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Ah, to become a model.... Not only will you be featured on runways on both sides of the Atlantic, if you are lucky, you may land a contract with a major cosmetics company, like Clinique. The glamour of being primped by top hair and makeup stylists, representing the brand at store events and openings, and raking in the cash every year....well, it's almost too much to take in. While the fantasy of securing a Clinique modeling contract may seem endlessly delightful, the odds of actually getting one are quite small. Still, there's always hope.
Secure representation at a top New York agency. Major cosmetics companies work with the top agents in the business, so your local representation will not be able to help you in this instance. Before packing up and moving to New York, however, be sure a top agency is interested in you. You can either submit your photos by mail and wait, possibly months, to hear feedback. Or you can make an exploratory trip to the Big Apple and head to the open calls of agencies such as IMG, Women, DNA, Elite or Next. Open calls are time periods set aside for public walk-ins to the agency. Take your simple head and body photos and meet with agency staff in person.
If the agency likes your look, it will sign you and, possibly map out a plan to manage your career. If it feels you have major cosmetic contract potential, you have leapt the first hurdle.
Get yourself submitted when Clinique is scouting for a new rep. If your agent does not think you would be right, this may be tough. But to get that Clinique contract, you will have to get your images in front of their decisionmakers. Once that has happened, you can only wait for an expression of interest.
Attend a top-level go-see. If you do get a call, make sure your hair and makeup are perfect as you head in to meet what is likely to be a team of Clinique decisionmakers. They will want to know not only that you look good but that you are comfortable speaking in front of groups, as Clinique models may be called upon to rep the brand at live events. They will also want to know you can handle yourself professionally in a high-stress situation, so leave excessive giggling and immature behavior at the door. In addition, a photo shoot will likely be scheduled to see how you might look in Clinique's print advertisements.
Sign a Clinique contract. If the company's executives like what they see, your agent will negotiate a contract for a period of months or years. The compensation may run from $300,000 to $2 million dollars, according to "Forbes" magazine. The contract may include a "morals" or similar clause that requires your personal behavior to meet a certain standard.
From time to time, Clinique may announce modeling contests for teens or adults. When they do, follow the submission instructions to the letter and wait to hear if you are a finalist or winner. You may need to submit not only a photo but an essay of some kind. A win will typically mean a trip to New York City and a limited-term contract with the cosmetics company.
Beware of anyone, in New York City or elsewhere, who "promises" he can get you a lucrative cosmetics contract. Unless he is a cosmetics brand decisionmaker, he is being less than honest with you. Steer clear.
D. Laverne O'Neal, an Ivy League graduate, published her first article in 1997. A former theater, dance and music critic for such publications as the "Oakland Tribune" and Gannett Newspapers, she started her Web-writing career during the dot-com heyday. O'Neal also translates and edits French and Spanish. Her strongest interests are the performing arts, design, food, health, personal finance and personal growth.