Having recently made his career breakout role on a major studio film, New York celebrity makeup artist, Tim MacKay used his experience on the new Hulu film, Plan B, to help spread his optimism to others in the industry who might feel less motivated to fight for what they want.

Directed by TV actress Natalie Morales (The Little Things, 2021), Plan B tells the raunchy story of two high-school-aged girlfriends who take an overnight road-trip in efforts to seek out an emergency solution to an accidental pregnancy within South Dakota’s conservatively anti-choice jurisdiction.

Serving as the film’s Makeup Department Head, MacKay has continued to defy the boundaries of what is possible, despite being a full-time freelance makeup artist in the middle of the biggest global disaster since World War II.

In an exclusive interview with MacKay, the New York makeup artist revealed his seven tips on staying optimistic when you get that feeling of wanting to quit.

1. Take the lulls in life as a limbo, not a purgatory

When we are out of work or single for a long period of time, we often feel that it’s an agonising period of hell, where you’re stuck feeling hopeless and lacking self-worth. We cannot see the future, but just because we don’t know what opportunities are coming doesn’t mean they’re not.

Prior to the pandemic, I was accustomed to working on celebrity clientele at a high-demand volume. However, after six months without work as a freelance makeup artist and doing my absolute best not to lose hope, I booked my first Hulu feature film as the Makeup Department Head for Plan B.

So, don’t take a lull to be purgatory, because it might just be the universe preparing you for an opportunity that you may not realise yet.

2. You need to go through Hell to get to Heaven

From my 12 years of living in New York City, I’ve learned that when you feel completely s**t on with life (in all aspects), GET READY, because it means something amazing is on its way to you, so long as you aren’t too hot-headed to welcome it into your world.

3. Taking bigger risks doesn't mean you'll end up 'homeless'

There’s nothing wrong with taking risks, however, make sure you evaluate the potential impact it will have on your life as a whole. For example, ask yourself whether your life will be over if you fail?

If you are making a complete career change, does that mean your life could be over? Scary is not the equivalent to danger. If you do not have money to live on, it’s probably best you hold off, before expecting overnight success.

When I dropped out of college to become a makeup artist 10 years ago it was rough. I had to stay on friends' couches, floors, in their basement sometimes just so I could stay in NY. It wasn’t glamorous, but I loved what I was doing for work; that was glamorous.

I knew if I failed, the worst that would happen is that I would have to move back home with my parents. You might feel shame, but you’ll survive.

Not everyone has that privilege of having family or friends to help, but if you do I say take the risk! Because you know what? I’m glad I did.

4. It's okay not to have a clear goal; just be realistic

If you were to ask me 11 years ago where I would be, I had no idea I would be a full-time working freelance makeup artist. I was just a 19-year-old who was captivated by glamour. I saw my first MAC store and knew I wanted something in makeup. That was it.

You don’t need to have a crystal-clear goal here, but you do need to brainstorm what your ultimate desires/goals are, and then think about what steps in the profession you would need to take to achieve those goals.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t know EXACTLY what job you want or what steps to take; just give yourself the gist and plan moves to go in that direction.

5. Pursue the opportunity that scares the hell out of you

Nine years ago, when I was working at MAC, my co-worker, Angie, told me to always say “yes” to an opportunity I am presented with, even if it scares the hell out of me.

When actress and director Natalie Morales asked me to serve as the Makeup Department Head for Plan B, I was terrified! I had to learn a lot, FAST, and every step of the way, I gave it my 100% all.

I wasn’t perfect with each step, but I made it WORK, and the outcome was fantastic.

6. With every great opportunity comes an overwhelming number of tests

Every amazing new job opportunity will have someone at it who makes it a bit more “hellish” or adds a series of obstacles that might encourage you to have a (public) nervous breakdown.

Remember one thing: those tests aren’t to discourage you! They are there to see how bad you really want what’s in front of you. So, be assertive with your current goals and fight through them.

7. Reflect on your own timeline

You need to have a list of accomplishments you’ve added to your portfolio throughout the years, because it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come when we don’t have something new and exciting in front of us.

Whether it’s a job you have, an addiction you overcame, or that time you stood up for yourself—be proud of each step you’ve made at bettering yourself and think about what else you can do to add to that list of accomplishments!

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