.S. mailing address (P.O. Box will not be accepted) email address and phone number. If you are entering on behalf of someone else, please include their first and last name, U.S. mailing address, email address and phone number in addition to your information. The winner will be announced via our Facebook
pages on May 10, 2013 no later than 7pm CST. We appreciate your participation and we look forward to announcing the lucky winner!
*Additional Rules: Only one entry per unique email address. We will contact the winner via email as well as phone within 5 days after the winner is announced. The gift card will be mailed to the winner with the address provided. The gift card has cash value and it will be the responsibility of the winner to register for a free account on www.urbansitter.com
to schedule services.
So it's been a while since I've blogged. I'm so sorry about that. I've been extremely busy and I don't have anyone writing my blogs for me. I write them myself because I get so much enjoyment out of them. But also, I didn't really have much to say until just recently. I got some inspiration, yay!
So as you can see by the title of this post, it's not exactly for the girls, but definitely for the women. My sis posted a blog entry online by Karrine Steffans. Yes, I'm talking about "superhead". Now, now, ladies before you get your panties all in a bunch, the post was actually quite poetic about her unconditional love for rapper Lil Wayne. Now this entry is not really about Karrine's blog but more about sex, intimacy, or what ever you want to call it. Karrine is definitely known for her sexual excursions with well known rap artists and her nickname really doesn't leave much to the imagination. We're all adults here so you do the math. Karrine is now a best-selling author and in some ways, an expert on sex and relationships to some. But it made me think about something...
Now picture this. If you had the opportunity to have a candid, yet private "therapy" session with Ms. Steffans (and you both signed a legally binding agreement that stated you would not be featured in her next book or blog post :) how do you think she would rate your sex life? Specifically if you are in a committed relationship where routine can sometimes hinder spontaneity. Do you think she would say "Okay, honey I see you bringing your "A" game" or would she say, "Hmm, you're a little iffy, you might want to try it this way or that way?" Or would she say, "Uum are those truly cobwebs that I'm seeing? Or better yet, just a full out desert?" Just think about that for a minute. For those that are a little more tight lipped about the subject, you don't have to share with anyone but it is something to think about. A woman that is well known for having "graduated from a good school" and I don't mean Yale was willing to give you a few pointers, would you take it?
So it's quite obvious that I enjoy being pampered and my husband knows pretty much a sure way to make me happy is to send me to the spa. Nothing beats an amazing massage and some herbal tea. I crave relaxation and I'm not sure where that comes from but I enjoy it. As a matter of fact for my 21st birthday when my husband and I were dating he asked me what would be the perfect gift and I was not interested in getting drunk, I just wanted a trip to the spa and he gave me that.
Fast forward almost 10 years later, one of my friends asked me last week to try a meditation challenge with her and I was game. I've never been the one to "meditate" but here and there I kind of dabbled in it in yoga class. Anywho, as I got closer to the time the challenge would start which would be today, I became increasingly excited as I love ANYTHING that helps me relax. So I eagerly set my alarm on my phone for 4:30a so that I could meditate first thing in the morning while everyone was still asleep and before I start my day. How about my alarm clock never went off. As a matter of fact, my husband's alarm clock went off almost 2 hours past the time I was going to wake up. I was so disappointed and my husband said no biggie, just start tomorrow. But I was extremely excited about giving it a try and I almost let it ruin my day but I had to tell myself that would defeat the purpose of what I'm trying to achieve so I kept thinking on good thoughts and told myself I would give it a try later in the evening.
So finally the kiddies were asleep and my hubbs was downstairs. I got a glass of water, lit some incense and burned a candle and found a really cool relaxation station on Pandora. I locked my bedroom door and sat in the Burmese
position. I took a few deep breaths, said a quick prayer for God to open my mind to the possibilities and let the thoughts flow. This can be a little tricky especially when your mind is typically running a mile a minute and multi-tasking is a way of life, but I was so ready for this. I took a few more deep breaths and began to get lost in my thoughts. Since my meditation was just that, MINE, I won't disclose my thoughts but at one point during meditating, I asked God to hold me and I felt His presence and began to cry... and I cried and I cried some more. And the reason this felt so good to me was because I work with people in figuring out their problems for a living (i.e. social worker). I deal with other peoples' pain for a living. I take on a variety of emotions that aren't always mine for a living and I've learned to detach because it's the nature of the job. But at that moment, I think I felt every one of my emotions imaginable and let out a much needed release and it felt very cleansing.
I'm not quite sure where this challenge is leading me but I find myself looking forward to it. It's just really nice to set aside some time without a care in the world and just be. Honestly, how often do we just be? My guess is not that much but it is truly a beautiful experience and I'm actually looking forward to each morning at 4:30.
Yes beauties, spring is just around the corner. It may not feel like it right now, specifically for those of us that reside in the Midwest but there's no time like the present to prepare. Here's a few tips to get you ready and in full bloom:Moisturize!!!
Ladies, I've been talking about moisturizing your beautiful faces all winter so this should be a rather easy tip. If you have not been moisturizing, don't beat yourself up, just start now. You definitely want to make sure you have glowing skin when that beautiful weather hits. Not sure what kind of moisturizer to use? Determine whether or not you have oily, dry or combination skin and go from there. Budget conscious? I'm a big fan of Aveeno
as it appeals to various skin types and tones.Chest and Back
This tip is not only a spring tip but spring and summer are also very popular wedding seasons. We're wearing less clothing and typically brides are wearing strapless gowns. Breakouts are common in the chest and back area due to sweat and bacteria getting trapped in pores. Twice a day wash the area with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. “This will kill bacteria and prevent dead cells, bacteria and oil from clogging pores” explains Elizabeth Hale, M.D., clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Medical Center.Elbows and Knees
Don't forget this area as the skin tends to be thicker and a spot where dead and dry skin tend to accumulate. Do exfoliate these areas. I like to use Blemish & Blackhead Control Apricot Scrub
by St. Ives.Your Heels and Soles
I almost feel like this area gets hit the hardest in the winter months as we tend to skimp out on the pedicures and lotion. Between heavy boots and wet snow, this begins to have a drying effect on our feet. At least once a week, soak your feet in a bowl of warm water and a half cup of orange or lemon juice for about 30 minutes. Moisturize your feet and scrub with a pumice stone to get rid of dead skin. Apply oil to cuticles and apply a generous amount of lotion to your feet. Wrap your feet in plastic wrap and cover with socks before you head to bed. This should do the trick!
Don't forget to register for our makeup classes for everyday women here