Take A Photography Class
-I would never have thought that photography and makeup would intertwine with one another. Boy, was I wrong! I see so many incredible artists out there doing stunning makeup but not being able to capture it in a photo, and most of the time the photo they take actually ruins their work. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not telling you to go out and buy an expensive camera setup and become a photographer, I just think it will help you to learn how to capture a clean, well lit photo and see the difference between a great makeup photo and one that may not show off your work to it’s full potential.
Get Yourself A Mentor
-The best thing I’ve done for my career is find myself a mentor and someone you look up to. This will take time, don’t expect to ask for something and then receive it immediately. A lot of people reach out to me and casually ask ‘Can I be your assistant’? or ‘I want to assist you’. I’m letting you guys know now, that will never work and chances are the artist will ignore your message. If you truly want to assist, the least you should do is write a small summary to let them know who you are, your background and why they should invest time in you. Im a nice person so I usually will answer everyone.
Ask For Feedbacks
-I love feedback and I strive for it constantly. This is the best way for me to understand what I need to work on to improve myself and my artistry. The day that you think you know it all, is the day your career will fall apart. Sadly, this industry is filled with people that think they know everything and think they are the most talented. There is no right or wrong but I hope that none of my friends turn into one of those artists. Instead of telling yourself how beautiful your work is, ask your model if they like it and ask your friends what they think about the makeup because in the end that is what matters the most. In our field, our goal is to make our clients happy. It’s not just about you.
Practice On Your Days Off
-It’s shocking to me every time I come across artist that doesn’t want to do makeup because it’s their day off. If you call this your career and passion, you should be happy to be able to play with makeup anytime. One thing i’ve learned is that the retail makeup industry usually destroys every bit of passion in an artist so it’s very important to acknowledge that. I am constantly practicing on my days off, if I can’t find a model, you will find me in a Sephora or a cosmetic store spending hours just playing with makeup to better understand different textures and tones. My wonderful friends in Mac stores will let you know because they all make fun of me for doing that on my days off.
Clean Up Your Instagram
-Im gonna be pretty straight forward to you guys on this one.. It doesn’t matter if you like or hate social media. Know that it is extremely important and your client will ask for it. In this generation, social media is more important than having a website and a printed portfolio. A client can easily go on your page and glance at your work and know if they will hire you or not. Please keep your social life and your makeup separate. Whether you like it or not, your instagram feed is a representation of your voice and your work as an artist. In the past I didn’t think instagram was that important but now, 90% of my clients connect with me through that platform and this can be the deciding factor for you getting booked or not.
Start Testing With Photographers But Be Specific
- Let’s be clear, I know sometimes it is fun to do editorial shoots but they don’t really matter until you start doing major campaigns with Chanel, Dior or Louis Vuitton. Most of the time editorial shoots have no benefit for you and it usually will take the focus away from the actual makeup. When you are first starting out, try your best to do ‘beauty’ test shoots. Something clean in the studio that showcases hair and makeup. Those images are what is going to get you booked, not the one with a giant hat covering the model’s face or a splash of paint across your model. Just trust me on this. Photographers will try to persuade you to do editorial but don’t waste your time.
Stop Relying On Filters & Face-tunes
-If you want to throw your career out the window, this is the best way to do it. I’ve learnt that people truly believe that they look amazing after putting on a filter and using face-tune, so I can’t blame them for it. You do whatever makes you happy. Know that when you take away every bit of texture and pores from your skin, you look like an alien. I don’t want people looking like aliens so please just don’t do it. There is no problem editing your photos, but learn how to do it properly. Just go on youtube and I’m sure you will find many free tutorials. This is the worst thing that has happened to the makeup industry.
Assist Other Artist
-If you have days off, try to assist other artists even if there’s no pay. Watching others work really teaches you different techniques. It doesn’t always have to be an agency artist or someone huge, even if it’s just your friend doing a job. Ask them if you can tag along and help them clean some brushes. I love assisting because it usually leads me to future jobs. Sometimes if that artist is not available they will most likely recommend you to do the job for them since you have already built a relationship with the client. It’s a win-win.
Don’t Focus On Brand Names
-The last thing I want to hear from a client or another artist is “What brand is that?”, as an artist we have to find products that work, are reliable and are multi-use. Just because something is expensive and has a fancy logo on it, doesn’t mean that it’s going to work the way you want it to. If something is labelled as a lip product, it doesn’t mean it can’t be used on the cheek or on the eyes. You get the point? When you start working on major campaigns and clients, they don’t care about what brand you have in your kit, they care about how the makeup looks and lasts while shooting.
Practice Doing Makeup In All Environment
-You are not always going to have the luxury of doing someone’s makeup without them moving around, hairstylist yanking on their hair, or someone doing nails. This is very essential because you should train yourself to be able to do makeup in any condition. I know it’s stressful to try to get a perfect red lip or winged liner when they are teasing their hair but it is what it is. Practice now so you will be ready when the time comes. After doing Fashion week for so many seasons, it really coached me to be able to do any type of makeup in any situation. The reason i included this on the list is because recently I worked with an artist who didn’t want to do makeup while the hair team was working on the model. They got upset and stressed out everyone. In conclusion, don’t be that person that bums out the whole team because chances are you won’t get a call back. PS. I was the photographer, they definitely won’t get a call back.
I hope these article helps. The only reason I write this is because there’s not much information online about these topics. Almost everything on YouTube is about cut crease and instagram makeup. I am constantly learning and hope to share with you everything I pick up along the way. I don’t want people making the same mistakes that I made during my journey. Knowledge should be free, I am happy when someone achieve their goals. If you enjoy this read, please leave me any feedback along with your instagram account so I can keep in touch with you!
Follow me on Instagram! @vanmakeupartistry
Shout out to Ashlee McKinnon for helping me edit this article to make it sound legit. thank you!