18 Jan Life After HDC: Amanda Nahas
Amanda Nahas is a 26 year old freelance Makeup Artist who graduated from the HDC in 2018. Read about her experience with us and how her career is going!
When did you decide that you wanted to get into makeup artistry?
It felt like a long time coming; I’ve always been passionate about beauty products, fashion and overall styling but when it came time to further my education, I took the “safe” route. I graduated from St. Mary’s University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Commerce and quickly discovered there wasn’t anything in Halifax that really sparked my interest. I finally decided to dive into makeup in 2018, after nine years of watching my mom work her magic on clients from her in-home studio. Witnessing her make someone’s day, both young and old made me realize that makeup artistry is far more than just applying cosmetic products. It transforms the way a person feels!
What made you choose the HDC?
Deciding on HDC was a no-brainer. It’s a 15-week program where they make every day count. You gain hands on experience with your very own high-end makeup kit. This is any aspiring makeup artist’s dream come true, especially knowing I’d have the opportunity to learn from some of the best mentors and educators in the game. I knew when I applied that one of the instructors was Elle Munster, who is a Makeup Artist I’ve always admired and respected, so I thought, what better time, place and mentor?
What were the best & the most challenging parts of your education?
The final project shot by Brent McCombs of Alter Ego Photography was both the best and the most challenging! Even beyond my education, it was one of the greatest and most valuable experiences to work in that setting and watch our visions come to life. There is no better way to wrap up a program and graduate than with this kind of fast-paced experience and confidence.
How are you enjoying your current role?
I love it and look forward to what the future holds. Having the ability to make people feel like the best version of themselves is the most rewarding feeling and working for yourself has its perks too.
What would you say is the most important thing you learned from the HDC programs?
The opportunities are endless and makeup artistry goes much deeper than talent and creativity. Professionalism and cleanliness are something you can never practice enough, and you can always advance in your career by perfecting your craft. Working on collaborative shoots or attending master classes are priceless; we all have different ways of doing things!
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about getting into makeup artistry?
I highly recommend pursuing a formal education in makeup artistry so you truly understand the science behind makeup, proper techniques, facial anatomy/proportions and the importance of proper cleanliness. Think long term and stay up to date on the trends and the latest products, as well as different techniques. Network so you have a team of creatives to work with and never stop inspiring or being inspired. Don’t be afraid to do something different and ask questions. Even when you think you know it all, there are different ways of doing things and you can never stop learning. There’s plenty of room in the industry for everyone to be incredible artists and offer their unique perspective (art). Lastly, you can never be too prepared for a situation or job!
Where do you work from mostly?
From home or mobile (on location). My plan is to eventually have a studio space.
Was there any hesitation or nervousness on your part about pursuing a career in makeup?
Definitely. My mom, Vicky Mina, is a well-known freelance MUA here in Halifax and I never wanted to feel like I was living in her shadow. But with each year I try harder to stay true to my passions, especially if that means taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone. That’s the only way you grow and have great things happen.
What memories do you have of our makeup program?
So much knowledge, both hands-on and textbook theory. But most importantly, a ton of laughter and gaining a new perspective. The dynamic in our classroom felt very special; we were all different ages (from 18-44 to be exact), in various stages of life but all passionate about the same art. Oh and the amazing times we had when various professionals came in to teach us the ropes. We got to meet Rouge Fatale during a live drag demo and Marc Deveault showed us the best of the best in Special FX!
What’s your favourite thing about makeup?
The ability to enhance one’s facial features while expressing their individual sense of style. Every person can have a distinct look and every day can be different.
If you could be anywhere, doing anything, where would it be?
Can I be the female Mario Dedivanovic?
When you aren’t doing makeup, you’re. . .?
Chasing my toddler, juggling my newborn, singing, blogging, craving vacations and planning family adventures. I was actually pregnant with my youngest throughout my time at HDC.
Upcoming trends you’d like or want to try?
Balmy skin, pastel eyes, electric eyeliner, bold-foil/metallic or glitter lips and fluffy eyebrows.
Where do you get your inspo?
Red carpet events, Instagram, sometimes Youtube and my mom.
Do you have an Instagram strategy?
My Instagram is currently a combination of beauty, lifestyle, and overall style posts in correspondence to my blog, www.messonmyvanity.com . When you work as a freelance makeup artist, you really are your own brand, so my overall strategy is to market myself in the truest, most relatable way. When you see someone’s face, sense of style, work and favorite products, you get a better sense of who someone is and the work they produce. I’ve built a lot of meaningful relationships on the platform and believe my authenticity is what makes people trust my taste to make them look the way they want, or what they’d consider their best.
What are the 3 most important skills you need to do your job?
An upbeat personality, creativity and communication to understand/deliver your client’s needs. If I could add a fourth, I’d say a basic knowledge of skincare and different skin types. This is especially important after a bridal consultation and before the big day to better understand their skin. A proper skincare regimen helps to achieve flawless makeup application and appropriate products ensure longer wear.
Your mantra is ?
Look good, feel good, do good.
How do you find most people come to the decision to change careers and work the beauty industry?
A lot of us are lacking fulfillment in our more rigid lines of work. Makeup artistry and the beauty industry in general is all about creativity, looking and feeling your best. It’s all so much fun and creating a look to tie everything together makes our hearts happy.
Follow Amanda on Instagram @messonmyvanity
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