Makeup studio chain Blushington quickly pivoted to its e-commerce business at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but now, it’s bringing artist education to the dot-com sphere, too.
Blushington has unveiled the Blushington Academy for Artist Advancement, a 25-hour interactive series of courses for professional makeup artists. The curriculum, which varies from different types of makeup to elevating the knowledge and professionalism of artists, is available by application on Blushington’s web site. Admission comes with a makeup kit valued at over $1,000, and the tuition fee is $975. Also as part of the initiative, Blushington has partnered with Erborian to offer 20 Black makeup artists full scholarships for the course. Artists who complete the course will be listed in a directory of local artists on Blushington’s web site. They will also gain a 20 percent commission on sales to clients through the Blushington web site, and be given a professional discount of the same value.
A key point of the curriculum is doing makeup on the everyday woman, said Natasha Cornstein, chief executive officer of Blushington, which she says is often overlooked in traditional education for beauty professionals. “So much of the education is focused on the one percent of what’s available in the industry, like theater, stage, editorial, runway. All of these are very aspirational for makeup artists,” Cornstein said. “They are incredible pursuits, but the majority of artists are freelancing and working with everyday customers, brides, Sweet Sixteens, and building a customer base that way.”
“It’s one thing to perfect winged eyeliner in a classroom, another to go eye-to-eye with a difficult client. Do you know how to schedule a bride, deal with her jitters the day of, and how to maximize her schedule? What we want to do with the Academy is elevate the careers of makeup artists, and back them with the Blushington community,” Cornstein said.
The Academy is not the first digital venture by Blushington, which offered both makeup classes for teens, as well as skin care and makeup introductory courses online for consumers. This is the first effort, though, to expand its digital offerings for artists. “We have three audiences. We have our team, our customers, and the brands that we curate,” Cornstein said. “We’ve trained over a thousand makeup artists and trained them in the techniques of Blushington and our approach to beauty, which is focused on how you feel and inspiring that confidence.”
Strengthening its online efforts and community was imperative to Blushington, as it is for most beauty brands and companies during the pandemic. “We were coming off of our strongest quarter in the history of the company, and overnight, we lost all of our revenue generators. There wasn’t a dollar coming in. This pivot has been essential to keeping the brand alive,” Cornstein said, mentioning a big push on e-commerce as part of the larger shift online. “We launched a new web site on Shopify, and e-commerce has become a huge part of the business. We’re up over 400 percent [in e-commerce] over the prior year, and we really modernized to have our whole edit available,” she said.
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