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Meet Mariah Nicole Buian of Mariah Nicole Beauty in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariah Nicole Buian.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mariah Nicole. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
So, it all began at 6yrs old with finger painting…skip to high school and I was helping my mom (a makeup artist) do makeup for my school plays and other events. Since I always loved art, I always had a passion for makeup but it was hobby until I was 22yrs old. After a short stint working at a Laura Mercier counter in Manhattan, I decided to go to school for makeup & hairstyling. I moved back home to LA and attended MUD in Burbank. Back then there were only 3 choices for a non-licensed makeup education. When plans to travel with an international pop-star went south, I joined my mom’s salon and worked on weddings and make-overs. I loved the brides and decided to build my own name in that industry until I was busy enough to leave the salon and be on my own; definitely bittersweet for my mom!

Well, I concentrated on weddings, built up a team of talented artists and stylists and only did a few commercial/editorial gigs over the years. I was lucky to place in the top 5 of wedding makeup companies for 7 years in a row & I did win 1st place out of the highest number of nominees. It was called the LA Hot List and I still get a ton of referrals from that contest. From there I moved more into commercials, fashion, films, and celebrity editorials.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say my career has been mostly smooth but the life of a freelancer is never without its ups & downs. It took me 3 or 4 years of building my name before I could quit all side jobs I had going on. And since about 2007 I’ve been a full-time makeup artist which I am so lucky to be able to say! The hardest parts are self-motivation, self-marketing, continuing education (the makeup industry changes every year), self-promotion and self-care. As an artist, it can sometimes be difficult to be “business-minded” but it is essential for success…until I can pay others to do it all for me.

I mention self-care and balance because for too long I worked and worked, missed life events of friends and family because I “had to work” and it led to some upsets and physical discomfort. The life of a makeup artist is 2 ‘G’s: glamorous and grueling! The 1st ‘G’ makes it all worth it. At a certain point I had to start saying ‘no’ to jobs to enjoy my life & the people in it and I joined a spa so I would be forced every month to get a massage.

One other struggle is building clientele. I did struggle with how to keep clients after a wedding or a commercial shot. I tried unsuccessfully to sell my own brand of products but it was too demanding. Instead, I decided to sell an existing line and it’s great!

The makeup industry is as competitive as ever, so one has to stay on top their game to keep busy! Keep skills fresh and try new techniques.

Please tell us about Mariah Nicole Beauty.
When I started my company, it was just me. Found I found that I often had to turn away gigs because I was already booked. Then months later I would have a dry-spell and no savings. After a short meeting with a life coach/career counselor, I decided to act more as an agency and book my friends on jobs I could not do. This proved to be successful and helped me to grow the name and reputation of my business. I could not have done it without them!

I used to specialize in weddings and that’s what I was known for by many. The last 3 years have changed that, so I would say my specialty is more in commercial and fashion now. Much of my work is makeup & hair (industry lingo is “grooming”) for men and kids. The first because of my editorial work in magazines and the later due to my work with kids commercials.

I am known for having a light and natural-looking touch with makeup. I love me some flawless skin! I think I am also known for a quality about myself and personality- many clients talk about how calm they feel when I am working with them. The energy and mood a makeup artist exudes can have a huge impact on a client. Maybe it’s all the years of satiating and calming brides, but it works great for anyone about to perform or get their picture taken. I don’t really know what sets me apart from others besides just being ME, but I can say that my body of work is incredibly diverse and that’s something of which I am incredibly proud.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Becoming a makeup artist/hairstylist was intended to be temporary until I went back to college. But, instead the fun has lasted over a decade and isn’t quitting anytime soon. So, if I had known this was going to be my path, I would have enrolled in a school for cosmetology or aesthetics because having that license could open more doors for someone and lead to more services one could offer. At this point, it’s not something I need but I would have done it.

And I would be better at self-promotion and marketing. Luckily, we now have so many methods of doing this on our phones or computer.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ray Kachatorian
Jenna Elliot

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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