“With 5 years experience in beauty services, featured in wedding and event publications, Paragon Makeup has always been passionate about bringing innovation, precision, and professionalism to the most editorial or intimate clients. Beauty En Route guarantees this level of excellence to wherever your beautiful adventures take you!”
Beauty En Route
Hello my wonderful people, today I am going to share with you, all about my little baby, Audrey, aka, Beauty En Route. I’m finally ready to share inside “the experience” with everyone, why I created it, how I created it and the impact its had on my business. This is going to be a long-ish one, so grab your coffee and let’s get to it!
A perfect escape from a busy venue, or a touch of glam in a remote location, Beauty En Route provides full hair and makeup services in a stylish, comfortable setting, catered to you. Enjoy champagne and chocolate covered strawberries with your bridesmaids while relaxing in your made to order silk robes and listening to your favourite music. Levelling up the traditional studio experience, Beauty En Route is designed to be customizable based on your bridal vision!
Why I Created It
Flash back just under a year ago and I was struggling with my first few months being a full time freelancer. I had just quite my part time management job in makeup retail (pretty much on the spot) when they wouldn't give me halloween off (a day I had already requested off and booked clients.) Now, although this was spur of the moment, I had been having an inclining to quit for some time. My mind was scared of the endless negative outcomes and struggles that would come with leaving an hourly position, but my heart was telling me to take this leap of faith and go for my real dream, working for myself.
Now I had been picking up odd jobs here and there from headshot, to boudoir to engagement makeup. And, I had also been taking jobs from many already “successful” makeup artists as a contractor. Even though I was finding it hard to cope with the inconsistency of work, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew what freedom could come if I just put the work in. My lovely family, of course, was always there supporting me. I would ramble about the amazing ladies I worked for and how I wanted so badly to just hurry up and be where they’re at. In a sea of a million makeup artists in Vancouver, I was looking to stand out from the pack, excelerate my marketing and elevate my client service. As a girl who always loved pretty things, I also knew there was a way to give my clients a more luxe experience than what I was seeing in the industry. I only wish this genius idea was my own originally, haha, but at last, my mobile beauty parlour still came into fruition. With this idea stirring in the back of my mind, in June of last year I came across Audrey (disguised in a military tank-like wrap) on Craigslist and I was sold. While she is much more chic now, she was definitely kept in minty condition for being from 1992! Those silver rims and amazing side mirrors sure caught my eye. Now read on for how I took her from barren, to a full blown makeup and hair studio on wheels!
How I Created It
There are so many details I could include in this sections, but I’ll try and be as concise as possible. You see, I was going into unchartered territories with this one. I am a visionary (and a stubborn one at that) And when I get my mind stuck on an idea, I will go through ridiculous lengths to make it become a reality. I like things to be a certain quality and to look a particular way which doesn’t always make things easy. Nevertheless, any typical “salon/studio” idea I pinned from Pinterest needed to be adapted to survive in a moving vehicle. Not only that, but I couldn’t afford to outsource the design and work, so I had to come up with the ideas, how to implement them and where in the heck to buy the products myself. Thankfully, I had the best contractor (Dad) to help me every step of the way, and for that, I am forever grateful!
After knocking out the little left inside, we inserted the modern grey vinyl flooring (waterproof for all my spills) and started to map out where everything else would go. I needed to maximize space, while keeping it cute and functional! My new favourite website was Houzz and Impressions Vanity Co, because they both had such amazing furniture pieces at affordable prices! The biggest struggle of all was the walls. Originally just plywood, I needed to beautify them (but I didn’t know what the hell with??) I searched high and low before finally finding these thin white tufted panel options in the US Home Depot. I was on a bit of a timeline to say the least. I needed to pull this entire project together in around 1 and a half months to shoot this video and have it ready for my first ever bridal show, “All Dressed In White.” Unfortunately, the credit card, uncertain of the out of country order, bounced and I missed the cancelation email. Two weeks in, I check on my very important order to see when it will arrive to find in horror, it was canceled! I rushed to replace the order, but knew it wouldn’t come in time. Man, even recounting this story now is giving me nightmares!! Craziness happened to try and find a solution to the walls, I found them in stock in an aluminum colour and attempted to paint them, only for it to look like trash. I tried calling the manufacture to make a direct order only to be faced with an additional 600$ fee.
In the meantime, I was finishing every single detail, including having my dad wire a custom lighted vanity mirror and me struggle to put together an Ikea kitchen cabinet. It’s no lie when people talk about how difficult it is to understand IKEA instructions! In the end, the walls came with one days grace and we were able to slap them up and start installing the furniture to the walls. While she is a beaut now, I definitely learned a hard lesson. I now know, before diving in too deep, to plan a head, that it’s not a race, and that if it doesn’t work for this time, it will be more than ready for next.
The Impact It’s Made
These past fives months have flown by like crazy and Audrey has become second skin. I don’t even remember what it was like without her. Convenience wise, she has enabled me to do hair and makeup ocean side in Powell River, in the woods of Golden’s Ears Park, in the streets of Vancouver and many many more beautiful locations. She has given me the opportunity to bring my clients and other vendors a once in a lifetime makeup and hair experience. No more freezing bums in our outdoor boudoir sessions, everyone now has a safe haven to run to, to change and get warm. While I couldn’t be happier with the ease and comfortability she has given my clients, she has also helped with my exposure as an artist. Her beautiful Paragon branding with the marble and gold accents is certainly a sight to be seen. I am lucky to say that many of my most recent clients have been brought by her simply being driven in public!
My biggest takeaway from the experience is when you get an idea, and you love it, just run with it. Your mind might be filled with doubt, but if you are truly passionate you won’t fail. I can say my artistry and love for makeup hasn’t change greatly, but what has is the impression I leave on people. Especially in the creative industry, it’s amazing to have a brand that shares your unique story because it helps you find your people.
Credits to my amazing team!
Producer: Meagan MacRae
Director / DOP / Drone OP / Editor: - Derek Hakkim
Camera: - David Slater
Wardrobe Provided By: