HOW TO OPEN A MAKEUP STUDIO
I am often asked what business products I use to run my Chicago Makeup Studio. Here is my “short list” of things I have used over the years. If you are looking to for ideas on how to open a makeup studio, this resource list is gold. I hope you find this list useful. Since blogging is a critical part of my success, I added my blogging info here as well.
I update this list often, so be sure to bookmark this page.
- Logojoy- Holy hell do I love this site. If you're looking for a logo for your beauty biz and have a limited money to do a custom logo, this site is so fucking cool. Be careful, you could spend hours on the site.
- Design Hill- If you have a little more room in the budget and want to design something more custom, this site is the way to go. How it works: Write a design brief on what you're looking in your logo and designers will create logos you can choose from according to your brief. (As many revisions as you wish.) Once you see a logo you like, pick the “winner” and the designer wins the prize. How easy is that?
- 99 Designs- Another logo contest site, many clients I know use this site. If you're a particularly picky kind of person, this may be the best resource for you. Their brand logo & identity pack is a great value.
- Squarespace- Squarespace is still one of my favorite website platforms for creatives, Squarespace is it's becoming so cookie cutter and everyone is using them. Everything looks the same. Kind of like Instagram makeup.
- Shopify- My all time favorite e-commerce site. I use Shopify for my www.soniaroselli.com site. It's my favorite. I just wish they had better blogging features. If they did, they would give WordPress a run for the money. Great apps that work, automated shipping, great customer service. Addicted.
- Wix- Wix is another website platform that has some really easy templates to design. If you're not that tech savvy, I find this to be super easy. Using artificial intelligence, you can set up commerce, bookings and a blog. Just be sure to remove “free site by wix”. That never looks professional.
- WordPress.org- WordPress is great for blogging. I had Glossible on Squaresspace for years but as I grew, I had to come back to WordPress. WordPress is persnickety, and you will need to be a bit tech savvy, but your customizations can be endless.
- Genesis Framework- After all the WordPress sites I have been through my entire career, this is the best platform for building a secure site. They have tons of themes and developers for those of you who want to blog and show off your portfolio work. Highly recommend. You may want to hire a developer to help you, which leads me to my next recommendation…
- Restored316.com- Lord have mercy, these are some of my favorite themes on the planet. So beautiful and easy to use. As a matter of fact, we are running Glossible on the Refined theme now. They can also help you make custom changes to your site. Very easy to do business with. Lauren also has some nifty newsletters she sends out for inspiration.
WEB HOSTING & DOMAINS
- WP Engine Another great WordPress host. I have had many and they have a great reputation.
- SiteGround– I use site ground to host my website. So far, no complaints and customer service is amazeballs.
- Flywheel-They will help you bring your existing site to them. Great customer service.
- GoDaddy-I still love GoDaddy for buying my domains. Got a great idea for a domain name? Buy it! I find the portal easy to use and I love being able to call them on the phone anytime I need. They are much better than they were a few years back.
- Securi- Protect your blog or e-commerce website with this fabulous virus protector.
- Wordfence– The most widely used plug-in for WordPress to keep sites virus free. If you use WordPress, you MUST install this.
LEGAL RESOURCES (Beauty Blogging)
- Disclosure Policy– Learn more about having a disclosure policy and what you’ll need to make known on your site.
- BloggyLaw– This is a great resource that the legalities as a blogger.
- Disclosing your affiliate links– This is a great article from Amy Lynn Andrews about the proper way to disclose your affiliate links.
- Trademarkia- Great online resource to get yourself a trademark and search trademarks.
ONLINE CONTRACTS & CLIENT LISTS
If booking brides is the main source of income for your studio, these tools are a must have for makeup artists.
- Honeybook- We use this for our team of 20 artists for our Chicago brides. Keep up with contracts, etc.
- 17 Hats- This is a popular CRM for beauty professionals. If you have a large team however, check out Honeybook.
- Dubsado- Another client contract platform, many artist I know use and love this. Great for the soloprenuer.
- Hello Sign–We used Hello Sign for years before we moved to Honeybook.
- ConvertKit*– We just signed up for Convert kit to manage our 25,000 email subscribers. Powerful.
- Mailchimp*– This service is wonderful if you’re just starting to build your email list. It’s free up to 2000 subscribers and is super easy to dive in and use.
- InfusionSoft– This is a very powerful emailing marketing and sales generating software. If email marketing is your thing, check this out.
- WooCommerce– If you already have a WordPress site and just want to add the eCommerce part to it, WooCommerce is the way to go! This site uses WooCommerce for download purchases and works great.
- GumRoad– This is a third party eCommerce platform that allows you to sell just about anything education related.
- Teachable– If you want to create and sell online courses, this is the software to use!
- LeadPages*– I use LeadPages for landing pages and lead generating.
- Shopify-My all time favorite e-commerce site. I use Shopify for my www.soniaroselli.com site. It's my favorite. I just wish they had better blogging features. If they did, they would give WordPress a run for the money. Great apps that work. Addicted.
- Quickbooks Online- Setting it up was rough for a moment but now that it works, it's incredible. I love the reports and that it works with many applications. My favorite out of all 3.
- Xero Accounting- I used to use Xero accounting and I found it incredibly easy to maintain and use. After a while, I grew to be too big for it and moved over to quickbooks.
- Freshbooks- Freshbooks is popular with a ton of entrepreneurs friends. They say it's easier to use than quickbooks. I will let you decide.
SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE
- Hiscox Cosmetology Insurance Hiscox customizes your cosmetology insurance to fit the specific risks you face, such as a facial treatment gone wrong or a hair color treatment gone bad. Covers makeup artistry, esthetics, hair, small salon owners, nail techs. Great for the small biz studios.
- Bags & Bows- When you are first opening your makeup studio, you may not have a lot of money for shopping bags for retail products. Bags and Bows allows you to do small, customizable runs. The perfect place to get ideas for a bridal touch up kit.
- Bose Sound Dock- No makeup studio is complete without a little jam to create the mood. I have this dock in my studio and it's so powerful, it provides music for my 2300 square foot space. The sounds quality is excellent and it's ridiculously easy to use. I use Bluetooth with my iPhone and Spotify for easy use. I actually loved it so much, I got one for my home. I even sometimes take it to workshops and classes as it's easy to travel with.
- Spotify- You can make playlists (Follow our Glossible Spotify channel here) and create a branded feel for your studio.
MAKEUP STUDIO FURNITURE
- All Modern– By far the best value for really beautiful furniture. Most all of my items from my makeup studio come from All Modern. Fast delivery as well.
- Wayfair– I have gotten some groovy pieces here as well too. They have many of the same things as All Modern.
- Overstock- I found that high bar tables work best for makeup artist studios. They have some of the best selections. I also got my chandeliers for my studio here as well.
- Mile Iq- I use this app in the background to track my mileage and trips for work. It allows me to swipe left or right after each trip to know which is personal and which is business related driving. So easy to use. Love it.
- Quickbooks Mileage Tracker-Another great option and syncs with your Quickbooks. I liked this one as well, but for some reason, I found Mile IQ to be easier to use. You decide.
SITE STATISTICS & SEO
- Google Analytics– This is a must have. The moment you create your site, you should install this onto your site so you can track the traffic coming to your site. Here is how to install it onto your site.
- Google Webmasters– This is a great tool to learn how to track your sites search performance. I advise that you set this up at the same time as your analytics!
- Yoast SEO– This is the best SEO plugin available, so if you’re looking for something more robust than the standard WordPress SEO accommodations, this is your plugin.
- Canon Rebel- The Canon Rebel is a nifty guy. Spend money on the lenses. For makeup beauty shots, this will be a great camera to start with. Don't bother with the kit. Just get the body to save money.
- Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens- This lens takes amazing photos for the price. It's perfect for before and after shots. A must have if you want to take some great shots for your social media.
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II- I adore this camera. I have bought the following lenses to go with it and most of my product shots for my website and this blog are shot with this. I also shoot my videos with this.
- Olympus M. Zukio 17mm Lens- I take this lens with me when I travel. It's perfect for group shots, flat lays and is the perfect lens for travel.
- Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm 1.8- I love this lens with my Olympus M5 to take to weddings. It's small, compact and takes flipping beautiful photos. Total conversation piece too.
- Canon 5D Mark IV- This is the camera I shoot my pro photos with when doing beauty shots. I had the Canon 5D Mark 3 that I loved before that. I still think the Mark III is easier to use. The Mark IV shoots 4k video.
- Canon 100mm macro lens- This lens get the most use out of any of my lenses. I love the beauty shots I get with it. Between this and my 70-200 and my 85 1.2, I really don't use much else in the studio.
- Canon 85mm 1.2 Lens– I call this the sex lens. If you start getting into portrait photography with your makeup skills, while expensive, this lens happens to be my most favorite lens on the planet.
- Canon 70-200 EF 70-200mm 2.8L ISII- If you start getting really serious about your beauty work, this is another gorgeous lens that takes the most stunning portraits. Expensive but I've had this lens for 10 years and use it often.
- Canon 24-70mm 2.8L- This lens is great for shooting street scenes and editorial images. While it may not be a must have for beauty photography, it's nice to have for shooting 3/4 body shots.
- Canon 50mm 1.4- I bought this lens to upgrade my Canon 50mm 1.8. I take a ton of portraits with this lens for quick shots in my studio after makeup trials.
- Magnus VT-4000 Tripod- For the love of everything holy, don't go cheap on your tripod. Get something sturdy. I learned my lesson the hard way here. Trust me on this. For the price point, this one is great.
- The Makeup Light- I light all my videos exclusively with the makeup light. I have 6 that I use for lighting. I also take 2 with me on location. The best part is it's so versatile and the color temperature is spot on that I never have to edit the white balance in my videos.
- Olympus OM-D-EM5 Mark II- This camera I use a ton to shoot quick beauty snips. Super easy to use and I am even more impressed with the built in microphone. Sound isn't bad if you don't have the budget to get sound gear.
- Canon Rebel
- iPhone 8- I can't lie. Since iPhone 6, Apple has stepped up their photo game. The video mode is beautiful. If you want to use your phone for video, iPhone 8 is amazeballs, especially if you have great light.
- Lavalier Microphone- Sound is just as important as video. This affordable microphone helps your sound quality immensely.
- Cell Phone Tripod Stand- I use this stand for my Facebook lives. Easy to use and great to mold into whatever you need.
- Picmokey– I use picmonkey for everything. Banners, Instagram posts, collages, you name it. Be forewarned, Picmokey is addictive. I have the paid version. Super affordable.
- Canva- A photo editing app to make graphics for your social media, email blast, etc.
- Stencil- Like Canvas, another groovy site for editing and making photo banners for your social media.
- A Color Story- Turn any iPhone image into a work of art!
- Lightroom- I use Lightroom for all my photo editing. The new Adobe CC has gotten much easier to use.
- Photoshop– I only use Photoshop because it comes with my Adobe CC subscription. But handy every now and then.
- SmugMug– I love and use this for keeping all my client photos. Easy to share and they can purchase picture frames, etc.
- ColourLovers- If you are looking to create a color palette, this is a fun tool.
- Design-Seeds- I'm obsessed with this site. Especially when I need color inspiration for makeup and feel bored.
- Coolors.co- If you are looking to design color palette for your beauty brand, this site is crazy fun!
- Audiobooks- Love Audiobooks. A must have in my life. I listen to all kinds of business books as I drive to my makeup gigs or while I'm taking the eL.
- Lynda.com- Are you frustrated with how to make those spreadsheets work? Would you like to learn SEO? A great resource for all kinds of things.
- Thirsty Affiliates– I use the pro version on our Glossible Blog. A great way to pay for your site thru recommendations you freely give away.
- Viglink- If you don't have time to do a ton of linking, Viglink does it all for you. Just link the regular link and they do the rest.
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