Episode 106

Being a Working Creative with Nicole Elle

January 10, 2017

Nicole Elle is a celebrity makeup artist and working creative, so we’re talking with her today about the journey of makeup artistry and making a name for yourself as a freelance artist or being represented by an agency.

This Episode Brought to You By:
"Never give up. Jump into it with what you know and whatever you have."
- Nicole Elle

Discussed in this Episode

  • Getting your start as a working artist—transitioning from free to getting paid
  • The day in the life of a makeup artist
  • Working freelance vs. being represented by an agency
  • Building an online presence as a makeup artist
  • The opportunities that present themselves when you follow your passion
  • Being authentic in your work


More from Nicole Elle

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss, a podcast for

Emily Thompson 0:05
creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:08
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. Hi, I'm Nicole L

Unknown Speaker 0:11
and I am being bossy.

Kathleen Shannon 0:15
Today we are chatting with celebrity makeup artist Nicole l King. And as always, we reference a lot of different things so you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club. Hey guys, I want to take a second and talk a little bit about getting on track with your finances and your business. So there are a few ways you can stay organized but I'm going to propose fresh books cloud accounting is the best way to send out invoices so that you can get paid faster. You can track your income and expenses and quickly pull reports to see exactly where you're at with your finances and your business. You can organize and keep track of your clients you can even track your time right in freshbooks so try it for free today go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? You know it's time to give it a try.

I'm so kind of selfishly excited. Today's episode because we are talking to Nicole Elle who is a New York based makeup artist specializing in print editorial runway film, digital music, videos and commercials. And I think we all know that my secret Daydream is to be a makeup artist whenever I grow up. Um, but it's so exciting. Nicole's worked with so many amazing people, amazing brands, but some names that you might recognize are Candace Cameron. What what? Full House right? Yep. And then I was really excited whenever I saw Carly Rae Jepsen, because my husband has the biggest crush on her

Unknown Speaker 2:12

Kathleen Shannon 2:13
If I told him I was talking to Carly Rae Jepsen, his makeup artists, he was like, Oh my god, can you tell her how much I love some CRJ.

Unknown Speaker 2:21
That's amazing. I mean,

Nicole Elle 2:22
it's so crazy. I mean, like, I personally am not their, you know, personal makeup artist. But it's nice to have the opportunity to be able to work with such different clients and celebrities and you know, to have the opportunity. It's just, you know, you never know what's next. That's crazy.

Kathleen Shannon 2:36
So let's kind of start from the beginning, how does one become a makeup artist, and I'm so excited to talk to you just because we talk to a lot of coaches and consultants. But I'm really interested in digging into the life of a working artist. I think that this is something I want to talk to more working artists and as we get into the new year. So tell us a little bit about your background and how you became a makeup artist.

Nicole Elle 3:01
That's exciting. I'm excited you guys are bringing on artists I was a little like, oh cuz it's usually like you said coaches and bosses and all that stuff. But basically, I you know have always been in the performing arts with choir and band and cheerleading and flag and baton and all the thing is performing arts. I always grew up doing my own makeup and everyone else's hair and makeup and stuff. I went to Penn State where I followed that with a marching band. You can laugh all you want. I was

Kathleen Shannon 3:30
in marching band flag in Baton Rouge.

Emily Thompson 3:33
I was a flag girl back in the day. Guess

Kathleen Shannon 3:36
what girls unite. We are cool.

Unknown Speaker 3:38
We are cool. Just because we're in band doesn't mean anything. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 3:42
um, you guys were the cool part of marching band. I played the French horn. Hey,

Unknown Speaker 3:46
that's cool.

Unknown Speaker 3:47
The French horn is cool.

Unknown Speaker 3:50
It's intricate. We just for fun.

Kathleen Shannon 3:53
So while you guys are,

Nicole Elle 3:54
well, I feel like I'm in a safe space now knowing that you guys were in band as well, I usually don't tell people. I love it. So I was you know, was always in performing arts and all that stuff. And so I went to Penn State and I was originally advertising and marketing, and I loved it, but I just you know, knew it wasn't for me. And I've always been involved in the arts and all that stuff. So I applied and I actually graduate Penn State with a fine arts degree in fine arts and painting and drawing. So I just, you know, always loved that. And as I was doing that, in college, my professors would yell at me because like I would constantly be painting women's faces and they're like, Can you just just something a little different? Can you just try something else? And I was like, Yeah, but it just wasn't where my heart was. And

Kathleen Shannon 4:39
so to clarify, you weren't painting on women's faces like the canvas yet you were just doing a lot of portrait style art

Nicole Elle 4:47
Yes, very like in your face and like things with mirrors so that when you would look into the mirror you would see your face and posed on someone else's face like it was just really cool concepts of like, you know, bone structure and color theory and You know, just delving into, you know, the whole human appearance and everything. And bone structure, like I said, so I just had no idea what everyone was like. So now you're graduating when you get to do and I like hated that question cuz I was like, I have no idea. I have a bachelor's degree in fine arts, I just graduated college. So after that I waitress for a little bit bopped around, my parents had a beach house down in Delaware. That's where I ended up meeting my husband. And after that, I ended up thinking like, I might want to do makeup, you know, I might want to like actually do this as a profession. So I researched a bunch of schools, and I came up with makeup design, right. And so Whoa, it's called mud for short. And it's a four month program that specializes in fashion or they have one where you can do special effects, you could do a whole year long, you can do six months. So I just chose the fashion route, and just wanted to see where it went. And I just honestly loved it so much that I just never left. I love New York and just felt like there was great opportunities. And you can feel this, like, pulse of energy when you're here. And I was just like, I was addicted. I had I had to stay and see it through.

Kathleen Shannon 6:07
So how long ago was that? That you graduated from Makeup school?

Unknown Speaker 6:11

Kathleen Shannon 6:12
So you've been doing makeup for four years now. So what happens after you graduate? Do you just start working? I mean, how do you get jobs?

Nicole Elle 6:20
Yeah, they, they had a really great, the reason I love mud so much is because they really set you up the last part of the classes 301, which is portfolio development. So they set you up with set etiquette, and they like if you have any questions you're not just throwing out in the world, like what do I do now. So you leave with a book. So that's great, you know, like experience having a teacher there to like talk you through the whole experience. But they also have an awesome career advisory board that, you know, is a great launch pad for new artists just like how to get your feet wet. And I just took off with that I just did a lot of free work, a lot of low budget work a lot of anything I get my hands on just to get my name out there. And I honestly think that it definitely paid off just you know, going where it leads and seeing it through.

Emily Thompson 7:06
I love that. I love that. Well, we all have to start in this place where we're just sort of taking on anything and everything that comes around. But when did you find yourself saying no to free things? Like what was sort of? Was there a moment or is it just like an evolution of you? I'm like coming, I'm trying to do what you do.

Nicole Elle 7:28
Yeah, I think it was like that first, like one job of like, getting paid. And like, I don't know what it was. It wasn't even it's because it's not about the money. But it was just like, once I realized that there was an income in it. I was like, oh, okay, alright, cuz you know, I wanted to see I, you know, was right out of school, so obviously wasn't gonna be charging high expensive prices and stuff, like just being new myself and just figuring it out. So I think it was an evolution. I don't think there was a point where I was like, No, but I do remember like, being so excited for like a $75 job. And I was like, Yes, $75 a day, right? Yes. killing it. So you know, it, it just really, I think it was an evolved thing. But I'm just like, such a people person. I love to like collaborate. And I like I love being around people and like their energy. And I just feel like that was like, I don't know, addictive to be part of

Unknown Speaker 8:18
nice. Okay, so

Kathleen Shannon 8:20
now you've worked with a ton of different magazines, a lot of celebrities. What is the day in the life of like for you? But also like, what is the day in a week or month like for you? Do you have slow times? Is it always busy? What's it like?

Unknown Speaker 8:36
Yeah, well,

Nicole Elle 8:37
right now, since I am not an agency represented, which is something I'm working towards. You know, it is a lot on my own. It's exciting things about that. Are there like agencies or freelancers? How does it work? There are freelancers. And then with that you some people can go two ways. I originally have done both. So that's why I think has been steering me to this path. I was originally going more towards film and TV. And it I loved it as long hours great cast a lot this time last year, I was just working on one called human people. And it was with Tavi Gibson and Michael Cera. And all these people it was like they were so fun, and Abbi Jacobson from Broad City. And it was such a great experience and I loved it. But once I started working more with press events and celebrity and I work a lot with Elle, and Harper's Bazaar calm, I just really started liking that whole, you know path and that kind of changed my direction. But with that being said, the first one with the film and TV, an option for freelancers is to become union. And that way you work more film TV with like, you know, like bigger budgets, bigger productions and like so they're more like, you know, network based TV and films, but then for other. The other route is to be agency represented. So there are a bunch of agencies from boutique to huge big platforms. That artists can choose to work towards. And those are more like print, editorial press, celebrity red carpet. So I don't know, for some reason I've been evolving into more of that kind of direction. And so right now the hope is to become agency represented soon. But I'm kind of vibing on my own right now. And I'm kind of just trying to, like, see where it leads, but still work towards, you know, getting my name out there and speaking even more with agencies and everything. So,

Kathleen Shannon 10:29
so agency representation is how you actually get some of those jobs that you couldn't get otherwise, is that correct? I believe so. Because I'm still learning a lot about

Nicole Elle 10:39
myself. But I know that they do love when you bring in your own clients, you know, you're not just like, I've never worked with anyone, and I'm ready to be agency represented, they want you to have experience and yeah, they want your money.

Kathleen Shannon 10:52
Like, bring me your clients. And

Nicole Elle 10:55
that's the only thing I'm like, Oh, you know, like, I don't know. But it's interesting to think of what the possibilities could be if this is what I'm just doing at my own. On my own right now. Like, what are the possibilities? So I'm still trying to figure it out. And I'm still working towards it. And there are some agencies that like, I'm like it testing with and like, all that kind of stuff. So I don't know, I'm still figuring out my, you know, still for five years as your agency representative, can

Kathleen Shannon 11:21
you still freelance, like on the side? Or does that become a full time job? I

Nicole Elle 11:26
think it becomes full time. It depends where you go. I mean, I've I worked with a lot of artists who are agency representative, and they're booked all the way until, like, I guess this was August, and they had been booked all the way till March or April, like booked solid. And I was like, every day. And so sometimes I'm like, oh, that'd be so cool, you know, but it is nice right now to have that flexibility. I just got married in September. So I was like, trying to hold off on the whole agency thing, just so I had flexibility to you know, plan the wedding, do all that kind of stuff. And now I feel like after the holidays, I'm like hitting the ground running while I came back from the wedding hit the ground running. So I don't know, I just feel like this is an exciting time. And I'm just like, open to wherever it may lead.

Emily Thompson 12:05
I have to ask you about building an online presence because I know Kathleen and her wishes for becoming a makeup. Madam. I'm going to call you that because I think,

Kathleen Shannon 12:16
madam I love that

Emily Thompson 12:18
is to have a YouTube channel. Have you thought about like going the online route with like,

Kathleen Shannon 12:23
okay, but I've also heard that you to makeup artists are a joke for like the real makeup artists world. Yeah,

Nicole Elle 12:30
I guess. I don't know that. I don't know, the gossip situation. I know. It's

Kathleen Shannon 12:34
like, politics.

Nicole Elle 12:36
I know. I'm like scared. I'm like, oh, what do I say? Okay, um, no, I hear good and bad things. From like a professional makeup artist standpoint, I feel like it just depends where you want to go with your brand. I'm still trying to figure it out. Oops, sorry. I'm still trying to figure it out right now. Because I am definitely on the path of professional makeup artist. But I'm also having this like, urge of entrepreneurial drive that I'm like, I kind of want to do something. Like on the side when I'm not working. You know, like, it goes back to being said, like you said, Are you working? Like weekly, monthly, daily? That kind of thing? And yes, and no, I mean, it depends on like, the seasons and stuff. So like Fashion Week is busy. You know, every different sees every different month is different, every different week is different. So I just I don't know, I've been having this like drive to either write or to maybe even do like little blurbs every Friday of like, makeup tips and tricks. But it's like, there's so much content out there. It's like how do you present something that's not already out there. And the number. The second part of that is that, you know, some of the YouTube it's like anyone and everyone's on there. I do follow some YouTube, but you have to have watched them with a grain of salt. You know what I mean? Who's sponsoring them? What are they trying to sell? Who are they? What are their credentials? Like? There are a few makeup artists that I do follow on YouTube that I love, like learning new tips and tricks. So I don't know it is like a catch 22 because you get yourself out there. I guess it just depends on where you want to go with your brand. But I don't know, I'm still trying to I don't know, YouTube could be cool, but I'm thinking something smaller little blurbs of like little quick videos of how to or something like on Facebook or some instant medium. That's what I'm thinking. I honestly it's been like on the back of my mind. Like I gotta start doing it. I got to start using it. I got to start tapping into that.

Kathleen Shannon 14:25
Okay, so one thing I want to just throw out here is that I really wanted a YouTube channel not for makeup. Even though I do get

Emily Thompson 14:33
done when for makeup too.

Kathleen Shannon 14:35
Yeah, I do. I would watch it. I would do your makeup. They've asked me for Instagram stories. I've tried to do fun stuff. It's just not fair. Getting a camera that close to my face is unreal. Like a Monet. I think I look better from a distance. But no, I've always

Nicole Elle 14:51
seen both of you are so good at your own makeup. It's like not even funny. Like, every time I go on your Instagrams, I'm like, Hey, I feel like that's why I had to like bring My game today it was like, All right, I'll actually put eyeshadow on today.

Kathleen Shannon 15:03
I thought that I wanted a YouTube channel. But we're already doing a lot of stuff over here we're creating a lot of content. And there's I know how much goes into making something like that and making it really well. So I decided to really embrace Facebook Live and Instagram stories because you're still practicing being on camera on camera. Because watch 30 rock. Yeah, if any of our listeners listen to 30, or watch 30 Okay, anyway, and I, and just like podcasting, we started with just our earbuds, we didn't have fancy microphones. And so the same thing goes for building an online presence. And that's something I would just recommend to you, Nicole is if you want to start getting into that, just start small start with Instagram stories or small Instagram videos, or Facebook Live

Unknown Speaker 15:55
death. That's awesome.

Kathleen Shannon 15:57
I want to get back to kind of like, the love of makeup. So for me, it's definitely a hobby, and I love doing it. And but the thing is, every time I do branding, or interviews with entrepreneurs who really love what they do, their enthusiasm is contagious. And it makes me think like, oh, that would be so much fun. And we're talking everything from makeup artists to astrophysicists. Like I'm like, oh, why didn't I do that? Why not have hidden behind ours? Yes, I know. And so whenever it came to getting a fine arts degree, did you look at makeup? And were you like, Okay, this is actually a really practical way to make a living doing this? Or did you actually really love makeup? I mean, obviously, you're doing portraitures of people's faces. But how did you actually make that decision to become a working creative artist, and using skin as your platform versus like fine art?

Nicole Elle 16:53
I think it was definitely two things. Like one I said originally was that I'm a people person, I thrive off other people's energy I love you know, collaborating, working with people. And the second part is that Yeah, I definitely thought this was a more tangible career for me. I loved painting. And I loved drawing I did ceramics, I did all the above. And I think it is an amazing talent to be able to share that with the world. And I just for me, I just knew that I needed something hands on that I could physically do. And I feel like that is what steered me in that direction. I mean, I've always loved makeup. And once I looked up more schools and did my research, I realized that this was actually a direction I could go. And I just ever since beginning I've just kind of been winging it just to see. And like how far and I'm just constantly believe in the whole idea of, you know, you're being directed for a certain reason. And I'm just kind of following that and my passion and see where it leads.

Emily Thompson 17:53
I love that. So like very consciously sort of enjoying the process where you know, you're just kind of going to see where it leads, you're gonna have fun along the way, and you're going to try new things. I think that's so important. I feel like so, so many times, especially whenever you have like an education behind you that you've paid for or may still be paying for. You have this like, sense of obligation that you have to, like, reach that end goal of whatever it was that you were trained for, or whatever it is. And, and I there's so much to say about just sort of taking a step back, and just enjoying where you are now, seeing what comes your way. Because I do feel like, I don't know, that's what it's all about, like we're here every day in the process might as well enjoy where you are.

Nicole Elle 18:35
Exactly. I'm not gonna lie that I mean, sometimes it is a little scary. Sometimes I don't know where my next job is coming from. But I mean, I've feel like there's like so many directions I want to go this. I feel like I've been reading so much personal development books, and fitness and just realizing that like being in a solid headspace has led me to be in a different direction than like anything I could have, like, imagined myself. And if that makes any sense. I don't know if that was English, but it I don't know, I just feel that, the more I would like hold on to something like force it, it doesn't work like that, you know, and I just feel like I've been as my dad and Joe Matt. And a lot of people would say they always say, trust the process fearlessly. And as much as sometimes it's scary. And sometimes I don't know, I'm still figuring out myself. And I'm just excited to see where it leads and the opportunities. I mean, this is why Emily and I don't do five year business plans because we find that doing a five year business plan is so much more limiting than taking it just one year at a time. We can kind of map out what we're going to do for the next year but anything beyond that can close off opportunities for huge growth and

Kathleen Shannon 19:46
so one of our questions for you was like how do you scale something like being a makeup artist into something beyond just showing up in the morning with your palette and your brushes and doing makeup into some thing that can really make you a lot of money. And maybe it's that you don't need to answer that question yet, maybe you just need to focus on being the very best makeup artists you can be for the next year getting those jobs, whether it be at an agency or through an agency or freelance. And then letting the opportunities unfold along the way, Emily and I have even talked about making this year, have a little bit more breathing room just to have a little more space for opportunity. Because whenever you start to fill it all up with plans, you make no space for all the extra stuff that could happen.

Nicole Elle 20:32
It's so true. And I honestly will, as you're saying that I'm like staring at my chalkboard as we speak my chalkboard.

Unknown Speaker 20:39

Nicole Elle 20:41
I, as you were saying that, it's like it's so true. I like lately. Like I said, after the wedding, I was hit the ground running, I was booked, everything was great. Everything still is great. But I've had a lot of like a couple days off, or a lot of like a little bit of slow, like a week and I'll work one day and at first it was freaking me out. And I was like, Oh my god, I'm in a low. But you know, now I'm more grateful for the opportunity because it's giving me a chance to work on myself. I like redid my whole apartment, I like you know, worked on the things that I've been putting off for so long that I'm like, okay, maybe this is where I need to focus to open up new energy for like, you know, new opportunities that come. So I don't know, I kind of am like, excuse me understanding that as well. You know, just trying to give things space and to see where what opportunities fill that space.

Emily Thompson 21:27
But also in the same breath. Do you have any sort of like big crazy goals? Like any sort of insane dreams you're working towards? Or at least like keeping in front of you, as a guiding light, you can steer away at any moment? Do you have any of those? Yeah, like, I

Kathleen Shannon 21:45
want to know what's on your chalkboard? Well,

Nicole Elle 21:49
I have just like, who I work with on the chalkboard, like i'd i'd never thought of writing down like my giant, like dream client on there. Oh, you

Kathleen Shannon 21:58
got to get the big dream on there. Because

Nicole Elle 22:01
I've just been like leaving spaces so that I could fill it with clients. Okay, interesting. I think I mean, it's not the craziest dream in the world. But I mean, I really think that agency representation is where I want to go. I mean, that's not that crazy of a dream. And like, I'm still figuring it out. But I mean, if I could do something, where it's also, like I said, I do a lot of personal development, stuff like that, like just some kind of like in between of coaching, wellness, and makeup and beauty and stuff like that would be great. Because I just feel like the whole mindset and headspace and all that sets up the tone and like goes beyond inner like, it's more inner beauty than it is outward beauty. You know, I don't know, that might have been cryptic, but

Kathleen Shannon 22:44
I love that. And I think it's so important that you have this vision for expanding beyond just the work that you do into teaching and coaching, and really helping guide other maybe creatives who are a couple steps behind you in how to do it. And one thing I want to point out here, though, that is so important is that you're doing the work first, like you're doing the work on yourself, and you're doing the work to become a working artist before you kind of expand into that area.

Nicole Elle 23:14
Exactly. Because I mean, at first like when I got out of makeup school, I jumped right into jobs. And I did so much was like, go go go. And I felt like once I started seeing it slow down a little bit, I would start to be like, Oh my god, what's going on? I don't know. But now I'm starting to learn to just like trust in that and just know that, you know, bigger things are coming. And that I don't have to freak out. Even though like I said, it's a little scary sometimes. But I feel like I'm in this, you know, I'm on this path for a reason. And if anything, like I would love to just help other people, like you said, that are maybe feeling this way as creatives and stuff, you know? I don't know, to make it more tangible. It's not

Kathleen Shannon 23:51
necessarily to like create your own line of lipstick or your own face care. You want to help other creatives do this too. Yeah,

Nicole Elle 23:59
I think so. I mean, because a lot of people always reach out and are like, you should do your own makeup line makeup brand, all that kind of stuff. But I'm like, I love the classics. And I'm sticking to them. And I don't know I just I think I don't know it's more of like a connection kind of thing. I don't know. Does that make sense?

Kathleen Shannon 24:17
Well, I want my own makeup line. I'm gonna

Unknown Speaker 24:21
Yes, put it out there.

Kathleen Shannon 24:23
So that's okay. Um, can I ask you some superficial questions like makeup?

Unknown Speaker 24:28

Kathleen Shannon 24:29
I'm prepared and ready for it's like what are your ride or die? No fail. Like, let's talk maybe mascara liner lips foundation. What are your favorites?

Nicole Elle 24:43
mascara that I'm obsessed with is the Maybelline pumped up colossal, obsessed with this stuff. I've used it for years and I won't go back just even for just for myself. I mean, I obviously use their real benefit on some of my clients. I I love both of them but this one for drugstore brand. This does the trick. It's my go to. But for brands, I'm really loving NARS their tinted moisturizer is the bomb it has enough coverage that you can build it up to be like sheer to medium to full coverage if you want to think I've been on like such a NARS Hall right now I don't know why, but I'm trying to think anastassia Beverly Hills I love her brows

Kathleen Shannon 25:28
are the best. That's my brows right now.

Unknown Speaker 25:30
Yes me to

Kathleen Shannon 25:33
dip brow and tope tope,

Nicole Elle 25:35
I have it on I have tope on as well. I just switched from blonde to toe because I'm trying something out you know, just trying something new. That's the door we are we are twinning and we have the same curtains, which is crazy. I'm trying to think what else I mean in my kit, it depends because it's like for myself I use a little bit different stuff than like what's in my kit like in my kids like Bobby Brown YSL Chanel, Armani. I'm trying to do like,

Kathleen Shannon 26:03
all these fancy brands in my kit. And then I hit up the drugstore. Exactly. I'm

Nicole Elle 26:08
like, I'm gonna use like maybelline fit which I love drugstore I've just been lately just trying out different things for on the fly just for like, not full face makeup. So I've just been trying little drugstore things here and there. But I mean, it just depends on what kind of work you're doing. Or I'm doing that, you know, depends on what kind of makeup and brands I'd be using. You know,

Kathleen Shannon 26:27
okay, coming back around a business. What are your biggest struggles? Like whenever it comes to being a makeup artist? Do you ever have crazy clients?

Nicole Elle 26:36
Knock on wood? I haven't had anyone yet. I'm not not anyone yet. But I mean that. I mean, I think what would be the biggest struggle I feel like right now for me just keeping everything organized. I have everything like, you know, my receipts and all that stuff, but I just feel like it could be better. That's why I listen to you guys. Because like it always inspires me. I mean, because there's makeup artists, I mean, we're doing that. But for some reason I've been gravitating more towards like the whole business and entrepreneurial side of it. And that's what I'm just trying to figure out like this has all been like within like, two weeks that it's just been shifting like this. So I don't know, I'm still figuring out I don't know if it's the Super Moon or something that is like active. It has to be I feel this insane energy and I'm like, Oh, you know,

Kathleen Shannon 27:21
I'm feeling a lot of energy around getting organized to literally clean

Nicole Elle 27:26
my whole apartment yesterday. I organized everything. I even organized my makeup like my personal makeup, like drawers, everything. I just took everything out of my clothes and stuff, threw it on the ground so that I would force myself to do it and I organize the whole apartment. I mean, I do live in New York, so it is very tiny, but it was still progress.

Emily Thompson 27:48
So okay, I have that made me think of another makeup question for you. When traveling with eyeshadow. Are there any tricks because all the traveling I've been doing with Kathleen lately has a ruined one of my eyeshadow palettes. Wait, it's fixable.

Unknown Speaker 28:05
There's two things in knowledge

Emily Thompson 28:08
not the Naked palette is my naked palette.

Unknown Speaker 28:11

Nicole Elle 28:11
there are two things you can stick like those not cotton balls, but the the thin cotton pads, put them in between. But then I just might one of my other friends who is a makeup artist. She just told me this trick if you spray alcohol, like 99 proof or 70 proof, whatever, into your eyeshadow, blushes, anything powder base, get it so it's like creamy consistency, like with a spoon, swirl it around and like level it out. Let it dry. It'll be back to normal.

Emily Thompson 28:41
I'm going to do that. I

Nicole Elle 28:42
know because I mind cried the other day. No, I know there's nothing worse than opening and it's like, crumbles. You're like,

Emily Thompson 28:49
right, man.

Nicole Elle 28:52
It's the worst. But I swear the alcohol trick works.

Emily Thompson 28:55
Good. I'm gonna I'm totally going to do that. Yeah. All right. So he talked about struggles. Let's talk about your favorite thing about doing what you do. So freedom, obviously, it's partly why all of us are in this. But anything else like I want to hear about, like, what is your favorite thing about doing what you do right now?

Nicole Elle 29:16
Well, I think there's like a bunch of stuff. Like being my own boss is awesome. But it's cool, because I'm also hired by other companies. So I get to see the day in the life of different, you know, offices or like, you know, because sometimes we'll be shooting in an office or sometimes it's crazy, because this job takes you in the most insane places like you've never been. And sometimes you just look around, you're like, Whoa, this is insane. So that's why I think the payoff is you know, it's like sometimes you might not have a job every single day. But when you do have that job, the opportunities and like where it takes you is wild, it's wild, but I do think it definitely are where's the cool thing as I was saying I was like, Okay, what is it I'm like,

Kathleen Shannon 29:57
or like even Fashion Week, okay, I have to tell you So my son's first babysitter who he was soul mates with, is a makeup artist in New York. She just graduated from Makeup Forever. Yeah, makeup school that she went to. And it's funny because I was chatting with her and she was feeling really almost scared and a little insecure and full of doubt, because well, one, she's like 21 or 22 years old, super young. And anyone's going to feel scared at that time in their life after just graduating. But she was she told me that she was telling her parents that it's not like someone that graduates from college like she's graduated with his makeup degree. And just it's not the same. And I was like, What? You're in a better position than someone who graduated with maybe like a geography but yeah, like

Nicole Elle 30:49
I make up even though it can happen. Those of you that are out there in geography, you can still dream big. But it's, you know, I think, yeah, it is hard because you know, you don't it's a different path than what everyone else takes. So I guess like, anytime ever listen to you guys, like it's the same thing comes up where that there is no set path, there is no set direction, everyone just has to figure it out on their own as they go, you know, and you could just, you know, read and learn as much as you can. But I just feel like you don't know until you're like right in the middle of it. And you're like, Alright, let's go. Let's do it.

Kathleen Shannon 31:22
But I was gonna say so my son is his babysitter, she is a makeup artist. And she's just trying to make her way in New York also, same kind of thing. So I feel like this podcast is almost like a little shout out to her. I just want her to have someone that she can listen to you to say like, okay, in four years, I'm going to be solid. Also, I think that fox wants to be a makeup artist whenever he grows. I love it. You guys. very favorite place is Sephora. It is

Nicole Elle 31:50
Oh, that's dangerous, but in a good way. That is

Kathleen Shannon 31:53
helping go through and try on all the makeup and

Nicole Elle 31:56
be an amazing makeup artist. Kathleen? This is it.

Kathleen Shannon 32:00
I know. I'm just gonna live I

Unknown Speaker 32:02
know. You gotta

Kathleen Shannon 32:04
you're gonna hear me doing my makeup. From Oh my god. Okay, but so going back to what is the what is the best part of your job? Where has it taken you? What I have some of your favorite atmosphere has been Oh, this is what I was gonna say. Coming back around to the babysitter makeup artists. She was telling me that she did Fashion Week and it was in sane. She had to do like 30 models makeup in 20 minutes or something crazy. It's almost a, like a reality show challenge. It is. It's

Nicole Elle 32:35
crazy. It's almost like chop, and you're like, Oh, you know what I mean? It's like, it's, it's insane. It's a lot of energy back there. And it's like, also come out in front. But in the back. We're all just running around. And that's the cool part about it. It's like always so fun. Like, you know, doing it so physical that like, it'll be like six hours. And you're like, look at the clock and like whoa, like and you're just been like doing makeup the whole time. It's like, that's fun. Because you're so zoomed in, you know what I mean? And that energy is just, you know, some it just like fuels you. I'm trying to say I like have places that I went. But you know when you're put on the spot you're like,

Kathleen Shannon 33:10
have you ever been linked backstage at a concert doing artists makeup? there? Was I

Nicole Elle 33:15
try to think not at backstage of a concert. Oh, man. I don't know. I don't know beyond it'll come from. Oh, my God, that would be sweet. Yeah, I just don't tell you guys, but I have worked with the onset. No, I'm just kidding. I haven't. That would be good. be

Emily Thompson 33:29
the only one you would need to name we'd all be like you are?

Nicole Elle 33:34
I No, no, that would be insane. One day, we can dream big, right?

Emily Thompson 33:38
That's your big. Put Beyonce on your chalkboard.

Nicole Elle 33:41
I will. I'm going to write Beyonce right now. And Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga would be my dream to work with her artists, because I do follow some of her makeup artists. And they are amazing. So I don't know, it'll come back to me once I tell it like once I think about it, because I'm put on the spot. So I'm like, trying to think it has I mean, even if it's just crazy places like just even being in the city, it's like takes you places that you wouldn't normally go in the city. And then when you step back and like look that you're a part of like this shoot that's going on, you're like, I don't know, it'll come to me soon. It'll come to me. But it has been really cool opportunities. And you just never know, like, you'll be showing up somewhere. And you're like, oh, okay, this is insane. I love it. You

Kathleen Shannon 34:20
know. And I think it's that kind of objectivity that really makes being a creative entrepreneur totally worth it. And I've shared the story before on the podcast, but I got to work with a rockstar client of my own. And whenever I was working on her website, I was so stressed out because I was just thinking about getting this graphic design done making sure that we had it in like a website mock up that I could get to my developer on time and I was really stressed out about all of it. And then I looked up and I thought, Oh my gosh, I am working on my heroes website. Like I'm so lucky. And same thing with the being boss pod. As Emily and I can easily get bogged down in all of our deadlines and to dues. But at the end of the day, we get to have conversations for a living. We're getting to write a book, we're getting to do all these really cool things. It's taking us all over the world. And

Emily Thompson 35:16
I really had that moment on the yacht in Miami. That was an amazing moment, right? That for me was one of those moments where I'm sitting on a yacht with 50 other awesome ask people and like, going around, like, looking at all these managers not that they were our manager, but they were in front of us, which made it all even more amazing. And thinking like, this is my life right now. Exactly. Or I even do that sometimes at like noon. Whenever I'm sitting on the front porch, like not doing shit. like yeah,

Unknown Speaker 35:44
it's even little things like that right now. Yeah, right. Yeah.

Emily Thompson 35:48
I love those. Oh, it's I definitely work for those moments where you can just stop occasionally. And look around. And just,

Nicole Elle 35:55
yeah, do you ever have like a moment where you look down? Like, I don't know what I don't know what it's called. But it's like where you're like doing something and you like, look at your hands and realize your hue. Is that weird? Do you ever have those like, as a creative where you're like, and it's nine with makeup? I'll be like, existential crisis, I guess. I don't know, in a good way. I don't know. But I'm like, I've had that so many times. I'm like, Whoa, you know what I mean, just to like, I feel like that's like huge and just taking the time and like realizing and being present and seeing where you're at, you know, I don't know. Yeah, I still am mad at myself for not thinking about where I have been that makeup is taken. Don't worry, whatever out of that out.

Emily Thompson 36:30
You can just start a list just started list like everything go somewhere awesome. Just pull it up, like a little a note in your phone. And

Kathleen Shannon 36:39
that might be a good Instagram strategy for you, Nicole is taking photos of the cool places you're at now I should I'm sharing more like Day in the Life. And I think that's a huge thing for working creatives is that we get to do cool stuff. And people are really curious about our careers. And the more we can share what it actually looks like, the better. And we were talking about having that kind of vision of being able to step back, look at yourself in your body by staring at your hands are looking at your surroundings and saying wow, how lucky am I to be here. But at the same time, I think that what we're trying to share on being boss is that even the most creative, badass job, that sounds so cool and fun, is also full of its own struggles and insecurities. And where's my next paycheck coming from? And how am I going to grow this thing? And what's next? Definitely. It's just, it doesn't matter what you do, it's always going to be a job and it's always going to be it will only take you as far as you drive yourself. Yeah, right. Definitely.

Nicole Elle 37:41
I definitely think that is for sure. Alright, Nicole,

Kathleen Shannon 37:44
what makes you feel most boss in your work? Like when when a wet moment? Are you looking down at your hands, and you're like, I'm in my body. And I'm a boss.

Nicole Elle 37:55
I feel like when you know, I'm working with clients, it could be like anyone, like bridal a certain client. I just feel like, you know, having that connection where they it's like a trust thing. You know, it's like, I keep reading, I just read something where it said that when you're doing makeup or anything that's like involving people face to face. It's like, you're transferring energy and you're transferring, like, your, the way you feel. And you know, I just think that that is such a cool part when I'm like, in the moment of doing someone's makeup, and it goes really well. And you know, it just has a good vibe about it. I feel like that's what like fuels me it's not about like, oh, did this picture look good on this on the red carpet? or What did that look like? At the end of it? You know what I mean? Like, it's, it's more of in the moment and the connections you make with people? That Yeah, um, I just think that's like the biggest, the coolest part of it all, you know, and seeing where it leads, you know, like, sometimes I'll get a call the day before. And I'm like, what, I have to go here and it's crazy. You know, and I'm grateful for those experiences, you know?

Kathleen Shannon 38:54
Yeah. Isn't that what it's all about those connections? Yeah, I love that for you. It's more about the process than it is about looking at your work in a glossy magazine. It's about that transfer of energy in the moment. And that's also a big responsibility. And it applies to so many more jobs than just makeup or even hair or where you're working with someone. And in a really intimate like face to face setting.

Nicole Elle 39:18
I think it is our responsibility as creatives to let our light shine as big and as bright as possible. It's the only way we're going to change the world. Exactly. And I think the biggest thing, this one makeup artist went to us like a she was speaking. And she said every year before New Year's, she comes up with a word for her year. And the one that keeps popping up in my mind is authenticity is like the biggest word. I don't know why it's just I mean, it's everywhere. But I just feel like right now, in this time. I feel like authenticity is such a big role that like we need to be you know, more active and because right now it's all like I'm perfect on Instagram and I'm this and I'm that and I want to do a day in the life as well but like even This morning I did one and I was like running, and my face was all blotchy. And I was like, oh, who do I want to put this, but it's like, that's me. That's who I am. I'm not always full face makeup, you know what I mean? And I just think that if we could just show each other that like, you know, who we truly are and embrace that, I think is, you know, really big? I don't know, it's, it's something that's been on my mind for a while. So in what

Kathleen Shannon 40:21
ways? Do you feel like you can be more of who you are? And in what ways like What does authenticity mean to you? Like, in what ways do you think that you can be more of that, especially going into the next year?

Unknown Speaker 40:32
I feel like I,

Nicole Elle 40:36
I kind of keep thinking about, like, when I first started makeup, I would just dive into things and be like, yeah, that's gonna be like, you know what I mean? And I was very, like, I'm not saying I'm not optimistic. I'm just saying, like, I was just like, I'll do anything, I'll do any job. Like, I'll do this. I'll do that. Just to get experience. And I feel like if I could have that, almost not child, like, but like, just where I'm except, like, see, like, I do see where it goes, You know what I mean? Like, as I said, but I don't know how to, like, put this into words, like, I feel like being professional, but also being yourself. It's sometimes I'm like, very like, and I get like, I get scared to curse in front of people and this and that. And it's like, I'm not saying I need to go out and be like a sailor, but I just feel like I need to be show more of who I am. You know what I mean? I don't know. I don't know, talking in circles right now.

Unknown Speaker 41:23
No, I

Emily Thompson 41:24
love that idea of embracing that like childlike energy. Because even as you talk, you're super sorry. It's fantastic. And I think that I think that whenever you can tap into those little nuances and who you are that like, are not as easy to put into words, is when you are capable of capturing what is most authentically you. And so I think that's really huge. And that's something that Kathleen and I talk about all the time, like on the podcast and off of it in terms of like, Who are we what do we like to do? And how can we bring that to what we do even more. And I think that whenever you can do that, you're like setting yourself apart from everyone else, which is what makes you like awesome, but also makes people choose you over someone else. And and I do I do love that you sort of juxtapose that with professionalism, in terms of we have these predefined notions of what we think professionalism is, and I think to held all of that,

Nicole Elle 42:25
know for sure, and that prefer perfection isn't professionalism, like being new. And being professional is amazing. You know what I mean? And I feel like all of us strive for this perfection, you know, like, we have to look amazing, like flawless skin. Now everyone's doing the whole, like injections, and these facelifts and all this stuff. And I'm like, I don't know, we just need to be honest. I'm like, everyone's starting to look like each other now. And I'm like, Oh my god, I'm like, it's like, I don't I don't know, I just feel like right now we all just need to be like true to ourselves, and just embrace that. And I feel like that, right now it's, I'm having an aha moment is where I want to go with makeup. I want people to be like, happy exactly where they are, like, don't need to, like, you know, make this and you know, pull this and like all that kind of stuff. Not that they're asking to do that. But it's like, I feel like we have this pre notion of where where we should be and what we should look like. And I think through my art and through makeup, I like would love to just see and continue to have people just feel beautiful just the way they are.

Kathleen Shannon 43:24
As is. And you know, it's funny because with makeup, it's that is one form of body modification. And it's kind of like a what end because you can go from makeup to Botox to fillers to plastic surgery. When does it begin and when does it end. But I will say for me every morning authenticity is waking up and asking myself what will make me feel most like me. And sometimes that is a completely bare face. And I'm going to rock it. Other times I feel most like me, whenever I'm rocking a bright red lip. And this is just as it relates to makeup. But this can also relate to the content that I'm writing the podcasts that I'm recording all of it. Okay, so Nicole, what's next for you? So you're, you're going to try and go this agency route. What else do you have going on? Like, what are you going to do to rock it out in 2017? I don't know. I'm

Nicole Elle 44:20
definitely thinking towards the I will definitely I mean I think more you know, press red carpet celebrity agency, but I'm also thinking I don't know, I just want to get more out there with the whole either I don't know I've been this is this is crazy. I feel like everyone says this, but I'm really feeling the urge to write like write a book or write something. I'm going to start with blogs first. We'll start small, but I don't know just being more out there. But it's tough because, like I a lot of makeup artists have said that, you know, people want to see a day in the life and like see what you do every day. But there's also a thing where they're saying that are you concentrating enough on your job? That, you know, when you're taking the time to like selfie, are you paying attention to your client as much as you're like, so excited about, you know, getting PR and all this kind of stuff. So I feel like I'm trying to like, I haven't jumped into the whole like, person, like my personality online and all that stuff like, you know, like Dana life kind of stuff. But I kind of want to, like creep into it and tiptoe into it, like, I don't know, as, not ethically as I can. But you know, just like the right way just because I've seen now with social media, so many people are just like, you know, in everyone's faces and stuff, and it is exciting, but it's like finding that balance. So I think that that is something I'm going to, you know, try and explore. But I'm also thinking, we were thinking with one of my friends who is a makeup artist as well. Maybe doing like a podcast every Friday with wine and makeup tips, I don't know, it can be fun. We'll say just something that's not like because I feel like right now I'm, you know, there's so much like I said content out there. So many YouTube channels, so many people with something to say. And I feel like finding the right thing to say and the right things to show are like what I'm trying to work on and then putting it out. Just try to think of it clearly

Kathleen Shannon 46:08
find you find your voice by using it. Yes, start using as writing. But I think that seeing what's happening and what you don't like about it, like maybe all the selfies or getting distracted from doing your job by taking selfies or focusing too much on your own press, or your own brand. I think it's actually an interesting challenge that really creates innovation in how you create content and how you share it. And so whenever you focus on doing it in a different way, or in a way that feels authentic to you, then you're going to create something new and something that really resonates with people even like that's what will help make your voice stand out beyond all the content that's already being loved. So

Unknown Speaker 46:52
I'm loving that early.

Emily Thompson 46:55
I wrote a newsletter about this just this morning. Yeah. Titled that. There's another way. Because I really do believe that I feel like all the people that we have interviewed and all the people that I've come into contact with, like no one is running the same kind of business as someone else. No one is finding their success, that in a way that's like anyone else's. All this is like my whole thing about creative entrepreneurs is I think we're all creative, not in that we do creative things with our hands. But we're building businesses in creative ways. And I really do think that we have the ability to find the other way. Like there's no cookie cutter, there's no set way of reaching anything. It's just how you want to do it and take sort of trial and error. But but there is there's always another way like I think of people who know are running half million dollar businesses working 20 hours a week with a small team, or I think of you know, people who are building huge online businesses, but are not spending all day on social media, or whatever it may be like, there's another way. And so I love that you just just have to find what way is your way.

Nicole Elle 48:04
I love that. Oh, that is speaking to me. I like that a lot. That is like that's, that's exactly where I feel needs attention. So I am obsessed with that idea.

Kathleen Shannon 48:14
Perfect. Well, Nicole, thank you so much for joining us. If you could leave us with just one piece of advice for someone imagine, there is a 21 year old who just graduated makeup school, shout out to Taylor. If you could just give her like one piece of advice, what would it be?

Unknown Speaker 48:33
I would definitely say

Nicole Elle 48:37
go sound cheesy. Never give up. I mean, never give up. You know, you jump into it with what you know, when you know and like when with whatever you have, in the present moment. Work with what you have. Do your best. try as hard as you can. And just be yourself and just see where it leads. I mean, the possibilities are endless if you're open to it, and I strongly believe in that. And you know, just being optimistic and open minded and just be excited for what's next. I don't know. Just keep going. Keep doing it.

Emily Thompson 49:12
Nicole, how about you tell everyone where we can find you?

Nicole Elle 49:16
Oh, no, it's all good. Um, you can find me at Nicole Elle makeup calm. Or you can check me out on Instagram as Nicole Elle makeup. And the same goes for Facebook and be prepared because there's gonna be some new and exciting stuff in 2017 so I'm excited. Yay. Perfect. Thank

Unknown Speaker 49:34
you so much for having me. It's

Nicole Elle 49:36
such a pleasure and and you guys are inspirations. And this is like a dream come true talk. Talking and chatting with you guys. I appreciate it.

Kathleen Shannon 49:46
Nicole wanted me to make sure that you guys know that she is not Candace Cameron's main makeup artist. She just does some of her makeup whenever she comes into town to New York. So she was super sweet. We interview a lot of people And after they record with us, there's always a little bit of a vulnerability hangover or like, ah, maybe I shouldn't have said that. So that was one thing I wanted to clarify for you guys after the fact. Thanks again, Nicole for joining us. All right, you guys, I live and die by my Google Calendar. If an event date or meeting doesn't make it into my calendar, it is definitely not happening. But I noticed over the past year my calendar has been filled to the brim with meetings, there is no space to actually do the work. Even when I would block off time for myself, I would inevitably fill that space with another meeting, I was having a really hard time sticking to my boundaries. And that's when I finally set up acuity scheduling to help me hold myself accountable to my own rules. When someone wants to book a meeting or a coffee date with me, I simply send them my availability with a link to my acuity calendar. They book an appointment when I make myself available and that is that acuity helps me keep my own appointments with myself just as important as those with other people. Sign up for a free 60 day trial of scheduling sanity at acuity scheduling calm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 51:23
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support, monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 51:46
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible. Our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin green, our community manager and social media director Sharon lucky, our graphic designer Jessica bramblett, and our bean counter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 52:06
Do the work v boss, and we'll see you next week.

Kathleen Shannon 52:23
Okay, so one thing I want to share when Ty is working with a makeup artist. I don't know if this should go in the show or not. But

Emily Thompson 52:32
we'll see.

Kathleen Shannon 52:34
I was working with the makeup artists on set in Atlanta. I was I was working on a commercial that I had written and produced with my sister nice. And yeah. And the makeup artists on set like I always end up becoming friends with the makeup artists on set. And so I'm hanging out with her and some of the talent that's getting makeup done. And I put on a playlist and there's some David Bowie and how much I love David Bowie. Rip love him. She kind of looks at me like she cocked her head and she's like, Girl, he's like, what? And she goes David Bowie's the first man that ever went down on me.

Unknown Speaker 53:15
That was not what I was expecting you to say at all. I

Unknown Speaker 53:18
thought she was gonna

Kathleen Shannon 53:21
say about laughing. Yeah, she's like, Girl, David Bowie is the first man that went down on my knees like, Oh my god, where do you go from that? Where do you go? 70s or 80s? I'm sorry.

Unknown Speaker 53:32
I'm on my God. Sorry,

Kathleen Shannon 53:33
David Bowie rest. Um, but yeah, I was obsessed with and I made her tell me the whole story. Oh, my God, like, I want all the details.

And did she give them to you?

Unknown Speaker 53:44
Yeah. Oh my god.

Unknown Speaker 53:46
And that is when you will always have for the rest of your life.

Kathleen Shannon 53:51
I'm glad to know that like David Bowie's a gentleman whenever it comes to pleasing his ladies.

Nicole Elle 53:58
Who would have known Who would have known to see if he would have never put on David Bowie. None of this would even have come to light.

Emily Thompson 54:05
Right? We call that a magic moment.

Unknown Speaker 54:06
That is a magic moment.

Nicole Elle 54:08
That's like Labyrinth moment. You know, like David Bowie, labyrinth. I have to watch that movie. No.

Kathleen Shannon 54:14
I have to go watch. I mean, I grew up watching that movie too.

Nicole Elle 54:16
And I feel like that I feel like it's like an underlying thing in a lot of creatives. It's all like been like, oh, did you watch the labyrinth growing up yet?

Kathleen Shannon 54:24
Okay. Makes sense. That's why that's why I'm where I am. That's why we're cool. And

Nicole Elle 54:29
we're fun. And we think outside the box. I don't know. What box Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 54:35
Oh my god.

Unknown Speaker 54:36
Amazing. Love that. Cory I

Emily Thompson 54:39
think that would make a great blooper

Nicole Elle 54:42
on throwing that out there exactly. Because it's not what anyone was good. I did not expect you to say that.

Kathleen Shannon 54:47
We're gonna hear so much hate meal. Why? No, we're not whatever sex is a thing. People have it right.

Emily Thompson 54:55
Welcome to

Unknown Speaker 54:57
2006 life as a human Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 55:00
Exactly is their reproductive fee? Yeah, that was like the I will never forget that that was wild.

Unknown Speaker 55:07
When was this?

Kathleen Shannon 55:09
This was probably nine or 10 you know? I mean, I bet it was like 10 years ago.

Unknown Speaker 55:15
Oh my gosh. Wild. Wild.

Kathleen Shannon 55:18

Unknown Speaker 55:20
All right. All right. No,

Kathleen Shannon 55:22
sorry. I didn't mean to derail

Emily Thompson 55:23
No, I love it. It's fine. It's what you do honey it's good. I like it always keeps it good because

Nicole Elle 55:29
it makes us like leave and then come back you know what I mean? Like it's good because like I'm still trying to process where a cool places that I've been.

Kathleen Shannon 55:37
I'm like now processing what it would be like for David Bowie to go down on Oh my god. Like,

Emily Thompson 55:46
right, Kathleen Kathleen's done, she's she's.

Unknown Speaker 55:53
I love it.

Unknown Speaker 55:55
Your job, Cory.

Unknown Speaker 55:57
All of it. All of it.