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Confessions Of A Cosmetologist

By Emma Landegren

Society now moves so quickly that we forget to take time to evaluate whether we like the things we do. If there is one thing to be learned from Amanda McCarthy, 39 and owner of AMB Cosmetics, it is to always make sure we love what we do. This is exactly the approach McCarthy has fine-tuned over the years.

“My job is not work,” stated McCarthy bluntly and confidently.

Not many people can project this refreshing attitude. McCarthy is a charming, light-hearted, and kind woman. However, she did not always have a creative career. Previously working in the health club industry managing sports clubs, she learned she loves working with people. Face-to-face connection is important in McCarthy’s work life.

“I’m a people person, and relationships with people are huge to me,” said McCarthy.

She worked briefly with Saks at Clinique, a cosmetics company, and found her hobbies were beginning to unravel. Once she got married and had two children, McCarthy began freelancing weddings. She would spend hours with brides, concocting the perfect look for their big day. McCarthy’s eyes were bright as she said that making a woman feel beautiful on her wedding day is one of the most rewarding feelings. At this point in her life, she knew she needed to commit completely.

Her studio, located in Norwell, is a space for freethinking and having a drink with friends as they get their makeup done; it is a comfortable space where intimidation is nonexistent. She provides a personalized experience for her customers, a component lacking in many large chains. People find these locations to be overwhelming, and they often avoid taking the time to look around. McCarthy has consciously tried to eliminate these pitfalls in her studio. Her main goal in a small studio is comfort and connection.

“I have worked as an artist in every scenario possible: high-end department stores, small boutiques...in small hotel rooms, on front porches...and even touch-ups in the vestibules of churches. I wanted to have a space especially for bridal trials and makeup lessons. I wanted my clients and I to have a quiet, intimate space to work together without distraction. My studio gives me the opportunity to give the client a genuine experience. People aren’t standing over my shoulder watching, phones aren’t ringing.... it’s just about the makeup,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy dove headfirst into the complex world of cosmetics. AMB Cosmetics features a line of beautiful cream lipsticks, hydrating foundations, and poppy blushes. Since her makeup line is only three months old, she does not have many expectations. Starting a business can be a scary undertaking, but McCarthy shows no fear. McCarthy cites her loyal client base as one of the best perks. She has provided a judgment-free space for women to practice applying makeup that they may be unfamiliar with. She described her ultimate goal—to provide women a 20-minute face tutorial with fewer than five products. She is not here to teach extreme artistry; this look is for every kind of girl. She aims to enhance natural features with a pop of color, whether that is by lipstick, eye shadow, or blush.

“You are always dressed with a lip [color],” said McCarthy.

Her user-friendly line can be seen on anyone from 15 to 55 years of age. She has many people interested in her fresh products and said that Boston has great camaraderie for women in the fashion industry.

“I love to make women feel good about themselves. To take time in teaching them gives self-confidence, and I love to see how they are affected by the simplicity of makeup,” said McCarthy.

She is not here to change the way a woman looks; she wants to combat a flaw by lightly masking it. She has decided to upload a collection of makeup tutorial videos to her website, providing women with an outlet for achieving the looks at home.

“Making makeup as easy as possible is key,” said McCarthy.

Her makeup line is mineral based and paraben-free. It is also cruelty-free and hypoallergenic, and a few of her products are gluten-free as well. She gives women of all skin types a resource to find exactly what they want and need. Not only does she create products and provide lessons on how to use them, but she also has an organic spray-tanning unit in her studio. The product is completely natural and can be mixed for each person’s skin tone, whereas well-known chains allow only three options: light, medium, or dark.

McCarthy’s products are weightless, soft, creamy, and smooth; they enhance women’s facial features without being overwhelming, and the application process is simple and easy to follow. Her tutorials empower women and give them the confidence and knowledge to look and feel beautiful. McCarthy has the world at her fingertips, and it will be exciting to see what she accomplishes next.

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