Why I stopped taking before & after photos to promote my makeup services.

I don't sell transformations. 

Recently while on the job I was called "a magician" by a mom speaking to her 5-year-old daughter. "She makes women look beautiful". I was absolutely floored. Is this what we are teaching our younger generation? That I, a makeup artist, am the one responsible for making a woman beautiful? 

I don't transform and I certainly don't sell transformations. 

To be honest, I have ALWAYS felt uncomfortable asking my clients for a "before" and "after" photo for the use of attracting more clients. I understand why many makeup artists take and use before and after photos. It is a way to show other clients what they can do with makeup. However, in an age where we can post hundreds of photos on the internet for everyone to see, edit and manipulate any photo at our fingertips, I just don't buy into it anymore. 

Have you ever noticed that women are typically not smiling in their before photo? (I've actually witnessed makeup artists telling the client or model not to smile in their before photo) It's like they are ashamed of the way they look without makeup or shouldn't look "as good" in their before photo. Next in line to go under the brush to see what comes out on the other side. Then "voila"...a smile suddenly appears when the big reveal happens and they feel human again. I want to see women standing proudly in their natural beauty without makeup and I do not believe that taking a before and after photo of a woman and selling it to the public saying "look what I've done" will ever promote that. 

As a woman serving women, it is my job to help a woman feel more beautiful...not magically transform her using colored products. And I know this may sound contradictory considering I am a makeup artist and I do use colored products to enhance my clients' features. I am much more concerned about the process from when my client sits in my chair to when she looks in the mirror. The time we get to spend chatting about their life, their accomplishments, their children or travels. What makes them feel happy or brings them joy and maybe even the person they are so in love with that they get to marry that day. THAT is the story I get to take home every single day instead of 2 snapshots to share with no context for the viewer. The process when women can sit down, relax, open up and let go is when the real magic happens.

I know not every makeup artist will feel the same as I do, so let me quickly say you are not wrong and I am not right. This is simply something that has come up after almost 10 years in the beauty industry.