Interview w/Nancy Finnegan, Makeup Artist

When did you start your business?
I branched out on my own as strictly a self employed freelance makeup artists (MUA) in August 2011. I do have a place I work out of at SO VAIN SALON on Meridian street in downtown, Huntsville. Before that I had been employed as a MUA for several cosmetic lines for 7 years.

What made you decide to start your business? History.
After much thought and  waiting for the right time I decided to branch out on opportunities I felt I was missing by not being self employed. I am very lucky to be real good friends w/ the owner of So Vain Salon, she knew I was unhappy employed w/ my current job & thought having a MUA at her Salon would be beneficial for us both.


Tell me what you do.
I provide a variety of things for my clients. I just added to my menu of services by listening to what my clients want and have asked for. Since I do not sell any  products my clients often ask me what they should wear. Now I offer personal shopping for clients after they answer a few questions about skin care and makeup. They make an appointment with me and we go shopping for what I think will best suit their needs and lifestyle. I also teach lessons for any age on how to do makeup and how to use what you already have as well. I mostly stay busy with doing makeup for weddings and photo sessions with several photographers.

Event and special occasion makeup usually keep me busy, especially with all the high school Dances and fundraisers Huntsville has. I also do a GNO (girls night out) that has been picking up lately. Husbands have been purchasing them as gifts for wives and a few of their friends and women have been buying them as an additional fun “pre game” party to going out or Bunko!!

What is your dream client? Who would you like to work with?
I cannot say that I really have a “dream” client. What I would like to fulfill more is a “dream” and that is to have return clients and clients enjoy my services so much that they refer me to their friends.

Some of Nancy's makeup work

What is one of your recent accomplishments?
SMYL (Stylists Making You Lovely). I have two children with a rare life threatening blood disease that qualified them to have Make a Wishes Granted. After seeing them have them granted and knowing as their mother what I saw, felt and witnessed how a giving heart can have an affect on someone w/ a diseased body can have, I wanted to do something similar for others. With the right timing and also part of the reason I decided to freelance was to form this group. I pulled together with  a recently formed group of other MUA’s  I’m in called M.A.T, hair stylists from So Vain Salon, several photographers and stylists, boutiques in the area to create a day of beauty for those who have suffered a life threatening disease or survived a tragedy. I recently went on the news to promote this and people will submit their stories to me via email at, so that I can review them and hopefully provided a satisfying day of beauty for them followed by a photoshoot.

More of Nancy's makeup work

How do you network? Build business?
I talk A LOT!!! That is how I mostly network! I take my job seriously and do what I can to promote my business, by meeting people, Facebook and advertising. I do not yet a website set up, but that is my next step.

What is your key to success?
I think I am a success  mostly because I waited for God’s plan and timing, not my own. What also drives me is I like being a business woman and I want o succeed at it!!  I am a single mom with three children, two with a disease and one of them in college. I want to always provide for them, keep a roof over their head and send them to college! I want them proud of their mom for making it successfully as a makeup artists and following a passion as my source of income. THEY make me work hard, because they have needs and if I am lazy or don’t believe in myself, then their needs eventually won’t get met…that will not happen! Their too precious to me!

Can you share a tip about your business?
I would have to go with believe in yourself. I know it’s generic phrase, but a true one.

How do you keep current in your area of expertise? Continuing education?
I READ, watch, listen and practice!!! It might be makeup and skin care, but there is always something to learn to stay updated. I touch products, sample them and use them on myself and others for feedback and opinions.

Makeup by Nancy

What was your most rewarding moment?
My most rewarding moment is when I find out a client or photographer I have worked with likes what I have done and refers me to someone. I love to make an appointment and the person making it tells me that “such and such” referred them to me.

Community involvement?
That would be SMYL, Fashion week Alabama 2012, Radar Magazine fashion show 2012 (with M.A.T) , The inner city learning project (with M.A.T.), I also do NUMEROUS Bone Marrow drives with Lifesouth and fundraisers for families w/ sick children.

Is there anything you have coming up that you’d like to share with everyone? Events, promotions, specials?
If anyone reads this blog  or mentions your name and books an appointment w/ me I will offer a 10% discount off a service I provide. Clients can also find me on Fb to view tips and specials I occasionally post.

Makeup by Nancy

Nancy’s contact information:
Nancy Finnegan on Facebook
Nancy Finnegan, Makeup Artist on Facebook Fan Page

So Vain Salon
609 Meridian St
Huntsville, Al 35801
256-551-1010 (work)
256-970-9234 (cell)

Oh, and one last thing….

In your words.
…How much space do I get? I can really talk a lot!! I believe in myself, my talents and those select few that I choose to network with! I would like to thank you for the interest in wanting to share me on your blog and to thank those who were interested enough in reading this! Check out my page, call or email me for an appointment or any questions you might have about what I provide for my clients. I simply am a woman trying to succeed in doing what she loves -life is too short to do otherwise! I think being passionate about my job makes a big difference! I am blessed to come across many walks of life and to learn something new with each and every person I sit in my chair or network with. People are fascinating and I would love to be able to be a part of someone’s special day, be it doing makeup for a wedding, prom, photos or providing a life changing experience through makeup.

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I hope you have enjoyed the interview this week. Nancy truly is a delight and such a pleasure to be around. She is honest and hardworking. I don’t believe I have ever heard a single complaint come out of her mouth. She is living her passion and pursuing her dream, that is quite evident if you spend just five minutes with her.  I am impressed with Nancy’s work ethics.

Please contact her today and tell he I sent you for that 10% discount on any of her services. Proms, senior portraits, and the wedding season are right around the corner ya’ll. Give her a call.


  • Tamika D.

    Networking is about talking. This is a fab interview (as usual) and I love her eye for makeup. I am a makeup girl, ya know! :0) Cute photog too.

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