How to become a makeup artist

How to become a Makeup artist

Why pursue a career in makeup? Someone once said to me, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. For so many of us, that isn’t a 9 to 5 desk job in stuffy offices watching the clocks tick by, it is a job where we can be ourselves and express our passion. A career in makeup is just that, it is a career in creativity, imagination and art.

With the sphere of fashion and beauty constantly changing and growing, the possibilities for your vision are endless. Every day there is a new trend, a new style to master, filtering across from international realms, from the futuristic movies, the billboards of dazzling cities and the spreads of breath-taking magazines. If you want in, to the inner world of the beauty industry, and you want to express your artistry and creativity, becoming a makeup artist may just be the ticket for you. With the chance to let your own personality shine, you also get to express yourself by bringing joy to other people.

The perks are plentiful. First if you go freelance, there’s flexibility. The work hours may be irregular, but it gives you the flexibility to do other things as well. If you join a team, you may well end up doing exciting highbrow fashion shows and adventurous photo shoots which. The possibilities for career opportunities are widespread and extensive, there is not a limit or geographical area to tame you. There are opportunities in, salons, spas, beauty schools, retail, high fashion, catwalks, film, TV, red carpets, wedding bridal makeup… There are so many avenues out there to explore! Like barbering, there is a revival in this career, and is not just limited to our home turf, it is global – according to the Bureau of Labour and Statistics, it is ever-expanding by a rate of 10%! Makeup artists are gaining popularity and there looks to be no signs of stopping yet.

Social media has played a huge part in this – word of mouth is now amplified by the world of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Nowadays, building a wide client base is so much easier – with clients telling their friends and a clever use of social media, these can become remarkable marketing tools for the contemporary makeup artist.

Establishing a portfolio on social media is just one of the tips and tricks makeup artists can hone to become a success. When first starting out, practicing on friends and family and keeping pictures of all of the work done is recommended. No one practices enough; even the experts can always do more. Think of your craft as requiring as much effort as a classically trained musician or dancer, hours of practice on as many various faces and skin types as possible is the best way to build up the basics and get the foundations for a long, multitalented career. Newcomers and professionals alike, mastery of the basics means more complicated complex looks are likely to be met with success. This is not saying do not try out explorative and adventurous looks, being adventive on top of your basic skills is a must and the only way to grow and evolve. Expert makeup artists recommending duplicating looks you see on current celebrities, replicate makeup looks in advertisements from the major campaigns, and follow an assortment of artists, agencies, celebrities, magazines, blogs to keep up to date with latest trends, techniques and competition.

Saying that, a golden rule: do not get carried away! It can be so easy getting swept up in the Instagram fads (or not, in the case of the feathered and wavy brown trends) and buying the new shimmery lip kit on the block, but having a well cultivated, well built up kit of good reliable products is vital. As a makeup artist, your professional makeup kit is your best friend. They are your weapons of choice and the source to your income. Granted, they take time to build and can be a financial investment, so many spend lots of time researching their products, honing down brands, and determining how many colour palettes to carry with them.

Being a professional makeup artist is exhilarating, challenging and certainly never boring! With enough passion and determination, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your career potential.

The London Makeup School can help you to realise your dreams of working as a professional makeup artist.

Becoming a professional makeup artist

For newcomers asking how to become a makeup artist, we recommended aiming for mid-range essentials, based on your target client base – for model photo shoots you might need those bright garish colours, but if you’re going into bridal makeup, best to leave those on the shelf. Again, social media can be your ally – seek advice from others, read reviews, discuss products with professionals that already have a wealth of experience and a well-built kit to draw upon. If you do your research, cover your bases, and invest in smart products, you’ll be set to go. One little tip for this – freebies are your holy grail, try them, test them on a variety of skin types, see how you get on. Furthermore, grab a copy of Making Faces, by Kevyn Aucoin. In this Holy Grail book, America’s well-known makeup artist shares his secrets, illuminating not only the fundamentals of makeup techniques but also how to use these basics to create a wide range of different looks.

Finally, developing a good skin routine is key. As Shu Uemura quotes, “Beautiful makeup, starts with beautiful skin”. With your face as the first thing the client notices, a good complexion is imperative for success. Prepping your skin, or indeed your clients’ skin, before you apply makeup is crucially important; an expert makeup job often appears flawless because of the preparation that goes onto the skin before any makeup is applied. The golden steps are recited as, “Cleanse, tone and moisturise” but there are a couple of extra tips thrown in. The first stage is making sure the skin is optimally cleansed, removing any residue before toning to remove those last traces of dirt and oil. Then, a gentle exfoliate will remove any of the dead skin to allow a perfectly smooth surface to begin on. Finally, a moisturiser to prevent drying – hydrated skin is the best canvas. Applying a primer is the final step before beginning makeup that will last immaculately all day.

If this career sounds like something you’d love, and you’ve been hooked throughout, the next and most important question is how? Whilst being able to do makeup is one thing, entering the makeup industry is a whole new ball game, and the best way is to learn from the professionals. It’s not just learning how to apply makeup; it’s everything that goes with it – skincare, trends, styles, and new products. The industry is constantly evolving and you’ll always need to stay one step ahead of the game.

To be taken seriously in the professional realm, you will need to be qualified and experienced, and from a reputable training school.  For example, at the London Makeup School and London Hair Academy offer a wide range of courses allowing you to gain an internationally recognised qualification. As the leading school in the UK delivering the Fast Track Makeup Artist (ITEC Level 2 Makeup Certificate) with the highest number of distinction passes the teaching reflects this.

Professional makeup artists teach the courses, who are commercially active as freelancers within the industry and can thus bring this knowledge directly to the students – an invaluable asset for all students in such a dynamic energetic industry. Plus, unlike many other training academies, the London Makeup School uses live models for teaching, rather than students working on each other, which amplifies learning capability. Getting the right course is crucial – for example the London Makeup School runs courses all year round, with a maximum of six to eight students per class. This allows you the freedom and choice to begin your path on your terms and be content knowing you will have the complete attention and devotion of the expert, not lost amongst swamped classes.

There is a wide range of course out there for budding makeup artists – for those complete beginners in makeup just stating their ventures short introductory courses such as our beginners makeup course to learn the basics are best practice. Once mastered, you can then proceed to more advanced courses that specialise in various avenues such as special effects, bridal or glamour.  We offer further courses in airbrushing, mature makeup, theatrical, male to female makeup; the possibilities for your profession are boundless. You want to go for courses that are designed with a highly practical work ethic, and taking time to look for the right school that will give you a head start within the industry is worth the time.

For example, the London Makeup School offers open days, to go and have a look around and see everything on offer. These taster days are priceless; you can speak to expert tutors, chat to students about the courses and have hands on experience working with models. These days are your chance to ask all the questions and explore your vocation options, in a kind, welcoming and generous environment. Getting a high quality level of training will give you a head start in your new career as a makeup artist, and taking a leap into one of the courses offered at a top establishment.

The London Makeup School is the highest rated and reviewed Academy on Google in Europe. Often, high level roles will benefit from hairdressing experience – and there is even opportunity at the London Makeup School to see if you would like to go into hair and makeup, or just focus on makeup. Courses offered range from beginner to advance braiding and plaiting to extensions and portfolio courses. The numbers of strings on your bow are completely in your control, and if you want a career that encourages creativity, imagination and vision, there are boundless options out there for you to begin exploring.

If you would like to discuss any of the courses we offer at London Makeup School or London Hair Academy, we shall me happy to discuss options, career goals finance options as well as arrange a visit for you to come and explore what we have to offer please feel free to get in touch via email or phone on +44 207 993 8101. Hope to hear from you soon.

Let us help you to make an informed decision with no obligation.

The London Make Up School is proud to be recognised as Investors In People and part of ITEC, The national hairdressers federation and complementary therapist association
The London Make Up School is proud to be recognised as Investors In People and part of ITEC, The national hairdressers federation and complementary therapist association
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