Do you want to be a makeup artist? It’s not enough to love makeup—you need to have an interest in the industry itself.
Professional makeup artists are constantly studying trends, learning new skills and techniques, and preparing themselves for the different jobs. One day you could be doing bridal makeup; the next day you could have a fashion shoot and need to work with the creative brief of magazine editors and designers. You also have to work with different kinds of faces and be prepared to do different kinds of looks. If that’s something that excites you, and you want to try it out, here are some tips.
Do your research
Study the different kinds of looks. Read magazines, watch TV and movies, look at paintings and old photos. Makeup artists need to know not just current trends but the differet icons, eras, and personas. Would you know what a client wanted if she said she wanted the 60s look? How would you do makeup for someone who has a Medieval style wedding? Or what kind of eyeshadow would be flattering for someone with a strong nose, and a very artistic personality? Accumulating different references can greatly expand your repertoire and your possible career options as a makeup artist.
Develop a signature look
While truly great makeup artists can create any look, it also helps to develop a specialization or a signature look that can set you apart and help build your name in the industry. For example, you can specialize in makeup for black and white photography, and then team up with photo studios in your area. Or you can do bold, bright, looks that are perfect for fashion editorials.
Learn to deal with different kinds of people
You not only have to work with different clients, but sometimes a single project involves a team of professionals (the person you will do make up on, the manager, the fashion editor, the photographer). Collaboration, especially when they seem to want different things, is key. (Read more on the different job opportunities for makeup artists.)
Always arrive on time, or even early. Be friendly to everyone, and practice exuding confidence: your posture, handshake, smile, your clothes. Remember to leave your ego at home. It is always about your
client, not you.
Practice good hygiene
Bring anti bacterial gel to wash your hands before you touch a client’s face. Wash your brushes regularly. A surgical mask can also prevent the spread of infection if you have a cold. Tie your hair back, so you’re not always pushing back your bangs as you lean forward to do makeup on your client—you could transfer the oils on your face to hers.
Photo from fashionolia.com