Classified Beauty - Uber Talented Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Kathy Aragon

You can’t help but envy this week’s Multi-talented Image Maker Kathy Aragon’s twitter, she’s always bustling from one place to another applying makeup to some pretty important people, yet she still has the time to dole out friendly advice to other fellow artists and stylists. Incredibly nice friendly and engaging, I was simply fascinated by all that she does I just had to find out what fuels this dynamo. Read the interview to find out why like in real-estate -- location location location has been one of Kathy’s biggest advantages as well as why there aren’t any shortcuts. The love she has for her work spills over into her every word.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I had some time to comb through your website, In a word you ROCK! How long have you been in the industry?

Kathy Aragon: Thanks! As of this month I have been doing makeup for exactly 10 years. I have spent the last 4 years completely freelance and away from my salon roots.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to become a hair and makeup artist?

Kathy Aragon: My mom has been a hairstylist for over 25 years so this industry has always been present in my family but I really knew it from a management side due to my father's entrepreneurial background. I took esthetics and cosmetology courses to learn more about the service side and that is when the bug hit me.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What was your first "big" break?

Kathy Aragon: Good question. I've always been a "baby steps" kind of girl so I don't think one particular incident stands out in my mind as a break out sort of moment. I mean all my milestones (first tear, first agency, first show, etc) are all still very special moments to me.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Kathy, I see that you do many different things as a hair and makeup artist, but tell us what is it like working for a network television show like CNN?

Kathy Aragon: Working at CNN has been a great experience and has taught me so much! I thought I knew the stresses of makeup and hair but it wasn't until I started doing it for live TV that I realized I had it pretty easy. I've had to learn how to do hair and makeup in 5-15 minutes time (if that) on a consistent basis, and it had to presentable enough for the whole world to see! These extreme time limits have helped me tremendously on other jobs where time is money. I am proud to be able to provide my clients both hair and makeup in a time that it might take two people to work in.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Five to Fifteen minutes wow! Kathy, you also have a pretty impressive Grooming portfolio how does male grooming differ from the other work that you do and did it require any specific training or education?

Kathy Aragon: I love doing men's grooming, if not just for the fact that it offers such great variety and keeps my job interesting. I didn't have any more specific training for men's grooming per se, but my airbrush is what I use 90% of the time on grooming jobs, and I did take specific lessons for that through a mentor of mine, Suzanne Patterson.

As for learning men's hairstyling, my husband actually had a big part in teaching me. I do many shoots with him since he is a photographer and when we started working with men he would go in and do hair for my unconfident self. He would have a specific vision that I wasn't sure about achieving. My husband showed me the techniques he used through his many hair phases and from that I started feeling a lot more comfortable in styling men's hair. He's going to crack up that I told you that. I no longer allow him to touch the hair when we work together. :D

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! That’s too funny; it’s awesome that you had him around for that I’m sure you learned some things right away that it’ll have taken other men’s groomers years to learn. Kudos to you guys! So, is there a big difference in working with male and female clients?

Kathy Aragon: Men's grooming definitely takes me a lot less time to do (most of the time) but it's just as important to keep up with during the shoot. The biggest difference between working with men and women is the amount of talking and comforting I have to do when working with men who are not used to putting on makeup. I am more talkative with men through the makeup process when they are obviously uncomfortable before sitting in the chair. I want the guys just as comfortable when they leave my chair to go on set as the girls feel. Usually that means I let them crack jokes about me putting them in "hot pink" or "cherry lip-gloss" looks. I think every male, not in the modeling or acting industry feels they have to make that joke :D

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Kathy, some artist chose to specialize, however you pretty much do it all. Why did you choose to remain "multi-faceted"?

Kathy Aragon: Being based in Washington D.C. has given me no choice but to "do it all". Working with men, women, and children came naturally for me having grown up in the salon industry. Also, there wasn't enough work in the area to only specialize in print vs. TV vs. events so I just did any type of job that called for a makeup artist in the area.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! That has obviously paid off for you in a good way. Can you give the readers an idea of what a typical working day is like for you? Do you even have a “typical” day?

Kathy Aragon: It's hard to predict a day for me. I kind of have to look at a week to figure out a typical pattern. Actually the more random the work week is, the more typical it is! It's now pretty normal for me to go from doing makeup for CNN, to doing a glamorous look for a red carpet event, to working on children for a hospital photo shoot. Then the next week I can pick up to go to the Cayman Islands for a swimsuit shoot, then fly off to work on a bunch of NFL makeup phobia football players, and finish the week powdering heads for a government video. :D It is so completely and utterly random and I really don't think I'd have it any other way.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Looks like the variation keeps it interesting for you. What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and makeup artists specifically?

Kathy Aragon: I feel that many newer artists think that in this industry you can easily skip past the harder work and find the shortcuts to get to the top, and it just isn't that way. I have talked to many artists who have started just a few short years ago and are already very frustrated over things like not being signed by a top NY agency. Many of these artists look past the benefits of the baby steps in between. Like I said earlier, I am a "baby steps" kind of girl. If it weren't for doing tests with local photographers, doing local work, getting signed to a local agency, and making a local name, there is no way I would have gotten the consistent work that I have been able to get to have even attracted a NY agencies attention. Taking baby steps will go a longer way in building a more stable foundation for your future career.

As for a public misconception of makeup artists, I feel like everyone wants to throw me in the category of selling Mary Kay or working at MAC when I say I do makeup for a living. I find my answer changes all the time as I'm still searching for that perfect description to explain what it is I really do.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It seems that every up and coming makeup and hairstylists wants to work with celebrities or in fashion or television. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work in these arenas?

Kathy Aragon: Other than really practicing your clean hair and makeup skills, networking goes a long way. The only thing is you need to make sure your connections are genuine and not just another business card to add to the pile. Some of my most amazing moments have been presented to me through the friends I have made in this industry. You never know who will be asked if they know any makeup artists and if you took that time to make that connection genuine you may just be thought of when they are asked.

Oh, and to break it down to the very basics, keep your eyes open for opportunities! I can not tell you how many times CNN has put an ad out for makeup/hair artists to the public with hardly a response. They want people to read the job description and decide if this is really for them, not to get a lot of inquiries because people are fixated on the name of the company -so you don't actually see the name "CNN" on their ads. So many people have passed up on applying for what could be a dream job because they didn't take the time to read the description. Remember that some of the best opportunities out there may not come in the fanciest of packages.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Okay I just feel like you just spilled some classified secret. I hope the readers picked up on that. So lastly Kathy because every aspiring or new artist would love to learn from someone as talented and devoted to the craft as you are... do you hire assistants, mentor young artists, hold any workshops or provide training?

Kathy Aragon: I do hire assistants when I can. Some of the jobs I do for government figures or a celebrity personality may require more privacy and don't allow for assistants on set. Other jobs may require one, like when I have to get 30 men ready for a group shoot in a matter of minutes! I definitely try to use them when I can and I find myself saying I need one more and more lately. The unfortunate thing is that I always find out a need an assistant last minute, many times the day before and then no one is usually available. If you tend have a really flexible schedule, give me a call! :D

As for workshops and training, I have started to work closely with The Powder Group in providing hands on workshops in different subjects. Michael and James of The Powder Group are two of my favorite mentors and so it means so much to me that they've entrusted me to give back some of the knowledge I have gained through my time as an artist to their attendees. I will be at the next two Artist Summits in Miami and Chicago teaching workshops. More information to be announced soon!

That’s awesome, Thank you Kathy for that uber informative interview for more information on Kathy Aragon, please visit her website and for more information on the Artist Summit visit the Powder Group’s website and of course be sure to follow Kathy’s Twitter.

Ciao for now…Class is dismissed!

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The Best Laid Plans - Celebrity Hairnisa and Editorial Stylist Dana Gibbs

I came across Dana Gibbs and dana’s loft HAIR a couple of years ago while doing some research, I was looking for African American stylists, possible mentors who’ve broken the mold and transcended race and stereo-types to become top stylists in the industry. Dana’s name was one of those names that kept popping up so I was absolutely delighted to find her on Twitter and even more thrilled when she agreed to do this interview for BeautySchooled. Read the interview to discover how Ms. Gibbs paid her dues, how you can too, and what she’s stirring up across the pond.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?

Dana Gibbs: I have been in this industry for almost 20 years.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to be a hair stylist?

Dana Gibbs: It kind of just happened; I used to work in my boyfriend’s mother’s hair salon as a receptionist. I would watch her do hair and I loved it. So one day I got one of my friends to let me cut her hair, and I showed it to my boss and she suggested that I go to school. And the rest was history.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Other than a cosmetology school have you had any additional training or education that you believe has helped you to stand out amongst the sea of other hair stylist?

Dana Gibbs: I have taken classes on hair coloring with companies like L’Oreal and Joicio and they have helped me hone in on my skills as a colorist, but I think that working with some of the best in the business such as: Tippi Shorter and Ted Gibson has played a major part in my growth as a stylist. I have worked in several different states in this country and everywhere I have worked I try to surround myself with the best stylist out there. I feel that great stylists feed off each other.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Interesting how Ms. Shorter’s name keeps coming up in my hairstylist interviews, that’s clearly a testament to her as a stylist. Tell our readers about your first big break, what was it?

Dana Gibbs: I remember getting the job of doing the extras for a Nievia video called Laundromat, on the set of video I met the man who would later become my agent.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Would you say that you have a niche, or is there anything particular that your clients or industry peers would say you're known for?

Dana Gibbs: I would say that my niche is hair coloring. It is very hard to color the hair of women of color, we have a lot of red undertones in our hair and even some of the best colorist out there has difficulty coloring our hair without damaging it. We don’t have to walk around wearing orange hair. It was my goal to master this and I think now I have it down.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Dana, that’s an awesome niche, I definitely understand where you’re coming from, I know I’ve been very reluctant to color my hair for the reasons that you mentioned. You’re a busy lady a salon owner and you do session and video work too. Please give your readers what a typical working day is like for you, if there is such thing.

Dana Gibbs: A typical work day for me now is I get up about 5-5:30; I meditate for about 15 minutes. Then I have my coffee and answer emails. By 9, I am returning phone calls or I am heading in to my salon. If I am shooting that day, I will grab my kit and head to the set. I am usually at the salon until about 9pm, in that time between clients I will talk to my publicist to map out our goals for that week, I will speak with photographers, makeup artist and models to produce test shoots as well as send out product packages for magazine editors.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Okay, you just made my head spin, it’s awesome that you start your day with mediation, I’m sure that’s what helps keep you grounded and on top of your game. Dana, what would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and hair stylists specifically?

Dana Gibbs: I feel that the biggest misconceptions about hair stylists are that we are not professional and we don’t handle our business well. Yes, there are some out there whom are always late and don’t keep up on their skills, and these few make it bad on the rest of us who try to maintain a professional image. Most of the stylist that I know are very professional and make continuing education a priority to stay current and innovative.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It seems that every up and coming makeup artist and hairstylist wants to work with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?

Dana Gibbs: The main thing that my colleges and I always discuss is how no one now days wants to pay their dues. It took me at least 5 years paying dues in NY before I was called to be key stylist on projects. Working with celebrities does not happen overnight. And although the job can be glamorous at times, it’s more hard work than anything else. Most of us work 15-20 hours a day for days straight. I would suggest that anyone who wants to break into this business to assist someone who is working with celebrities now and put the time in and it will pay off in the end.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! That’s some awesome advice! So what’s next for you Dana I’ve been hearing some buzz about something on Twitter, any projects in the works that you can share with the readers?

Dana Gibbs: Right now I am working on going Global. I am in London right now working on building a clientele here and possibly opening up a salon here; as well as getting my products, “dana’s loft HAIR”, to an international market. I am also working on instructional DVD’s for not only the cosmetology student but for the lay person as well who would like to learn more on how to take care of their hair.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you hire assistants, mentoring for young artists or provide any workshops or training?

Dana Gibbs: I am currently putting together classes for up and coming stylist because a get a lot of emails asking for this. I want to train stylist to be great assistants so that they can become great celebrity stylist, so the classes will train them to become celebrity stylist from the assistant stage forward. And yes I am always looking for assistants.

That’s incredible! Thank you Dana so much for that wonderful interview, for more information on Dana Gibbs, dana’s loft HAIR, and dana’s loft HAIR products and education please visit Dana’s website and be sure to follow her twitter for hair tips and behind the scene peaks at some of her photo shoots.

Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!

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She NAILED It!! - My Interview Cinnamon Bowser Owner of Nail Taxi

I was absolutely delighted when Cinnamon Bowser agreed to do an interview for Beauty Schooled!, Ms. Bowser's company Nail Taxi has been featured in many trade publications including Nails Magazine, she's also been featured in the Washington Post in addition to I've had the pleasure of following her tweets on Twitter and not only is she business savvy she's NICE (nice goes a long way in not only this biz but any business.) Read the interview to find out what prompted her to launch Nail Taxi and what it takes to be part of her team. You're bound to be inspired too!

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I’ve read the story about your business idea and how it all came about, you had a pregnant girlfriend who wanted to have someone come to give her a pedicure before she delivered and you couldn’t find one anywhere is that correct?

Cinnamon Bowser: Correct. My girlfriend (former college roommate) was pregnant with her third child. I called her one day to check on her and see what I could do for her and she said she really wanted a pedicure before she delivered. I called around, searched the internet and could not find anyone to come to her to provide the service. I realize that WDC is not NYC but still, I thought there should be a service that comes to you for nail care.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Okay... most people would have just been like oh well and moved on to the next thing, what was it that made you see this as a great business opportunity instead?

Cinnamon Bowser: At the time this happened, I was at stay at home mom with my toddler daughter. I belonged to a couple of play groups and mom groups so I mentioned the idea to them and they thought it was great. "My sister got married last year and we needed someone to come to the hotel and do our nails," "My grandparents need help with their nails," Susie is on bedrest and this would be a great treat for her" were just some of the responses I received. I should also mention that when I told my husband about this mobile nails idea he thought it was awesome. Mind you, I have had dozens of "business ideas" in the past that received hardly a head nod so I was really encouraged by his excitement!

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! That's incredible! I can also see how having your husband's support was also a great inspirational push, good for him! Did you have any aspirations to be in the beauty business before then?

Cinnamon Bowser: Absolutely none. I have always been a product junkie (love love love cosmetics) but had no desire to be in the industry... Had actually never really thought about what the beauty industry was all about.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! So, was it after your business idea that you went on to become a nail technician?

Cinnamon Bowser: I spent about two years learning all I could about nail care (subscribing to industry publications, befriending nail salon owners, getting my nails done, searching the web, etc.) before actually starting Nail Taxi. It was after we were doing business that I decided I should go to nail school. I wanted to be knowledgeable about what my technicians were doing and I figured if I ever needed an extra set of hands I could be that technician. Hands down it was one of my best business decisions yet.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s your opinion about your nail technology education? Do you feel it prepared you for where you are today or did you require additional education and training?

Cinnamon Bowser: Apparently, the nail industry has changed dramatically over the last ten to twenty years but all I really know about it is what I have learned in the last five years. The industry is now primarily dominated by the Vietnamese. I attended a Vietnamese nail school because I wanted to find out what they were teaching their students and I thought I would get a great education. Another good decision. My schooling was very complete in that it taught me how to do nail services. There was an emphasis on acrylic and gel nails and on being very efficient when working. We did not learn anything about customer service, owning and managing your own business and all that goes along with that.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s the most important thing you feel you learned in your nail education?

Cinnamon Bowser: One of the most important lessons taught in my school was that time is money. Learn how to be efficient and how to schedule clients so that you can maximize your client load. Ironically, Nail Taxi's services are close to twice the length of what you would receive in a salon you walk into in a strip mall somewhere. Our focus is wholly on the clients we are serving...not the next client.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How do you stay on top of the industry and what is new?

Cinnamon Bowser: Education -- no matter what the field -- must be continued. To stay abreast on what is happening in nail technology I read industry publications, blogs, the web and attend classes offered by manufacturers.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Let’s talk about your staff, what do you look for in a nail technician?

Cinnamon Bowser: Nail Taxi technicians must have sound character and understand the importance of customer service. They must present themselves well as they are going to people's homes and jobs -- into their private spaces -- and they represent me and my brand. I would chose a nail technician right out of school over a tech with 15 years of experience if she had the right attitude and spirit.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Nail programs and licensure requirements vary from state to state how does that affect your business as your grow and expand into other territories?

Cinnamon Bowser: The state laws dictate what services we can offer in each state. Some states allow no mobile services; others allow it if you are working out of a standing salon; others allow it only for homebound/sick clients; some states require you to have a mobile van that you provide service you really have to call each state and ask explicitly what they do and do not allow.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What advice do you have for the person who’s just entering school and about to embark on a beauty career in nail technology?

Cinnamon Bowser: Welcome to a fascinating field! This profession is about service...taking care of people's fingers and toes and teaching them how to do so. The polish is just a nice bonus.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Any closing words you’d like to leave the readers with?

Cinnamon Bowser: Nail Care alone is about a $7 billion dollar a year industry. I believe there are plenty of opportunities for all who want to enter the field and there are so many options available. I have big plans for Nail Taxi and am excited about our future!

For information on Nail Taxi services please visit their website. Nail techs interested in employment opportunities you can contact Also, be sure to follow her Twitter.

Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!

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Cooking with Kahlil - Celebrity Hairstylist Kahlil Oliver

So, I didn’t meet this Image Maker on Twitter. I know right, “what”?? Though I was turned on to him by Image Maker Sandy James as he hails from her agency Stilista Agency… seems that agency is running amuck with Beauty Supa Stars. LOL, and Kahlil Oliver is no exception as soon as Sandy sent his info and I saw his photos I was eager to reach out to him. Read the interview to find out how Kahlil went from doing hair in the kitchen to Hollywood, what he thinks it takes to stay on top and what a “typical” day in his shoes is like.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?

Kahlil: I’ve been doing hair for the last 13 years and found my way into the industry side of it about 6 years ago.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to be a hair stylist?

Kahlil: I first knew I wanted to be a hairstylist when I was about 15 years old with a full appointment book and no formal training. Quickly began to be the talk around town and I knew at that point I was an artist and hair was my clay.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Love that analogy of the artist and clay. So, other than cosmetology school have you had any additional training or education that you believe has helped you to stand out amongst the sea of other hairstylist?

Kahlil: I think being a great hairstylist or anything that you choose to be great at requires constant training in your craft. Staying on top of the latest trends is a must. So to answer the question I like to keep myself involved in cutting and coloring classes, latest weaving techniques and constantly keeping myself involved with editorial photo shoots to stay up on my creative skills.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! When did all of that begin got really pay off for you, when was your first big break and what was it?

Kahlil: My first big break was in 2005 when I was requested by a local makeup artist to join the crew as a hairstylist on the set of "The Salon" a film starring Vivica Fox, Monica Calhoun, Taral Hicks and many more.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I remember that movie, that’s a HUGE break! Kahlil, would you say that you have a niche, or is there anything particular that your clients or industry peers would say you're known for?

Kahlil: When it comes to hair I am very versatile in my craft. I am equally as good when it comes to white, black, long , short, classic or avant garde, so my niche would be great hair!

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s a typical working day like for you, if there is such a thing as typical for you?

Kahlil: A typical work day for me starts at about 10 in the morning with my first client. I usually do about 15 clients a day that gets me out of the salon around 8 or 9 pm. At any given day I can receive a phone call from my agent sending me anywhere from DC to NYC to do a photo shoot, red carpet event, video etc.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and hair stylists specifically?

Kahlil: That it’s all fabulous, fortune and fame. You really have to have a love for it. It is many long hours, very picky clients, very fast paced a lot of traveling, and working out of a suitcase, but it’s all worth it.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It seems that every up and coming makeup artist and hairstylists wants to work with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?

Kahlil: That the road is long and hard but if working with celebs is what your ultimate goal is, you should never give up. Success doesn’t happen over night.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you hire assistants, provide mentoring for young stylists or provide workshops or training?

Kahlil: I do hire assistants when needed and I am always willing to give a helping hand and words of encouragement to up and coming hairstylist.

Thanks Kahlil! For more information on Kahlil and to see more of his work visit his website or for booking information visit his agent’s website.

Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!

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Hair Makeup & Fashion Styling Career Guide ***Updated WARNING***

**Original Post Date: 4/29/09** Please scroll to the bottom of the post to read today's update.

Now in its 5th edition Crystal Wright’s Hair Makeup & Fashion Styling Career is undoubtedly the definitive industry reference source for every makeup artist and hair and fashion stylist. The Guide provides the inside scoop and what’s required to be a viable force in the industry. Industry newcomers as well as industry vets have made this guide the go-to book for all.

The Guide covers all the bases and in depth industry information on everything from building a kit to choosing a model and photographer for testing and compiling a portfolio of your work to landing your first gig.

Instructors across the globe recommend it as a MUST read. Many colleges including The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, F.I.D.M in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the International Academy of Design in Orlando, Florida, AIU and Bauder Colleges in Atlanta have adopted the Guide as the official textbook for their Fashion Styling curriculum,

In addition to the Guide there are also workshops, podcasts and DVD’s.

Preview the book:

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Getting Started
Chapter 2
Tools of the Trade
Chapter 3 Marketing Yourself
Chapter 4 Photographers
Chapter 5 Agencies
Chapter 7 Freelancing


After having heard so many great things over the past few years regarding this book, I went ahead and ordered it and over one month and two phone calls later I have yet to receive my book, and apparently mine is not an isolated incidence as I was informed yesterday by someone that they also ordered the book roughly a month ago and have yet to receive their copy.

Each time I phoned I was told that the book was going out "that day" the time I was told that I'd get a gift certificate to Crystal's class for my trouble and that someone would return my phone call to update me on the status of my order. Instead, I received notice via email from USPS that my package would ship soon. Well that was on the 16th. When I phoned the post office today to get clarification on the status of my package, I was told that a package was initiated on the shipper's end however no request had been been made for USPS to pick up that package nor had it been dropped off. Long story short, 39 days later I still don't have my book.

I'm definitely not interested in attending any classes and at this point no longer sure if I'm even interested in reading the book. I think a refund and the book is in order.

Expectation is everything, if I was told initially upon placing my order that it would take me over a month to receive my book, I wouldn't be updating this post, but to be told after having waited a month each time that I phoned that my book was on the way and for it not to have arrived and not phone call or email... is unacceptable.

If you're still interested in this book, I recommend to try finding a makeup artist supply store I was told that some on the east and west coast carry it.

Maybe Crystal should considering... offering the book as an E-book if distribution is a problem, just a thought.

There's also another alternative for makeup artists and hairstylists, Shortcuts by Diana Schmidtke. I absolutely loved this book, and I'm certain I'll defer to it for information through the remainder of my career. I ordered Diana's book on-line and it arrived in less than a week. It reads very well and Diana provides a lot of technical information as well as her experiences as an artist in the industry. You can read the full post on this book here.

Ciao for now... Class is dismissed

Crystal’s Twitter


With Kim It's Possible! - Editorial Makeup Artist Kim Weber

Should this post begin with I started following Kim Weber on Twitter yadda yadda? No? Okay so I met Kim Weber on Twitter LOL! While following her tweets -- her hard work, dedication and professionalism is what caught my attention, (also that early morning tweet about her shoot at MILK Studios had my talent radar honing in, also I LOVE that place!)

This Beautynista is up at the crack of dawn doing her thing as an artist as well as burning the midnight oil taking care of the business side of things. Kim is also very generous with makeup and industry advice so be sure to catch her twitter. I was so thrilled when Ms. Weber agreed to do this interview because I knew that she would not hold back and would give it all to the readers the good the bad and the ugly sides of the industry. Thankfully of course she did not disappoint! Be sure to read the entire interview to find out how Kim can spot a newbie and why she feels “assistant” can be a misleading term for artists looking to... well assist.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Kim, I appreciate you taking the time to answer some questions for the readers, I’ve seen some of your work. Amazing! Your bio states that you made a change from fashion design to makeup artist how did that come about?

Kim Weber: It's funny because growing up, I never thought that one could be a makeup artist; I never knew that it was a profession, per say… that one could make their livelihood from. I was so into fashion, that I hardly ever paid attention to anything else other than the clothes; In all honesty, it came about because I discovered the girls that did makeup in the dept. store where I was working part-time while attending university, made substantially more than the girls that folded clothes, lol...I knew that I could do it too and so I tried it and was good at it, but I've always been artistically inclined. When I was finished with university, I was working in the garment business and still doing makeup part time. I was having more fun and freedom doing it than I was designing. I slowly segued more and more into doing makeup, and since I can't be mediocre with anything that I do, I decided to go all the way with it.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Did your transition require any formal education?

Kim Weber: I never took any formal classes. Back when I got started, there weren't all of these classes or makeup schools unless you either wanted to become a special effects makeup artist or, attend beauty school where the course of study is always focused more on hair. Always being creative and being an artist of a different discipline made it easier for me to transition, I'm sure; I kind of fell right into it and never missed a beat; I guess you can say that I was kind of a natural.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you think being in the industry as a fashion designer first made it easier for you as a makeup artist?

Kim Weber: I will say yes, as I was already very familiar with textures, and drawing, and proportion but especially color theory. I used to correct overseas lab dips at one of my first fashion jobs in NY. It was always interesting trying to translate 10% warmer grey in a particular color and have all of the batches come out consistent via a fax translated into Chinese....

I became an expert at color and color theory. I can analyze a color and memorize it from looking at it just one time. I can pull it apart into its components and put it back together again. That's an ability that I put into play every day; I automatically know what is going to look good the moment that you put it on a person but also explain to them why. I also think that my former life as a designer helps when you are working in tandem with the rest of a creative team conceptualizing a look. A tell-tale sign of a beginner makeup artist is they don't really have any restraint. They want to put every product on every face. When you go about designing a clothing collection a fashion designer thinks of the overall look. I think I still think like a fashion designer in that sense; I can shift and say what part and how much of a part is this makeup look going to play in the overall scheme of things, especially if it’s a fashion story.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What was your first big gig as a makeup artist?

Kim Weber: My first gig as a makeup artist was in the early 90's for a now defunct makeup company...My first real gig outside of retail, I sadly, don't remember....:-(

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and makeup artists in general?

Kim Weber: Wow, this is a heavy question and also multifaceted... I would say the biggest misconceptions about this industry are that anybody can do it. Contrary to popular belief and reality television, I don't believe this to be true. I am going to go on record here and say that I do not think that any and everybody can do this. Many people forget that being a makeup artist is part of the service industry albeit an intimate one. You are there to service the client, doesn't matter if it’s for a wedding, or for a photo shoot, or for a character. I think that everyone thinks that it’s easier than it is, and that you make a ton of money at entry level. This also, is not the case. The majority of people will not have all of the ingredients that it takes to make it a successful, lifetime career. The majority of people will also not become rich or, household names. If you are entering this business with that thinking, you are already starting off on the wrong foot. It takes a lot of passion and hard work and business savvy to make it a go; specially if you are working as a freelancer and not for a company. If you want stability, then, sadly, this is not the business for you. I think that newer people coming on don't understand that this is very much a business and one has to be equal parts business person, and equal parts artist. There's always a bridge between art and commerce. You have to come with, and understand both.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s a typical working day like for you, when you’re on a shoot?

Kim Weber: I come in, claim table space, and then make a beeline for the craft services table for coffee and all the vegetarian options, lol (Just kidding). I usually arrive early enough as to where I'm the first person on set. I like to take this alone time in the studio, even if it’s just a few minutes by myself, to 'breathe in' or take in the space. It helps me to get into the mindset. As people come in, I either introduce myself to everyone or reconnect with the team if I haven't seen them in a while. Then I settle down for a quick informal pow-wow with the client and the rest of the team so that we are sure that were on the same page. This is particularly essential, as nowadays, most times in person pre-production meetings are a thing of the past…When setting up, I always ask my station mate, which is usually the hairstylist, if they have a preference of side that they like to work on. If I am sharing space, I never set up my station until the other person is there. I look at it as a sign of consideration and respect; kind of like not eating your food in a restaurant until everyone in your party has been served.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It seems that every up and coming makeup and hairstylist wants to work in fashion or with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry?

Kim Weber: I'm always amazed at how so many people put more research into where they are going to attend university, or what kind of car they are going to buy, but go about entering this business kind of half swinging the bat...When working with celebs, keep your mouth shut and don't pass on whatever gossip you may hear and leave your ego at the door. One should be able to work quick as time is always limited on a celeb set. Don't speak unless you are spoken to as not everyone is big on talking. (It's kind of like having a manicure performed in peace) Some like to talk and converse, others, like you to be quiet and barely make your presence known. Communication skills become even more important when working with celebrities as most times, you are dealing with their manager, PR person, both or a multitude of other people that the celebrity employs... Keep in mind, that not everyone is cut out to work with celebs. Some people don't have the people skills to handle it.

In general, and not so celebrity specific: Learn your craft and learn it well. NEVER undercut your competition, that will only backfire on you, and eventually affect the industry at large. NEVER take a job, no matter how flattering it may sound, when you cannot perform all of its duties 100% or are not fully competent. Be confident, quick and efficient. Alot about being a makeup artist is knowing as much about restraint and when to use it, as it is about piling it all on. This business is smaller than people realize, especially in the big markets like LA and NYC. Like anything, word travels fast when your good, but faster when you are not and many a reputation have easily been tarnished before the artist has even filled the pages in their first book. Know your strengths and what sets you apart and exploit them to the best of your ability. I have worked in nearly facet of this business as a makeup artist exposing myself to every kind of genre of makeup before I decided to settle down and concentrate on being an artist almost exclusive to the print world. Find out what you like, what you don't like and keep an open mind when just starting out. Some people love to do weddings or the pageant circuit, some love working in the theatre while others are cut out for video and television work. They are not one in the same, and alot of people don't transition well between them. I am not saying be a jack of all trades master of none, but to dabble a bit in different facets of the biz before you settle down and make a concrete decision...another reason why taking on an apprenticeship underneath a senior artist is so valuable and important.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you hire assistants, provide mentoring or host any workshops or training?

Kim Weber: If I can take this time to give a different spin on that, I actually prefer to use the term, interns, or apprentices; Somewhere along the line, I think with a lot of hobbyists entering the business understand or decipher the term assistant to mean something different than it did in the days when I was coming along. Many people consider the term assistant to mean that they are the key artists' equal and just helping them out and this is not the case. When you apprentice under an artist or tradesman of any kind, it is to learn, practice and perfect the craft without assuming any of the risk UNDERNEATH someone who has proven themselves as a key. I like to compare it with the hierarchy that exists in the martial arts world....But, before I stray, to answer your initial question; I can count the number of times a year that I use an intern; even less, a paid intern. I don't normally use interns unless I'm keying a show or doing an advertising gig with multiple models/talent, I find that many newer people to the business are not as receptive to workshops and training as they should be, I actually run workshops for sr. citizen centers and the like that more than I do to actual artists. I like to work with 'real' people whenever I get the chance....

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Kim, before we wrap up, what’s next for you? Is there anything that you can share with the readers?

Kim Weber: I have several projects that I have either just completed, or are about to embark upon; none of which I can really share until they are out. It's always like that as working primarily in fashion and beauty; I'm always working at least 6-9 months ahead of the curve and cannot disclose projects until they are out for viewing by the masses.

So there you have it readers you'll just have to stay tuned to find out what Kim is up to next you can do this by view her website, checking out her blog or by following her Twitter.

Ciao for now…class is dismissed!

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Lady Ja'Ya - This Week's Rising Star **Updated**

I started writing this blog and doing the Image Maker posts as a medium to inspire others in the beauty, fashion, and grooming industry. I felt it was important for industry new comers to have the opportunity to hear the stories behind the talent that’s responsible for the images that we celebrate on the editorial pages, print ads and runways as well as in the music videos. Each and every Image Maker story is unique, however the underlying message is the same, each star rises at its own pace and in it’s own time, and that they’ve put in the w-o-r-k to get to where they are today, there are no over night successes here.

Just as important as it is to celebrate and hear the stories of those that have “made” it, I thought it would be űber inspiring to hear from those that are blazing the trail and are on their way to their own creative destinies, so I created the “Rising Star” for all the barbers, makeup artist and stylists both hair and fashion that are out there hustling everyday to solidify their places amongst the Image Makers.

My first Rising Star is more than deserving of the designation and I’m so proud to give the Rising Star inaugural post to Ja’Ya. Lady Ja’Ya is probably one of the hardest working ladies I know on Twitter (yes Twitter, so sue me! LOL) Ja’Ya beats faces from day to night. Some weekends she goes from early morning photo shoots, to weddings and then from weddings to late night fashion shows, where not only does she do the makeup but works the runway too! Some days I’m exhausted just by reading about what she’s up to next. So, keep reading to find out what inspires her and where you’ll find Ms. Ja’Ya in five years because I’m convinced that she’ll be exactly wherever it is she wants to be!

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?

Ja’Ya: 5 years

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to be a makeup artist?

Ja’Ya: When I was 15, I used to watch my mom and my aunt do their makeup and would ask a wholeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee lot of questions! Lol. A lot of my techniques I use today I got from watching my mom. I used to model as well and I would love how the MAC artists would dress and beat my face backstage, I was like THAT’S what I want do!

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What inspires your work?

Ja’Ya: I’m inspired by positive energy and confident people.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Who are some of your favorite makeup artists?

Ja’Ya: Kevyn Aucoin he was the king of Blending to me, Miss Bianca A. (Director of makeup artistry for MAC) She’s the queen of skin, and Mr. Marcus Miller, the king of eyes.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What celebrity would you most like to work with?

Ja’Ya: Ooooooh I would so love to work with Janet Jackson, She’s such a natural beauty I would beat her face into tomorrow : ).

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What types of projects are you working on now?

Ja’Ya: I'm the lead Artist for Colored Pixel Photos. I also run my own makeup Business Prissy Chick Faces. Also, I will be working with some up and coming R&B artist and a local record label.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Nice! You’re a busy lady doing big things. Where do you see yourself in this industry in say 3-5 years?

Ja’Ya: In NY beating faces for everyone who's someone. I’d also like to still weddings. I love doing weddings so much! : )

To see more of Ja’Ya’s work visit her site and be certain to follow her twitter.

**Update** Our Rising Star did makeup for her first music video!

Ciao for now…Class is dismissed!

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Taper That! - Interview with Master Barber Craig Logan

I came across Barbers Only Magazine after doing a search for “Master Barber”, I’d been doing some research on barber’s education and licensure requirements for myself and frequently I’d see the term “Master Barber” instinctively I thought a barber at the top of his game… sounded logical, my next thought was I need to find one and interview him (or her) for this blog. Not only did I find one that’s at the top of his game, but one that wants to help you be at the top of yours as well. Craig Logan aka “Mr. Taper” is THAT barber and founder of Barbers Only Magazine. Check the interview to find out what it takes to become a Master Barber and how you can command a hundred dollar haircut!

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! According to your website Barber’s Only Magazine has been around since 2002 what lead to its creation?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: After many years in the business, I felt there was need for a publication which targeted the barbering community.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What is the magazine’s mission?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: Our main mission is to be a source of pertinent information for hair professionals and future hair professionals.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! How long have you been a barber?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: I have been a professional barber for 20 years.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! I know you’re a Master Barber so please explain to our readers what the “Master Barber” designation means.

Craig “Mr. Taper”: A master barber; unlike a regular barber, is someone who has achieved the necessary training, certification and/or licensing which categorizes them at the highest level of the barbering profession.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What is your view on learning Barbering through apprenticeship versus formal education?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: A barber who receives training as an apprentice or formal training should receive equal tonsorial education. However, in my experience, most barbers who learn through apprentice training seem to acquire more knowledge in a shorter period of time.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Not all states have an official “barber’s education” therefore to become a barber in some states one must complete the entire cosmetology program, what are your feelings or views on that?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: I feel that barbers who learn through their state’s cosmetology program are faced with a definite disadvantage as a future barber but are blessed with an advantage in becoming future cosmetologists. Unfortunately, most barbers I have met who have trained under cosmetology programs have had to receive additional training from barbers; either directly through school or indirectly while working in a shop.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Would you like to see the industry standardized?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: I feel that all the states should practice the same hourly requirements. I would definitely support standardizing the curriculum in the U.S. This would probably never happen due to the financial support various states receive from the cosmetology and barbering programs in their respective states.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! So I’ve seen your show schedule, you’re busy and on the move throughout the year doing trade shows, why is the trade show circuit so important to you?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: Trade shows are important to B.O.M. because it allows us to meet our readers and connect with the industry on a personal level. It also helps us as master barbers further our education level.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! You teach a workshop called the “$100.00 Haircut”. When most people think of a barber we don’t think $100.00 haircut. Tell us about that workshop and what lead to its development.

Craig “Mr. Taper”: The $100 haircut is a class designed to show barbers how to increase their ticket sales by offering additional services to their clients. I formed the class after meeting barbers throughout the country who were consistently making more cash than their counterparts. After talking to different barbers, in different regions, I realized they all practiced certain techniques which allowed them to charge their clients VIP prices. I knew this info would be interesting to barbers.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! You have a weekly radio show where you give some important information on barbering, education and “shop success” tell our readers a little bit about your weekly radio show and when and where to tune in.

Craig “Mr. Taper”: Our radio show "Barbers Only Magazine" is a show that features live interviews and/or relevant info about the barbering world and its community. You can check us out Tuesdays at 2pm (eastern time) or 10pm (eastern time); the times fluctuate.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! One last question before I go the readers would have my head if I didn’t ask, how did you get the name “Mr. Taper”?

Craig “Mr. Taper”: When I was in college, I was asked to cut a guy's hair from Philly. The guy was real popular and he heard I was good. In Philly, a "taper" is another word for "fade". I had never heard that terminology before. Anyway, the Philly guy says, "Can you cut a taper?" I looked at him crazy; trying to figure out what the hell was a taper. He looks at my puzzled face and says, "Hell no, you ain’t cutting my head if you can't do a taper!" Everyone in the dorm is laughing so I say, "Are you crazy, I'm *Mr. Taper!*" The rest is history...

For more information on Mr. Logan and Barbers Only Magazine visit the website and be sure to follow his twitter and listen to the show!

Ciao for now...Class is dismissed!

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The Brazilian Peel

Thanks to --- Television Beauty Expert Jennifer Walsh, I’ve been using the Brazilian Peel for about a month now and I absolutely LOVE it! My skin tends to be oilier in the summer yet at the same time it can be dehydrated -- not a good combination. The Brazilian Peel took care of the congestion in my skin (the little milia) as well as the flakiness and dryness. My skin feels firmer and tighter, it’s also more radiant and vibrant looking. I could feel the difference after the first treatment!

So what’s my point and why am I writing about this product on this blog? Well as a Bridal Makeup artist I cannot count the number of times that a bride has shown up for her trial and her skin was an absolute disaster. With less than one month before the wedding there is rarely enough time to get the bride on a skincare regimen that would have any significant results in that short window of time. Enter the Brazilian Peel! If you’re a makeup artist that retails this would be an ideal product to use to up-sell your client. Or, if you’re a makeup artist, who like me happens to be an aesthetician you can even give your client the Brazilian Peel in salon and sell the take home products.

For more information on the Brazilian Peel visit their website.

Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!

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She's One of a Kind - Celebrity Makeup Artist Unique London

This week’s Image Maker is Ms. Unique London. I first heard of Unique London a couple of years ago, and later on learned through the grapevine that she’s THE makeup over at BET, but it wasn’t until I saw her on BET’s Spring Bling Hair & Makeup Show that I knew I had to interview her.

I LOVED her personality and her energy, so of course I did what? You got it! Logged on to Twitter to see if she had one and… yes there she was, I immediately sent her a Tweet requesting an interview. She obliged. Unique is an absolute sweet heart and funny as heck (be sure to check out some of her YouTube videos. This industry veteran had paid her dues, yet she continues to give back to the community. I have to say that this is by far the most candid of my interviews. Ms. London went "there" and you’ll be glad she did. Unique spills on her unconventional launch into the world of makeup artistry, what a day in her shoes is really like and what you absolutely need to have in order to work with celebrities.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?

Unique: It has been 16 years as a professional makeup artist and loving every minute of it.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to be a groomer? I say groomer because I realize your expertise extends far beyond makeup artistry, or what do you prefer to be called or classified as?

Unique: I like to call myself a makeup stylist and guru, I love faces, skin, color, people and makeup, I love beauty, I love art!

I started my makeup career in 1993, at costume shop in the village in NYC called Abracadabra after being laid off from a Wall Street position, I fell in love with Theatrical and Special Effects Makeup first and started assisting at MTV with the help of a fab Makeup Artist Ana Triani and being a Candy Striper at Lenox Hospital beautifying the sick. Then that's all she wrote I knew this was my calling!!!

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! That’s an awesome start! Did you receive any formal education after that?

Unique: Actually I am self taught, through reading tons of books on makeup application and color theory, any and everything about makeup and by practicing on anyone that would let me! Later on I went to FIT to take image consulting classes and some MAC classes.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and makeup artists specifically?

Unique: That we are magicians!

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! LOL! So, was MTV your first big break?

No, actually shortly before my MTV break I assisted a fab makeup artist Euphema on a Music Video "Why I Love U So Much" with Monica and Treach, it was a great experience and a super long day. They had us stranded on the Staten Island Ferry for 24 hours, but of course you don’t get paid for all those hours. That’s when I learned the business side quickly.

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Wow 24 hours is a long time! Tell me Unique, what’s a typical working day like for you, if there is such thing as typical in your world.

Unique: Everyday, I repeat everyday is unpredictable sometimes you’re like a doctor on call. It is a hurry up and wait situation, at BET I may work on three shows, plus celebrities that will be thrown in at the last minute, then I may have to run and do the CEO Debra Lee for an important event and still have to get back to 106 and Park. Normally I have half hour per person to make it work or sometimes even only 15 minutes. Some days are light. I also do speaking engagements for nonprofit programs, high schools and doing makeup workshops. Then at the end of the day I still have to go home and take care of my household, and cook for my son. My day is hectic! I am running on constant adrenalin! Love it!!

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Wow, Unique I’m out of breath just thinking about all of that! It's great that you shed light on how grueling your days can be. It seems as though every up and coming makeup and hairstylist wants to work with celebrities, and I’m sure they don’t imagine days like the one that you just described as most only think about the glitz glam and fame. So, what advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?

Unique: Be ready to give part of your life, because they can be a lot, you have to have patience and never have a bad day, you need to be there and at their beck and call. You have to be prepared to give them want they want plus more.

Don't take things personal, celebrities are finicky it is a rare that you get a celebrity that you click with and create a look that everyone is buzzing about. Though once you are able to create that buzz that celebrity will keep you around. Most of the time celebs or their reps hire the most talked about makeup artist. I always say be patient your time will come.

I had no idea I would be doing celebrities, I just wanted to do makeup. Please don't ever forget that the everyday woman is the celebrity too. Being a makeup artist in the industry is becoming difficult , because the celebrities are cutting corners and budgets, because people are not buying music, going to movies as much or buying their products, so it trickles down to us, (makeup artists) and we are not get paid as much. Or, celebs take your skills and do it themselves. Did you know Beyoncé saves a lot of money by doing her makeup herself while she is touring?

BEAUTY SCHOOLED! That’s an awesome reality check, I bet those are things most up and coming makeup artists haven’t considered. You mentioned earlier that you do workshops can you tell our readers about that and also do you hire assistants and do any mentoring?

Unique: Yes, I have an internship program for selected people, currently I am putting together workshops at the Tina Pearson Salon in NYC. I have a foundation called BNU Foundation, where I speak to high school students about careers in the entertainment industry.

For more information on Unique London visit her website, or contact her directly by email at for internships, training and workshop information. Also, be sure to follow her twitter.

Ciao for now... Class is dismissed!

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Interview with Celebrity Barber - Johnny Cake

There’s generally a funny story behind how I come about my interviews and this one is no exception. I’ve wanted to interview some barbers for the blog for quite some time, because barbers are also a very huge and integral part of the beauty/grooming industry. So, I started my barber search in my favorite place (Twitter), and after a few moments I came across a barber with the Twitter name “StayCaked”. For those unfamiliar with the term it means: always getting acquiring or having money…money being the cake.

Thinking to myself, this ought to be interesting I hit the “follow” button. Low and behold what do you know, on the second night of my “StayCaked” stakeout, I discovered that “our barber” still only known at this time as “StayCaked” (I was tweeting from my BlackBerry and hadn’t had the chance to investigate his Twitter page) was on the set of a music video somewhere in New York or New Jersey. Strangely enough celebrity stylist June Ambrose was also on the set of a music video that night. Could it be a coincidence? Possibly, but not likely. Everyone in the industry knows that Jay-Z, Hov, Jigga, Beyonce’s husband whatever you choose to call him is a client of June Ambrose. Was it possible that Jay-Z was also a client of “StayCaked”? It took all night and into very early the next morning to put it together (as I drifted in and out of sleep checking my Twitter on my BlackBerry) that yes they both were on the same video shoot, and yes Jay-Z was the client. There was just one problem with that little discovery though… when was the last time Jay-Z had had a haircut?? I mean the man was on his way to growing locs and if he had gotten a hair cut - why’d he need a barber on set? It wasn’t like his fade was going to grow out between takes. Hmm.

So I sent “StayCaked” a couple of tweets:

From: BeautySchooled To: StayCaked why would Hov need a barber on set of his video unless…
From: BeautySchooled To: StayCaked the haircut’s in the video...
From: StayCaked To: BeautySchooled Very smart!

Just like that, mystery solved! If this beauty thing doesn’t work out I could always become a PI…

Anyways that’s my long winded story as to how I landed my interview with who I later came to now as Johnny Castellanos aka Johnny Cake who’s on his way to being (if he’s not already) the most famous barber in the country. You know there’s Obama’s barber then there’s Jay-Z’s barber. LOL

Johnny Cake may be the exclusive barber for Jay-Z and Pharrell but when he’s not globe-trotting to meet up with either of them, there’s no shortage of celebrities that run through his New Jersey barber shop including Joe Budden, Fabolous, George Wrighster and Charlie Murphy to name just a few… Check the interview as I got Johnny Cake to dish on everything from how he got that name, to what he thinks about women barbers and what it really takes to work with celebrities.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How long have you been cutting hair?

Johnny Cake: I’ve been cutting since I was 15 years old and I’m now 31.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to become a barber?

Johnny Cake: It was funny because my grandfather is a barber and at the time he had a barbershop in NYC, but I started on my own at my friends basement playing around and I liked it. Then I would always cut friends in my bathroom, but never took it seriously until I dropped out of high school. One day at a family BBQ my father asked my grandfather if he could give me a job at his shop... but I of course was nervous to go "public"... lol But it was for the best because he was the one who taught me how to use the scissors and the razor.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! You own a barber shop right? It’s actually called The Shop? Where is it?

Johnny Cake: Yes, The Shop is located in Englewood N.J

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How did you get into cutting celebrities? What was your first big break?

Johnny Cake: My friend Rob a.k.a Stoggie used to work for Roc a Fella Records and through him I had the opportunity to cut Damon Dash and then Jay Z etc…

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Other than being known as Johnny Cake the barber that gets "cake" would you say that you have a niche, or is there anything particular that your clients or industry peers would say you're known for?

Johnny Cake: Besides an excellent barber? I think for being a very ambitious straight up honest, family guy. That and that my clipper Game is Craazzy! Lol

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s a typical working day like for you, if there is such thing as typical for you?

Johnny Cake: Definitely no such thing as a typical day for me. If I'm not at The Shop, I'm at a photo or video shoot, or doing a hou$e run , or out of town meeting up with Pharrell or Jay Z, where ever they may be at the time. So... it varies for me. Though I'm all over the place... I don’t forget to make time for the family.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I was following your tweets from the set of D.O.A. how many hours were you on set?

Johnny Cake: Well anyone that has worked on a video set before knows a video usually takes at least 2 days to film and they're 12 hour days. However, D.O.A was shoot in one long day, we started filming at 10 a.m. and didn't finish until 4:45a.m. the next morning so you do the math!!

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Is it common that you’re called to a set of a music video?
Johnny Cake: Yes, photo and video shoots very common, ask about me !

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! So you’re “that” barber! Nice!! How do you manage to balance it all?

Johnny Cake: I have a system were all my clients know to schedule with me a day before, no matter who it is Pharrell, Jay Z. Hahaa! now you know I'm just kidding excluding them.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Well of course I'm sure, we all have those clients where we just have to make it happen for. Let’s switch gears for a minute and discuss the industry. I'm sure you know there’s a stigma about barbers and barbershops, what would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and barbers specifically?

Johnny Cake: I would say the reason for some of the misconceptions is that some barbers treat the barber shop game as a hobby and not as the business that it is. They could get really far if they took the game seriously. From the public view point I would say the biggest misconception is that cutting is not a "real job" and that we don’t follow the status-quo; but the reality is it’s just like any other business or job except that we get to have a lot more input into what we do and we get to be creative

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How do you feel about women barbers, do you feel they are equally embraced in the business?

Johnny Cake: I haven't had the chance to know many female barbers but, I think if they have the skills and the right attitude they would not have a problem making it. In this industry skills and how you approach people go far beyond your racial background and or gender. That’s the beauty of the barbershop game.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It seems that every up and coming barber wants to work with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?

Johnny Cake: Be consistent. The effort and work you put in will get you noticed, but when you're put in front of the plate, you’ve gotta step up, because this business is all about word of mouth!! Take your time and be sharp pay attention to detail. The Celebs will come after…God Willing!

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! So what’s next for you? Are there any projects in the works that you can share with the readers?

Johnny Cake: I'm working on putting together a pilot for a Reality show idea I have right now.

BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I can’t possibly end this interview without asking where you got “Cake” from, how did you get to become Johnny Cake?

Johnny Cake: Dame Dash gave me the nickname Johnny(Cake) I liked the ring to it, so I ran with it.

To learn more about Johnny’s barber shop The Shop click here. To find out what video set Johnny Cake’s on next follow his twitter @staycaked.

Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!

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