Makeup artist image: whim or necessity?


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.

Perfect Your Makeup Kit


As you begin your career in professional makeup artistry, the main questions you will likely have as a beginning Makeup Artist is how to build the perfect kit, and what makeup products should be included in it! We know that working without tools is impossible, but there is also no one "right" answer in what your makeup kit should look like. Of course there are the basic products that should always be included - but the brands, colors, types, and additional items, is what will make you as an artist unique! As you grow as an artist, your makeup kit will also grow - as you develop your own style and client base, you will notice the products that are the "perfect items" for your own makeup kit.

For now, as you are just beginning - remember that your makeup kit is a magic wand, without which no transformation will succeed. Therefore, if you decide to embark on the path of a Makeup Artist, be patient: the perfect products for your kit is not an easy process, and will include trial and error (though we think testing out new products is part of the fun!) With that said, we have prepared a guideline for the basic items in your beginning makeup kit:

Any makeup begins with cleansing the skin and preparing it for the subsequent application of products. With cleansing, keep everything simple - it is important to choose the medium that suits all skin types. Micellar water is a must have, and a gentle makeup remover is also a great product to have on hand. As well as a moisturizer - you may want to invest in a higher moisture product as well as an oil-free moisturizer product for both your clients with dry and oily skin. Your clients also will likely bring their own skincare preparation products (this is also highly encouraged!) that they prefer to use.


Selecting your base foundations: this selection is likely the part that you fear the most - but do not worry, it is easily solved! You do not have to buy 12 jars of foundation: otherwise, just imagine how heavy your makeup kit will be! You can consider only four shades (lightest and darkest) of your choice, as well as a white and yellow color adjuster - this will allow you to achieve perfect shades for all skintones.

Concealer: Follow the same guidelines as the foundation - a selection of lightest and darkest shades, which you will also be able to use for cream contour and highlight!

Powder: A translucent loose powder is ideal as it has a universal tone and adapts to any skin tone.

Blush: Each client is an individual with different color needs and requests - a blush palette with lighter and darker neutral shades is ideal.

Contour + highlight: A contour + highlight palette will be very helpful. You may want to pick up two, one with lighter toned contour/highlight and another with the darkest complexions, depending on the clients you plan to work with.

Eyeliner: Invest in neutral (black and brown) colors - the eyeliner can include your application of choice; pencil, gel, or liquid. You may want to consider a few different application techniques, to see what you are most comfortable with using (and in different settings they will require different products and methods of application!)

First, begin with a palette of neutral shades (especially if you will be focusing on special occasion and bridal makeup!), as well as client work. Most clients will want neutral makeup. After you have started your professional education, you can begin to invest in additional creative color palettes that catch your eye for your artistry.

Mascara: a classic black mascara will be your lifelong partner!

For the preparation of lips, invest in a lip balm to moisturize the lips pre-application.

Consider a lip palette, as similar to the blush palette - clients will request different shades, and a palette allows you to mix to also create your ideal color!

Do not forget about your essential tools:
Brush set - invest in a brush set (or two) which will include application for foundation, powder, eyeshadow, and lips.

Disposable products: It is essential (to remain sanitary) that you always have disposable tools on hand, these include:
Mascara wands + spoolies
Lip wands

in addition to:
70% isopropyl alcohol (for sanitizing your workspace and tools)
sanitizing wipes
Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist / Brush Cleaner

It all adds up quickly, but it is important not to skimp on your kit, even as a beginner. While you do not need to invest in the most expensive brands, it is also important to not select the least expensive brands either - middle range professional brands are key to a professional's appearance!
Still feel overwhelmed? That is why we have created a beginning makeup kit complimentary for our Master Makeup Artist course students - hand selected by our industry professional educators, this kit will kickstart your education and career!

Our makeup kit includes some of our favorite brand name products (Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Inglot, and more!) for you to experiment with and build upon, read the current list below (but we are always updating and improving, and if we find another product that we love - we will upgrade the kit and include it for you!):


- MAKE UP FOR EVER ULTRA HD LIQUID FOUNDATION x 4 (retail value of $172)
- MAKE UP FOR EVER EXCESSIVE LASH Arresting Volume Mascara (retail value of $25)
- MAKE UP FOR EVER STEP1 SKIN EQUALIZER (retail value of $37)
- INGLOT High Gloss Lip Oil (retail value of $18)
- INGLOT Makeup Brush 31T (retail value of $15)
- INGLOT AMC EYELINER GEL 77 (retail value of $17)
- INGLOT DURALINE (retail value of $14)
- SMASHBOX EYESHADOW Full Exposure Palette (retail value of $52)
- SMASHBOX Cover Shot: Eye Palette (retail value of $29)
- MEHRON SYNWAX (retail value of $10)
- PRO-LINE BLUSH PALETTE (retail value of $15)
- PRO-LINE Contour Blush Highlight Palette (retail value of $15)
- False Eyelashes (retail value of $12)
- GLITTER (retail value of $25)
- STRASS (retail value of $25)
- 22-PIECE SET: Professional Makeup Brush Set (retail value of $35)
- METAL PLATE WITH SPATULA (retail value of $10)

For those who are just starting their way into the world of makeup, it is important to start it with the right tools. We are always open to our students: write to us and we will figure out how to help you find the perfect products for your individual makeup kit!



No one will identify you as a professional if you do not communicate it! These are words to live by as you build your business - be confident, strong, and determined to spread the word of your talents and artistry.

Social media is one of the most important tools for networking and building your business as a Makeup Artist. Instagram especially is an ideal visual tool for a Makeup Artist to have not only their portfolio with the best work (and a direct link in the bio to direct them to more information on your website!), but also your own business page can provide the opportunity for clients and potential clients to see your inspirations, the makeup products that you use, and how you specifically work (behind the scenes images are always intriguing!) so the client can learn what to expect, and in turn book you for their makeup application needs.

Social media has also uncovered a new aspect to the makeup game - ‘influencing’. Several years ago it was difficult to become ‘famous’ in the makeup world if you didn’t know the right people (and usually this would require you to live in a major metropolitan city - such as New York or Los Angeles). It took a lot of energy to find your place, your clients, and even your style. Now with social media, the tides have turned; competition is high but we are also flooded with so many amazing opportunities (and a larger sense of community!) as Makeup Artists.


Let’s list two basic advantages you can achieve by creating a business identity on the internet for your makeup work (both through social media and a professional website):

  • Increased network of clients

  • Inspiration and like minded community of artists

 You can find your audience through different social media platforms, and sometimes even through local groups, but Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms all over the world. We highly encourage you to start with them (and if you’d like also venture into YouTube) Did you know that the total number of monthly active Instagram users last year achieved 1 billion?! The total number of daily active users is more than 500 million and more than 400 million use Instagram stories - these are free marketing tools to get your work to an unlimited amount of people interested in your field! Social networks are play a huge role in people's lives (and in turn in businesses/marketing): we get news from there, share impressions, find services - and have developed a trust found within the community that we establish through our social networks, where most people are willingly looking for inspiration, advice, purchases, etc.

If you haven’t started a page with your makeup work yet, we advise you to start right now (it’s never too early to begin! Even while you are still learning, social media platforms can provide you with a necessary outlet for experimentation - you can gain valuable feedback and see what works for your target audience). Read below top tips on how to begin your own social media platform and promote your artistry with the biggest marketing tool worldwide - social networks:

  • Share your work - network! This is the only way a potential client will find you and know about you. It is important to develop content; such as sharing signature techniques, experimental work, other client work, inspirational images (but always credit the original artist if you are not sharing your own work). Sharing photos of your process and artistry will highlight that you are a professional in your field, constantly learning new things and are not limited to the usual framework.

  • Give professional advice - share your knowledge with others! Have you educated yourself on the newest techniques, products, applications, etc? Don’t be afraid to spread the love of education to others. This will increase loyalty and solidify a strong following. A potential client who may have doubts will know that you will share honestly your professional education and knowledge as your goal is to provide assistance to others at all times. Part of the reason why others look for professionals is trust and communication - Makeup Artistry is a client service oriented profession!

  • Transformation - Don’t be afraid to share your creative process and development! Do you love experimentation (on yourself or collaborating with models/photographers? Add before / after photos so that people understand that transformation is the result of your art, fantasy and skill.

  • Develop a dialogue - ask your customers to share their impressions of your work with friends and subscribers. Share your impressions of your work with different clients in accordance with their wishes. Be open to constructive criticism and feedback as well, as this will help you grow as an artist and business.

If you haven’t yet established your social media business accounts, and you don’t know where to begin, read below to start! Every account will start with trial and error, but learn from our ‘mistakes’ to create the best accounts for you and your artistry now:       

  • Create your own unique style! When a new visitor enters your page - the goal is to create a purpose for them to follow/subscribe. Much of this will depend on how you present your artistry and your layout and appearance of the business profile: what is the general mood, color palette, do you combine photos, organized by type? Think of the purpose and professional layout you want to present to your audience.

( An example can be found on our page for color palette/brand identity)

  • To start, do the preparatory work! Look through your favorite accounts that you already follow, and use that as a tool to then search for additional accounts which inspire you. Never be afraid to seek out competitors' accounts - What do you like? What works for them? Think about what you want from this and how you can make it your own unique identity? This is important market research as you build your business.

How to create your own visual identity for your brand and business:

  • The easiest and most popular way to make your account stylish is to publish photos in the same color scheme. Repeat the same color in different ways: using filters, objects of this color, background. Here are some popular applications with filters to get you started (you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create your own custom filter, try to find an application that works for you and helps to establish your own unique brand identity - make adjustments to pre-set filters so it is your own!):

    –  VSCO Cam

    – A Color Story

    – Afterlight

    – Lightroom

  • Visualize the order in which to upload photos (the overall layout of your page as you post), use special applications that will help you plan your publications: Planoly and Preview are great tools.

  • Do not post only ads, create a harmonious profile - one that includes both your work and inspirational work. Do not forget about your style, make it so that customers are interested upon first glance and remain interested. With this approach, your content will help those who follow you learn more about you and your work as you continue to grow with them.

  • Remain active and engage with your followers - it is important to consistently provide content and constantly maintain communication with your subscribers. It’s not only about establishing promotional tools and a competitive edge, but really about authentically interacting with those who follow your work.

(Some inspirational and helpful posts by our founder, Nina Mua)

  • Use hashtags - this is essential as it will be easier for your customers to find you, and you will avoid unnecessary subscribers. Hashtags are the best free way to recruit new subscribers. You come up with your own unique hashtag and always use it so that it will be remembered by subscribers. To make the account more interesting, create headings and mark them with the corresponding hashtags. Make sure to only list hashtags that are applicable to your content and posts - and it is always best to list continuous hashtags in the comment of the posts.

  • Use Geotags - subscribers who are interested in this section will easily be able to view all posts on this topic. A geotag (location setting) will make you more recognizable in a particular region, put the locations of those places where your customers live/travel, which will in turn generate new client leads.

  • Add more video content! According to audience research, users spend more and more time on video content and for good reason. Create interesting, memorable, and short content (15-30 seconds is a great sweet spot, but Instagram will only let you share up to 1 minute!), this is a great way to verbally share tips, and show the process of work.

(A behind the scenes of ‘a day in the life’ at Nina Mua Makeup Academy, our physical location)

  • Quality over quantity. We tend to automatically think that the more jobs in your online portfolio, the better. This is not necessarily true. While you do need to maintain active on your social networks and continuously produce content, it is important that the content showcases your work in the best light. Quality is everything! All of the work that you share on a worldwide platform (your social channels) - must be performed professionally. Don’t get us wrong - you can absolutely be authentic and honest and share mistakes with your audience, as they are an integral part of the process (practice always makes perfect!), but be mindful in how you present your work and yourself at all times.


Once you’ve established your business channels, it will forever be changing and growing with you! Don’t be afraid to continuously learn. Social networks are a huge space for sharing experiences, finding colleagues, looking through the best work of makeup artists: get inspired and repeat!

Do not pass off other people's work for your own, but take ideas and improve them. At the same time, inspire your subscribers to change and be beautiful.

Together with these modern day opportunities is also huge responsibility - the more you work on building your business, the more people will know about you, the more job offers and collaborative opportunities will come! Everything is about continuous dedication - to your marketing efforts as a business, but also do not forget about the work and experience you must build in person as a professional Makeup Artist. Through practice and these modern day tools, you are guaranteed to grow and achieve new heights as you work to fulfill your dreams and goals and establish your business!

Five Reasons to Become a Makeup Artist


We are in love with the beauty industry! The question is why? For most, the beauty industry is a chance to be creative (and share your creativity with others), build a sense of community, and create a dream job that is just perfect for you as an individual.

It doesn’t matter whether you understand all the makeup trends and constantly look through fashion magazines, or even if you are very far from this sphere, but just happen to love art and people (the beauty industry is a career that is focused on customer service! The goal is to make your client happy). Thinking of taking the leap of faith and have made the decision that it is time to try something new (something that you love, and work towards fulfilling your goals and dreams!) because the art of makeup is boundless with endless opportunity in this field. Here are five good reasons for taking that step and deciding to pursue your makeup career right now:


• Communication with people

Working as a Makeup Artist will always provide you with the opportunity to build your network, learn from others, and communicate with a variety of people. Every day you will meet with photographers and models, personal clients, and perhaps most importantly with fellow makeup artists. Your clients will most likely be entirely from another world, and among them you will meet people from all walks of life and industries! This is a very special opportunity to “get to know the world” without traveling too far!

 Our Master Makeup Artist instructor, Paulina says:

 “I love that I can enhance the natural beauty in everyone. I also love that I get to meet new people, see new places and be a part of someone's special day”

• Creation

The makeup world is not only about contouring, highlight, and those fashionable trends - the scope of makeup artistry is endless! You can choose any direction: specializing in weddings/bridal/special occasion (is always a freelancer’s favorite!), working in the salon (be sure to read our ‘MUA Licensing’ info!), create editorial images for glossy magazines or do makeup for a photo shoot, or even for television. There is a new opportunity for you to choose to pursue everyday. Makeup in its purest form, allows you to express yourself as an artist, and each of your models are the canvas. You have the opportunity to create with your own hands, not based on trends, but on the goal of the project as you see fit through your artistic eye, choosing your own color solutions and makeup composition. Doesn't that creative freedom appeal to you?

• Continuous development

We as Makeup Artists should never feel bored, as we do not live a routine life. Each season brings new trends, and the history of makeup covers centuries of research and study, as we boldly use history as inspiration to create new traditions. As soon as boredom appears in the makeup world, you can always expand your palette by learning something new. Makeup master classes and continued education should always awaken your passion and force you to experiment with your work.

 • Free schedule

A freelancer’s life will allow you to set your own schedule - you get to decide when or how many clients you will take on, your work hours, and location. You do not have to wait for holidays all year and wait for the weekend, working out in the office from Monday to Friday. In our world, a great responsibility will be focusing on your schedule; sometimes it will be very busy, but your workload will always be your choice.

 • Good wage

You will be worth as much as you value your work! Of course, your portfolio will tell all about your experience, but no one will force you to work for a low salary. If you network properly and communicate your business with potential clients, you will not have to sit without work either, because services for applying high-quality makeup are always necessary. You can take an active part in fashion shows, photo shoots, the work of various fashion magazines, private clients, bridal parties, special occasions, and more. 


Our instructor Paulina adds:

“I think the advantages of being a freelance Makeup Artist is being your own boss. You can take off for vacation when you want because you are flexible. You choose what jobs you take and how many hours you work. You also get to make your own prices and work for you! It is the best feeling to really be your own boss”


Each Makeup Artist will be able to name ten more advantages of our profession, because they only come to the world of beauty because of their heart, passion, and desire to create beauty all around.  What are you waiting for? Take the next steps into your dream career, and always start with your professional education!