by Holly James

I get a lot of frequently asked questions about my most popular posts and videos and general makeup questions, and even some about me, so I thought I’d put them all together in one place for you!

  • When a brand is “cruelty-free” it means that the company you’re buying from makes their products without any animal testing during any stage of the development of that product.  This also includes the ingredients (including those from other suppliers) used to formulate their products.
    A lot of brands mask the full truth about their products by using tricky legalese such as
    “finished products are not tested on animals”
    “tested only when required by law”
    In addition, certain brands which appear to be inspired by “nature” or have organic ingredients do not mean the products are cruelty-free. For a long time I assumed Aveeno was cruelty-free– they aren’t.
    At this point in our development in both society and in science… it is absolutely unnecessary to test the safety of cosmetic ingredients on animals. There is a plethora of drugstore and professional makeup brands who find alternatives for testing for cosmetic approval (such as In Vitro testing) and therefore are cruelty-free. That’s why it’s so important here on Beautynewbie.com to focus on those brands and what they have to offer, despite what “new and exciting” product Covergirl, Maybelline, Lancome etc. come out with. Support the brands with ethics. The ones without will eventually see they’re missing out on hundreds of thousands of potential customers!

  • I went to Vancouver Film School in Vancouver, BC Canada. The tuition when I went was about $29,750. It is an extensive full-time 1 year program that teaches prosthetics, wigs, hair, and all facets of makeup for film and television and tuition covered my kit and supplies. Though it is extremely expensive, it’s training is superior to many schools I researched before applying especially since I wanted to be a movie makeup artist. If you want to go into fashion work, or bridal work you can find many other schools that will provide you with the training you need for much less.

  • I am a product-holic. I buy makeup from everywhere, though I do have some fave brands I frequent regularly. For my professional kit, I try to stick to higher end brands but keep a variety going. Some brands I’m loving are Face Atelier, Kett Cosmetics, Tarte, Urban Decay, Ben Nye, Kryolan, Lise Watier, The Body Shop, NYX and even some Elf. Though I’m always trying new brands I try to keep my kit as cruelty-free as possible. I still have a lot of MAC product in my kit since they changed their cruelty-free status in 2012. As I replace items in my kit I am choosing cruelty-free alternatives. Pretty soon my kit will be 100% cruelty-free!

  •  I’ve gone through a LOT of cameras since starting Youtube! As of January 2014 I use a 70D Canon DSLR with either a 50 1.4 Prime Lens or my kit lens. Up until Dec. 2013 I used a Sony HD Handycam, HDR-CX190. Previous to that, I used a Samsung digital camcorder.

  • I bought a fairly inexpensive lighting set up from Amazon that has natural daylight bulbs. It was a three piece, and from a Canadian studio, but there are many others from companies like Cowboy Studio you can buy from the American Amazon site. It includes two umbrella stands with 2 bulbs each and one small backlight stand.

  • My video, “Everything You Need to Know About Pressing Pigments” has become quite popular with you DIY’ers and though I no longer practice making my own mineral makeup, I learned everything I know from the TKB forum from Tkbtrading.com. Though that forum seems to no longer be in existence, they do have a youtube channel that features some tutorials and you can find some of their recipes on their website. Although it really sucks that their forum is no longer active at the moment, you can also check out MakeupTalk’s Mineral Makeup Forum for some really helpful information on ingredients and binders etc. If you’re a geek like me and want to learn all the ins-and-outs of cosmetic ingredients. Susan has got to be the GURU of ingredients and has tons of articles that are helpful on her site. 

  •  I am a Youtube partner which means I receive a small income from advertisements on my videos, but it’s definitely not enough (yet!) to support me. Maybe one day, haha! For now, I earn what I can online from my blogging through affiliates and the partnership program on Youtube but I work as a freelancer the rest of the time.

  •  Yes, I do freelance as a makeup artist, though in the last year I’ve expanded my career into other avenues, so I practice as a MUA part-time. I freelance my work as a makeup artist for select clients and the rest of the time I pursue business and other artistic fields, like photography, web/graphic design and one-on-one coaching. Teaching is probably one of my favorite things in the world, so I always find ways to incorporate all of my skills (including makeup) into my work with clients.  My work experience as a makeup artist has been in bridal,  set/studio/on-location for film/TV I also have had some experience working (rather, apprenticing) in an FX lab. I don’t work for an agency and am currently not part of a union. If you’re interested in my portfolio, you can check out some of my recent works here.

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