Kat Aragon is a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist primarily based in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. Some of her clients include CNN, NFL, HBO, Glamour, People, Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair, local magazines and more. Kat’s diverse, high profile and celebrity clientele range from Betty White and Anderson Cooper to Rashida Jones and Cynthia Nixon. As a brand ambassador for Limelight by Alcone, she is a heavy influencer in the beauty industry teaching beauty entrepreneurs about quality products, business techniques, personal development and leadership skills. Her husband, Luis Aragon, is a fashion and commercial photographer with a studio in Northern VA
CFAE had an opportunity to sit down with Kat for her insight and pointers on how to navigate the beauty industry.
CFAE: You’ve had the opportunity to work as a renowned hair/makeup artist and passionate educator. Which do you prefer and why?
ARAGON: That’s a really interesting question because I realize now I educate while doing makeup and hair. It does matter the context I am working in. I am always explaining to my clients or talent in the chair why I like to use a particular product on them and for what reason. My clients get mini versions of the workshops I do. When I do a full workshop I give 110% of my knowledge and don’t hold back. If my students succeed, I succeed. So it seems to me I love both equally.
CFAE: What are your top 3 tips for new makeup artists?
ARAGON: First, one needs to have really good makeup (quality). A great makeup artist can make any product work but why make it difficult on yourself? Invest in good products from the start.
Second, Education! Although technique is important, education on sanitation and the basics are important to understand. Product knowledge is also super important as well. What wears long, what pigment looks best on the skin, what to use for different lighting? Lastly, business education is key. Learning how to be a succesful makeup artist is so much more than just applying makeup. It’s representing yourself as a brand as well.
CFAE: What are some tips you can give on building a network in the beauty industry.
ARAGON: Take the pressure of the sale away from the equation. Be someone that is a valuable and authentic and the sale might come down the road. If it doesn’t then there is [now] someone that is out to bat for you recommending their friends to you for services. When you do have the opportunity to do a service make sure you appreciate it and show it. Give 110% of yourself to every job that you have committed to. It is not about what we do but how we can serve others that make us valuable. Reputation and referrals are everything in the makeup and hair industry. Be a brand that is valuable to others, don’t cut corners, work with integrity and you will be a brand in business for a good long time.
CFAE: Can you share a few words of wisdom?
ARAGON: Don’t take shortcuts to get ahead and always work with integrity. The beauty industry is small and people find out when people do not work with integrity. Also, don’t get caught up in the negative. One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t let them pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.”
To learn more about Kat Aragon, her work, or workshops, follow her at: