How To Get Started As A Makeup Artist

We talked with a few makeup artists about their journey and how others can get into the artistry too.

How do you become a makeup artist? How do you find your craft and what works for you? 

Penelope Sierra, a NYC-based makeup artist, said that when she dropped out of college and didn’t know what career path she wanted to go into, she only knew she loved makeup and making people confident. When she started putting herself out there and surrounding herself with other makeup artists, she learned enough that she could also develop her own personal technique too.

“I was always super observant and I would always ask questions,” Penelope advises. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be open to criticism. Don’t take offense if someone doesn’t like your work right away – it happens to everyone.”

Makeup became a creative outlet for Giselle Trevino, a Texas-based makeup artist. She started playing with colors and her love for makeup grew more and more every day. How did she learn how to do makeup? YouTube videos. She also got her makeup certification, and in the course that she took, everything that she was taught was everything she learned for herself while watching YouTube videos.

Giselle says: “Practice on yourself, as much as you can or as much as you want, and practice on your friends too.”

“You have to go at your own pace,” Chicago-based makeup artist Crystal Freeman says. “Don’t try to compare yourself too much to other artists. You are yourself. You will flourish once you figure out your artistry and what works for you to become a beautiful artist.”

She explains that developing her kit at the beginning of her artist journey was the most stressful. She thought that she needed the most expensive brands that celebrities and their professional makeup artists use, but now she knows that you need to develop your kit around what you can afford and what you know you can work with, not what other people are using.

Crystal says, “It’s a beautiful experience, watching someone look in the mirror and immediately feel confident and knowing that you brought that inner beauty out of them. It’s just shining through that makeup and it’s such a rewarding feeling.”