Raleigh NC's On Location Hair + Makeup Artist specializing in TV/Film, Weddings, and Commercial projects.

Raleigh NC On Site Hair and Makeup - Ashley Watts Beauty

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Maintaining your vibe: A low key guide to balance

I know what you’re thinking, “another dumb self help guide”. But I promise it’s more than that. In 2017, I hit my biggest burn out with running my own business that I really had to take a step back and focus on what my goals were and whether the juice was worth the squeeze, if ya feel me.

I spent the good part of my early years in this business thinking, taking all the gigs you can, overwork the crap out of yourself, and make sure your clients know you value you them over yourself. It took me years to realize all of those things are very unhealthy. That it’s way more important to take care of yourself than be the first one to reply to an email, that the best way to serve your clients is to serve yourself. It seems so simple, but if you’re running your own business it can be quite challenging to remember a work/life balance. So if you’re stepping your toes into entrepreneurship, let me help guide you so you don’t end up in the same burnt out state of mind I did.

How the heck do I maintain my vibe?


Care for yourself financially.

Are you making enough money? Charge what you’re worth and if you need a reminder of what your expertise is worth — ask your peers in the same career what they’d pay for your services. And PAY YOURSELF! Your business should be providing the income for the life you want to live, which means different things for different people. But if you can’t survive off the crumbs you’re collecting, it’s time to up your rates and get that bread.

Put yourself first.

In order to be present and show up for your clients, you have to be 100%. Would you want to hire someone who needs to do deep and meaningful work if that person is tired and lackluster all the time? You must stay energized and fresh for those you work for. Inspired people live and share inspiration. These self-care activities help me stay fresh and inspired: deep cleaning/organizing, watching the Veronica Mars series with snacks, hiking/camping, coffee dates with Sam, Joanne, or a quick call with one of my best friends who are scattered all over the USA. What are yours, and how soon can you get them on your schedule? You’re pouring your soul into your work, don’t forget to refill the cup so you have something to share with your clients.

Stay Inspired.

High-vibe entrepreneurs love learning and personal development.If you’re not enriching yourself, you’ll feel stagnant. So take a class, go to a convention, or pick up some new books about something you’re interested in.

Check in with yourself often.

Are you using your gifts every day in your business? Are you attracting people you want to work with? Does your purpose fill you up? If you answered no to any of these questions, you are setting yourself up for burnout. Which isn’t good for your vibe!

‍Get Support

Are you a part of a community of other people in your industry? A group of people who can support you and advise you when you’re in need? Find a tribe to cheer you on — and cheer them on in return. For even more learning, get a business coach, or hire a member of the community to help grow your support.

‍Lean on your intuition.

“Trust your in gut” hasn’t been around forever if it wasn’t something to put stock in. As entrepreneurs when you feel overwhelmed, trust yourself and ask the right questions. Make sure to listen to your needs, instincts, and you’ll rarely be steered in the wrong directions. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t invest in it.

Your business supports your life, and your life supports your business. Make sure you’re caring for both. This is essential for maintaining your vibe.

2019: Half Year Recap

I feel like 2019 is just starting, but in reality we’re moving into the 7th month — meaning we’re over half way done with this year. If you recall, last year was my first official year doing only freelance makeup artistry. So you can only imagine how exciting this year has been.

Business Highlights:

Personal Highlights:

  • Moved into a brand new apartment with Viv.

  • Visited San Deigo with Ethan.

  • Primitive Camped in Angeles National Forrest.

  • Spent tons of time outdoors near bonfires and with friends.

  • Finally feeling a rhythm to living in a new city.

I’m looking forward to working towards my goal for the later half of the year. Those include traveling to Atlanta, DC, and possibly back to LA again in the winter for some transitional things. Also, focusing on being more present in motherhood and enjoying the place I am at in it. Building and cultivating relationships with like-minded individuals. Continue to grow my beauty work in my portfolio while working on new projects with friends. Focus on separating weddings into a whole new section of my business.

Do you guys have any goals for the rest of the year? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to comment below, or drop me an email at ashleywattsbeauty@gmail.com.

Successfully finding your Client

This is a question I get asked a lot. And if you know me, you know I am all about uplifting and empowering those on both sides of this game. I truly feel like all of my clients choose me based on what how much of myself I am putting into my business and truly perpetuating a vibe that only attracts those who can resonate with will “buy” into.

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It’s important to make note about what you’re looking for in clients. That’s not an invitation to say things like, “to buy services for me”, to “not care about price”. Because honestly, they’re usually on your site because they’re interested in what you’re serving, and there’s not a person in this world where price doesn’t matter — especially if you’re a millennial who only has money for ramen and rent.

You need to really think of what your business means to you, and what you want to offer your clients. What makes you a unicorn in the middle of a horse pin. Both are beautiful, but a majestic unicorn is certainly going to stand out.


The Makeup industry has grown a million times more populated since I started almost 10 years ago. It’s honestly crazy to see how many people are popping up each week with little to no experience and totally killing the game! I’m probably one of the only people you’ll run into that’s 10 years into their formal makeup career who thinks the wave of new comers is incredible for the industry. I learn something new from gals at Sephora all the time.

This loops into the first point, but it should stand on it’s own. Build connections with your clients by asking their history/experience with makeup. The average person doesn’t know what they’re looking for regardless of if you’re speaking to DP’s or private clients. They’re looking to you for guidance. Be exactly that! Ask questions, take criticism, and be mature enough to understand. You need to know what your client’s comfort level with makeup is, or the DP’s expectation of makeup (is it for corporate, who is the character you’re creating).


You’re never going to find a normal set of hours as a MUA. You’re always going to be all over the place in this industry. It’s not like a salon, or stereotypical beauty counter work. You’re going to have some mornings that start at 2am, and some evenings that end at 11pm. You’ll need to understand you need to be very flexible with the company/client you’re working for and constantly deliver great results.

Also being okay with someone changing their mind or not loving an idea you have. Sometimes doing a trial run, or a tech day is important to make sure everyone loves what’s going to be created whether it’s for a character or private client.


You know, just practice good sanitation, great etiquette, and remain being a professional personality when working. Does that mean you have to be someone you’re not — absolutely not! You can 100% throw your personality into the mix and still be professional. I think business’ get so caught up in being “professional” they forget that during intimate moments, people want to know who’s delivering those services or products. Don’t forget your you’s or why’s. Keep the at your center, even when deciding how to be professional.


You heard it — life is so dang stressful and you’re not the only one eating ramen like I said earlier. Everyone is facing a great deal of stresses, losses, or disappoints me in their lives. Creating a space/energy that your clients can truly feel at ease during their time with you is so important finding the “right” client for you.

It could be as simple as helping them get settled when they come in for the first time, asking them if they need a drink, diving straight into a polite conversation. You’d be surprised what that initial energy can define about your relationship with that client.

Making sure you provide a safe, clean, and comfortable spot is important as well. Make sure they’re as comfortable as you can reasonably accommodate. I’d highly recommend creating a space to meet with clients, or finding an environment you can control to provide that type of experience with them. Making sure they feel relaxed and comfortable with your skills is super important.

So there you have it. Let me know if you use any of these to help improve your business with clients. I’d love to hear about it.

My 2019 Bridal Beauty Must-Haves

As the bulk of the 2018 Bridal Season is coming to a halt, I figured now is a great time to take a moment to reflect on my ride or dies in my kit going into 2019. The things I am relying on heavily when it comes to artistry essentials working in the Bridal Industry.

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  1. Outlast All-Day Lip Color with Topcoat:
    The biggest thing when it comes to Bridal Beauty is making sure that your lip color is non-transferable and long wearing. This items hits the nail for that! They’ve got a ton of awesome bridal colors as well, and the price point is unbeatable!

  2. IGK 30,000 Feet:
    Wondering how to get the most impressive volume and texture in your bridal hairstyle? Look no further! This is, hands down, the best discovering I made in 2018. How was I sleeping on this product?!

  3. One of the Kind Hairpins:
    I am absolutely swooning over Blushing Flamingos incredibly hair accessories and am looking forward to seeing more items from them in 2019! Adding a small piece to your hair can completely transform your updo and give it a bit more attention it deserves (Pst, email me about the custom ones I make as well!).

  4. Tartlette in Bloom:
    This palette has been on my favorites for almost 3 years now. The colors are absolutely amazing for bridal looks and natural smokey eyes. So if you’re looking for the perfect romantic palette, you’ve found it here.

  5. Mac Face + Body Foundation:
    I’m all about layering to build vs using a full coverage foundation. I love a natural perfected look and constantly grab for Face and Body to deliver the “icing” on top of the cake. I also don’t use a ton of highlighter on Spring/Summer brides because the NC heat can make you look like a doughnut. This foundation gives you that “bridal glow” without going overboard.

So there you have it guys! My 5 must-have for Bridal Beauty going into 2019. I’m excited to see what I learn and change next year in my kit! What are some of your favorite bridal products?