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.

Perfect Your Makeup Kit

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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.

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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!)

Eyeshadow:
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.

Lipstick:
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
Sponges
Q-Tips

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

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!):

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- MAKE UP FOR EVER ULTRA HD LIQUID FOUNDATION x 4 (retail value of $172)
- MAKE UP FOR EVER FULL COVER EXTREME CREAM CONCEALER (retail value of $102)
- MAKE UP FOR EVER EXCESSIVE LASH Arresting Volume Mascara (retail value of $25)
- MAKE UP FOR EVER AQUA XL WATERPROOF LIQUID LINER (retail value of $23)
- 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 TRANSLUCENT LOOSE POWDER (retail value of $13)
- INGLOT AMC EYELINER GEL 77 (retail value of $17)
- INGLOT DURALINE (retail value of $14)
- SMASHBOX PUCKER UP LIPSTICK PALETTE (retail value of $24)
- SMASHBOX EYESHADOW Full Exposure Palette (retail value of $52)
- SMASHBOX Cover Shot: Eye Palette (retail value of $29)
- MEHRON SYNWAX (retail value of $10)
- IMAGIC CAMOUFLAGE COLOR CORRECTOR CREAM PALETTE (retail value of $12)
- 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!

TOP TIPS TO MAXIMIZE PRODUCTIVITY AS A MAKEUP ARTIST

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When you’re just starting your career as a makeup artist it may take you more time to finish a makeup look than if you are a skilled professional with several years of experience. This is pretty normal, as with practice you will manage to eventually create the same look in a shorter period of time and figure out ways to increase your productivity, which will quickly become your signature tricks. 

Sometimes you may need to speed up your makeup application for a client depending on the project and time restrictions; imagine the situation when your client has only 30-40 min for her makeup to be complete and she wants the same full glam look she gets from you every time with a perfect application and blending! Or maybe you have booked a bridal party of 6-8 bridesmaids who need to be ready in 5 hours. All of them! What can you do?

You have to find ways that will make your work faster, more efficient, and most importantly without sacrificing the quality. Here are a few professional and time saving tricks to help guide you and make your work more practical as you take on more clients throughout your career:

1.          Remember that if you always have everything from your kit in the same order every time you’re doing a client’s makeup it will make it easier to find a certain brush, pencil, or any other product! Organization is a huge time saver.

  • It is very convenient to have all groups of products in one plastic bag (they are sold online or as a part of a makeup case/bag). Eye shadows in one bag, bronzers, blushes, highlighters, liquid lipsticks, etc. Brushes can be conveniently placed in the brush case in a certain order that you prefer (from first application to last is a great tip!)

2.          To save time for your client to choose a product color/type (lipstick, blushes, foundations, contour, eyeshadow, etc!):

  • Depot all of your products into a palette. They are sold by different companies (vueset.com is a favorite of ours!) and you can choose the one that will work best for you. A client that sees all of the available product colors/types at once will make a decision much faster than when you have to open every individual lipstick or other products separately.

3.          Doing eye liner on a client can sometimes be the most difficult process in makeup application, even for skilled makeup artists. Find the easiest and fastest way of doing it, for you and your individual application process and technique. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a gel or liquid eye liner:

  • Eye pencils sometimes are easier and faster to apply. Even when you apply it not so evenly the first time, you can go over it with a flat synthetic brush afterwards making the line smooth and maybe even a bit smoked out. Just drag the brush with the rest of the product left on it outwards prolonging the line and you will get a nice soft wing. Perfect eye liners made with gel or liquid products are really time-consuming and need practice – therefore this trick can really save you and your precious time!

4.          If the look your client is going for is still a sharp and edgy eye liner:

  • Use tape to perfect your angles for the perfect line. Just remember to stick it couple of times on your arm to reduce the tackiness (they also make cosmetic / styling tape - which we highly recommend over traditional tape!), then attach it at the right angle kind of prolonging the lower lash line outwards and it will be much easier for you to draw a perfect wing without taking a lot of extra time for perfection when applied completely freehand. After you’re done remove the tape and apply concealer if the tape budged some of your previous application.

5.          If your client is looking for a smokey eye but you are short on time:

  • Use cream eye shadow. You can take a soft brown color or even a color with shimmer to it and apply all over the lid, blend the edges with a synthetic brush, maybe apply a tiny bit of lighter eye shadow onto the center of the eye lid to add dimension, highlight the brow bone and inner corner, and your smokey eyes are done! It will definitely take much less time than to create smokey eyes by blending all these eye shadows in the crease creating a definition and ombré effect, and achieves a very similar application when complete.

6.          Applying mascara onto the natural lashes after false lashes are applied will save you time as well.

  • You will skip the step where you apply mascara first and then apply falsies. Second, after you applied falsies you need to press natural lashes into them to make your lashes more natural looking. This way, if you apply mascara after the falsies are on you will save time twice.

7.          If for any reason you have to go darker with eye makeup and you have already finished the look:

  • To save it from eye shadow fall out use Shadow Shields. Using a tissue in this case and press it every time you apply darker eye shadow will be very inconvenient and time consuming. Also, these shields can be used as a tape for the perfect wing we were discussing about above.

8.          If your client wants a look with glitter:

  • Do not apply loose glitter as it will be all over the client’s face and it will require additional time to clean any fall out. Instead, use a pressed glitter or a glitter in a tube (like a glitter eye liner). They will apply perfectly onto the eye lid without any fall out and will stay all day and night!

9.          Good light will save you a lot of time as you will see how you apply and blend products onto a client’s face right away, without the need to ask her to come “into the light” for you to see if everything looks good.

  • The top time saving tip? Invest in a good (and portable) lighting system. Especially if you work on site and do not know what the light will be in every job that you will have.

10.      Also working in a more comfortable position means that you will save energy and will be working faster than if you would need to bend all the time to the client’s face, you will soon get tired and even exhausted, your back will hurt, your hands may get shaky and makeup application can turn into something really hard to accomplish.

  • Get yourself a makeup chair (we actually recommend portable chairs from Ikea or other stores as they will be more comfortable and sturdier than a traditional director’s style chair). When a client’s face is on the level of your face it will make your work more pleasant and thus much faster (and you will feel so much better at the end of the day!). Always remember to take care of yourself, too!

 

Top Makeup Misconceptions

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We are always hearing about new makeup tips or makeup products that are worth trying from all the mass media sources: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc… it can be overwhelming! Are they all worth it? Should you really follow all of these tips or use every single product that is recommended?

Sometimes media confuses us by convincing us that most famous makeup artists are using a certain product or technique when they’ve actually never actually practiced it! For example, once social media claimed that Mario Dedivanovic was using Banana Powder by Ben Nye on Kim K for under the eye area and the truth is that he actually never did! You know what happened anyways? The moment that everyone saw this article they swept this powder from the shelves in a second to try to achieve the same look. The same can go for makeup tips and techniques, sometimes we are blindly following trends because we read or heard somewhere about them without even understanding why and the basis of the technique, especially when it doesn’t do any good for our appearance! Since all of us have different face and eye shapes some techniques or products will be good for one and a disaster for another; this is something you should always take into account when following your favorite tips and buying into the hype!

Here are some makeup misconceptions – remember always stop and think before applying!:

1.      We think that to get a better coverage out of foundation we have to layer a thick layer of it at once. The truth? It will look extremely cakey! It is much better when you are needing to obtain coverage, you instead apply a thin layer of a product, wait for it to melt into the skin, then apply another layer and check if it is enough and your complexion is evened out the way you want it to. This is how you will get perfect coverage without looking like you are wearing a ton of foundation.

2.      Using your fingers for blending your foundation instead of a brush or sponge. You can’t blend it perfectly with your fingers as sometimes you will press harder, sometimes more lightly. You will also be using way too much product with your fingers! Use a brush or a beauty sponge to blend out the foundation. These tools will help you blend the foundation seamlessly so that it will look like “no makeup” on your skin.

3.      Choosing the right foundation shade on the back of your arm. The color of your arm will always differ from your face! So the truth is you have to even out your complexion with reference to your neck and chest. If they are all different colors you should match everything to your chest (if you are wearing something with a low neckline) and to your neck in all other cases. You will always test on your jaw line to see if it works. Yes, this is the toughest part but is key in helping you find and match the right shade of foundation.

4.      Setting a foundation with powder otherwise it will melt away! It is not true at all. Sometimes women have dry skin and powder after foundation will make their skin look patchy and even drier and they will feel tightness throughout the day making it not comfortable to wear. Use powder only if you feel like you have to use it, for example, if your skin is oily or to get rid of tackiness, or use it only on some areas (like T-zone); you can leave other parts of your face free from powder. Another benefit of not using powder? It will give you a glowing skin effect that is so popular right now.

5.      Highlighting the tip of your nose will make it look slimmer and more glamorous. The truth? This may look good in those social media selfies (if you like the look) but it will look very weird and it will elongate your nose in real life. Add highlighter only to the bridge of your nose!

6.      Thinking that smokey eyes/defined lower eye lid will make your eyes smaller. Or applying eye pencil into the waterline will make them smaller. The truth? This is actually the opposite - “smokey eyes” is a makeup technique which actually makes your eyes bigger and more defined, but you have to do it the right way! Do not leave any harsh lines unblended; every eye shadow has to be blended perfectly into each other making the transition into your skin seamless in order to add more definition to your eyes. As soon as you perfect smokey eyes technique you will use it most of the time as it is the easiest and fastest way to enhance your eyes.

7.      Believing that thick eye liner will make your eyes bigger. The truth? Dark color pulls your eyes back meaning it may make them appear smaller. If you want to accentuate your eyes draw a thin/medium line, not the thick one!

8.      Thinking that eye shadows cannot be the same color with your eye color. This is a misconception. The truth is choosing different hues of the same color of your eyes can make your eyes pop the same as the usage of contrasting colors! You just have to experiment and find the right ones.

9.      We were told for years that you cannot use shimmery eye shadows on elderly women. This is so not true! Shimmery eye shadows chosen wisely will look beautifully refined (as well as on all other ladies)! Just remember that shimmer should not be chunky, instead the shimmer should provide subtle highlight and be finely ground, this is the key to making it look great!

10.  Over-lining your lips will make them look fuller. The truth? If you over-line your lips too much they will look unnatural! To create an illusion of bigger lips try an ombré technique by applying a lighter shade in the center of your lips that will diffuse into the darker one in the corners of your lips. Also you can use highlighter on your cupid’s bow and use wisely a contouring shade right above and below your lips to create an illusion of a shade. These tricks instead will definitely help your lips appear to look bigger.

11.  Choosing High Definition (HD) powder for your face will make you look flawless in pictures. The truth is powders with silica (and this is the main ingredient in these types of powders) will help blur imperfections on your face giving an airbrushed effect but at the same time even the smallest amount of powder with silica will cause a tremendous flashback. This doesn’t mean you cannot use HD powders at all, as they have amazing benefits in terms of makeup making your skin look flawless. You can wear them on a daily basis or for a photo shoot either in a studio, for example, where they use special equipment to diffuse the light without it being too harsh causing a flashback or if you or your client is going to a photo shoot taking place outside at daytime. There will be plenty of natural light and a flash will not cause the flashback and the dreaded white spots in the photo on your face. However, if you are going to any event where photographers will mostly use flash photography and it will be inside or in the evening you may look like a ghost with white traces of powder all over your face! The key is knowing what kind of light will be used on the event, so you may choose the right product to avoid. Keep in mind, silica is not the only culprit for flashback - titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide (which usually are a part of makeup that has SPF) can have the same effect as silica, but usually are not as extreme. A lot of primers or foundations contain SPF so if you know that you or your client will go to the event that will have mostly flash photography just don’t use these kinds of products. If your client insists on using some products with SPF you may lessen its flashback effect by applying a colored powder on top of the foundation. Otherwise you will end up with not flattering white spots on your face when being photographed.

The most important tool to always remember? Practice, don't worry, and have fun! Continued practice and experimentation will always make perfect. If you make mistakes, you will always learn from them and it will help you to continue to improve your craft. Some techniques will work for you while they may not work for others; makeup is an artistry and each individual artist will have their own different forms of expression!