The London Beauty Training Academy (LBTA) is the ideal choice for those looking to begin a career in the beauty industry, or anyone looking to develop their existing skills.
With state of the art equipment and highly qualified and experienced tutors, the Academy’s flexible ITEC accredited courses and learning programmes are available across evenings, weekdays and weekends.
Celebrity hair and make up artist Christina Flach has worked with Miley Cyrus, Hilary Swank and Renee Zellweger, plus publications such as Elle, Forbes and the New York Times. She has also worked with premium fashion houses Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani.
Founder of Pretty Girl Make Up, she has experience in high fashion and commercial advertising. She is much in demand for weddings and beauty shoots.
How did you start out as a makeup artist?
Early on I was the friend that everyone went to when they had a prom, event or wedding. I had a genuine passion for make up and hair. When I was young, my mum had brain cancer so when she was feeling rotten after chemo I wanted to make her feel better and I did so by tending to her hair and make up to make her feel beautiful.
What were the challenges you faced when starting?
My biggest challenge was establishing pricing with people. Over time a lot of friends would want me to do events for free and I had to put my foot down so that I could turn my passion into a profitable business.
Why did you choose to start in the industry?
Being a makeup artist was the perfect job for me whilst raising 5 kids. I was able to be at home and it gave me the creative outlet I needed to be a happy mum, wife and friend. It’s a gruelling industry but I’ve always worked hard to make a name for myself in it.
At what part in your studies/career did you decide you wanted to be your own boss and become a freelance beauty therapist?
I started my own company because I know make up inside and out and I knew I could make long-lasting products that people would love. I’ve always been a self-motivated person so it’s not hard for me to stay on top of myself to get things done. I love transforming people and making them feel good about themselves.
Where did you start building your clientele as a makeup artist?
I started my client base in the San Francisco Bay Area. I also have clients in Cabo where I travel to often to do photoshoots. I’d say those are my two main places of work for sure.
How have you carved a niche out for yourself? How do you keep ahead of the competition?
My niche is that I don’t believe you need a million colour options to make your face look beautiful. There are neutral, basic colours that I use time and time again. My make up range Pretty Girl was originally made so to enhance natural beauty, not cover it up.
I stay ahead of the competition because I make myself personable in my business. I ship out all orders myself and speak with customers frequently. I am also very good at dealing with difficult people and stressful situations. I treat each of my clients like I want to be treated. I also do airbrushing which is an important and rare skill.
What advice do you have for those just starting in freelance beauty careers and entrepreneurship? Do people need a portfolio? What’s going to make someone stand out from the crowd?
My best advice is to do as many faces as you can, as practice makes perfect. You need 10,000 hours to be an expert so I wouldn’t turn down a face even if I am not getting paid.
A portfolio is very important and you need very high res. images of your work. I still try to keep my portfolio fresh and it also allows me to be creative which I love.
If you want to be asked back to a job, go the extra mile. I have aromatherapy oils in my kit, tea and EMERGENCY C packets for my clients that are not feeling well. I will also help anyone on set that needs it, even if it’s not my job because it’s a team effort.
I also try not to bring my personal problems to the set. A smile goes a long way and a frown and negative attitude is not going to impress or bring you to your goals. I love being on set, as the energy and the end result of creating something beautiful is very addictive.
Alice has a keen interest in beauty courses and enjoys educating people on the great courses at LBTA.