49. DC Area Makeup Artist Shares How She Turned Her Passion Into A Full-Time Business
Photo: Jackie Armstrong Photography
As I mentioned during Danny’s episode, I had an amazing time during a photoshoot with DFinney Photography a few months ago and was very pleased with the photos I received. This week’s guest is responsible for my complete transformation in the photos. Denyelle Duckett is talented makeup artist who creates signature looks for DFinney Photography.
Denyelle discovered her love for makeup after learning techniques from magazines and books. After giving herself a makeover she received compliments and requests for her services which led to her first wedding. Although flattered by the requests, she slow-walked into entrepreneurship by taking a job at a local retail makeup counter.
After a few years of working retail, Denyelle says she received a prompt from God to pursue her talent full-time. She launched her business in January 2013 and has not looked back since. Her career has skyrocketed, even earning her a nomination for a film she worked on. She talks about how she learned her business practices and how she’s managed to stay organized and focused while maintaining her booming business.
- In the beginning, Denyelle was an early childhood teacher who dabbled in makeup part-time
- She fell in love with makeup after doing her first wedding, and she enjoyed the connection she made with her clients
- After several years, she walked into Macy’s and went to one of the makeup counters and said, “you guys want to hire me?”
- She was on the retail floor working for Clinique for 3-4 years before going full-time; while there, she filled in for other makeup counters and learned about other major makeup lines
- To make ends meet during that time, she worked at Marriott bartending and helping out in other areas; that is where she learned effective business practices and developed her work ethic
- Denyelle explained that at some point, God told her to put in her two-months notice, and she became a full-time entrepreneur on January 17, 2013
- She’s worked on the award winning film “Last Night,” directed by Emmy nominated Harold Jackson III, and she was nominated for her makeup artistry for that film; she recently worked on “The Meek” with the same director.
- Denyelle has also worked with a plethora of photographers to include Danny from DFinney Photography (check out her episode), Jackie Armstrong Photography, M Shonelle Photography, Natarsha Wright Photography, and others.
- She started teaching stage makeup at Flowers High School while working at Macy’s and still teaches there to this day
- Steps she took to prepare for going out on her own:
- Worked on her website
- Asked Danny (DFinney Photography) if she could increase the number of shoots (she’s worked with her exclusively now since May 2012)
- Saved money by limiting her social outings
- How she stays organized:
- Responds to emails promptly
- Immediately puts appointments in her book
- Hires an assistance when needed
- Makeup tip: Don’t follow the trends! Make your own trend.
- Favorite makeup line:
- How to wash makeup off:
- Makeup wipe
- Makeup cleanser (use a washcloth with water to get the eye liner off)
- Makeup must haves: red lipstick and Superbalms by Clinique
- Want to be a makeup artist?
- Hopes to get into the ministry of helping women
- Denyelle’s Beauty Mentoring Sessions
- DFinney Photographer Episode 48. Building a Photography Brand With Heart + Battling Depression While Running a Business
- NARS Cosmetic
- Mac Cosmetics
- Milani lipstick
- Maybelline Fit Me Foundation
- Neutrogena makeup wipe
- Superbalms by Clinique
- Top Makeup books: Sam Fine, Scott Barnes, Kevyn Aucoin, Iman, Bobbi Brown
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