19 Tips to Get the Best Makeup Artist Choice

Makeup artist choice: Have you perfected the smokey eye? Can take one look at someone and whip out the perfect shade of lip liner? If so, you might be closer than you think to becoming a professional makeup artist. It takes skill, passion, and a whole lot of love for the assorted powders and creams, but you’ve got all that in spades. We’ll fill you in on how to develop your skills, get experience, create a portfolio, and kick start your career. Just be sure that eyeliner is sharp before you get out there.

Read on: Top 8 Things You Can Do To Become A Successful Makeup Artist

Makeup artist choice

Makeup artist choice: BusinessHAB.com

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1. Things You Should Know

  • Practice at home by watching YouTube tutorials and doing your friends’ makeup.
  • Enroll in a cosmetology school or work at a cosmetics counter to get professional experience.
  • Make up models and have them photographed to build your portfolio.
  • Focus on a career path like the fashion industry, television, or freelance work.

2. Study famous makeup vloggers on YouTube or Instagram.

Online video tutorials can be an excellent (and free!) way to get started learning more about makeup artistry. Find makeup artists whose looks match the styles you’re most interested in learning.

  • Keep in mind that, while tutorials are a great starting point, there’s no substitute for in-person training and experience.

Makeup artist choice

3. Practice applying makeup on both yourself and your friends.

This will help you develop your technique and perfect your craft. Remember that even though you may be a superstar at doing your own makeup, applying others’ makeup takes a different set of motor skills and coordination.

  • Apply makeup to people with different skin colors, face shapes, eye colors, and ages. This will help you develop the skills you need to work with a wide range of clients.
  • Begin to put together a “kit”—the brushes, makeup, and other tools you use regularly. These can be drugstore brands to start out. As you develop your career, you’ll be able to afford more expensive products.
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4. Familiarize yourself with current makeup trends.

Read magazines, scour fashion blogs, watch films, go to plays, and pay attention to the different trends and styles of face makeup. It is important to be up-to-date on current beauty trends so that you can advise clients.

  • Clients may request that you recreate a certain look that a celebrity had at an awards show or in a magazine. You will need to learn the terminology involved in makeup artistry so that you can effectively bring your clients’ descriptions to life.

5. Enroll in a makeup artist school that suits your schedule and budget.

Since makeup artistry is not a licensed profession, states don’t mandate course offerings from makeup artist programs—meaning that the curriculum varies widely between schools. Some schools offer full-time classes that cover all the bases, while others allow you to pick and choose courses that focus on particular industries or skills. These programs also vary widely in cost, with full-time schools being the most expensive.

  • Typically, makeup training programs run 300-600 hours and can be completed in less than 6 months.
  • Going to school is not a requirement for becoming a successful makeup artist. It may give you a boost in a very competitive field, however.

Makeup artist choice

6. Earn a degree in cosmetology for a wider range of job prospects.

Enroll in a private cosmetology school or, for a less pricey option, attend a community college with a cosmetology program. With a cosmetology license, you can work in a beauty salon or spa applying makeup, which will give you access to a greater number of jobs.

  • Full cosmetology programs require 1,500-2,000 hours and last 12-24 months.
  • During cosmetology training, you will also learn other beauty services including hair, nail and skin care.

7. Find a job at a cosmetics counter to gain professional experience.

Apply for positions at department stores or pharmacies. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills on hundreds of people with different complexions, styles, and expectations. Best of all, you’ll get paid to practice your skills.

  • Retail experience is helpful for landing jobs in department and beauty stores, since your job will be selling cosmetics in addition to your makeup artistry services.
  • Search for a company that is dedicated to training its employees in applying makeup, rather than focusing entirely on sales.

Makeup artist choice

8. Join a local theater group to practice a different kind of makeup.

Theater groups—at your school if you’re a student, or in the wider community—are a great place to explore your creativity. You’ll get a chance to practice a different style of makeup, learn to use greasepaint, and work with theatrical lighting.

See also: 12 How to Advertise your Bridal Makeup Business Online

9. Land an internship or apprenticeship with a respected makeup artist.

Find a top makeup artist in your local area whose work you admire and ask if they would be willing to take on an apprentice or intern. Make it clear that you’re eager to get real-world experience in the makeup industry.

  • If they can’t commit to an internship, ask if you can shadow them for a day or two. Even a few hours of observation could teach you tons of new techniques.

10. Find models to showcase your looks.

While they don’t have to be professional models, find people whose makeup you enjoy doing and whose faces are compatible with your style. Consider snapping some “before and after” photos of your models to include in your portfolio.

  • Consider doing trade-for-print work with models.

Makeup artist choice

11. Get creative with collaborations to build your portfolio.

Ask your friend who’s making a music video if she could use your makeup artistry services, or offer to do your coworker’s wedding makeup. You’ll hone your skills and start making a name for yourself at the same time.

  • You may even need to volunteer your services in the beginning stages of your career to develop more content for your portfolio.

12. Take high-quality photographs of your work.

Consider investing in a high-end camera or hire a photographer to help you put your portfolio together. The quality of the photographs can make or break a portfolio.

  • If you’re still early in your career, it’s acceptable to take photos with your phone camera. Just make sure that your photos are well-lit and crisp.
    Read on: 19 Tips to Open Gele Tying/Makeup kiosk


13. Create a compelling portfolio that features all types of makeup styles.

Your portfolio should reflect the brand you are creating. Your best, most creative work should be showcased at the front so prospective clients get an immediate impression of your unique talent. Include a range of makeup styles, from fashion to special effects to film and television.

  • Your portfolio should exist both online and in print. The benefit of an online portfolio is that it reaches a larger audience and can be promoted through various forms of social media.

Makeup artist choice

14. Focus on the fashion industry if you’re good under pressure.

Once you’ve gained basic education or professional experience (or both!), you’ll need to determine what industry to focus on. Makeup artists who work in fashion are typically asked to employ their services at runway shows and fashion shoots.

  • You may be called upon to work fast in stressful environments, like cramped backstage areas at fashion shows or outdoors in inclement weather during shoots.
  • In this field, looks are led by the editor, designer, or fashion photographers rather than the makeup artist.
  • You’ll often work as part of a stylist and hair team to help prepare models.

15. Look for jobs in the television or film industry for a wide range of gigs.

Most makeup artists are employed by the television and film industry, which offers a variety of opportunities in different styles of makeup. Applying makeup to a newscaster calls for a more natural look, while doing makeup on a sci-fi television show would require special effects work and a more imaginative style.

  • Precision is important when working as a makeup artist in this industry. The crisper and clearer our television screens get, the easier it is to tell if someone’s makeup isn’t perfectly applied.

Makeup artist choice

16. Freelance as a makeup artist for a more flexible work schedule.

Many makeup artists build a lucrative career from freelance projects, moving from gig to gig with their kit in hand. People often hire makeup artists when preparing for photo shoots of bridal and wedding parties, family reunions, or graduations.

17. Market yourself, particularly on social media.

Whether you want to land a full-time job with a particular company or work as a freelancer on a project-by-project basis, start marketing yourself to get the word out that you’re looking for makeup artistry work. Social media channels like Instagram and YouTube are very important, as well as a personal blog or even a Pinterest page.

18. How do I stop comparing my makeup looks to other makeup artists?

Look to other artists for inspiration, but avoid comparisons. When you’re being creative, there’s no time to look around and compare yourself to other people. That’s a waste of your energy, your talent, and your time. You just have to create — you can’t wait for people to tell you that it’s good.

Makeup artist choice

19. More tips

  • One important factor to consider when pursuing makeup artistry is whether or not you are totally committed to the craft. Because it is a competitive field, you may spend your first few years working very hard for very little pay. Eventually, your hard work will pay off if you stay committed and love what you do.

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