Today we’d like to introduce you to Milan Walker.
Hi Milan, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
It all started when I met a friend my freshman year of high school who taught me how to wear eye makeup. I would smudge gold eyeshadow on my eyelid with my finger every morning and top it with jet black liquid eyeliner. I wore this makeup look all throughout high school and into undergrad at Florida Atlantic University! One day on campus, a group of girls approached me and asked me to be the makeup artist for their new modeling troupe. I was shocked because I never did anyone’s makeup before, but the idea of it was so exciting! They went out and bought a bag full of makeup and cosmetic sponges from Walgreens, and I started doing their makeup for every modeling show on campus. I had so much fun doing this! I had never considered pursuing makeup before, so this fueled me to dig deeper. I wanted to go big! So, I applied for my first makeup job at MAC Cosmetics in the nearby mall. I got invited to an interview that same day! I was stoked! The hiring managers asked me to bring a model and prepare to do any makeup look they requested for my interview. I crushed the interview and I got the job! Working for MAC is where I learned the foundation of EVERYTHING I know as an artist. At MAC, I learned how to apply makeup on every skin tone and skin type.
All throughout college, I also worked for other cosmetic counters like Bobbi Brown and Bare Minerals. These years of experience at cosmetics counters truly molded me as an artist. This is how I learned to not only master every skin tone but developed my own style as a makeup artist. Quite often, customers began asking me repeatedly to do their makeup for outside events. The demand was so high. I decided to launch my own business. But honestly, I never took my makeup artistry business serious in college. I had strict plans to finish with my Bachelors then Masters in the psychology field to become a Family & Marriage Therapist. I considered makeup a hobby at its best. When I decided to open doors for business outside of the counters, I would typically only attract either brides or prom girls during prom season. My normal Saturdays consisted of going back and forth from Miami, South Beach and West Palm for weddings. Finally, I graduate college with my Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.
I left South Florida and relocated to Tampa to pursue a career in social work. Though I put my brushes down for some time, previous clientele from South Florida would still contact me for nearly up to a year. However, I was laser-focused on my Psychology career. After two years of Social Work, I became tired. It was mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. Fresh out of college and working in the field quickly showed me I never wanted to work a job for anyone ever again. After reflecting over the years, I began to regret not taking my business as seriously. I decided to pick up my brushes again in Tampa and truly pursue building my business wholeheartedly. I took business courses and attended a Masterclass in NYC specifically tailored to building a luxury makeup business. Just shortly after, I was able to leave my job and pursue my beauty business full-time. And here I am, three years later, with a beauty business specializing in Bridal.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My job is to bring a future bride’s vision of her beauty to life, one of the biggest, most dreamt about days of her life! The idea can be very daunting to hold that much responsibility as an artist. Though the responsibility is great, it is also very humbling. With that being said, the road has not always been the smoothest, but I do believe I have been well equipped in my journey.
Since pursuing makeup artistry as a freelance artist, working with brides has always been my experience. Future brides were technically my first clients. I believe there’s a high level of care, love and attentiveness that is required to give to a future bride that is completely different from traditional makeup artistry. In the beginning, I had to quickly learn, through trial and error, the proper systems and organization required to cultivate an amazing bridal experience for my clients. After eight years in the bridal industry, I have acclimated well to perform under pressure (if needed) and keep organization and timeliness. My clients are typically wonderful, beautiful women who share in fun, laughter and love on their wedding day. Even to this day, I am always honored to be chosen and trusted as a bridal artist to be apart of their special day.
Great, let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Imago Dei by Milan LLC is a luxury beauty business providing makeup application, hair styling, and permanent makeup. We primarily specialize in bridal, but also provide beauty services for special occasions, photoshoots, proms, etc. We also provide makeup education in the form of classes and one on one pieces of training to teach women and future makeup artists how to apply flawless makeup. I am a certified PhiBrows Artist and licensed tattoo artist in the state of Florida. Currently, we offer Microshading, which is permanent makeup for the brows. Our very own line of makeup products will be launching in 2021. What I believe sets me apart from others is my skill, expertise, and knowledge of makeup artistry to provide beauty services to women of every race and my signature makeup style that enhances natural beauty.
Often times, clients tend to gravitate to artists who look like them for many reasons. Let’s be honest. Most ethnic clients are very hesitant to sit in any random artist’s chair for fear that the artist may not know how to handle deep skin, monolids, hooded lids, or any other distinctive ethnic features without altering a woman’s face completely. I am thankful for my experience, which has equipped me to learn how to cater to all skin tones and skin types. I would say I am known to be a multicultural makeup artist, with an array of beautiful brides consistently throughout my portfolio. I am proud to possess a rare skill to serve women of all races who may have had bad experiences with getting their makeup done because their features were mishandled. But now they can come to my chair, feel confident and trust they will leave feeling naturally beautiful. In the makeup industry, there is a ‘one-trick pony’ style of makeup that is trending. This is when MUAs do the same makeup application techniques on every woman. In contrast, I have developed a signature makeup look that consists of two key components: flawless skin and highlighting a woman’s best features. I have the ability to cater to a woman’s key features without changing her face. If a woman has small eyes, her eyes can’t be rimmed in black liner with super long lashes. I believe my mark in this industry is for my makeup style which is timeless, enhancing and natural yet defined and glamorous. It is specifically tailored to cater to the beauty of each and every woman individually.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Find one or two artists whose work you admire. Invest in learning their techniques or taking their classes. Investing in advancing your craft will elevate your business. For the first makeup class I took, I flew to NYC to learn. Most people would have told me I didn’t need any makeup classes because I already had an established portfolio and clientele, but I knew I had areas I needed to grow in. The same artist who held that Masterclass years ago is now my business coach who is teaching me to pivot my business during this pandemic. My investment has paid off tremendously.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.imagodeibymilan.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/idbm_artistry
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/imagodeibymilan
- Other: www.imagodeibymilan.com/idbm-bridal
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