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10 Steps To Becoming A Professional Makeup Artists

These days, one scroll through Instagram would have anyone dreaming of becoming a makeup artist. But there’s more to the job than social media makes it seem.

In an increasingly saturated field, becoming a makeup artist takes serious passion and dedication. Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can follow to help you along your way. But take note, we said simple, not easy. 

But then, the most worthwhile things in life never come easy.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Early starts, late nights, crazy conditions, and insane demands are all part and parcel in the career of a makeup artist, especially when you’re just starting out. Make sure you’re prepared for a whole lot of hard work.

Being a makeup artist often means that you need to be exceptional at self-motivation and organisation. If you want to freelance, are you prepared for the responsibility of being your own boss? If you know anyone in the creative field, not only makeup, now would be an excellent time to buy them a coffee and pick their brains. The advice you receive could be extremely beneficial as you start on this exciting new journey.

Step 2: It’s Training Time

As with any profession, the right education can take you far. Studying makeup will not only teach you how to perfect your application techniques, but you’ll also learn the importance of hygiene and sanitation. Two absolutely crucial elements of your profession. 

Make sure you take the time to find the right school for you. Finding a course that focuses on your particular area of interest, whether that be anything from bridal to special effects, is important. However, make sure you look into the teachers and instructors at each school as this is often the key factor in the quality of education you’ll receive. Your college should have your instructors information readily available, check out their industry experience as this will give you an insight into their expertise and skill set.

Step 3: Practice Makes Perfect

While you’re absorbing new skills at college, you should be practicing as much as you can. And not just in class: grab anyone with a face and ask them if you can do their makeup.

Now there’s only so many times you can do your mums and best friends makeup before you’ve mastered them and it’s time to find some fresh faces. Search local Facebook groups or post an ad on Gumtree asking for people who are willing to donate their time. There’s plenty of people out there who would love to help you in exchange for getting glammed up for a night out.

Step 4: Grow your Socials

You’re getting a lot of practice, and that means you should be taking a lot of photos of your work. In this day and age it’s so unbelievably easy to take professional quality photos with just your phone, so there’s no excuse for not documenting everything. 

A ring light will help take your photos to the next level. Our Beauty Ring Light DUO is an inexpensive way to step-up your Instagram game, and is small enough to carry around in your handbag at all times. Not just for selfies, this light is perfect to clip on your phone and snap that gorgeous smokey eye on your latest client.

Now, don’t just stop with Instagram. Your own website is key to looking professional, and will be the first place to direct agents, and anyone else that you want to impress. Focus on quality over quantity, whittle down your images to just your best few and keep it clean and simple, let your work shine. 

Step 5: Invest in your Kit

You’re not an influencer. You are an artist. 

You don’t need to buy all the latest trendy products. There’s absolutely no need to fill your kit with all that unnecessary fluff. Influencers get sent all of that stuff for free, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, you shouldn’t be tempted to spend your hard earned money on things that may not meet the level of performance you need.

Spend time researching and testing products instead of buying on a whim. Create your own custom palettes with colours you can mix and match. Put together a kit that works for you, and you alone. Spend money on things that will be used and loved. 

By no means am I saying that you shouldn’t try new products, only that you’re way too creative to fall prey to fancy marketing. Invest wisely.

Step 6: Side Hustle, Baby!

You’ve been studying for a few months, or maybe you’ve finished your course. You’ve been practicing every spare minute you can get. You’ve got a growing kit full of useful product. Now’s the time to step up and start charging. Don’t forget that your knowledge and skill set is specialist, not everyone can do what you do. Know your worth. The more you value yourself, the more others will too.

Get some cute business cards made up. Start spreading the word on your socials, and getting family and friends in on the action.

Your cousins best friend is getting married? Offer to do a makeup trial for her and her bridesmaids. Your boyfriends sister is graduating? Let her know that if she gets her girls together you can get them all glam before the big event.

By now you will have a growing portfolio to show potential clients that will not only inspire trust, but get them excited to sit in your chair. Offering clever incentives and discounts can ensure that you’re never short on clients, however be sure that you’re not under charging.

Going full-time as a freelance makeup artist can take time. Keep up your hard work, but don’t get disheartened if it takes a little while to get the ball rolling.

Step 7: Up Your Gear Game

All the hard work you’ve been putting in is starting to pay off, so it’s more important than ever to invest in the essential equipment that will make your job that much easier.

Here at Luvo Store we have everything that a makeup artist needs to ensure they’re ready for their next big gig. 

Our MUA Professional Chairhas a sturdy aluminium body and features both foot and headrests to help you provide the utmost comfort to each and every client. 

We know all too well that when you’re just starting out in your makeup career the expenses can add up! Which is why we offer both AfterPay and ZipPay as payment options so you can get yourself set-up ASAP. All of our products also come with a 12 Month Warranty because we want you to feel safe that you are getting a product of the highest quality. 

It’s so important to have the right equipment, and we know that sometimes the choice can be confusing! That’s why we’re always here to answer any questions and help you find the best possible option for your unique needs. Feel free to get in touch with us via our Contact page and one of our helpful customer service staff will get right back to you.

Step 8: Research the Masters & Get Inspired

It’s never been easier to find inspiration and learn from those who’ve shaped the industry. But don’t just stick to what you find online; many respected makeup artists of the past and present have written books that delve further into their practice than any blog or YouTube video ever could. Head to your local bookstore and search out titles by some of the most sought after in the industry, eg. Kevyn Aucoin, Lisa Eldridge, and Alex Box, to name a few. 

And don’t just stop there, find inspiration everywhere. The most talented artists don’t just look within their field for inspiration. Start a journal with images that spark your imagination. Even if they don’t directly relate to makeup, you’ll be surprised at how they can get your creativity flowing and influence future looks.

Visit galleries, appreciate nature, take notice of everything. And more importantly, take photos! If something sparks even the tiniest bit of excitement, document it. You’ll soon have a totally unique reference bank of images to turn to when you need it.

Step 9: Never Say Never

Now is the time in your career to say yes to everything. Sometimes it’s not even about the opportunity itself, as much as it’s about the connections you might make there. So think twice before turning down the next offer you receive, and try to think about the bigger picture.

You may also want to consider reaching out to assist other artists as this can be one of the best ways to learn. Not only will you pick up valuable insight when it comes to makeup application, but you’ll also learn what’s expected of you on a professional set or shoot. 

As with any job, paid or volunteered, always remember to hold yourself in a professional manner. Try to pick up the vibe of those around you, if a client or model is happy to chat then that’s fantastic! But if they feel more comfortable on their phone, then that’s great too. Always keep a positive attitude, but remember that you’re not there to make everyone your best friend. Keep your focus on doing a good job and learning as much as possible. This is a surefire way to be an asset to those around you, and ensure that you’re getting noticed for all the right reasons.

Step 10: Sharing is Caring

Who wouldn’t want to work in an industry surrounded by like-minded people who share opportunities and want to create a supportive community? If you don’t feel like this is your reality, you have the power to create it. 

Start a Facebook group for local makeup artists and use it to share new techniques, tips and tricks, job opportunities, and any other useful info that might help someone else out. Never be afraid that sharing what you know will somehow take it away from you, or that it will give someone else the ability to be ‘better’ than you. There is no competition other than the one to better yourself each and every day. Being a part of a community who share a passion, and genuinely want each other to succeed will only prove to be a positive in both your career and personal life. Use what you’re learning to help others, and you’ll be surprised at where it takes you!

Now, we hope you’re feeling more excited than ever that this is the right path for you. If you’ve got the drive to work hard, there’s no reason why you can’t carve out your own niche in this industry.

We can’t wait to see what you create!

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