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10 Commandments of Being a Makeup Artist

May 4, 2017

With having been in the industry for over 20 years, there are definitely some tips {commandments} I feel I’m able to offer just through trial and error. I do a lot of Makeup Artist classes/workshops, where we definitely hone-in to perfecting actual makeup skills and techniques, but there are also other very important {maybe even more important} things to keep in mind. Whether you are just getting into this industry or have been in it for several years, please let me know of any other tips you personally feel are so important to our amazing field!


{1} Knowledge is power. This pretty much says it all. Never stop learning! That is what is pretty awesome about our field, there are always new things to learn. New products, new techniques, trends, etc. Quite often I have people come to me right after beauty school and want more makeup training. I can’t stress enough, the more people you work on the more your confidence will grow and you’ll be able to sharpen your skill. Practice, practice, practice and if you’re even a seasoned veteran of the field – still practice, there is always something to perfect.

{2} Appreciate the Journey. This is most important for people at the beginning of their career. Don’t look at someone who has 10-15 years of experience on you and think you should be where they are. We truly live in a “I want it now” world. Appreciate the people and artists who have helped you along the way and never take that for granted. It’s always important to have those mentors in your life for advice, recommendations, job references and on-going inspiration. I love the quote — “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” YES!

{3} Build a Strong Network of Support. This almost goes along with the paragraph above. It’s important to have other Artists you can count on. There will always be jobs and opportunities coming in. Why not pass the work to someone you trust and they will in turn do the same. Work together because no one gets anywhere in life by themselves. I often reach out to people for not only passing along work but just asking their advice on something. I love that I’m not in this alone.

{4} Grow Your Brand in a Professional Way. Oh the internet. It’s an awesome tool. But realize what you put into the world online stays there forever. Don’t ever bash clients, ummm…they are most likely reading it or will find it because it’s the internet! It’s great to use Instagram/Facebook and whatever else as a branding tool, but keep it classy peeps. Your feed is a mini portfolio and a look into how you carry yourself on a job. You can better believe clients will look at this before hiring you in a lot of cases.

{5} Cleanliness is Next to Godliness. Your kit should be ever-changing, constantly growing/evolving and always clean and pristine. Sometimes I feel that I clean my kit and brushes more than I actually use them. It’s constant but a crucial part of the job. Client’s can SEE what you have going on in there. Speaking of which, I need to do this again today.

{6} Be More Than Prepared. Just when you think you’ve packed everything you need, do a triple check and bring things you don’t think you need! Don’t ever take for granted that a job is cut and dry. Things always pop up on set and during shoots where you’ll be asked for something you may didn’t plan on bringing. Bring everything, seriously.

{7} Always BE ON TIME. Actually, I can’t stress this enough. It’s a matter of you not getting a job or gig again if your late. No one wants to wait around for you getting there to set up your kit. If a call time is 8:00 am, be there even a little early if possible. With having to carry a billion and one things, we need the extra time to get situated. If you rush into a job and the talent or client is sitting there waiting it starts off the day rushed.

{8} Give Back. We as Artists have a true talent and get to make people feel beautiful…that is super rewarding. Find something in your community that allows you to give this talent back to others. There are many organizations looking for licensed professionals to volunteer. Just a couple I am familiar with are Flashes of Hope and Look Good Feel Better. But if you don’t choose one of these, create something of your own — it just makes you feel really good to do something beautiful for others.

{9} Integrity is Key. Hopefully this goes without saying but just be nice and don’t under-cut rates, bash people or tear each other down. If you’re doing what you need to be doing, that is enough. Don’t worry about what this one over here is doing, what he/she is doing, etc. It’s crazy to me when I hear about someone using another Artists picture as their own online or even worse conning brides out of deposits, money etc. Yikes. Don’t do that. And just respect others in the field and others in general — again, hopefully going without saying?

{10} Makeup is a Small Fraction of it. You’re amazing at makeup, great. But a person once said to me that my job was 50% skill, 50% personality. This always stuck with me. You can be really spectacular at what you do — but no one will want to hire you if you walk in like a diva or that you know it all. Know your place on set and when to give your two cents or advice on something non-makeup related. Your a little package deal, your professionalism is a part of what they are hiring. No one wants to work with a cranky, know-it-all Makeup Artist.

With that being said, I definitely do not know it all. If you have any little tips to add, like I said, please let me know. I’m curious and thanks for reading =)

Xx, Julie

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