OCEANSIDE — After having children, Janet Pippins felt there was still something missing in her life. She had always enjoyed doing her friends’ makeup, and in 2004 decided to go professional by first earning a certificate in makeup artistry, then launching her business — Janet Pippins Artistry.In 2009, Pippins visited the popular industry website Modelmayhem.com, where she met Gail Bowman, another enterprising North County mom who was making a name for herself as a children’s, fashion and wedding photographer.
“I said to Gail, ‘Do you want to collaborate?’ and she came over to my garage,” Pippins recalls.
The women developed a close personal and professional relationship, referring clients to each other, keenly aware that they had to do a certain amount of pro bono work to promote themselves. For example, Bowman would come up with a concept for a photo, then call a modeling agency to see if an up-and-coming model might want to build her portfolio by exchanging services. She recruited Pippins to do the makeup.
Soon, Bowman was in a position to charge a fee — accumulating an impressive client list that today includes models for Guess, Sketchers, Clinique and T-Mobile. Others include Natalie Ann Pack, Miss California USA 2012; Mabelynn Capeluj, Miss California USA 2013; Cassidy Wolf, Miss California Teen USA 2013; Naduah Rugely, a contestant in “America’s Next Top Model”; and Encinitas model Nathalie Gironas, who got her start in the early Justin Bieber video, “Eeny Meenie.”
Pippinswas bitten by the entrepreneurial bug again a year ago, which led to the opening of Allure Makeup Academy in Oceanside in April 2012. The upscale commercial space was also large enough for a photography studio for Bowman.
Pippins keeps her class size small, between two and six students, in order to provide individual attention.
“Some girls have natural talent and you can see it right away,” she said. “Other girls pick it up around the third day.”
The curriculum includes weeklong classes that include: Introduction to Makeup Artistry; Bridal/Fashion/Runway Makeup; Airbrush Makeup; Advanced Airbrush Makeup; Spray Tanning; Eyelash Extensions; Hair Styling for Photo Shoots and Weddings; Portfolio Building Shoot; and Business Development and Branding.
Students receive a certificate for each class they complete. They can also take a six-week masters class where they learn glamour/high fashion, portfolio building and business development.
Bowman helps Pippins’ students build a portfolio using professional models she’s recruited who require makeup prior to a photo session with her. Some students find this intimidating.
“I tell them, ‘Talk to the models — you have to build a relationship. I want you to make yourself proud and make Allure proud,’” Bowman explains, adding that she posts photographs of student work on her Facebook page to give them exposure.
Pippins tells her graduates that there are several directions they can take as professional makeup artists including commercial work in advertising as well as weddings, special occasions such as graduations and boudoir photography.
Students range in age from 14 to a mom in her 50s who is already building a client base.
Taking what they’ve learned, Pippins and Bowman are inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs. Their optimism is supported by a survey earlier this year by the National Association of Women Business Owners that the future for women entrepreneurs is more promising than ever.
“It really makes you feel good — helping these kids and patting them on the back,” Pippins said. “It will touch you.”
Bowman adds, “I believe that if you want it, you can make it happen.”
On June 1, Pippins is launching her new Charmed Cosmetics Mineral Makeup, a line of affordable, cruelty-free products for all skin tones and ethnicities that includes: cream foundation, powder foundation, bronzer, blushes, eye shadows, lip glosses and makeup brushes.
Charmed Makeup will be available online at charmedcosmetics.com on June 1, and will also be showcased at Phame (Professional Hair & Makeup Exposition) at the Pasadena Convention Center June 29 and June 30. Allure is also a distributor for Vanity Girl Hollywood Mirrors.
Allure Makeup Academy and Gail Bowman Photography are located at 4011 Avenida De La Plata, Suite 302, in Oceanside.
For information about Allure, visit alluremakeupacademy.com or call (760) 908-6902.
For information about Bowman, visit gailbowmanphotography.com.