1. Familiarize Yourself with Products
This sounds obvious, but it is crucial that you know the use and purpose of each product. When it comes to makeup there are a lot of different products and a lot of different techniques out there and it’s important to familiarize yourself with these things. It is important to understand what each product is for and how it’s used.
While you are familiarizing yourself with the product it is also helpful if you invest in your makeup kit. Getting to know the different textures, colors, looks, and applications of each product is crucial if you want to be a professional. Knowing which brush to use with which product or how to apply certain things does not come naturally and it takes a lot of practice until you are familiar with everything.
In addition, it’s one thing to know a product, but developing technique and skill is a whole other thing you need to pay attention to. Professional makeup artists have their own techniques because it is one thing to apply makeup and a whole other thing to apply makeup with technique.
Professional makeup artists know how to use products in a way that shows off the products for potential, using it to their advantage and showing that product in its best light. As an artist, it is not enough to know what a product does and apply it in the way it shows you on the packaging.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
To perfect any skill you need many many hours of practice, makeup is no different. After you familiarize yourself with the products, practice on yourself. Really understand how each product works and find new ways to use them as well, adding to your skill and technique. However, it is not enough to simply practice on yourself.
If you want to become a makeup artist you will come across many different skin tones, textures, angles, shadows, and shapes, so only practicing on a single face is nowhere near sufficient. Make sure to practice on your friends and family members, practice on people with a different skin tone, practice on people with bad skin, the more versatile and varied, the better. It is also important to be able to use a single product in a multitude of ways.
As a professional makeup artist, you can find yourself in situations where you don’t have every available product with you at every given moment. As an artist, you need to be able to work it out and use all the products you have to their full advantage, making sure that it matches and compliments every individual you might be working on. This skill does not come naturally, so putting in hours and hours of practice is essential.
Only knowing about the current products and what is popular today is not enough to be a professional makeup artist. Make sure to research other makeup artists and familiarize yourself with the history of makeup. What products were used a long time ago, if a product didn’t exist back then what did they use instead? All of these things will help you be a more well-rounded artist.
Researching other makeup artists can give you a lot of insight into their unique set of skills and techniques. I can help you better understand just how versatile each product is and how it can be used in many different ways, deviating from the traditional way of using a product.
It is also very beneficial to research what the typical style and look was in different time periods. A lot of clients, or if you work on a set or for a magazine, will reference time periods when they describe the look they want, so it is important to be familiar with certain styles and eras.
In addition to researching other artists and knowing about the history of makeup, it is also highly beneficial to research photography and set lighting.
If you are a makeup artist for film, magazines, design, fashion, or anything that involves a camera, understanding how products look in different lighting, how lighting affects makeup, how products look on camera, and how to use each product so it looks best with certain lighting being captured on camera is crucial. Knowing how your products change when they are on camera as well as with different lighting makes or breaks a professional makeup artist.
Makeup artists are incredible professionals with a strong work ethic who are very knowledgeable and passionate about what they do so make sure you do not fall behind by not doing your research.
4. Color Theory
Color theory is both the science and art of using color. It explains how people perceive color and the visual effects of how colors mix, match or contrast with each other. Color theory also involves the messages colors communicate, and the methods used to replicate color. Colors are organized on a color wheel and grouped into 3 categories: primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors.
It should be quite obvious why it is important to learn and understand color theory as a professional makeup artist. One of the basic tests that a professional makeup artist can successfully pass is using a flash palette to create different foundation colors. A flash palette is a small pallet that consists of 12 primary colors and a professional artist should be able to create all kinds of skin tones using only that palette.
Makeup is all about colors and presentation. Just the basics of makeup show that it is crucial to understand how to match a foundation color to a person’s skin tone, match a brow gel to the color of their eyebrows and hair, how to highlight and contour their face so it looks the best, which eyeshadow to use that brings out their eyes. Makeup is all about mixing and matching colors in a complementary way to provide the best visual presentation.
5. Create an Online Presence
As a makeup artist, a lot of your work is going to be freelance work. Whether you are a complete beginner or you have already begun working in the industry a little bit, it is very important to create a professional website where people can find you. A professional website is a must, however, if you also want to create a YouTube channel or an Instagram account to promote your work and to gain a little bit of a following, that will only help you as a new artist.
A website is very important because a lot of times production companies or photographers will scour the Internet for makeup artists and having a professional online presence can kickstart careers in the makeup industry. This is why it’s very important to have a portfolio of your best work in a variety of styles available on your website as well as all other social media platforms you might have. You need to make sure that your potential employers are seeing your talent and versatility.