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A ‘Day In The Life’ Of A Makeup Artist


Whether improving the confidence of a teenager or creating a zombie for a TV show, the importance of a makeup artist is severely understated. Both on and off the runway, as well as in and out of the theater, makeup artists use creativity and cosmetics to make real works of art.

That Salon Life

Most makeup artists get their start in a salon. However, with evolving technology, you can also use other means to showcase your talent and find work. YouTube has become very popular for makeup tutorials, and many artists have gained a large following because of their personality and artistry skills.

A typical day varies. The number of appointments you have and the kinds will set the tone for your day: Some makeup artists schedule their own appointments, and for others, the salon sets their schedule. One day, you may have a full schedule; other days will be slower.

Weekends will traditionally be busier days for you, and seasonal events will provide peak moments in your career. If you do good work, your clients will return, and business will ramp up for you during the wedding, homecoming, and prom seasons. Clients will often bring friends or will refer people to you when they like your work.

If you have a full schedule, you’ll arrive early in the morning. You can review who is coming in at what time and handle any prep work required prior to your first client. This may include cleaning tools, makeup brushes, and tidying up your station.

You will see clients in time increments. Most of the time, scheduling books are split up in 30-minute slots, and clients can be seen within the amount of time you believe is necessary for the type of appointment. Many salons close around 8:00 p.m. If your schedule is not full, you may be able to leave your salon early, unless you decide you will take walk-in clients. At the end of the day, you’ll organize your kits and take note of any supplies you need to replace.

Working Your Way As A Freelance Artist

Other makeup artists decide to work outside the salon. If you work freelance, the job is still the same, you’ll probably just be more mobile. You’ll go to clients as often as clients come to you, especially if you are doing fashion shows or photo shoots.

You’ll start your day checking your email, voicemail, and texts. Call times and even locations may change, so it’s good to confirm before you head out. Most likely, you packed your kits the night before, because you’ll be needed on set pretty early most mornings. After you discuss the look with your client, you’ll get to work on the model, actor, or actress. Stay close to the set or shoot once you’re done; you’ll be needed for touch ups or look changes as the day goes on. For runway work, you might talk to any press present about the makeup you used and the feel the designer wanted.

Other days may have you doing practice runs for bridal makeup, or you may have to spend some time researching for an upcoming period look you’ll be doing for a play or episode. If you have a blog or YouTube channel, you’ll create content to please your audience and market your talent and services. Update your social media with cool applications you’ve done on people or yourself, and try out any products you’ve been sent by companies to review and show off. You can guarantee you’ll never feel bored!

Do What You Love Most

Most makeup artists feel that the flexibility of this type of career is a huge perk. Even if you’re in a salon, you can work in outside events or take on other jobs, for additional income or to grow your portfolio. As a makeup artist, you can truly make your career what you want it! It starts with finding a school and getting your training.

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