How to Become a Successful Makeup Artist

Get Trained

1. Learn the basics. Attend a cosmetology school that includes makeup application courses taught by professional makeup artists. A certification can give you an advantage over others when applying for a job.

2. Learn on your own. Study the basic techniques of successful professionals and use the makeup applications you are inspired by. Successful makeup artists learn the basics first before taking on more difficult makeup exercises and continue to learn throughout their careers. Practice applications under varying light sources, environments and using cameras to view the results and get a bigger picture of what makeup can achieve.

3. Seek opportunities to further your skills and stretch your talents. Practice what you know on family and friends, volunteer your services and grab every opportunity to try new tools, products and develop your own style. As in any profession, success comes from staying focused and learning as much as you can about your chosen profession. Makeup artists begin their careers working numerous non-paying or low paying jobs to get experience and gain familiarity within the industry.

Prepare for Success

1. Build your portfolio. Portfolios are photographs of your work used to gain paying jobs and show others what you do. You can build a portfolio by photographing the work yourself, exchanging services with a budding photographer or working in exchange for photos of your work. Look for work on student films, with independent film and television production companies, photographers or with local organizations producing fashion events or theater productions.

2. Work on your people skills. Makeup artists work in industries where demanding personalities and egos abound. Learn to accept direction from others, including directors, producers, photographers, and how to maintain focus on the job when under pressure. Your ego must take a back stage to the successful completion of a job if you expect to build a good reputation and get hired again.

3. Advance your skills. Specialized training or a certification from a makeup manufacturer can help advance your skills and career. Specialized training can include learning special effects applications, corrective techniques or the application of permanent makeup. Certifications earned from makeup manufacturers can help build a loyal clientele. Makeup artists with advanced skills have the potential to earn more income.

4. Broaden your network of contacts. Successful makeup artists make contact with lots of people to draw in high-paying work and continual business opportunities. Attend industry events, volunteer your services and look for work that can introduce you to new people, ideas and techniques.

5. Learn about marketing and advertising. Marketing and advertising are used to gain customers, establish a brand or image and extend your visibility. Study what others are doing to advertise their makeup business and take classes in small business marketing to gain a basic understanding of how to promote your skills and expertise.

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