How to Become a Makeup Artist. Top Do's & Don'ts

So you've been thinking about becoming a makeup artist so you can have a fun and exciting career. Good choice! So 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 necessary for you to check with your particular states make-up artists requirements.

Now, depending on what it is exactly that 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 you as a highly skilled 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. It's highly likely that you're going to learn something of value with each and every job you accept, making it a good idea for you to be open to every new job opportunity. And think about all of the potential connections you can 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.


  • Your homework. There are a number of different training and educational opportunities for potential makeup artists, and each 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 make-up training. Do you want to apply makeup to celebrities? Do you want to work for a beauty salon? There are many opportunities available to you when working in this niche, making it necessary for you to figure out which path it is that you want to take.

  • 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? 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? It's really more a matter of finding a spin on how to apply makeup, which you should always share with your (trusted) peers.

  • Know the trends! It's essential for you to be open to utilizing brand new makeup application techniques that are currently being used and/or tested.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Trust your instincts. As time goes on, you're makeup application instincts will improve. If you're not sure about something, never hesitate to ask someone who has lots of makeup application experience.

  • 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 understanding of who you are as a professional makeup artist.


  • 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.

  • 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 upon your first day arrival.

  • 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.

  • Lie! Once you tell a lie, it's going to be very difficult for you to gain any trust back.

  • Take short cuts. It's not worth the time or the money.

  • 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.

  • Buy any makeup until you’ve done your research.

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