Three things I want new makeup artists to know about your career, your kit, and your money.
I think this is actually my first blog post of 2019! You’ll notice the blog looks a bit different, it got an update over the holidays (and so did my website if you want to check it out). I’ve been focusing a lot of my attention on work (of course) and on IG and YouTube, but I do love blogging so i’m hoping to get more of that done this year.
I did an ‘Ask Me Anything’ poll on instagram yesterday (if you don’t follow me yet, click here) and I received so many amazing questions. There were three themes that kept popping up within the questions everyone was asking, and I felt they were important to address and discuss.
1. Questions about products that are ‘THE BEST’
I will not ever be choosing the best of anything I don’t think, I’d rather tell you what is better. I don’t think it is fair to label things as ‘the best’ because what is best for me is not best for you. Invest wisely in products for your kit. Spend money on what you can afford and if you are just starting out use up every drop of what you have (provided it doesn’t expire), before trying something new or something advertised to you as THE BEST. Look for quality products that you feel will work for your style of makeup application and the jobs you do. If you don’t know what your style is yet, that’s ok - experiment with the basics and play with what you have until that lightbulb goes off.
Social media is full of people telling you what is THE BEST, but buying what people tell you is the best - does not make you the best (scientific facts right there). I’ve seen artists turn looks with very simple, uncomplicated, and modest kits. How you do things is more important than what you use to do them. Be mindful of your spending, use common sense, and do what is BEST for you.
2. The question of time: How long does it take to get clients? How long did it take you to build your kit? How long will it take me to be able to work full time?
There is no formula for this job, no blueprint for success, and most certainly no timeline. Some of you will be working almost instantly and others will need what feels like an eternity to get to a point where you have regular paying clients. It will likely take about 3-5 years to get your portfolio together and meet clients, finding regular paying clients may take longer. This career takes time to build, be patient with yourself and focus on the smaller steps as opposed to the big leaps. Your kit will grow along with your earnings.
3. Questions about money: How do I build my kit on a budget? What are some inexpensive brushes, foundations, skin care products I can add to my kit? Can I use drugstore products to save money?
This one is going to be an eye opener for a few people. With any business there is going to be an initial investment, and the investment required for a makeup artist is quite substantial. Your kit is going to cost you anywhere between $1000 - $5000 dollars to build. If anyone tells you otherwise I think they have forgotten how much things cost, and they’ve also forgotten you don’t start out with pro discounts. If you go to school for makeup (add tuition to your budget) you are still going to need to replenish items and build out your kit when you graduate. Your kit should include pro quality products that can work on all skin tones and types. You also should be able to manipulate textures and finishes with the makeup you are using so you are ready for any job. If you want to save money don’t buy cheap products to fill your kit, buy fewer, better quality items. As you start to work more often and become more comfortable with your application style, build out your kit with necessary items that will make your job easier, and make you faster at what you do.
If you are looking at a career as a Makeup Artist as a quick, inexpensive way to make money, I don’t think you are going to find what you are looking for. Remember that this job is in fact a trade, and requires skill and training. It is going to take years for you to develop your skills, confidence, and network. Being self employed and doing makeup/hair for a living is amazing and very rewarding, but you get what you give and you are going to have to give a lot to make this happen. Try not to get swept up in false promises about this industry made to you by social media. Enjoy the experience of learning and growing as an artist and be smart about the decisions you are making. Be patient with yourself, work hard, and treat people kindly - this is what will get you through.