Beauty Boss, Business, Makeup Artistry

How to start a Business in Makeup Artistry

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makeup artistry business

The Business of Makeup Artistry

Working as a Makeup Artist is something that not everyone can do, unfortunately, it isn’t a trade that works out for everyone. Starting out as a Makeup Artist can mean many things, you can work at a retail cosmetics store like Sephora, you can work for a Beauty Salon, on a Film Set, Photoshoots, Runways or you can work as a freelance Makeup Artist and start your own business. I am going to go over a few main points today that focuses on starting your own Makeup Artistry Business.

Getting Started as a Makeup Artist

When you are first starting out as a Makeup Artist that wants to figure out what route of Makeup Artistry to go down, the first thing you need to do is just start doing Makeup. Do Makeup on yourself or find friends and family members to start practicing on. If you don’t know how to do makeup on someone else, and it’s not the same as doing it on yourself at all all you need to do is get out there and do some makeup and get some practice. Some people go to makeup school and get a certificate that way, you can study online or you can teach yourself. This is not a field that you need legit certification for and there are a lot of artists who have never taken any training. I   taken any formal training, I started out working in a salon when I was 17 and it all started from there. But I have taken Makeup Artistry courses online. We need to remember that we live in a day and age where social media and youtube is available to us at our fingertips and that makeup compared to what actual Makeup Artists do is two different things. Sure you can begin a career online with your Makeup Artistry and that is good and all, but it is none the less not the same as working out in the field. These are all very important things to think about an consider when it comes to choosing a career as a Makeup artist and starting your own business.

makeup artistry business

How to Building your Makeup Artist Kit


We are going to go over building your kit, we are not going to talk about specific products that should be un in your kit. I previously wrote the Makeup Artist Kit download here

Now as we talked about schooling and learning on your own to becoming a Makeup Artist, you will need to begin to create your kit so that you can practice and learning, then work on clients to generate an income. When you attend a Makeup School or take the course online, you are more often then not given a Makeup Artist Kit as a part of enrollment or the course. You will still need to add more items in your starter kit but this will save you a lot of money. But, if you decided to teach yourself you will need to invest roughly $500 to start your makeup kit. Also, when you take a makeup course you will be given an enrollment letter and with this letter or even a certificate works as well, you can apply for discounts on makeup products from most large brand named cosmetic companies. This is going to save you so much money in the long run and you are able to purchase products with your makeup artist discount forever. There is a few companies that sell already made makeup artist kits, Camera Ready Cosmetics has some starting at a few hundred dollars. Now, lets not spend thousands of dollars on your kit, your just starting out and just because the products are the most expensive doesn’t mean that it’s going to help your skills as a Makeup Artist improve. You will improve with time and experience, over time you will start to learn and create more looks all through trial and error. Your kit should evolve with your skills as you grow as a Makeup Artist. But you need to realize that you don’t need to have every single item in every single color, you should be learning to do makeup with less and this will make you a better artist. You obviously need something sensible to carry your makeup in and something that is easy to travel around with. When your working on different makeup looks and services, tailor your kit to those specific services and only bring what you need to do bridal makeup or a photo shoot. Varieties of makeup for different skin types, skin colors, skin care products, aged skin, multiple colors and don’t forget to mix colors, use multi-purpose makeup. Go back to the basics and use your color wheel when mixing different makeup to create looks out of your basics. Support companies that support Makeup Artists with discounts like Ben Nye, Camera Ready Cosmetics, RCMA, Graftobian are used by most professional Makeup Artists and these products are ⅓ of the price then makeup in Sephora. Use these types to build your kit, objectively and intelligently when creating your kit and continuing to build your kit.  

makeup artistry business

Building your Professional Makeup Artist Portfolio


Having and building a portfolio as a Makeup Artist is advertising for your future clients. Compiling your portfolio should begin right away, using work that you’ve done on your family and friends and this will help to lead to getting paid customers. You can use the internet, social media and a website to start sharing your photos online and remember to get permission from your clients before posting. When taking photos of your work, have the area well lite up in the background but don’t have the face blocked out by the light. Make sure to only post the good photos,  be critical and review the photos you choose. The focus of each photo is the Makeup make sure to crop in on the main feature of the photo by highlighting it. Getting professional photos of your work done, having these professional photos for your printed portfolio and online will showcase your most beautiful looks. You can find photographers that are newer in the industry will work with you and get photos for your payment. This will help build relationships with photographers that you could potentially lead to great partnerships in the future. Organizing photoshoots is something that you need to be doing quite often, having models, photographers, hairstylists and other makeup artists. Coming up with ideas and working together with other people in the industry is going to be great for your portfolio, advertising, online presence, networking, future clients, paid jobs and much more. Remember this work is going to be seen by everyone and for future clients, so you want the makeup to be beautiful and subtle and this is what normal people want with makeup. Building your portfolio is something that your going to be doing for the rest of your career and all your future clients in your business.

makeup artistry business

Freelance, Agency or Union?

Most Makeup Artists are freelancers and this is working for yourself, so you will need to find all your own clients, pay for everything, taking care of all business aspects and doing everything yourself. You could work a 9-5 and do your freelancing on your spare time or you could be doing freelancing and working for yourself fulltime. An agency is a big company that represents you and other artist, they find you work, pay you, benefits and taxes, help you advertise, build your portfolios and help guide you in your career. You can be a freelancer and work your way into an agency and start off as an assistant and work your way up to working with clients and being represented. You basically have someone booking your jobs with the clients and they represent you and get a percentage for the work. Now, what type of work is in your portfolio photos, will be the type of work that you are able to get jobs for, having updated, fresh and on trend work will allow you to get as many jobs as possible. Now the union is all film, tv and commercial based work and there are different requirements for each union in your location. You need to apply to have a permit to work on set, with regular hours, benefits, overtime, and legislated for the Makeup Artist union. You need a grade 12 diploma, a makeup certificate, 20 days of employment working as a Makeup Artist, you need to work a set amount of hours and many different products required for various makeup looks and special FX. Having the right experience is a must before you go and work on set. There are health and saftey sets that are required and a written permit test and registering for a set ediquiette class, first aid and WHIMIS. This is all for applying for the permit and once the permit is accepted, then you need to work 60 days on set before you have a full permit. Check out the Makeup Artist union here. Regardless of what you choose to do there are many different paths that you can choose and I hope this info helps.

Now that you have all of the basic infomation to start you career in the Makeup Business you will have all the basic tools and resources that you will need to succeed. We went over how to start and attending school or teaching yourself to become a makeup artist. Building your kit and some of the tips you will need to get all these products at the best prices. Also, building your portfolio is one of the most important things to getting your work out there and noticed to get you future clients. Then, what path would be the best to take, freelancing and starting your own business, working with an agency and having them to do the hard work for you or working for the union and getting a steady pay and benefits. Use these basic steps to start your career and to succeeding as quickly as possible, but remember to be paitent and to not give up. Becasuse like any career it will take you time to get to your end goal and then it will all be worth it.  

makeup artistry business
about me

Kristina Adleina

Hey Dolls, It's Kristina Adleina here and I want to welcome you to my Blog or back to my Blog. I am a Professional Makeup Artist & Instructor and this is my blog on Makeup, Makeup Artistry & how to start your Beauty Business. I hope you enjoy what you find and if you have any questions you can contact me here Contact Page.

This page may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive commision for each purchase made through those links, at no extra cost to you. Please read my affiliate disclosure. 

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