With a huge influx of makeup artists into the industry, it’s becoming quite difficult to get noticed and to make your way to where you want to be. I have been in the industry now for over 12 years so I have a few tips up my sleeve that may (hopefully) help some of you if you are feeling a little lost in this crazy makeup world:
1.) Go social.
Yep. You need some kind of online site where potential clients can see your work. Instagram being the most popular at the moment. HOWEVER. Still try and have some kind of .com or co.uk site which will look a lot more professional to clients, especially if you want to venture into the commerical/ editoral/ fashion industry : Instagram just won’t do. If you want to work for more private clients, weddings, glamour, influencers and towie-celeb-types (this is by no way offence: Lots of my good pals do this…and really well!) then Instagram is great and if you manage to build up a good insta-following as a makeup artist you can generate income from that alone.
2.) Build your portfolio.
If you are new, or even just a few years in, you need a good profile of your work, not just images of yourself wearing your makeup. Get in touch with photographers and models who want to ‘TEST’ and get some really clean, professional images for your portfolio. If you are unsure of what area you want to focus on, then get a good array of images showing off all your makeup skills to the full potential : Beauty, Bridal, Red Carpet/Glamour style & Fashion.
If you are new to the industry, you won’t be paid for every single job, especially at the beginning. Assisting is a great way to simply get on-hands experience into what a professional makeup artist does on-set : expectations, standards, techniques, back-of-house behaviour and etiquette. I started assisting as soon as I moved to London 10 years ago – and still do ! Over the years I’ve worked with some truly amazing artists including Charlotte Tilbury, Andrew Gallimore & Sharon Dowsett. You can never stop learning and the industry is constantly changing. How do you assist? Contact the agencies that look after the makeup artists you want to assist. Send a brief summary of you, a few images of your work. If the makeup artist doesn’t have an agency simply drop them an e-mail personally.
4.) Say YES. To. Every. Opportunity. That. Comes.
This industry is saturated right now and you need to get ahead. Take every work opportunity. Last minute unpaid assisting? If you have nothing else on…..why the HELL not?! ?> It can lead to big things. Really tired but have been invited to a magazine launch? GO. You may end up chatting to someone who can give you some jobs, opportunities in the future. Take everything you can, work endlessly, get your name out there and at some point….it will come. Keep your business cards on you always.
5.) Don’t be a dick.
LOL. ok so as I mentioned in the previous tip – it’s very saturated. There is A LOT of new makeup artists constantly being churned out of makeup schools being opened left, right and centre. With this come competitiveness, bitchy-ness and all that other horrid shit. Stay true to yourself, don’t step on people’s toes (or heads) to get ahead, and DO NOT LIE or exaggerate : This is a small industry and everyone knows everyone who knows everyone. You will get found out and word gets around if you are unprofessional. I see this constantly and it can break a reputation quite literally in a day. You may get there a little slower by being a hard-working, honest person, but your reputation will proceed you and only good things will come. If you cut corners, buy Instagram followers and are a bit of a fucking weasel, yes, you may get to where you want to be quicker, but it’ll end up being a world full of less opportunities, less integrity and less makeup artist peers to help you out, pass on jobs and be kind to you when things are going tits up.
You need friends in this industry, believe me. I have a great group of makeup artist pals I have known (a lot of them) since day 1 when we were all starting off and assisting together way back when. Some of these are now right at the top of the makeup game, some of them have branched off in different directions, but I always have a huge handful of people I can ask questions, get advice from, rant to about clients AND pass on great jobs to.