Becoming a Makeup Artist

If you would like to become a makeup artist there are a number of different paths you can take to achieve that goal. While some makeup artists get trained on the job working in store as beauty advisers, others gain a certificate, diploma or degree in makeup application. Younger candidates are wise to study at college, but if you are changing career later in life there are some excellent short courses you can partake in to give you a Certificate in Special Occasion Makeup. See our article – why do a makeup artist course.

What kind of Makeup Artist?

You must also decide which type of makeup artist you wish to become before training as there are a number of branches to the trade. With any makeup qualification working as a freelance wedding and special occasion makeup artist, or on a beauty counter in store, should be a possibility.  Fashion and editorial makeup is very competitive and therefore advisable to do a tailored course. If you want to mingle with the stars, theatrical makeup courses can lead to all sorts of jobs behind the scenes in theatres, TV series and films.

Building a Portfolio

A vital part of becoming a makeup artist is building up a portfolio of makeup looks you have done, even if initially they have just been on friends and family. Make sure you have a range of looks in your portfolio on all ages and skin types. It is worth using a professional photographer, or borrowing a good camera, to ensure you can get high quality portfolio pictures. If you choose to work in special effects makeup, volunteer to do the makeup at your local theatre as it will look great on your CV and you may get some contacts. 

Getting a Makeup Kit

Many courses will assist you in getting a makeup kit together; this will be needed not only during the course but for when you start working as a makeup artist. Makeup course providers will only use high quality makeup and may have a deal with a cosmetics company so that their students can get discounted products. They will teach you about using makeup brushes, what's needed, hygiene and the longevity of makeup products. 

Self Promotion and Branding

If you decide to work as a freelance makeup artist it pays to invest in a good looking, functional and modern website as the web is likely to be the place where the majority of customers will find you. Advertise your services in online bridal directories such as the one we offer. Some makeup artists choose to use their own name as their business name while others create a name. The important thing is to be consistent when promoting your services in order to build a memorable brand.

Networking and Events 

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are a relatively new way of networking and interacting with potential customers. Technology gives you the opportunity to go out and grab your customers rather than waiting for them to find you, and can really put you a step ahead of your competitors. Although it is important to embrace the internet and its marketing benefits, don't stop attending events such as wedding fairs. Get branded business cards to hand out at beauty and bridal shows and give a few to previous customers so they may recommend you. If you are a wedding makeup artist, why not ask to leave a few of your cards in local hairdressers and hotels which cater for weddings.

Planning and Organising Yourself

Keep a diary so that you don't forget about appointments and always reply to email enquiries straight away.  Take deposits on jobs to cover yourself in the event of clients cancelling. Also make sure you have the relevant insurance needed to protect your business. It is important to offer makeup trials so that you can be sure your client will not have any adverse effects to the products you use.

Although it will take time to build a name for yourself in the makeup world you can speed up the process by asking everyone you've done makeup for if you can use their pictures in your portfolio. Also keep copies of any published editorial work you get and the leaflets of any shows you've done makeup for, and you will, with plenty of hard (but fun!) work build up a regular customer base.

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