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Meet Trailblazer Erin Janis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Janis.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Five years ago, the stage was set, and I walked it proudly to receive my Marketing degree from the University of Cincinnati. There was so much emotion behind my declaration of “I made it.” It was the victory that came from the adversity that made the moment so much more meaningful. I dropped out in my junior year from the first University I attended on scholarship. I started working, and for one year, I saved tuition to return to college to finish what I started. I finished strong with a 3.9 GPA and was a nominee for the Marketing Student of the Year. One month after graduation, I moved to a city I never visited before… Los Angeles, CA, home of opportunity. I started off on a more traditional path by putting my degree into practice and working for a marketing company for three years.

However, I couldn’t shake this feeling of being unfulfilled, while looking out my office window every day. I began playing around with makeup to cover my acne-prone skin and became a makeup enthusiast somewhere along the way. I was so enamored by how glamorous everyone looked in Los Angeles. I looked to “YouTube University,” for guidance and began watching a lot of @aaliayahjay ’s videos, another self-taught makeup artist. I was inspired by her work, her progression and her creativity. I wanted to learn more and develop my skills. I attended my first Beautycon LA in August of 2016, and the rest was history. The exposure launched my next level of passion as an artist! I took home my 10-pound swag bag full of makeup and began to create differently. I put my work out there, developed a clientele and connected with other industry professionals. I booked my first major gig onset of a pilot TV series as the Key Makeup Artist for all cast members, including Rosa Acosta. I received my first publication in The Surreal Magazine working alongside, Creative Director, @nikiy_luna and Designer, @nylaurent. I just recently achieved my second publication in The Faddy Magazine with Creative Director/Producer/Male model @thetreytaylor and Stylist, @drapedbycoe.

After five years as a MUA, I would say that I’ve accomplished more than I had ever dreamed I would. In the next five years, I plan to attend school and expand my knowledge of beauty within the Esthetics field. I’m also going to establish more of a YouTube presence so I can become a beauty coach and spread the knowledge to other enthusiasts on a global scale. Wish me luck!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Everyone experiences hiccups along the way. It’s human nature. Speaking particularly on becoming a makeup artist, there are a couple of challenges that come with the territory. The first thing you must continue to improve is your confidence. When I look back at old pictures from when I first started glamming up my own face, it wasn’t the best. To be frank, I had crooked eyebrows, my baking was over the top and my foundation didn’t quite match my skin tone. However, I owned it! As my confidence grew, I was less reluctant to show my work, but I didn’t get too cocky because I knew I still had a long way to GROW! Your confidence plays a huge part when networking with industry leaders, servicing your clients, putting your work out there on social media and realizing your monetary worth. So the confidence piece is vital!

I started out struggling with maintaining my kit. I’ve had to remind myself often that it will never be ‘perfect’ with the constantly changing trends and new releases. I’ve learned to just stay current, knowledgeable and invest wisely. I used to think that I needed everything, but that came with a pretty high price point with expenses outweighing profits. So, if you aspire to become a MUA, your first step should be signing up for all the Pro Discounts. Namies, in particular, is one of my favorites. It’s a one-stop-shop with a variety of the most recommended brands for up to 40% off for pros. Step two is to shop for what you need as it relates to your clientele. For example, if your clients or prospects are asking for natural makeup 90% of the time, then it makes no sense to collect 5 different rainbow palettes and 5 eclectic blue liquid lipsticks. Step three is to note that the majority of your products should consist of everything that relates to skin – foundations, concealers, brozers, blushes, powders, primer, setting spray, etc. You can make eyeshadows stretch but skin products complete the face. These are just a few of the many suggestions for building your kit.

Staying consistent is another challenge. We all have lives to juggle outside of work, and trying to handle it all can get overwhelming. However, if you want to be successful in this industry, you have to stay consistent and engaged or you will be forgotten. Taking a break to recharge is ok, but as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” The beauty industry is so competitive and social media is the most accessible platform to get your work noticed. If I’m not consistently posting my work, then I become irrelevant, followers lose interest, prospective clients begin asking, “Am I still doing makeup?” Consistency is something I haven’t perfected, but I’m currently working so hard at finding a good balance.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I’m a traveling freelance MUA who specializes in glam. I’m most proud of my work ethics and the customer experience I provide. I strive to offer my customers a well-rounded professional who’s poised, engaging, artistic and always evolving. Out of more than 1 million make-up artists, I endeavor to offer this industry the best version of me! We all come with different experiences, similar but never exactly alike. So, showing up in every moment with this mindset keeps me on that ever-evolving path!

Which women have inspired you in your life?
Of course, my mom is my biggest inspiration! She’s actually responsible for my first glance into the beauty industry. As a licensed manicurist, she owned a salon in the greater Cincinnati area for nineteen years. Today, she is still stirring her passion by serving future beauty professionals at a local beauty college in Indiana.

Aaliyahjay is another woman in the beauty industry who inspires me. She is also a self-taught MUA. It’s admirable to see the art she’s created with no formal training, just continuous practice, consistency, and determination. I remember watching a video of her reminiscing about when she first started doing makeup. She was recording tutorials on her phone, jotting down notes in her idea book and striving to master her craft. She’s accomplished so much to date, and I’m excited to continue to learn from her and watch her take her passion to the next level.


  • Full Face Glam – 75 min – $85 including lashes and travel
  • Half-Day Project – 4 hours – $400+ (inquire for more information)
  • Full-Day Project -8 hours – $800+ (inquire for more information)

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@chuckdoom, @ilfredo, @ecce_mujer

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