So you wanna be a makeup artist...

I don’t really know where I’m going with this blog post but I can’t sit around and say nothing any longer.  It could turn into a multi-part blog post, or it could end up just being one long blog of ramblings.  Either way, if you’re an aspiring artist, please take these points into consideration.  Being a makeup artist isn’t easy…and no, not everyone can do it. 

1. Know your shit.
                This sounds like common sense, but believe me – it’s not.  Being a makeup artist is a lot more than knowing how to glam up your own face or faces of friends and family.  It’s a lot more than having a few Naked palettes and Sigma brushes.  Being a makeup artist involves knowing about undertones, color theory, skin conditions, sanitation, and SO MUCH more.  You better be able to work on someone as light as Nicole Kidman one minute, and someone as dark as Grace Jones the next without a second thought or contamination!

2. Be legit.
                A friend of mine recently told me that someone applied to join her beauty team (YAY!) and when asked for pictures of her work, the applicant sent her a link to her Instagram!  (Say whaaaaaa?!)  Needless to say, said applicant didn’t get a job.  One of the most important investments you’ll make into your career is a professional website.  I know there are tons of free options but in no way, shape, or form should your website address look like: 

NEVER EVER.  Your website should also NOT be chock full of your MOTD selfies either.  A professional website should be clean, organized, and display professional images of your work.

3. Don’t be that person.
                Have you ever looked at the photoshoot credits in Vogue, Elle, or Marie Claire?  Sure you have!  Have you EVER seen makeup credit given to someone whose business name is BooBooKitty Makeup Slays Everyday?  Let me answer that for you: HELL NO.  Your business name should reflect who you are as an artist but also convey a level of professionalism to attract your target clientele.  Invest in, or come up with, your own logo as well.  It’s one of the first things people will see and think of when they think of you and your business…so choose wisely!

4. Pay your dues…
                “Started from the bottom, now we here!”  That’s how the song goes, right?  Let’s be real:  you aren’t going to start right out making bank.  There are veterans of this industry, that have been doing this FOR-EV-ER who aren’t making bank.  You’re not going to open up shop on Tuesday and start shooting for Vogue on Friday.  We all have to start somewhere.  When I first started doing makeup professionally, I worked on photoshoots for free at the buttcrack of dawn.  I did music videos without a second thought.  I did a runway show for the experience.  I’m not saying you have to work for free all day, every day.  However, I am saying you need to show people what you’re capable of.  Photoshoots aren’t cheap – for you, the photographer, or the model.  So find good people that are working on their dreams too, and ride the journey together.  Unless you have a billionaire bankrolling you – then by all means, hire Annie Leibovitz!

5.  …but don’t get taken advantage of!
You’re probably saying, “Um, wtf Allison?  You just said pay your dues.”  Right.  I did, but there is a fine line between paying your dues, and getting screwed.  Know your boundaries of what you’re comfortable giving, and make sure you communicate that to people you work with.

6. Protect yourself.
                From properly written contracts, to personal safety when going on location to a client – make sure you are protected.  Your contract should be just that: YOURS.  Don’t find one on Google that someone else shared.  It is advisable to hire an attorney who will know the ins and outs of the law in your state to draw up a contract for you.  Lawyers aren’t cheap, and you shouldn’t be either when it comes to YOUR business.  As for personal safety, I always let someone know the address of where I’m going if I’m going to a client along with any pertinent information like the client’s name, phone number, and email.  By the time the client’s appointment comes around, we’ve been in contact for a while and if something feels off – I don’t go. 

So that’s all I have for now.  I guess there will be a part two since there is more to say!  Let me know if there are any questions, and definitely leave comments! 

xoxo, Allison