As much as I would love to say that “Anyone Can Become a Makeup Artist,” I can’t.
I can say that anyone can aspire, decide, and pursue being a makeup artist. However, to be one, is easier said than done.
Often times, when people outside the industry hear “Makeup Artist,” their minds are filled with this glamourous, celebrity, jet-setting lifestyle, with a career that comes with ease. And I pray every night that it would be so! Ha ha.
As with any career trade, there is a demand of knowledge and education- which is the easy part. Then there is the Talent, which to some, is not difficult. The most challenging part of becoming a makeup artist is: Dedication.
I’ve met a lot of artists through out the years, who at first seemed that they would build and grow a successful career, only to catch up with them years later, and they have left their artistry career in pursuit of something else, sometimes back to corporate America. Then there are those who have that “glitter” in their eyes about wanting to become a makeup artist, only to realize it’s more work than they are willing to put in.
As a makeup artist, you are an independent contractor, working for yourself, and mostly by yourself. Every aspect of your business is up to you. No one is going to give you a job just because you have a makeup artist certificate. You have to be dedicated enough to be able to network and market yourself, in order to build a clientele and book the gigs to support your family and lifestyle. A makeup artist has to be a well-rounded individual who understands all aspects of business, as well as their craft. A makeup artist has to be willing to work long hours (sometimes 12-16 hour shifts), with sometimes not the greatest pay, as well as wisely select projects, as every assignment reflects their capability and talent as a makeup artist. Sometimes, you take sacrifices in your personal life, because there might be a gig you cannot pass up, whether it be monetary or influentially beneficial. I personally consider it a “mostly full-time” job, since all the back office, paper work, and miscellaneous non-glamorous things are handled when I’m not working on a project, wedding, or location.
Before becoming a makeup artist, one must ask themselves very SPECIFIC questions:
“Am I willing to work for free until my career takes off?”
“Can I handle rejection?”
“Am I willing to put in a tremendous amount of work, money, and time, regardless of the outcome?”
“Should I work a second job to help support my dream of becoming a makeup artist?”
“Do I understand the investments of the financial, personal, and professional aspects of choosing this career?”
“Am I well-versed enough in my customer service, marketing, and sales skills to grow a makeup artist business?”
“Are you able to handle yourself professionally, regardless of the situation or personality you are dealing with?
“What kind of artist do I want to become?”
“Am I good at applying makeup on anyone other than myself?”
“Am I willing to continually learn, and invest my time and efforts throughout my whole career?”
“How much do I actually know about makeup artistry, makeup sanitation, and the industry?”
“What type of (state) licensing and insurance is required to become a makeup artist?”
“Do I have a support system in place for times where my makeup artist business is slow or when I do not meet my goals?”
These self-reflection questions should help any aspiring makeup artist determine whether or not this career is for them. Personally speaking, yes, the work hours are long at times, the pay may not always be great at first, and pushing an freelance career might seem harder than just working at a retail cosmetics counter. However, when all is said and done, I love my job. I love that I get to work on the things I love doing most: making people look and feel beautiful with a makeup brush and cosmetics. I love the fact that I don’t have to wake up every single morning, and run the rat race with corporate America. I love the fact that I can still be a happy housewife, and have a thriving career. I love being able to set my own schedule, and pick my when I want to go on vacation. I love the fact that every assignment is different and challenging, while other projects really do help a cause or help someone’s confidence. I love being able to write my own paycheck, and NOT gripe that I “work too much, for what I get paid” because I know exactly my worth.
It took a long time to get to this point, it wasn’t easy. With enough work and dedication, any makeup artist willing to push themselves through it all, will definitely reap the benefits of a beautifully-artistic, thriving career.
Next Myth: The One-Brand Make-up Artist