Blending a science and makeup career
After forging a career in the sciences – definitely a left-brain path – ANNEMARIE PETROFF discovered an artistic outlet as a beauty educator and now draws fulfillment from both sides of her brain.
“This passion of mine started about four years ago,” she says of her online makeup consultation service, “so I live this arts-and-sciences dual life.”
Through a brand partnership with makeup company Seint, Petroff advises women about making the most of their natural features by finding the right makeup colors. She calls her approach “pretty and practical.”
Petroff interacts with her clients through her website, annemariepetroff.com, her Instagram account lifewith.Annemarie, her Facebook site, and her YouTube channel. She also conducts makeup tutorials. Her consultations are free of charge but she receives a percentage from any Seint purchases her clients make.
“I’ll ask the client, ‘Tell me if there’s anything you want me to be aware of.’ It could be dark circles, maybe a scar. That’s an indication they might want specific help in that area, which will take one or two extra steps,” she says. “It’s a really intimate space to be talking about my clients’ appearance so I’m careful how I ask the question. And they may not know what their needs are.”
While teaching beauty techniques may be a relatively new endeavor for Petroff, teaching itself is not. For the past few years, she has been on the clinical research faculty at University of North Carolina Wilmington; she now chairs the College of Health and Human Services undergraduate program in clinical research, preparing students to work in an institutional or corporate setting. Since her students are far-flung and many are non-traditional (over 25), the program is designed to be entirely online.
Petroff understands the clinical research world well. She spent twelve years with PPD before shifting to academia. Shortly after starting at UNCW, she commented to a fellow parent at her children’s daycare on how well-groomed she always looked.
“I didn’t know how to do makeup, I was getting dark circles, and I was approaching my 40s,” Petroff recalls. The parent told her about Seint and what the company calls its investor program – being a brand ambassador through offering beauty consultations.
“After a month I was sold,” Petroff continues, saying she realized she and other women needed this kind of simple beauty advice. She also loved having the artistic outlet of sharing her newfound knowledge with others. And because so much of her university teaching and makeup consulting is done online, she has developed a sub-specialty: helping her clients look well-groomed and professional when they’re in an online class, interview, or meeting.
So far, she has met many people who are interested in learning more about her approach to makeup.
“If you are passionate about something,” she says, “it’s going to be contagious.”
To view more of photographer Aris Harding’s work, go to arisharding.com.
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