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Daria Kruchinina: Brow Artist Abroad. How To Work In America?

Interview with Daria Kruchinina

The makeup artist and brow stylist. She moved from Krasnodar (Russia) to New York. She has worked with top models and prestigious fashion and beauty brands. She has collaborated with the leading world and Russian magazine: Vogue, L'Officiel, Nylon Spain, Rose & Ivy, Tatler Russia.

Moving to America is the ultimate dream of many people, including beauty stylists. After all, this is such a huge field for professional activity!

Foreign projects, acquaintance with celebrities, high skyscrapers, and an atmosphere of luxurious life … It is how we imagine this completely Other World, but reality makes its adjustments. Not everyone starts doing business right after arrival – there are difficulties and nuances on the way.

If you are in love with America, want to try your hand in another country – then this interview is for you! We talked with Daria Kruchinina, a makeup and brow stylist who moved from Krasnodar to America and conquered New York for the third year. Daria honestly spoke about everything: moving, difficulties, peculiarities of working in the USA, earnings, and such supportive, pleasant moments of her favorite profession.



– Daria, tell us how you came to the profession? Why did you choose the makeup & brow area?

After long but not very successful work in the Krasnodar as a model, I got into the beauty industry. After one unsuccessful makeup, I resolutely enrolled in courses. Three days before the new year 2014, the eyebrow artist created a “miracle,” after which I grew and restored my eyebrows for another eight months. So I signed up for the first training in the correction and dyeing of eyebrows and eyelashes.

“If you want it well, do it yourself” – it was this phrase that became my motto in making decisions about my future career and work.

I sincerely wanted every girl to look well-groomed, beautiful, and stylish, and most importantly – to be the most beautiful version of herself, namely herself! There is another idea connected with the work of an eyebrow artist. I wanted to convey that eyebrows are more than “just pinching around.” It is a fantastic world of shades selection and works with the skin. Most importantly, the eyebrows’ volume is the process that I painstakingly and carefully carry out with tweezers.


– Remember your first clients? Your feelings during the beginning of practice, how do you get started?

– My very first client is Ekaterina Bregeda. She is my friend, a fashion designer, and a person who actively supported me at the beginning of my career. To say that I was nervous when I held the tweezers is just to say nothing 🙂

I remember that we left the natural volume at the beginning of the eyebrow and width without using scissors. The next client was my mother, and from her, I received the first and useful comments (from whom, then, should I receive criticism, if not from my closest ones?).





– Tell us about moving to America. How did this happen? What city do you live in, and for how long?

My move to New York was a deliberate decision and was planned in terms of documents. I got an O-1 talent visa as a make-up and eyebrow artist. It happened in January 2018. Before that, I traveled as a tourist and got acquainted with the city: I paid attention to the peculiarities of the market, demands, and possible prospects.


– Was it scary to move? What feelings did you feel? Weren’t you afraid that you would not find a job?

– I got a job as a teacher at a makeup school and happily packed my bags on December 30, 2017. I spent a huge amount of money on buying a one-way ticket, $ 1200.

And on the 31st, I find out that my contract was nullified. On January 8, I flew to New York without work, without savings, and without understanding where I would live (asked for a week to a friend to live with).

Anxiety, insecurity, stress are three words that can describe the entire first year of my life in the Big Apple. However, I believe that the most impressive emotions and adventures cannot be planned and successful.


– Daria, I know that America has a special approach to the field of manicure. And what about eyebrow modeling? Is there a difference between the approaches to work in Russia and America?

– I cannot speak for all cities and states because I have not lived anywhere except New York. But I noted the main feature in NYC – the service must be executed quickly ( such a request of most American women living in Manhattan).

Simultaneously, the issue of quality remains open: the service is not always “ideal” in our understanding, but the cost can be high. That is why Perfect Brows salons and the like are so popular, where the correction procedure is performed in 5-7 minutes with a thread or wax, and it costs about $10-15.



– What are the main difficulties for migrants (and how did you solve them if faced such)?

– Problems will be in two cases: if you do not prepare for them at all and if you are sure that nothing will happen.

The first difficulty in New York for me was finding a room. You heard right: I was looking for a room in an apartment with neighbors for a long time. Place where they would not check the status of residence, social security number, and forgive a salary statement (which should indicate that you earn 40 times the apartment’s cost per year). A room’s cost is $800 per month, which means you must earn at least $32,000 per year. 🙂

I looked for a room through friends and acquaintances, but it turned out even more challenging to find an apartment. The reasons are the same: no or low credit score, no proof of salary, and no permanent green card or American documents.


– What about work? How difficult was it to find a place right away?

– It was essential for me not to work in a restaurant as a waiter or bartender (although this is quite good money). I was passionate about being in the profession, so I was looking for assistance, small projects, and filming – I wrote to everyone I knew, contacted companies from New York. Who seeks will always find!

And the main difficulty is the cost of living. To feel minimally comfortable in New York, you need to earn at least 4-5 thousand dollars per month for one person.


– How can a brow artist settle down in the USA? How to find a job?

– My main advice: get a license and be in the country legally!

Always and without hesitation, tell us what area you work in and what exactly you do (this is practically the third question during a meeting in person). Offering barter and services to specialists from related fields is a cool way, in my opinion.

My New York journey started from scratch: I created a base of more than 100 regular customers a month without acquaintances and connections. It took almost two years. 

I also advise you to ask yourself questions and answer them:

  • Who do you want to work with?
  • Do you want to work exclusively with clients from Ukraine / Russia / Belarus, or are you considering a different audience: successful American women/hipsters from Williamsburg / old-money Upper East Side?

The office/workplace lockout will depend on your answer and other factors: from the service’s cost to the rental of premises and products’ prices.


– Tell us about your clients in America. Who are they – Russian speakers or Americans? Are there many men among them? What is the most common procedure?

– At the moment, I have about 60% of Russian-speaking clients and 40% of those who were born in the USSR or Russia and moved in when they were young. There are also Americans, but there are fewer of them. 

If we are talking about the ratio of men and women: the vast majority are female, there are not so many men, but sometimes they ask for a service.

Most often, they come for eyebrow correction or correction + dyeing. Now the eyebrow lamination procedure is becoming popular. Often, clients do not understand what it is and why it is needed, but simply want to try it.


– How do you keep the conversation going? What do clients ask about?

During communication with a client, I try to tell more about the procedure itself. On topics that do not relate to my service, I speak as carefully as possible.

Taboo topics in communication (I also do not like when these questions are asked to me): open questions about orientation and personal life, work and earnings, the status of stay and documents, politics.

I prefer to communicate on topics that cause positive emotions: travel and self-development, sports, and an active lifestyle, events, social life in New York, and the beauty sphere.

In my opinion, it is essential to tune in to the same wavelength as the client, but not to “confront.” In some topics, unfortunately, this is sometimes impossible – after all, we are all different, and we all have our point of view.


– How much, on average, can a lash & brow artist earn in America? Is there a big difference compared to Russia or Ukraine (if you also take into account the daily living expenses)?

– For example, let’s take the average bill $ 30 for correction + dyeing and $ 80 eyelash extension (with a working schedule of 4 days for 8 hours). With such prices, you can earn from $ 3800 up to $ 10,000 per month.

But let’s not forget that apartment rentals start at $ 1500 per month. Household expenses (telephone / gas / electricity / internet) are another ~ $ 300. Rent of workspace – from $ 2000 per month, food costs about the same.

A separate expense item that should not be ignored is back massage, leg, and vision treatments. Each profession will have its own “side effect.” Well, in general, it is worth keeping a financial “cushion” in case of illness.


– What do you think? Is it worth the beauty artist to move if they hope to earn extra money? Or is the move, not the most suitable way?

– I am sure that it is EASIER to become a successful and top technician in your hometown, as it happened to me in Krasnodar. But, choosing between moving to New York and opening my salon in Krasnodar, I chose adventure.

Should you move in the hope of making money? Not. But for the incomparable experience of working with celebrities, participation in the photoshoots of top magazines Vogue, Harperz Bazaar, L’officiel, and others, new friendship and love (even here we are talking about love with the city) – definitely YES!


– What is the most pleasant thing for you in your work?

– The most pleasant thing for me is to open the “world of eyebrows and makeup” for clients! Particularly pleasing is the client transformations and “Oh, oh, my God, I had no idea that it would be so beautiful.” These positive emotions and gratitude work as electrical conduits, closing the circuit in the work’s pleasure.


– Describe your working day. How do you cope with your daily routine?

Every morning begins with a cup of aromatic coffee: at home, in a quiet environment, and from my favorite dowry set of cups. I can walk into a coffee shop around the corner or start the day with a not always perfect, but very necessary sip of a refreshing drink on set, sometimes at 6 in the morning.

My working days cannot be called a routine for several reasons – there are simply no two similar shootings. The clients are always talented, passionate, and very different. How can you call it a routine? 🙂

– Your lifehacks: how to make your work comfortable? What helps you as a lash & brow technician?

– For me, work is much more than a good income and nice people. TIt his is the atmosphere I find myself all day.

That is why I choose only those interior elements close to me in spirit and pay special attention to this. The big picture is made up of little things.

I also love order when everything is laid out on shelves, and each instrument is in its place.

And one more important moment: meditation and work with a psychotherapist. I would like to discuss some moments after working days with a professional.


– What are your plans for the near future? What would you like to achieve in America, are there any inspiring plans like “opening a salon in Manhattan”?

– At the moment, I just moved to Williamsburg, so all my energy is focused on finding new workspace and furnishings.

There is a plan to spend the winter in Florida, which means this is an excellent opportunity to explore the southern market and expand the client base.

I have an idea – a plan to open my beauty school and high-quality training for professional eyebrows in New York and expand celebrity clients’ circle. My dream is to work with Zac Efron’s eyebrows, and I’m sure this is a real story!




Andy Stark

Fashion Stylist :

Anastasia Solovey

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