Makeup artist image: whim or necessity?

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A Makeup Artist is not just an expert at their profession and communicator to their clients - first and foremost they are a creative person and artist themselves. You are the creator of beauty, and your face is your business card, so take care not only of your client, but also of yourself.

First of all, it is of course the professional knowledge that is important and will serve as the foundation to your artistic expression, but do not forget about the appearance, the art of communication, and the ability to present yourself - present yourself strongly and with confidence that you are a high-class professional and your client is in good hands.

We believe that the success of a Makeup Artist in addition to their professional skills is made up of their presentation and ability to communicate directly with their clients.

Let’s begin with the presentation of yourself and how you will appear when working with your clients: you can express yourself as you wish in your free time; however if the client came to you, be sure to also respect their own opinion and taste.

  • Your professional clothing selection when on the job should not only be stylish and show that you have your own individual taste - but most importantly will need to remain professional. Dark and neutral colors are always recommended, along with clean and minimal lines. It is not a runway show, but rather you will be creating for the client - maintain professional at all times, and the main goal is for you to always look professional, clean, and well maintained (if you take care of yourself, the client will feel this energy and know you will also take good care of them!)

  • Cleanliness is a companion of any employee who works in the beauty industry! The appearance of a specialist should be neat and at the same time stylish and modern.

  • Work shoes must meet two criteria: be clean and comfortable. Heels are not recommended. Flats and comfortable (yet professional shoes) are always preferred, as you will be on your feet for a long period of time catering to your client’s needs.

Remember, your profession is all about building relationships - if people find a Makeup Artist who connects with them and is to their own style and liking, then the client will always return to you, and give you glowing recommendations to their community network as well. As an example, here is a perfect client relationship recommendation from our Online Makeup Academy instructor (you can also see the examples of our working process here).

  • The main tool of a Makeup Artist is their hands, therefore the approach to this part of the body should always be well thought out when working. Your nails should be well manicured, with minimal application - preferably clear or light in color. Keep your hands clean and moisturized, as your client will be “up close and personal” with your hands specifically and it is of utmost importance to provide a hygienic presentation. Keep hand sanitizer (always wash your hands before, after, and in between a makeup application! This is crucial!) as well as a hand cream with a light and fresh (not fragrant) scent.

  • Smell is also crucial when you work so closely with your clients. However, a very fragrant or floral smell is discouraged (do not use perfume, but rather only clean and fresh scents). Many people are allergic to different scents and can be sensitive if you have a fragrant perfume; try to remain fresh and simple, as remember, your customers are not obliged to share your preferences of scents. Keep mints or a mouth freshener spray on hand (not gum) as your breath should always remain fresh. This will make it easier for you to communicate.

  • Keep your hair minimal and pulled back. Even if you have luxurious long hair, the client does not want it in their face. Hair should be clean and not fall on the face. If you have long hair, it should be neatly (and stylishly) pulled back so that your hairstyle does not interfere with work. We recommend braiding your hair and removing it from your face.

    While it is important to prepare your best presentation, it is equally ideal to remain natural. Your makeup should be natural and not be obvious. The best choice is a soft and natural style, which implies a minimum of cosmetics (but always make the extra effort in grooming and apply the usual cosmetics for a great presentation). The client should feel comfortable, and if your makeup is better and brighter than their requests, then the person may become embarrassed and doubt you as a professional. Overall, this will be a decision you will make dependent on each client and the job at hand - it is important for the Makeup Artist to ensure that the client is satisfied and feels great.

The manner of communication

It's very important to always maintain positive client/artist relationships, and follow proper ethics for a makeup artist:

If you are receiving a client in your studio space, and the client arrives to your appointment early but are not yet ready to receive them, tell the client how long to wait and offer a drink (sparkling and still water is always great to have on hand, as well as coffee and tea, it's a small gesture that makes all the difference!)
Establish a relationship of trust with the client: communicaton is key, find out what makeup the client wants, determine the condition of the skin and the necessary care products. Listen carefully. Your ultimate goal is to make the client happy.

  • Always address your client by name; this adds a personal touch and will let the client know you care about them.

  • If your client is not in the mood to talk, don’t impose a conversation, you can simply comment on your actions during the appplication.

  • If the client decides to share personal problems with you, treat it with understanding, but do not give advice.

  • During makeup application is a very personal process, try to keep a comfortable distance. Too close to the client can cause discomfort.

  • After you finish the makeup, you can always provide some tips on how to apply these techniques at home.

  • Before the client leaves, make sure that they are completely satisfied. After the first visit, you can offer a business card!

To become a true professional, of course, written advice is not enough. Interested in learning more? You can continue your professional education with an Online Makeup Academy course, where our instructors will tell you about all the intricacies of the work of the Makeup Artist in detail.