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!
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 Monster.com, Simplyhired.com, Indeed.com or Modelmayhem.com (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!