For Jaime McLaughlin, online business entrepreneur, blogger and the beauty guru behind the Beauty Guide Collection, promoting self-care is at the top of her list. As a hair and makeup artist for 14 years, Jaime decided she wanted to empower women with everything they needed to do makeup like a pro, so she launched curated beauty courses. Read on to hear about Jaime’s story, the many obstacles she faced in her life, her struggle with loneliness and more.
Q: Tell us about your journey to where you are now. Was makeup something that always interested you?
A: Goodness, yes! I was always obsessed with playing in my aunt’s stash of MAC makeup under her sink. She was a photographer and would always doll us up and do our photos for practice. I remember always wanting to play with her makeup the entire time. I got such a high off of it! Fast forward to high school, I still enjoyed doing it and was the makeup artist for all of my friends. I did their hair and makeup for proms, homecomings and had a blast. One day (when I was 16 or so), someone asked me to do their hair and makeup for a wedding—they wanted to pay me! So, I charged them $25 per person. I thought I was rolling in the dough for making a couple hundred dollars in one day! That sparked my passion to turn this into a career.
Q: When did you have the idea to offer online beauty classes?
A: Before teaching online courses, I was an actual hair and makeup artist. I worked on clients for 14 years, doing anything from weddings to production sets. It was incredible but, as my family grew, it became harder to be as available to all my clients. Early in 2018, I had this idea to essentially create an online hair and makeup lesson that anyone could access at any time. I loved doing one-on-one lessons, but scheduling was so hard. So I created an e-book that included all of my recommended products. Then, I recorded videos to guide my clients through a step-by-step process on how they too could create simple everyday makeup looks.
Q: How do the courses actually work?
A: I created a set of e-courses or online masterclasses, which are essentially one-on-one lessons with me. They range from low-cost e-books to higher priced video courses.
Q: It sounds easy, but I know the path was probably hard to get to where you are now. Walk us through some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced.
A. Oh man, I have faced so many obstacles. Early in my career, I was a young, single mother—that was hard enough as it is. Learning how to navigate running a small business in the wedding industry was extremely challenging. That industry is so emotional for the clients. As a business owner, I was learning how to set expectations, assessing my own worth and what to charge, understanding a proper contract and identifying how to stand up for myself as a business owner.
It was the best job ever, but also very stressful. When I decided to convert in-person clients into presenting my knowledge and skills via e-courses, that decision brought on an entirely new set of challenges. The beauty industry is exploding right now with YouTubers, Instagrammers and makeup artists giving away their content for free. But, I know that when people have some skin in the game, (when they actually have to pay for content), they consume it more intentionally. I knew I didn’t want to be another YouTuber or beauty guru giving away my content for free and getting paid to push products that I didn’t really believe in. Therefore, a big challenge is staying motivated to know my worth, value my knowledge and advise my customers that my expertise is worth spending money on.
Q: A lot of Hey! VINA users join the app to meet friends in their area since adulting can be lonely. Was there ever a time in your life when you were lonely?
A: Totally! Being a young single mom was hard. My peers were out partying, going to college and just being young adults. Which was great for them. But for me—I had to grow up quickly. That led to some pretty lonely evenings once the baby was down. Regardless of age, it is hard being a single mom. Essentially, you don’t really have someone to share the exciting times with. I would have seriously benefited from an app like Hey! VINA in my early mama days!
Q: How did you find your tribe?
A: My tribe is small but mighty. Again, I have four kiddos and run a business—so time is limited in this current season of life. But, it really took me making sure I actually left the house. As a mom, its hard! You are tired. You have to deal with nap schedules and everything else that comes with kids. Sometimes, you don’t want to go anywhere. But forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone, start conversations and realizing that everyone is nervous to talk to someone new—so just do it anyway! I also joined a moms group which was really great for me to hang out consistently with other women. Also, social media has been really great for creating an online tribe of business mamas. It’s so cool that we can connect virtually to anyone in the world.
Q: Would you say it’s lonely being an entrepreneur?
A: Totally! I think most entrepreneurs are pretty high achievers. Often times, they get stuck in their own heads and in their ideas and vision. Sometimes, I start working, look up at the clock and realize five hours have gone by and I’ve been sitting in the same spot on my computer. Thankfully my husband is home with me, so I get a lot more adult interaction than I did prior to him working outside of the home. But yes, being an entrepreneur can get pretty lonely—especially if you don’t have an office space or a big team (yet).
Q: What is a common mistake that women make when shopping for beauty products?
A: Oh man, getting sucked into the sales pitches and IG trends! I am even guilty of it! Also, everything is SO pretty and they always have the most amazing packaging. But the truth is, most women don’t even use a quarter of the makeup they have. It just goes to waste. That is why I teach my students the core products that are multifunctional and will last them a while. Less wasted money and less disappointment on “popular” products that are pushed by bloggers, but don’t really work for the majority of women.
Q: On the VINA app, we ask users to describe themselves in 5 emojis. What would yours be?
Q: If you could swipe right on any celeb and go on a VINA date with them, who would it be and why?
A: Jennifer Lawrence. She is so freaking hilarious and down-to-earth. I love that! I think it would be the most entertaining VINA date, ever!
Thanks for talking to VINAZINE, Jaime! Vinas, are you interested in taking one of her beauty courses? Get The Complete Guide to Beauty course for $97 (versus $129) by using the discount code HEYVINA here! And if you’re looking for other vinas to connect with, download Hey! VINA, join communities and start swiping right.