While I was writing this post, I listened to What I Like About You by Jonas Blue ft. Theresa Rex. Try it !
That\’s it. Today\’s a stepping stone. Innit ?
I\’ve officially been working at the M.A.C. Cosmetics store at the Champs-Elysées, a flagship of the brand, for six months. And I\’m loving it. I really don\’t want this post to be long AF – as are almost all of my posts – but I also want to write all the ideas that come straight from my mind, as they are.
When I left the Make Up For Ever Academy, all I did were collaborations, all day everyday. Or almost every day, and time after time it got harder for me. I had no income and my boyfriend was the one supporting both of us. Furthermore, aside from being financially dependent on someone, one of the worst kinds of dependence in my opinion, I was sometimes offered money for my work but never enough to show me that people actually cared about my work, barely enough to reimburse the makeup I was using. It was like people didn\’t respect my work, my job and my status and little by little, I started to hate it. I much prefer someone asking for me to join a super interesting collaboration where I\’m free to express myself than someone ordering me around and giving me €30 and telling me it\’s a payment when €30 is not even the amount I ask for the products I use. Hell, it\’s not even the price of a M.A.C. foundation !
I gained a lot of weight during that period of time. It was hard. I was feeling helpless and then came the days I didn\’t want to work on photoshoots anymore and started spending weeks in my bed, working on my blog or browsing the Internet to look for more and more things, makeup especially, to buy. Some more newness in my life.
At one point, my boyfriend and I were argueing so much over money that I decided either to join a Makeup Artist agency or get a job, whatever I could but preferably in the makeup industry. So I sent résumés all over the Internet, to NYX, to Sephora, to M.A.C., to Kiko. Kiko answered me first, NYX after but it was a teeny bit too late as I\’d already agreed to a permanent position at Kiko, at a famous train station in Paris called Saint-Lazare. The interview went great, I\’m good at interviews because I feel confident in myself, in the brands I send my résumés to and my abilities as a sales assistant, makeup artist and person. I\’d already worked at Kiko while studying at the Make Up For Ever Academy and it was pretty cool and it did help me a lot in mastering my hand and the brush – at least a little more. But I didn\’t want to lose my freedom, the freedom to wake up when I wanted, to book any shootings I wanted and above all I didn\’t want to give it up for something as trivial as money. So, one hour before starting my first day, I called in and said I wouldn\’t be coming.
That was it. I felt relieved. I felt good and free and well, I was still pennyless so I needed to find another solution quickly because it was growing on me. That night, yet another argument with my boyfriend. I knew I really couldn\’t stand selling stuff to people anymore, especially stuff that wasn\’t born in my own mind, a.k.a. my own products from my own brand.
And the day after, if I\’m not mistaken, M.A.C. called. I was detached when I answered, when they asked me how many hours per week I wanted to work and I said \”three consecutive days tops\”. I couldn\’t stand more and I still wanted to do makeup on photoshoots even though the money was bad there. I got an interview with a member of the recruiting board, then a makeup test, and then a phone call told me I was in. The reason I became more and more interested as time went by is that M.A.C. is one of the brands I\’ve been wanting in forever. At 18, when I started my YouTube channel (that, sadly, is no more), I watched videos of all those girls with their Mehr and Ruby Woo lipsticks that I couldn\’t afford and would, in my mind, only buy someday. It was inaccessible. I was no makeup artist and far from being one when I first brought my résumé to a M.A.C. store, the one in Rue de Rivoli in Paris. They never called. Yet I never stopped dreaming. Which is why, when they asked me to work 4 days per week instead of the three I\’d asked, I still said yes. It was M.A.C., after all. My dream brand.
My first day was November 10, 2018. I was so shy when I started, everyone was so beautiful and glam and stylish and I still had my Elvis Presley-like haircut and I was still overweight. I was into fitness but only really started paying attention to sports and a healthy diet on November 19, just a day after my birthday and about a week after starting at M.A.C..
Fast forward 6 months, I\’m still loving it very much. Actually, I would like to have more responsibilities in the company, become a specialist of products, get my Grail, a.k.a. the Fashion Show skill and maybe become a trainer someday. Why not ? Everything is still possible. I\’m 24.
M.A.C. has shown me some people become your family. M.A.C. is a whole world inside. I\’d never bonded with colleagues that way before. I\’d never been really close to anyone, friend, colleague and I didn\’t feel confident at all. 23-year-old me couldn\’t wear crop tops or mini-shorts. 24-year-old me is embracing her new body and mind. M.A.C. is giving me hope and I am now opening up to other, new transformations.
The next step in my career is moving to London. Why ? M.A.C. stores are not related from a country to another and what you achieve here will probably be useless in the States, in the UK or Sweden so you\’ll need to pass the skills over again. I don\’t want to waste any time, I\’ve been dreaming of living the London life for years now, exacting 5, since the first time I visited with my sister in December 2014. I\’m 24 and if I don\’t do it now, the excitement of a new life will turn into fear and regret. That cannot happen to me. So I\’m already planning things, talking to London inhabitants when they come to the Champs-Elysées store so I can grab every piece of information I might need before I make my move. December, for Christmas but also so I\’m sure I\’m leaving this year. And it gives me time to set some money aside. In the meantime, I\’ll still be going to the London IMATS in May and do some photoshoots there in August as well. I can\’t wait. Everytime I go there, I feel like I\’m missing France but I want to dive head first into that new, unknown world.
M.A.C. has done that to me. The people there passing by, the foreigner makeup artists coming to work at the store, all those people have given me the urge to live an exciting life, one filled with newness, new people, new ideas. Creativity. Some people I know are already there, they\’re not close friends but if I need info, I know they\’ll help. What about the Brexit ? I\’m not sure it\’s going to be over anytime soon.
When I\’m there, I\’m planning many things. I have only completed two years out of the three in my curriculum – I was studying languages and just dropped it. I would like to graduate and still have a diploma so I shall see what I can do to make that work and I would love to become a Web Content Writer because I\’ve seen there are many jobs available in that field so if I could be a part-time M.A.C. makeup artist there, part-time Web Content Writer and still have some time for photoshoots and discovering all the places that amazing city has to offer, boy… That would be the time of my life.