Wednesday, April 25, 2012

House Bill 4574: Making Makeup Artistry in Michigan a legal trade?

On April 21st, a bill was introduced by Rep. Walsh and referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform to amend the previous occupational code 1980 PA 299 which defines makeup artistry from cosmetology. The supposed purpose of this is to make makeup artistry a legal trade in Michigan.

The petition for this bill, started by Lisa Glickoff of Astute Artistry, states:

"This proposed Bill was introduced to amend the current laws about Cosmetologists vs. being a Makeup Artist. House Bill No. 4574 proposes why it is important to separate both fields. As many of you know, you do not need a license to be a Makeup Artist in Michigan. This Bill would open more doors for Makeup Artists to reach their full potential. It will recognize makeup artistry as a legal TRADE and give you the opportunity to become CERTIFIED through the state of Michigan! It will also give you the opportunity to receive FINANCIAL AID through the state of Michigan to pay for your schooling!
For many of you that have been on our prospect student list for several years, this will finally give you the support to start pursuing your DREAMS!

This new Proposed Bill Supports Makeup Artists as Independent Professionals and does not tie them in with Cosmetologists and Estheticians.

How can you help?

Students and Fellow Makeup Artists can help by Writing, Calling OR E-mailing to the following State Rep. Hugh Crawford. He is in charge of this proposed Bill change. You are encouraged to explain why this bill would personally benefit YOU as a makeup artist, someone who loves makeup, or anyone that is in the hair/skin/movie/photography or beauty industry at all."

 I was curious to find out what that actually meant for already established, and aspiring makeup artists working right now in my home state. I needed to know if this bill would effect people like me who are self-taught and gain most of their knowledge and experience through things like trade work or apprenticing. Finding the answers wasn't exactly as easy as I had anticipated. It seemed like there was something a little controversial  going on..but no one really wanted to address it. Why wouldn't we want a bill that would make it easier for people who wanted to better their skills? Why wouldn't we want to go to a makeup trade school in Michigan as opposed to having to pay more to go out of state? I had been considering taking a few classes myself recently, and while I must say I was taken aback by the tuition costs, I did not see any immediate red flags there. I am fairly new in this industry and boy let me tell you..I have A LOT to learn.

I wanted to find out first of all why people in the industry opposed this bill. Established Michigan makeup artist Andrea Duchesneau was kind enough to break it down for me.

"The basic premise of the bill as making Makeup Artistry a "Legal Trade" is not what the issue is, it's how they are seeking to do it. " She says.

" A large number of artists here are operating by technical standards "illegally" by not being "licensed" as "estheticians". This has always been a bit of a sore spot for most artists because an esthetician is someone who does Facial and Body Waxing, which largely has NOTHING to do with what we do. So many feel that it's a complete waste of time and money to go to school for 600 hours and spend $5k or more for an education that largely does them no good. This is really the only law that exists on the books, and "makeup artistry" isn't even really clearly defined in it either. There has never been anything done to enforce it though apart from people working in salons. So in other words, those who do primarily on-location work (production related or otherwise), have largely operated by getting educated out of state at legit schools or assisting, and then working on location without formal licensing recognized here unless they also want to work in a salon. The state, while aware of it I'm sure, has done nothing to police it (probably because of $$) and has pretty much not cared unless someone is in a salon. What is sad about the situation is that many extremely talented and legit artists (who have been trained at very legit schools elsewhere, assisted, or who were self-taught) are largely 100x more trained than the average esthetician coming out of school. So it's understandably viewed as unfair to the majority of artists (who aren't licensed) that they are discredited simply because they don't have a license in something that largely doesn't even relate to makeup! 

My trade (especially from the production standpoint) traditionally has always worked by the "Old Hollywood" standard of apprenticing, "paying your dues", and working your way up the latter to gain experience and credibility. This system for the most part has always worked quite well, and no one has really felt the need to start imposing restrictions on people. It's always been a much more efficient way of learning anyway, because largely artistic skill is picked up through experience and practice (and natural talent of course). The business end is largely best understood by firsthand experience which is why apprenticing works so well. The only true liability to the public from an artist is product safety and sanitation, the latter of which is the only one that remains a true issue because the FDA regulates products so much. Really the only makeup specialities that NEED "schools" are spfx (because of how complex that is), however even that is something many artists still choose to learn through apprenticing or workshops.

Now going back to schools. Do I think schools are a BAD thing? No, not necessarily. I went to one of the best makeup schools in the entire WORLD and it was amazing. I came out of the program with a 5 star education that gave me a huge advantage then simply assisting or working my way up the latter on my own. However, not ALL schools are held to the same standard or provide the same education level because they and their educators aren't "regulated" by the state."

The main issues with the bill itself deal with the fact that it does not allow 'Grandfathering in' for already established artists. There is no other way to gain certification through apprenticing or otherwise. This is kinda bad because that would mean somebody with a lot of expierience would basically have to take full programs the same way somebody just starting out would. The other problem is that with no clear state licensing requirements or requirements on course content you may not be getting an education that will actually prepare you to work in the field. There is no separation between consumer makeup and production makeup- and that is a major red flag for me there. These all seem like fundamental problems for me as a matter of fact. It seems like these trade schools (currently there are only 2 in Michigan, Astute Artistry and Michigan Makeup Academy) would be able to charge students a higher tuition (financial aid, remember?) for education from an instructor who may not have much more knowledge than themselves! I know that I don't have the time or money to waste on bogus training. If I am paying $25k for a year of education it better be from somebody who has had YEARS worth of hands-on experience and first hand knowledge. Period.

I tried to get some sort of personal statement from Lisa on this matter because I felt that since she is the one proposing this bill that she would be the #1 person to talk to about it. I assumed that this was a good opportunity to stand up for her views and perhaps counter some of the backlash. I guess not? After about 2 weeks, several facebook conversations, and a cancelled phone interview- I received an email response to the questions i'd asked her. Except that instead of using my questions she simply forwarded me an email that she sent to another makeup artist. I'm just keeping it real here folks. I don't really feel comfortable quoting too much of an email that was not even addressed to me, but here are a few key points Lisa makes:

1."This bill is needed for makeup artists existing or those wanting to become an artist for many different reasons. First of all the bill I proposed was very simple.....To allow makeup artists to work anywhere with no regulations in Michigan and to be noticed as an artist without having to become a cosmetologist in this state. However, if you have never proposed a bill before than you or anyone else would not understand that it is not myself who wrote the bill but the politicians and their lawyers who picked it up."

2. "Legally in Michigan you must have the intent to sell retail in order to practice as an artist in this state. Without that intent you have to be a cosmetologist. That leaves all of the working artists in Michigan at risk of violating this law, unless they are working dept. stores or boutiques that carry retail. Does this make sense to you? I am fighting for the artists in this community and they are fighting against me."

3. " If anyone who opposes actually did their homework they would not feel so misinformed. All of the info is at their fingertips to research. As far as my personal experience I have a website coming out with my past 22 years of experience as an artist, just to name a few things  working in your hometown at [edited for privacy] and more across the states and overseas. As far as my licensing I am a licensed esthetician trained in Paris for 6 mos. Beyond working for a dozen makeup companies from account executive to national and international artist to working at the Oscars in 2006. I have touched dozens of famous faces. My movie experience is with Independent films over the past 10 years. I have taken numerous courses over the years and also just have an immense gift. As far as my special f/x education I have had many mentors over the years and am fluent in live casting, alginate casting and most recently have used my superb skills to make silicone patches for burn victims and cancer patients. I have held dozens and worked more than I can count on fashion shows, local editorial, and my high profile clientele here in Detroit are many . You see I am only explaining this to you because of all of the pettiness out there and frankly, I am so sick of it. I have trained over 500 artists in Detroit,"

This is all fine and well, but no the information was NOT at my fingertips. I DID do my homework, believe me. It took quite a bit of digging to make myself informed on this very topic- and I still feel as if I have only really scratched the surface. I am not sure if I can support this bill in it's current form because it could put people just like me out of least until they have the time/money to get certified. I do think however that the idea behind the bill is a good one. There should be updated legislature in Michigan that protects makeup artists by separating our trade from cosmetology. Is House Bill 4574 going to do that for those of us here in the mitten state? Not until it's amended to include some points that will cover our already established artists, as well as people who do makeup for smaller events (like body painting at nightclubs, facepainting,glitter tattoos, ect). I also think clear regulations need to be put into place as to who is qualified to teach these courses, and what curriculum they have to cover. Trade schools need to be mindful regarding quality over quantity when they are putting these new artists out into the already crowded work force. Everyone should be able to follow their dreams of becoming a makeup artist in this wonderful state- I just don't think there should be only one way to go about doing that.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caboodle Ranch FAQ- (UPDATED)

If you're a regular reader of my blog please be sure to check out the following previous posts regarding this situation HERE and HERE first for more information. Also be sure to read for up to date case information.

Flounce cats: caboodle ranch edition 
I've gone back and forth about making another post on this subject here on my makeup blog. I feel like the vast majority of my posts should be about makeup, and that some people probably aren't super interested in my personal life (which is okay!). I feel though- as if I have some responsibility not only to stand up for myself publicly, but keep my readers sort of updated about this topic I've already discussed several times.

If you're a new reader I bet I can guess where you came from and who sent you here.

I also bet I can guess who sent you to my facebook, google+ account, fan page, and *snicker* some old textnovel account. Yeah, I'm not even kidding unfortunately. It sounds very naive, but up until now it never occurred to me that my involvement in the beauty community has made some of my personal information more accessible. Mostly people use that information to ask me a question or to do a review or some other totally innocuous reason.

I KNEW I'd face some negative attention from these people for my opinions (and I have since 2009). I can't be too angry that I've received backlash when I've put myself in the line of fire. But on the other hand I think some of these Pro-Caboodle Ranch people don't have a very clear sense of appropriate boundaries.
I expected a bunch of youtube comments to spill over on to my other videos at the very worst. I didn't think i'd have to pull my phone number and location information off of all the websites relating only to my makeup work. I didn't think some hack radiologist from South Lake Tahoe CA (who incidentally is also a furry... oh the things one can find out on the internets...) would use clips of my videos in his disturbing documentaries. 

Here is just a few examples of what I've had to put up with:

and another video: At Caboodle Ranch They Had a Chance (also featuring me.. I feel so special) (new link - video reuploaded)

Just one of the many colorful posts allowed on Caboodle Ranch  Inc. Fan page.

Still shot from "Caboodle Ranch Lynching". 

I've never dropped off cats at Caboodle Ranch. I've been advising people to NOT drop off cats since 2009-2010.

It's really easy to harass people when you can hide behind fake names and cartoon avatars, isn't it?
Yo dawg..I luv your inaccurate statement by Peta!
If anyone wants to purchase my face jewelry I'll be sure to donate the profits to Craig & Nanette's legal fees.

OMG they know my secret!!!! 
From what I've gathered from all their comments and videos this is a pretty accurate description of how Caboodle Ranch Inc. views me. LOL 

I am tired of addressing these issues over and over again with unreasonable people, soo these are some misconceptions I'd like to clear up for those particular people once and for all:

1. I am not affiliated with Peta. I have never been affiliated with, employed by, volunteered for, or been an investigator for Peta. I was NOT the undercover investigator in this case. By spreading a rumor like that you are making me a target for anti-Peta extremists. That is exactly why undercover investigators remain anonymous. Giving out my information and telling people to do with it what they will is highly irresponsible.

2. I am not even a Peta supporter. I side with them on many topics involving animal rights, but I do not usually agree with how they choose to deal with those problems. In this case, I agree with their very limited involvement. I think anyone questioning Peta's euthanasia statistics needs to first do some research on the organization. A lot of Peta's work involves euthanizing critically injured/terminally ill pets whose owners cannot afford to take them to a vet to do so. Euthanasia to prevent suffering is a very sad part of pet ownership and animal rescue. You cannot save every animal, and to let an animal with no chance of recovery suffer is animal cruelty.

 I wish I could live in a pretend wonderland like Craig Grant- where all cats need is cute little playhouses and no cat ever is sick/injured enough to be euthed. But unfortunately I do not.

3. I do support the ASPCA and the HSUS- however- I am not an employee or associated with them in any way. Nor is anyone I am involved with. My involvement with the HSUS is limited to volunteering to walk dogs from time to time :)

4. "What do you know about Caboodle Ranch? You've never been there.".

Nope, and neither have most of the Caboodle Ranch supporters from China, Japan and Germany. What I know about Caboodle Ranch is that when I came to them in 2009 with questions about how their sanctuary was run I was told to stop asking those questions. I met a lot of other people with the exact same questions. So we've been researching the ranch ever since..and in that time have learned more than we ever cared to know. I cannot just turn a blind eye to cold hard facts like some people choose to do. No one person can take in an unlimited amount of cats without adopting any out, or having a dedicated staff & on-site medical facility. Even if you overlook every other single fact in this whole case there is no getting around that one. Hmm..I think there's a term for that......oh yeah, I believe it's called common sense.

5. "You just want attention."

Yes, I love death threats and other random crazyness. No, actually I just wanted to bring some attention to this cause. It's safe to say I succeeded in doing that. We as a society utilize social media websites such as Youtube all the time to talk about all sorts of events in the media, as well as our personal lives. I figured it would be the fastest way to make the public aware that there was a side to Caboodle Ranch they weren't going to see from Madison Voice's staged videos. I've received many private messages from neighbors, former supporters, and from people who were going to take cats to Caboodle Ranch but then changed their mind after seeing that video. That is exactly the reason I made them. If Craig Grant has nothing to hide my personal opinions should be of no interest to him.

6. "What is your gain in this?"

Nothing. I just would like Madison county to stop harboring this hoarder who is doing a lot of harm to their community. I would like these cats to be placed in either real sanctuaries or in suitable adoptive homes. I would like this to not be allowed to reoccur ever again. I would definitely like the animal control officer working in this case to be fired. There is no personal gain for me here. And honestly even if every single one of these things happens there really will be no real sense of satisfaction. Hundreds of cats died horrible deaths at Caboodle Ranch before the raid and nothing can ever make up for that. Good people were lied to and swindled out of their money thinking they were leaving their cats somewhere wonderful. It's not going to be a happy-ending situation any way you wanna slice it.

7. "What have you done to help cats? You're a cat killer"

I would love to tell you all about my background in rescue, but since you're a bunch of unstable nuts I can't afford to give out that information. What I will tell you is that I have fostered since I was 20 years old, I currently have 3 cats who were rescued off of 'death row' from animal control, and I've been involved in the 'clean-up' of 2 hoarder situations in my state. One of those hoarder situations haunts me to this very day and is the reason I feel so very strongly about Caboodle Ranch and all other out of control hoarding situations.

Since I am a big fan of putting my money where my mouth is.. This is a picture of the last kitten I fostered, Spike. He came to me with a warble embedded in his eye,a URI, and he and was in pretty poor shape. Now he's a happy, healthy boy. (He's still up for adoption- feel free to contact me about him if you aren't crazy)

8. "What can I do to help?"

Well for starters you can donate to the many wonderful legitimate organizations and rescues helping with the care of these cats who have been confiscated. I'll list a link for each one. Other than that you can keep yourself informed by going to or join the conversation HERE

Atlanta Humane Society

Bay Area Disaster Relief

Cat Depot

Florida State Animal Response Coalition

Good Mews Animal Foundation

Humane Society of Broward County

International Fund for Animal Welfare

McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center

PetSmart Charities, Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz)


There you have it all in black and white. In the future I hope these people will either stop harassing me (and everyone else involved) or address their concerns directly in a less abrasive manner. There's always a price to pay for speaking out against situations like this one... but it's usually worth it.



The documentaries of Dr.Howard Friedman have now been taken down (but I do have copies saved). The youtube link has been reuploaded in a way so that I could not embed it here conveniently. The link however is still working.