Freelance Makeup Artist Tips: Beginner

Beauty. / Monday, June 25th, 2018


If you don’t follow our Instagram or know me personally, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Autumn & I’m a part-time freelance makeup artist. I wasn’t interested in makeup until my junior year of high school, which was about 6 years ago. Over that time, I’ve learned a few things about running my own little freelancing business. Am I a pro? Of course not! I’m still in the beginning stages. But I want to share my tips with those of you who are just now starting, or are thinking about starting. I never had anyone to ask questions to, the YouTube beauty community was literally just getting out there, so I’ve had to figure a lot out on my own. Let’s jump right into it, shall we. ♥

1. Work at a retail cosmetics counter first if possible. I didn’t do this until last year, but I have gained an immense amount of knowledge from it. You’ll be working with clients of all different ages, skin tones, and skin types! Practice, Practice, Practice!

2. Learn basic skin care. You’ll need to know how to work with clients with any skin type, including rosacea & sensitive (allergy prone) skin. I talk a little bit about it right here, but google is your best friend so use the heck out of it!

3. Practice hygiene! Wash your hands, clean off your makeup with 75% isopropyl alcohol, use disposable makeup applicators, and WASH THOSE BRUSHES! Now washing your brushes between every client is like impossible, but they make disinfectant sprays for that. Oh & beauty blenders harvest bacteria even after a good cleaning… so it’s safest to just skip the sponge altogether.

4. Know your worth. Keep in mind your level of artistry. The client is expecting to get what they pay for! Also, take a look at your demographic. Someone based in New York can obviously charge more than someone in Alabama.

5. Keep all receipts that have to do with your business. It could be a tax write off later. Which brings me to my next point…

6. Write down every single time you get paid & how much in tips (if any) you receive. Remember, even tips get taxed.

7. TIME IS MONEY. There will be cancellations, causing you to be out that much money. Making a mandatory booking fee may be something to consider.

8. Keep an agenda & write down every. single. appointment! It just makes life easier.

9. Familiarize yourself with contracts. If you plan to freelance with companies, make sure to read every word on that contract before you sign it. If something seems sketchy, just walk away.

10. Make business cards and hand them out everywhere. Most wedding venues and even photographers will take them and hand them out for you to future clients.

11. Market yourself on social media! Everyone uses it, might as well join! Plus if anyone asks for a portfolio, just open Insta!

12. LIMIT your kit to the necessities only! I promise you don’t need 5 different eyeshadow palettes or 25 lipsticks. That just creates a hassle for you.

13. You do not need all the new/best makeup. Clients honestly don’t care whether you’re using drugstore foundation or some Giorgio Armani. Unless they specifically ask, keep it light.

14. Practice your timing. Most people don’t have hours to spend in the chair. Especially if you’re on set, you may be limited to doing a full face of makeup in 20 minutes. (M.A.C interviews are timed as well. I only had 15 min.)

15. Make a checklist of things you need for the day of the event. It’s easier than running around like a crazy person trying to throw it all together.

16. Most importantly, relax & have fun. 😚 Makeup is an art, but it’s also one of the best jobs to have. It always, always keeps you on your toes!


If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below!

Autumn & Elizabeth

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