20 business tips for newer makeup artists

2 blog posts in one year?! Who is she?


This idea actually came to me when I was journalling, I thought damn - I've been doing this almost 10 years now. I'm forever learning myself, everyday in fact. But I thought I would impart some pearls of wisdom to perhaps some newer makeup artists that are struggling in this slightly harder time to be a freelancer.


1) Buy a journal: even though paper journals and physical writing is so 2010, this is the number one thing keeping me focused and a sure way to ensure you are keeping YOUR business number one. My first journal that massively helped my business was the Daily Greatness Business Planner, which I bought 3 years in a row. It really helps get you in the mindset of treating your business LIKE a business.

2) Stop referring to it as a "side hustle": If you want makeup to be your main gig, start treating it that way. By referring to it as a side hustle, you are devaluing your whole product and profession and in your mind AND to others.





3) Get a business account: Its pretty easy to do and will really help when it comes to the end of the tax year! Keep at least £100 in it and use it to pay your business expenses/business travel and it'll make doing taxes WAY easier. It's a great habit to get into, even if you are only just starting!

4) Organise your paperwork: Its good to get into good habits early, so start by sorting out wedding contracts, client forms and invoices. Have them on your desktop and phone ready to go. It will protect you and keep you organised. Don't have any contracts or booking forms? Download mine here.





5) Practise AMAZING hygiene: Good hygiene practises should go without saying and beauty is notoriously one of the most stringent industries when it comes to this. Never stop learning about hygiene and always look for ways to keep your kit in tip top condition. Buy towels, spatulas and palettes and spares, so you are never left in a situation.

6) Don't get too caught up in your kit: I wish I had known this, I started off buying everything I could. Ultimately everything expires after 2years max, so as George Herbert said "Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found". Buy the basics, a couple of foundations, a few good eyeshadow palettes and I promise, it will build on its own.





7) Test on your terms: I think its important to think about *where* you want to go as a make-up artist. If you are super new, dive into every aspect and see what you enjoy. If you are sure where you want to go, be it bridal or fashion, test shoot in those areas. Be picky about where you put your time. I can't tell you how many test shoots I've done that were utterly useless. Test shoot on your terms and don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure the team is 100% your vibe.





8) Invest in yourself: It took me about 7 years to realise, I really need to learn hair. As soon as I started investing in some simple hairstyling, I realised it was quite enjoyable and has enabled me to add a new skillset to my belt. This goes for other investments, allocate money for marketing, websites, new courses, ect ect.. The more you invest in your business, the more you will get back.

9) Etiquette: This also should go without saying, but please please don't resort to client stealing, or other poor etiquette tactics to get a client. I once referred a job to another makeup artist in a time of need on an assistant basis and that person went and used the shoot as an opportunity to take that client from me. Don't be this person. Its in very poor taste and will only give you a bad name in the industry! And the industry is very small.

10) Community over Competition: Despite the above, its very important to surround yourself with a tribe of good, trustworthy makeup artists that you can lean on in a pinch. Seek to make friends with those around you, rather than viewing them as the enemy.

11) Know when to turn away business: This is more of a learning curve, but not every client is YOUR client. If the email conversation is giving you bad vibes, or you can tell you just aren't gelling well together, it is more than OK to turn down the client. Its hard to say no to money, especially when we aren't earning much of it now but you will thank yourself later when another makeup artist tells you what a nightmare it was!





12) Comparison is the thief of job: Don't compare your chapter 2 to someones chapter 20. Only compare yourself to the person you were 3/6/12 months ago and your own personal growth.

13) Take care of your back: I WISH someone had told 23 year old me this. Dragging a kit around London, around the UK, on public transport and standing doing makeup on bad chairs WILL hurt your back. Take care of your body, some of the oldest and wisest makeup artists credit yoga and pilates to keeping their body strong, so they can handle the stress of the job.

14) Think about your rates: This is something I can talk about in great detail. Really think about what you want to earn. If you are doing personal client makeup and charging £30 a pop, you would need to do 70 clients a month to earn £25k a year not including all the additional things, lashes, tax ect. Thats 17 clients a week, which is great if you are getting 17 clients but are you? Think about what you want to earn YEARLY and go from there.

15) Get pictures of you doing makeup - These are incredibly handy for social posts and website building. People like to see the person behind the brand, so if you don't have any, hire a photo savvy friend or photographer and invest in a personal branding day.





16) Work on a makeup counter - The biggest piece of advice I can give, is to try and get yourself a job on a makeup counter. You are literally being paid to do makeup on a variety of people, every skin type and skin tone. You also get a lovely discount to help build up your kit. My time at MAC and Armani were the best training I could have hoped for.

17) Learn "set etiquette" - Learning set etiquette is so so important and crucial for getting rehired. Assist more experienced makeup artists and research online the basics of set etiquette.

18) Don't be afraid to speak up: Another one that took me a long time to learn. Its important to be the expert, its what you are hired to do. If a client is telling you something you don't agree with or you don't think would work, tell them politely and explain your reasoning. Its what you were hired to do. If someone on set is making you uncomfortable, report them. One time on set I made it known I had a very serious nut allergy and due to a mix up, I ended up eating a satay wrap. I instantly went into anaphylaxis and ended up apologising to the director for this AND staying on set after. It was never my fault this happened and I was seriously unwell, I should have followed up with the director and producer so this doesn't happen again.

19) Be your biggest hype man/woman: Nobody else is going to hype you and promote you. You have to bet your own best friend and do it yourself! Promote yourself unapologetically and be your own biggest cheerleader. Just remember the 80/20 rule on social to avoid annoying the masses!

20) Dream BIG: I see so many makeup artists confine themselves to boxes, don't be afraid to dream a little bigger! Make a 5 year goal, be it doing your favourite celebrities makeup, working on a film set, having a full booked bridal season.. and absolutely focus on that goal. Don't think "it won't happen" because then, it won't. What if it could?!


I hope these tips have been helpful! Some of these I wish I had known back when I started but alas, you live and you learn! I wonder what tips I can give in another 10 years!

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