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!

Top Makeup Misconceptions

OMA STORIES - Makeup Misconceptions.jpg

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!

The Job Hunt : Top Tips for a Makeup Artist

We definitely understand that there is nothing more intimidating than finding your first job as a professional Makeup Artist. Your mind is flooded with millions of questions: Where to start? Who to reach out to? Am I good enough? Will I ever make money? Even after you’ve had a couple of jobs, and gained some experience, as a freelance professional, you will never know when your next gig will appear, and that lack of job security can be a bit scary! As a freelance Makeup Artist you must always be prepared to know that your jobs can (and will likely!) come up at the last minute, as somebody will literally need you tomorrow, so you must always be prepared at a moment’s notice. You always have to be on top of your game, in all aspects of your network (including both personal and professional lives!)  as jobs can be found and come and go at a moment’s notice.

How do you start? First and foremost, make a game plan and always remember that you must continuously work on your portfolio. If you have a down period when work doesn't seem to come your way, there are a multitude of things you can accomplish (portfolio building being number one! Always stay inspired!). In order to get the jobs, you have to keep yourself busy, and network with your fellow creative community and beyond!

1) Collaborate

Reach out to a photographer you know and love working with and create something inspiring together. With clients, it might be harder to experiment, so working on your own artistic vision and creativity will allow you to push your work to the next level. Also, by putting your editorial work out there (via social media) you never know who might see it and offer you work -it’s a continuous cycle! Also, by collaborating with a photographer and making a good impression, there is a huge chance for them to call you back for paid work. Remember: people love working with people they have good work chemistry with. So when you do work on a project: paid or unpaid, always give your best effort and creative vision!

2) Polish Your Skills

You should always practice! Classic, new, simple, creative, practice in all ways - whenever you can. Try new looks on whoever you can get your hands on: yourself/family/friends/models. There's no reason not to always improve. This way when you get hired, you'll be more than ready and not clumsy-ing your way around.

3) Be Social and Network

In order to be hired as a Makeup Artist, people must actually know that you are a practicing Makeup Artist! If you are new to the game or just changed careers, most of your acquaintances might not know about your new job. Always find ways to (subtly) mention what you have been up to. Sharing your passions will inspire others and most people will be quite supportive, you will never know when one of those personal networks may turn into a client recommendation! Extra Tip: Always have business cards on hand!

4) Have a Great Online Presence

Be it Instagram, Facebook, your website, or all of them; you have to put your business out there and you have to post good work! Make sure people see what you are up to and make sure you are easily findable on search engines. There are always people looking for a Makeup Artist to hire and this is the best way to find client recommendations. The most important aspect of securing a job is that those who are looking for your services will have to 1) know how to find you 2) provide good work, there is only one chance to convince a potential client to hire you! It’s very important that you will have an updated website that can be easily navigated with your best work featured as well as a highly professionally curated and active Instagram, which can also bring you increased traffic to your portfolio and the potential for lots of jobs! In this day and age people reach out on these platforms for professional jobs; growing a strong and engaging following can help you in the long run.

5) Websites With Makeup Listings

Finding online platforms where you can find jobs can be tricky if you are new to the profession.

These are sites where people post that they are in need of a Makeup Artist—rather than sites where Makeup Artists need to advertise themselves.

The sites below are a mix of full-time job opportunities and one-time gigs. If you're looking for full-time work, these sites will probably be very helpful. If you're looking for individual, one-time gigs, you might have to sift through a lot of the results to find the jobs you're looking for. Patience and research are the key. Job websites like,, or (an industry professional favorite!) can be great for a Makeup Artist at the beginning of their career, especially when you don't know where to start.

Remember, the amount of work you'll be able to find near you relies heavily on how many people live in your area. If you live near a city, you’ll have increased job opportunities. If you reside in a smaller town, hundreds of miles from the nearest metropolitan center, there may not be too many jobs listed. However, the benefit of living in a smaller town, will hands down be your personal network - if you have a good network of people and know how to hustle, you'll still find the gigs that you want (and as an added benefit, may be the only one in your town to offer them!). 

Finding jobs as a Makeup Artist doesn't follow any traditional job hunting rules - it's a lot about being out there and having a strong and captivating portfolio for the specialization and makeup career you look to work in. Once you get your work out there, clients will most definitely begin to reach out to you!