How To Become A Makeup Artist

I remember the first time I watched my mom do her makeup years ago. I was fascinated by the transformation of how something so subtle could make such a big difference. From that moment on makeup was always a part of my life, but I never took it as seriously as my sister or my mom. I went through phases. From not blending the foundation well enough to putting on way too much eye makeup for school, to finally understanding how to do it the way that felt right for me. However, I never would have gotten there without the help of YouTube tutorials and makeup blogs that featured makeup artists themselves doing what they love from the subtle to the extreme. It is art, and it is beautiful.

With the advent of social media, it has become increasingly more popular to aspire to be a makeup artist. These online tutorials have changed the face of makeup, and everyone thinks they can be the next big thing in makeup artistry. Remember, that being a makeup artist is not this easy thing that anyone can just do. It takes talent, dedication, time, and a lot of practice.

It has nothing to do with creating makeup looks you see on YouTube or Instagram. Choosing to dedicate your life to makeup artistry can be a great idea, but you must be strategic in your path to take the right steps toward success.

Here at H, we want to help you achieve that success. So keep reading for some helpful tips to get you there.


So you’ve been thinking about becoming a makeup artist but, what’s your next step? What kind of education do you need in order to become a professional makeup artist? How do you get your foot in the door so you can start working in your ideal dream job? The fact that there is no one direct path to working in the field of makeup artistry makes it a little tricker than other professions. In fact, most states in this country have their own requirements and such so you will have to research those for whichever state you plan to practice your talents in.

Now, depending on what it is exactly what you would like to do once you become an expert in makeup application will help you decide which of the many different career paths is going to be best for you. Know that no matter which career path you choose to take, there’s a number of do’s and don’ts that you should definitely follow if you want people to truly see as a highly skilled and professional makeup artist.

General Advice

You should seriously consider any job offer you receive when first starting out as a makeup artist, even if it’s not your ideal job. All those friends are asking you to do their prom makeup or Halloween makeup, jump at the opportunity. You will be glad you did later in life. We learn something of value from every job we accept. So be open and willing especially in the beginning. Plus, think about all of the potential connections you could make. You should always be thinking about networking when working as a professional makeup artist. And because your name is going to be directly tied to your business, it’s essential for you to make sure that you leave a positive impression on everyone you come across in your industry.

Do’s & Don’ts

The following is a list of do’s and don’ts for you to follow if you want to find success in the world of makeup artistry. This can be applied to any makeup field you decide to go into.


Your homework.

There are a number of different training and educational opportunities for potential makeup artists, and every state has their own requirements. The first thing you need to do is decide what it is exactly you want to do after you receive your makeup training. Do you want to apply makeup to celebrities? Do you want to work for a beauty salon? There are so many opportunities available to you when working in this niche. That’s what makes it necessary for you to figure out which path it is that you want to take and then to learn everything you possibly can about it.

Share your secrets with others.

Don’t you want them to share their secrets with you? And when you think about it, is it truly a secret?

It comes back to the golden rule, treat others the way that you want to be treated. Expert makeup artists have been applying makeup and using special application techniques for years now, so are there truly any new make-up secrets these days? We all know the basics so now it’s really a matter of finding a spin on how to apply makeup, which you should always share with your peers. It makes the world go round.

Know the trends!

This is a no-brainer, but I will say it anyway. It’s essential for you to be open to utilizing brand new makeup application techniques that are currently being used and/or tested. The world of makeup artistry is always evolving as with everything else, and you need to be able to adapt well to that in order to be successful.

Use social media to promote yourself.

This is one of the absolute best ways you can show people exactly who you are as a makeup artist. Remember to keep it professional! But also don’t be afraid to try new things and mix it up. The more you showcase your personality, the more viewers will respond to your work.

Pro tip: Always test the foundation shade on the side of your neck, not the inside of your wrist. Learning these types of makeup tips is going to take you far.

Be friendly and approachable.

Yes, even if you happen to be having a not so good day. When you’re on the job, it’s essential for you to remain professional, and that includes being both pleasant and accessible. Disasters will happen, and you need to be ready to deal with them calmly.

Trust your instincts.

As time goes on, your makeup application instincts will improve. If you’re not sure about something, never hesitate to ask someone who has lots of makeup application experience. It doesn’t make you look stupid or amateur if anything it makes others realize how serious you are about improving your craft.

Consistently network with others.

The more you’re able to widen your list of contacts, the better off you are when it comes to knowing who’s who. You never know where your next job is going to come from when you’re a freelance makeup artist, so making new connections should always be on your list of things to do.

Create a complete makeup portfolio.

This should include a wide variety of your work so that others can get in all around an understanding of who you are as a professional makeup artist. It should also be at the top of your list to get the ball rolling for your makeup artist career.


Apply makeup using bad lighting.

Although most makeup artists agree that using natural daylight is the first choice, it’s not always feasible. Using natural white light is a good choice, with LED lights becoming more popular in recent times. And remember, all overhead lighting is bad! Instead, you should focus the light, so it’s even with the client.

Be negative.

There’s simply no room for negativity in the workplace, which can be a real time waster for all involved.

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for a new job.

The last thing you want to happen is for you to appear unprepared to your new employer on your first day. Prep the night before so you know what you have and how long it may take you and always, always arrive early.

Use poor quality beauty products.

The line of beauty related makeup products you decide to use is directly going to represent who you are as a professional makeup artist. If you do decide to use lower quality beauty products, you’re simply not going to be able to attract the high-quality jobs that makeup professionals are seeking these days. It’s okay to start out with lower quality if you are on a budget and just beginning but as you grow, then you should take the time to invest in quality makeup.


Once you tell a lie, it’s going to be very difficult for you to gain any trust back. It has the potential to ruin your career before it even starts, so be truthful even if it means not being able to deliver to a client.

Take shortcuts

It’s not worth the time or money. Take the time to grow you will appreciate it later.

Finally, you should never, ever ignore any beauty related events that may be taking place in your area. Attending beauty events is a great way for you to expand your list of industry contacts.

And don’t buy any makeup until you’ve done your research.

Let’s get started!