A Look into Salary: How Much the Average Makeup Artist Makes

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Salary. Money. It is the first, if not almost the first thing that is programmed into our brains when we are picking a career path.

The best part about your commitment to your craft is that you are doing something you love. One of our favorite quotes is “If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life.” I firmly believe this, so if your passion is makeup, congratulations!

The factors that play into creating a career as a makeup artist are almost endless. It greatly varies on whether you work with under a company (such as MAC, Sephora, Macy’s) as a counter artist or if you freelance. It also depends on what city you are located in, how many years of experience you have and many other factors that can come into play.

To help you understand more about what affects your salary as a potential makeup artist, here are 5 major factors to consider:

LOCATION

Location is a big indicating factor of salary as a makeup artist. Typically, when you are located in an urban area or city you have a better opportunity to find work. This increases your likelihood of making more money. These areas are the center of many lifestyles that require a makeup artist. There is a higher association with fashion, theatre and film which are all great opportunities for makeup artists.

For example, cities such as New York and Paris have fashion week. This is a huge attraction for many makeup artists and they are in demand for each show. Having exposure is also a great way of getting experience even if it's just volunteering.

Living in an urban area in general opens the door for more career opportunities compared to living in a rural area. On the other hand, the cost of living is also higher in urban areas. In addition, since there are more opportunities in urban areas the competition is more intense.

The national average of a makeup artist salary is currently $34, 100 according to Glassdoor.com. Makeup artists in urban areas report the highest salaries. For example, makeup artists located in Los Angeles have a pay rate that is 37 percent above the national average of $37,251.

A great way to use your location is to see how other makeup artists in the area charge. This will help you stay in the range of pricing and make sure that you are not charging too much or too little for your service. Location is a big factor, but you do not have to live in a big city to be successful! Remember, your talent follows you no matter where you go.

INDUSTRY CLIENTELE

Makeup artistry is an industry in itself, however, there are many career options within that. Typically, working at a makeup counter or store will bring less income compared to working in television or film. For example, the salary range for a makeup artist working in television is approximately US $45,000 to $75,000. For the movie industry, the approximate annual salary is about US $90,000. In comparison, the approximate salary for a makeup artist in the personal care industry is $28,000.

As you can see, there is a gap in salary depending on what course of work you take on. The highest paying roles as a makeup artist typically include working for television, magazines or a freelance artist with high-profile clients.

Even when categorizing industries within makeup artistry (freelance, for a company, theatre, etc.) there is still a wide range of salaries. However, typically salaries are higher in the television and fashion industries for makeup artists.

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

Experience has moderate effect on pay. What is more important is how you manage and use your time, even when you’re just starting out. You can have 5 years of experience and not put the effort and work in to build yourself up. You can have 1 year of experience and value volunteer work and consistent practicing. Years of experience goes with actual experience and in order to climb to the top, you need to constantly work.

Grabbing as many opportunities to volunteer, network and find a possible mentor is essential. Having a mentor who has been in the business for a long time and can guide you is invaluable experience. Years of experience is more for your own credibility, however, your portfolio and how you have used your years of experience is more important.

Typically, when you are just starting out you will earn less and as you slowly get more clients you will earn more. You need to start somewhere to begin to spread your name. It can be that one person’s makeup you did at a volunteer event that told her friend, who told her friend etc. Now you have a range of clients by that one experience.

As you get more years in the business, you will have more and more people knowing your name and more clients. This gives you more credibility and you can start charging more for your services. As you have more experience, you will have a greater income even when freelancing or working at a makeup counter. You can climb the ladder of employee to manager or be at a point in your freelancing business where you are at a higher value.

FREELANCE

Many makeup artists decide to freelance for their career. This is attractive because they can work on their own schedule and be their own boss. Freelance income all depends on whether it is part-time or full-time, pricing of services and consistency of work. With great power comes great responsibility and freelancing gives you complete control of your own schedule. If creating your business from scratch is too intense for when you’re just starting out, many people decide to freelance under companies that work around their schedule as well. For example, the average freelance makeup artist for MAC earns around $17 an hour.

The average salary for a freelance makeup artist in New York City is $54,615. The range of salary in freelancing is vast because types of clients and pricing varies. There will be a huge gap in salary between a freelance makeup artist who is just starting out versus a freelance makeup artist who has high profile clients consistently.

It is all about breaking through the very beginning and pushing yourself. No makeup artist had a ton of clients when they just started out. It takes time, patience and good work ethic to be a successful freelance makeup artist.

EMPLOYEE

Some makeup artists find that working as an employee or under a company is best for them. Some even choose this as a career path at first to gain more experience and practice to then decide they are ready to freelance. The average income for makeup artists in this industry is around $35,000.

Makeup artists find that working at a makeup counter such as at a department store, MAC or Sephora is also a great way of starting out since you can gain experience. Doing makeup consistently on many different customers and faces builds confidence in your work. Many people are attracted to this type of work because it is a steady pay and full-time employees have opportunities for benefits.

Many artists love the stability as they know they will be getting consistent pay. Those who dream of freelancing a business or creating something with their artistry usually start here as they can begin to save money and create a plan while gaining more experience in the meantime.

Those who are not ready for freelance work find the stable work attractive. Sometimes many people do not want to particularly freelance and go into a retail ladder for makeup brands. For example, they will start off as an artist at a counter, then go into supervision and management. It all depends on what the individual wants to do.

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As we can see, makeup artistry has a long branch of possibilities. You can start off by working at one place and end up somewhere else! The beauty of makeup artistry is the versatility-and there are endless possibilities. You don’t have to figure it all out now!

Here at Nina Mua, we take pride in the fact that we include a business, branding and marketing course for our Extensive 5-Week and Master Program.  This includes how to build a website, how to market yourself and how to network efficiently in the makeup industry. If makeup artistry has always been a dream of yours, take the step of confidence and enroll!

The Top 5 Makeup Products Loved by the Pro’s

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As a makeup artist, your goal is to make your clients feel as beautiful as possible at the end of your session while fulfilling their requests. There is an indescribable feeling that washes over us when we see our clients gushing and thanking us for crafting their face. It humbles us and reminds us why we’re makeup artists in the first place.

With that being said, we always want our tools to be the best. Although the motto of our school is “always be talented no matter what tools you’re using”, well, it can’t hurt to also have the best tools to match our skill set!

This week’s blog post is going to be about some key top products that makeup artists love, adore, and swear by. Investing in products that are versatile, excellent in quality and beautiful on the face is always worth it. Also knowing your intended clientele will help guide you on knowing which products are worth having in your kit!

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

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The Make Up For Ever HD Foundation is an absolute cult-favorite. It is seen everywhere, used by top professional makeup artists around the world. From everyday makeup routines to TV/Film, this foundation promises to stay beautiful no matter the lighting. It is the only HD foundation meant for 4k technology uses.

Its formulated to look virtually flawless in any lighting or photo-hence its popularity amongst celebrities, TV/video shoots and down the runway. It is a common go-to for brides on their special day, as it ensures photos will come out flawlessly. It is also very widely used for any other events that require flash photography, whether it be a headshot or down a red carpet.

Not only is the foundation formulated for the camera-ready, but is a beautiful everyday foundation as well. Many makeup enthusiasts and artists praise this foundation for blending seamlessly into the skin and being undetectable yet flawless. With 40 shades to choose from, people know they can find their flawless, perfect match.

Makeup Artist Carl Ray, whose clients range from Michelle Obama to Natalie Portman, says that this is her absolute favorite. For a flawless finish, she makes sure the skin is hydrated and prepped before blending it with a sponge. She also adds that the foundation is so easy to mix and combine for the perfect shade! It covers all imperfections while still remaining invisible on screen and in real life.

Many clients want to make sure that the foundation will look good in pictures if they are going to an event. “Flashback” is a term used to describe the white cast that overshadows a photo when a foundation contains SPF and reflects badly. No one wants this-especially not after investing in a good makeup artist! If you invest in the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, you will not be disappointed.

L'oreal Voluminous Mascara

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L'oreal Voluminous Mascara is a staple in many professional makeup kits. This drugstore classic is long-loved for its formula. Unlike many mascaras, it is non-clumpy and the color is a true, dark black that people love. It can be layered beautifully without getting the eyelashes getting goopy or clustered together.

NYC based makeup artist Megan Lanoux says that she has tried endless mascaras, but always goes back to this one. It is also said that Sir John, Beyonce’s makeup artist, uses this mascara regularly on the pop star. Patrick Ta, makeup artist of many celebrities including Gigi Hadid and Kourtney Kardashian, says that he cannot live without it! The product also comes in a waterproof version, making it bulletproof in water, sweat or tears.

The drugstore price ($5-6 USD) is also a plus. For sanitation purposes, mascara should be discarded approximately once every three months from your kit. The economical price of this mascara ensures that it will not become very pricey over time. You cannot go wrong with adding this cult-favorite mascara in your kit!

 

Nars Orgasm Blush

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The perfect flush of color can go a long way in a makeup look. Sculpting, highlighting and brightening are all steps to a flawless finish. Blush gives a soft, beautiful rosy hue to the face that is supposed to mimic the natural flushes from within. First launched in 1999, this Nars color is one of the few, if not the only pink color that can be worn on all shades. Many people say that this Nars blush is the best blush ever.

It is a peachy tone with a golden shimmer. The combination of the two ensures that a glowy, beautiful rosy look is seen on all skin tones. This blush powder leaves a natural glow to the skin on fair skin tones and leaves a realistic warmth on darker skin tones. Long loved for its universal color, there are many, many, many makeup artists who own this blush over and over again.

Finding a product that can be used on clients of all skin tones is a magical thing. NYC makeup artist Johny Saade says that the strong pigments in the blush allow the color to stand out but not appear ashy on darker skin tones. It is beautiful on fair, olive, medium, tan and dark skin tones.

The combination of pink and gold shimmer adds an additional dimension to the face. The pink hue is perfect for brightness and the gold shimmer adds a golden warmth and makes the skin glow. You cannot go wrong with adding this universal shade of blush in your kit!

The Original Beauty Blender

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Almost everywhere you can see this pink, egg shaped tool used in the beauty industry. The original Beauty Blender is a trusted makeup applicator because it applies makeup streak free and it is edgeless. It can be used over and over again and can be cleaned to ensure it meets sanitation requirements. It is mostly used for applying and blending out foundations, concealers, and any other liquid or cream products.

Many pro’s and makeup artists love this tool because since only a small amount of product sits on top of the sponge, it does not absorb product. It allows a flawless application with minimum product use. Other sponges can absorb a lot of product and that can become expensive and wasteful. This tool ensures that the professional products in your kit will go a long way.

This sponge simplifies technique as it ensures makeup is completely streak-free and blended out. Many makeup pro’s swear by this tool. Ensuring a flawless application of products is essential, so investing in a beauty blender is a great decision!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

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The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is an ultra-slim, retractable pencil for precise detailing and creating hair-like strokes. It is an all-time favorite from makeup artists everywhere. It fills in sparse hairs while giving producing a natural looking appearance.

Makeup lovers swear by this product as it comes in many shades to mimic different hair colors and gives a full look without looking harsh. Top makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, creator of the Master Class and makeup artist of Kim Kardashian West is an ambassador of ABH and uses this product religiously.

Among many makeup artists and lovers, I find that the topic of eyebrows is always one to come up. Many say it is the most difficult to achieve, as you want a light-hand, but at the same time fill in and sculpt the brow in a way that looks natural. The Anastasia Brow Wiz tip is very small and very precise, ensuring that every stroke looks just like another eyebrow hair.

It is very hard to go back on a bad eyebrow job. Having a brow product that mimics the natural hairs and creates a soft look will ensure that your application is seamless and natural.  There is a reason that the ABH Brow Wiz is a cult favorite by the top makeup artists all over the world, and investing in one will leave no regrets!

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These are just a few of the top beauty products that the best pro makeup artists use all over the world-for good reason! Versatility and quality are both great factors that you should look when choosing makeup products for your kit.

For all our makeup programs, we hand pick each makeup product in your professional makeup kit. Products such as the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation mentioned in today’s blog post is included in our professional makeup kit. We want to ensure that we provide our students with the best tools that convey their talent and creativity. But remember, always be talented no matter what tools you’re using!

5 Ways to Establish Your Name in the Beauty Industry

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So you finished makeup school and have decided to branch out and start your career. You should be proud of yourself for committing to your passion-congratulations!

One of your straightforward goals as a makeup artist is to book clients. You can be amazing when it comes to makeup, but what is that worth if no one can see it? Last week’s blog post was centered around how important it is to have a social media presence. Now let’s talk about creating and establishing a professional name for yourself everywhere for people to recognize.

CREATING A WEBSITE

In addition to social media, having resources where you can be found is important. It is how people will get their first impression of you. If someone likes what they initially see, they will keep looking. If not, they will go on to the next one.

When someone Googles your name, the goal is to not only have social media show up but also a website. A website allows a better introduction to who you are, your portfolio, background, experience and also pricing range.  Many people who are serious about quality services want someone who will give them 100% effort and attention. Having a website allows for your personality and style to show through before a potential client can meet or contact you.

Having a website also gives room for you to include a mini biography. Showing people that you are passionate about your craft and giving them some background on yourself and inspiration will go a long way. If you include how many years of experience you have, the certification, skills or makeup training you went through; these are all examples of things that will make you credible.

MAKE BUSINESS CARDS

In addition to having a strong social media presence and a website, business cards are extremely important. You never know when you will run into someone who may be interested in your services. Even a friend may carry one around and refer you to someone they met. A business card is an excellent way of leaving a brand imprint.

In the vast world of networking and interactions, you shouldn’t leave the house without a business card. Having a short conversation with someone and leaving them with a business card shows that your services are legitimate and that you take yourself seriously. When you represent yourself with confidence and professionalism, people will be interested.

HAVE A CONSISTENT, PROFESSIONAL NAME

Having a professional name for yourself is very important. For example, if your name is Melanie Brown, you would ideally want to keep your official name simple and let people know that you are an artist. For that name, something like Mel B Makeup or Melanie Brown MUA would be great. Something like Melxmakeupx3 is not so professional. Avoid unnecessary letters and numbers to keep your presentation clean.

Adding to that, if you are on social media and you have a website, keep the name consistent. You don’t want to be melanie345 on Instagram then melbmakeup on your website.

The name on your website, Twitter, Instagram, and business card should all be the same. If someone wants to identify you, they should be able to do that with ease. Keep a name that you know you will like and stick to. Once you have established clients and relationships, it will be a difficult shift to change it. Make sure you are comfortable and happy with your professional name.

Being able to have an established, consistent name will ensure that people will find you immediately if they have to. Looks are very important, so if your outlets of communication are clean, cut and professional, clients will assume you are too.

HAVE A STRONG WORK ETHIC AND VALUE CLIENTS

Be sure that in everything that you do, you are implementing your strong work ethic. Always arrive early to bookings, stay on top of any emails and work that you have to complete. Also, always leave room for inspiration. The time you spend not actually working on clients is also an example of work ethic. Being inspired by everyday things such as paintings, people, and even colors can all be used for inspiration. Having goals and always striving to better your craft are important examples of strong work ethic.

Having a strong work ethic also means that you hold significance to the interactions and people that you meet.

When you are first starting out, it is understandable that you may want to grab as many opportunities as possible as a stepping stone for your career. By all means, keep working hard. However, from the beginning, you should not only be focused on working but making it memorable to both you and the client. Having a lasting impression on clients and people is what will get you valuable relationships. It is a waste of time if you do not make all of your experiences memorable and create relationships.

BE ASSERTIVE YET PROFESSIONAL

Being kind, attentive and accommodating when necessary with your clients is very important. You should value them and their trust in you.

However, there will be times when potential clients will try to take advantage of you or devalue you. This can mean trying to bully you into working a day when you are off, or even asking for a lower price.

While still being professional and kind, make it known that you know the value of your work. Make it known that the policies that you create for yourself and your business are not wavering and are to be respected. If you would like, you can even implement a policies section on your website and always refer to them there. Staying professional and standing by what you say will show that you are serious business.

These are just a few tips on branding your name in the world of makeup artistry! Finding your personal style, a name that fits you and your craft and presenting yourself in the best way possible are all great steps!

You can show your personal style by the way you set up your website, portfolio and even the style of your Instagram account.

Our Master Makeup Artistry and Extensive 5-Week Program both include a business, branding and marketing class that gives you in-depth guidance on how to build your website, how to network efficiently in the beauty industry, a guide on freelancing and much more!

5 Ways to Maximize Your Social Media Presence as a Makeup Artist

What is more visual than make-up? As a makeup artist, you know the importance of showcasing your work in the best way possible. Engaging a community of makeup lovers and potential clients is vital when trying to establish credibility and skill. 

We all know that every day, social media is taking over more and more! For business and freelance purposes, having your social media represent professionalism, talent and consistency is crucial for your image.

Here are 5 Ways to Maximize Your Social Media Presence as a Makeup Artist!

Keep Your Content Strictly About Makeup

It has always been said, don’t mix business with pleasure! I’m sure that your friend’s birthday party was a great time last night- but keep that for your personal page! When you want your account to represent you and your work-you want it to be the best. No less than that.

If your intended purpose is to gain clients and have a place to reference your work, your page should be just that. If people want to see makeup posts, give them makeup posts! I’m sure that’s why they’re following you.

Although you should keep your page strictly about makeup, there is no harm in having some fun! That can include posting a quote about beauty once in awhile that speaks to you. Or, including a question at the end of a post asking your followers about their favorite lipstick. Having an engaged online community boosts views and comments. It is always a good idea to encourage involvement and a little humor! Personality is important.

Post Before & After Pictures

Social media is extremely visual. When you work on a client, showing a before and after can do so much more than just showing the after picture. Showing a before and after picture tells a story and showcases your craft. Makeup is a physical transformation as well as an art and you want to make sure people can see what you can do.

Make sure to find a good light and keep both photos at the same angle. Having a neat and formal presentation of both photos is important for quality purposes. It will help if you also have a solid background. It will look clean and professional. By avoiding background distractions, you are making sure that the main focus of the photo is centered around your work! Side by side is best for comparison purposes.

Tag Makeup Brands in Your Photos and Use Hashtags

When you post a picture, tagging the makeup brands that you use is a great way to build your social media presence.  Many makeup brands look for quality content and repost pictures of customers using their products. Tagging makeup brands increases the likelihood that the makeup company will repost your picture and share it on their platform (which usually consists of millions of people!). Having even one company repost your picture can result in a huge spark of followers and of course potential clients. The more people that can see how talented you are, the better.

In addition, listing makeup details in the description can be just as helpful. It is similar to tagging the makeup brands but slightly different. Listing the makeup details will be easier for makeup brands to see exactly which products you used. 

For example, you used a bronzer from Becca Cosmetics on a client and listed it in the details. If Becca Cosmetics sees it and regrams it, they can add that you are using their bronzer for a gorgeous glow. It is a very common way for brands to build their online community and even collaborate and send makeup artists free products.

Also, using hashtags that can increase views is important. It is how people will find you! You can hashtag makeup brands, makeup techniques and essentially anything relevant to your account that can boost engagement and followers. 

Use Tools for Posting on Multiple Platforms

If you want to be consistent on social media, it is a great idea to have a plan on posting your content. There are tools that allow you to post on different social media accounts at the same time. Being on different social media platforms allows you to have more than one audience and extends the likelihood that more people will see your work.

If you want to be on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the same time and have consistent posts, it is important to make sure that you are organized. Online tools such as HootSuite or SproutSocial allow you to upload a post to multiple platforms at the same time.

These tools even allow you to auto-schedule posts ahead of time. This ensures that you are posting at the best times and that it will be consistent throughout all of your social media accounts.

Be Consistent and Genuine

Posting consistently is extremely crucial for your success. If you post great content and then ghost for a few weeks, you may lose followers and interest. There's nothing worse than working hard then having the effort gone due to inconsistency! 

In the world of social media, there are many makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts. Be sure to remain true to yourself and your passion! Your goal as a makeup artist should not only to be good at what you do but also always work towards building lasting and meaningful relationships with clients. You want people to feel like they can trust and confide in you with their needs. Being genuine and professional will have your clients referring you to their friends! Always remember why you are doing what you do and remain true to what you believe in. People will see that and appreciate it.

These are just a few tips on how to use social media in the best way possible for your career! Remember to post quality photos, even if you just have your iPhone. You can always find good lighting and angles to make it as flattering as possible. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and have fun!

Our Master Makeup Artistry Program and our Extensive 5-Week Program both include a business, branding and marketing course that guides you on how to put your work out there! This includes how to build your own website, more tips on social media, freelancing advice and networking efficiently in the beauty industry.

5 Ways to Book Your First Client as a Makeup Artist

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After becoming a certified professional Makeup Artist, there are many paths that you can choose to begin to form your client base and secure yourself a spot in the industry. You received a great education, learned from the best, and have your makeup kit thoroughly prepared and ready to create. This is a selection of five expert tips to begin building a dedicated client network that will set you apart and have you shine like the star you are destined to become! 

  1. Determine your niche – decide what artistic direction and specialization you wish to go with your career
  2. Build your portfolio – organize and arrange for creative opportunities with other individuals with the same goals and vision to create a strong portfolio that showcases your talented work.
  3. Social media – create business profiles on all social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more) to promote your work
  4. Donate your time for a good cause – it’s a win-win! Offer your services for a fundraiser or auction, you’re sure to bring in a new client base!
  5. Networking – perhaps the most important! Begin to let people know of your new business and connect with those who align with your brand and services (special event planners, other small business owners, etc!)

DETERMINE YOUR NICHE

The most important thing as you begin to develop your own personal talents and signature aesthetic is to decide which type of direction you desire to take your makeup artistry and career in. Building this groundwork will also help direct you towards reaching out and connecting with your ideal client, and ultimately booking your first (of many!) jobs. 

These initial thoughts should ideally begin while you are still in school, develop your craft, and as something to keep in mind during each new learned technique and course. Looking back to your courses; what part of the makeup industry really provided you with excitement? Was there a time you just couldn’t wait to explore the topic in more depth and begin to create? 

Whether you envision yourself focusing on editorial/set makeup artistry, television/film talent, celebrity red carpet, and stage, a bridal/special occasion event artist, or as a makeup consultant specializing in bringing the best out in everyone – the opportunities are truly endless. Makeup is the art of making people look good, and everyone can benefit from your talents. 

  1. We recommend writing down a set of goals for your first year in business, including both achievable necessities and personal dreams (acknowledging, conquering, and celebrating each milestone is always important!) and where you think your talents are best utilized (this can cover multiple ranges!). Progress is the key to success, keep on moving in the right direction, your goals can adjust and shift as you encounter new clients and professional experiences. Use this as a guide to start exploring where you would like to build out your brand and become recognized as the “best” at what you do. 
  2. Once you have figured out the direction of makeup artistry that fills you with excitement – practice, and begin to reach out and make yourself known to others! Find like-minded individuals who work in similar forms and start to make connections (this technique will be covered in more depth in the “Networking” tip!). Finding your spot in the industry and creating a plan of action to build upon will surely lead to finding and booking your first client. 

BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO

Creating a presence where your work can be found and viewed consistently and immediately is of utmost importance! Not only for your client’s review but also for your own growth and development as a talented makeup artist.  

Having a strong and professional portfolio (both available online and in high-quality print for in-person consultations) is a necessity. Your work will be the first impression that anyone ever sees, so think of it as the key to putting your best foot forward and making the right first impression which reflects the brand image you want to portray. How do you begin to create the portfolio that represents your best self and highlights your unique talents? Choose your team of collaborators wisely (representing your individual strengths and desired direction as we covered above!) and work hard to create beautiful images with the collaborative team(s) that inspire you. 

  1. Ask your advisors and mentors for recommendations, building relationships with the educators that have inspired your journey is a great key to making the right decisions that align with your ultimate vision. Share with them your goals and have specifics in mind of what you are looking to achieve, and it is almost certain they will be able to help guide you in the right direction (and even possibly provide a recommendation!) while learning from their own individual experiences. 
  2. Make yourself known and register your work! There are a multitude of online platforms that allow you to connect with collaborators for creative work (this is usually ‘TFP’ (Time For Print) – in which you receive images of your work from the photographer as compensation for your time, but is the best way to begin to establish a strong set of imagery that will impress and sell yourself for your paid clients and beyond (you also never know who you will meet on set!). 
  3. One of the most well-known platforms to register your work on is ‘Model Mayhem’. ‘Model Mayhem’ is an international platform (which you can search by opportunities within your location) and allows you to connect with other creatives (photographers, designers, stylists, etc.) to work on projects that will build your portfolio (and possibly even lead you to get published, which is another major milestone in increasing your client reach!). 
  4. Social media is also an incredible way to find creative collaborators (more tips below!), particularly through Instagram – search locally for creatives in your area (or beyond if you are willing to travel) that are aligned with your vision and reach out (and don’t be afraid to follow up!). Begin planting the seeds to building a great team of individuals that inspire your artistry, and in turn, connect with talented individuals who share your same goals on a multitude of different creative platforms.
  5. Once you have begun building your portfolio and have images to share with potential clients, create your own uniquely branded website (you can easily develop this on your own, or work with a web designer – Wix, Squarespace, and Format are great beginner platforms that are user-friendly for all). Be sure to include the best images of your work that highlights the focus of your makeup artistry clearly (keeping in mind the direction in the industry that you have begun to establish yourself towards, as we covered above in “Determine Your Niche”).  

A strong portfolio that showcases your vision effectively will lead you to build the client network of your dreams!

SOCIAL MEDIA

What better way to promote your talents than to share your skills on social media? Social media, in general, provides you with an international platform and an unlimited reach. 

The beauty of social media is you can connect with your audience (which are your potential clients!) in an interactive and inspiring format. As a makeup artist, you can build your brand through social media platforms by highlighting your unique vision and work. 

  1. Utilize those portfolio images that you have built your foundation on (and incorporate behind the scenes and in process photos as well!), and share them far and wide – Instagram and Pinterest (as well as Twitter and Facebook) are perfect platforms for this. Create your own individual makeup artist business page, as part of your own unique branding. Be sure to hashtag the key phrases and words that people search for (#beauty, #beautyoftheday, #makeup, #makeupartist, as well as your location – are just a few examples. You can also narrow this down to the direction of your individually established artistry - #editorialmakeupartist, #bridalmakeupartist, #celebritymakeupartist, etc). 
  2. YouTube is also an important platform that will allow you to gain recognition for your talents and promote your work to clients. As a makeup artist with your own YouTube channel, you can cover all topics from inspiring makeup “How-To’s”, to what the best tools are to achieve the perfect look, and even share your favorite products (and why!). Your knowledge and brand direction will be available for all to see in an engaging format that directly connects and sells your skills and artistry to clients. 
  3. As an Online Makeup Academy student or graduate, it is our goal to promote your work, milestones, and success! Be sure to tag @onlinemakeupacademy and #onlinemakeupacademy and share your best images with us, and we will share with our community to promote your business and your talented work! A free marketing benefit and tool that we are proud to offer to all of our students! 

Top social media platform recommendations to build your brand image: Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp. 

DONATE YOUR TIME FOR A GOOD CAUSE

It’s always important to give back to your community and to connect on a level with a cause that is important to you (and your work). Remember, as a makeup artist, you have the opportunity to inspire change and to interact with everyone on all levels; depending on what your business direction leads you in – everyone that you choose to interact with is a potential client, now, or in the future. 

Donating your time is a great opportunity to share your art with others on an inspirational level, and as the saying goes, “no good deed goes unnoticed” – so the kindness and talents that you provide are sure to spread. The people that you connect with will always remember your generosity and recommend your work to their network (ie: more potential clients), securing additional jobs, and establishing your brand image in a positive light. 

NETWORKING

This tip is integral to success and securing your first client (and beyond!), as we’ve mentioned above, connecting this with many of the other highlighted recommendations. 

Networking never stops, but there are several select areas to key in and focus on when building your brand and identifying yourself as a makeup artist, available and ready to work!

  1. First and foremost, step outside of your comfort zone – be sure to have your “pitch” ready; introduce yourself, talents, and services (at the right place and time). Being assertive and direct (yet also always friendly and considerate!) is a key to successful networking. You should always be open in sharing your goals and what you are looking to achieve, and listening with an open mind to others as well! The creative community is one of acceptance, and working on establishing those roots will lead you to successful job opportunities and solidifying your client base. 
  2. Always have business cards and images ready; be sure the cards represent your brand image and include your direct contact information and website where people can easily refer you to work! 
  3. If you are looking to work as a makeup artist for special events (bridal, etc) – connect with those vendors in person (planners, venues, boutiques and more) who help plan these occasions. Form partnerships, exchange information and cards, share your availability and services, and discuss potential ideas for mutually beneficial collaboration. 
  4. Another great networking tip for makeup artists who are looking to establish their work for event services is to register your service through online platforms such as theknot.com (which does charge an advertising fee in order to be listed as an official vendor) or by forming partnerships with various other wedding websites that have a vendor list and bloggers who can share and highlight your work to reach your desired audience. 
  5. Assist on set - Special Note: This is one of the most important tips for anyone who is looking to break into the entertainment or fashion/beauty editorial industry. If you have the opportunity to connect with an already established editorial or celebrity makeup artist (use some of the tips for reaching out as mentioned above in BUILD YOUR PORTFOLIO and SOCIAL MEDIA!), assisting on set is a perfect way to begin to add legitimate credentials and establish your career. Being involved on a set directly where “the magic happens” for fashion and beauty campaigns, is a wonderful experience assisting in a creative process and having the opportunity to interact with different members of the team. This also allows you the opportunity to form real relationships within the industry, which in turn can eventually lead to glowing recommendations for client work within the editorial and entertainment industry. 

Make Up Artist Marketing: Knowing Your Target Audience

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You know how in real estate it’s all about location, location, location? Well, if you’re looking to become a pro-MUA, it’s all about knowing who your clients are. What does this mean? For starters, it’s not about knowing all of your clients’ life stories, if that’s what you’re thinking. No, it’s about identifying potential clients based on your personal experience and professional skill set. We all have our strong points and weaknesses when it comes to our personal lives, right? Well, the same goes for your professional one. You may be amazing at doing natural makeup and bridal looks, but still struggle with gold leaf application. It’s important that you focus on providing and promoting services that match your skill set.  Now, why is this important, you may ask? For the simple reason that once you figure out who may be interested in paying for your services based on your strong suits, it will be a lot easier to tailor your marketing scheme to their specific needs, and gain a lot more clients that way. This group of potential clients is what us in marketing call: target group.

Let’s clarify this with a real-life example:

Petra Jameson is an amazing bridal MUA. Having taken both our 4 Week Intensive Makeup Artistry and 3 Week Hairstyling courses, Petra is a double MUA graduate. As such, she’s great with natural makeup looks, a wizard at airbrush, and a total expert with both strip and individual lashes. On top of that, she’s up-to-date with all the latest braids and bridal up do’s to turn her client into a blushing bride on her special day. 

So who should Petra’s "target audience" be? Clearly, she’s specialized in beauty enhancement techniques. This includes brides, proms, VIP events and other special occasions (for example, personal photoshoots). So her marketing strategy should be tailored specifically to these type of services. So how does one do that? Here are some marketing examples:

Appealing to your key demographic

We’ll say it time and time again, luck is preparation meets opportunity, so make sure the materials you present to potential clients are both professional and relevant to the services provided. And we mean everything! A Website, blog, social media, business cards, portfolio - you name it, it should all be tailored to what your clients are looking for! In marketing terms, your materials should appeal to your target demographic. Take Petra’s case for example, since she’s focusing on beauty enhancement services, a soft color palette and clean aesthetic on her website, portfolio and social media will be much more appealing to her target group then an edgy over-the-top website with high fashion looks (which, in turn, would be a great aesthetic for someone who, let’s say, specializes in runway and editorial makeup.)

Advertise your services in all the right places

A great place to start sharing your services is on beauty oriented service apps. These include JOP and Priv (to name a few), through which you’ll be able to connect with a wide range of clients on the lookout for different types of freelance services. Other websites, including theknot.com, are also a great place to advertise bridal services especially, with thousands of prospective brides visiting the site every day to prepare for the big day! Already have some experience under your belt and have a great bridal/beauty portfolio? There are many agencies throughout the city you could apply for as well. Not that experienced yet? Not to worry, you can always apply for assisting jobs! That way you’ll get valuable hands-on experience, build your portfolio, and get agencies to notice your skill set! Also, never forget that the MUA business is a word of mouth one, so don’t be afraid to ask your satisfied clients to leave you a nice review on social media or your websites, or to refer you to any friends or family members!

MAKING IT AS A MAKEUP ARTIST - How To Get Your Foot In The Door

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Let’s face it, starting a new career can be a daunting task anywhere, and New York City is no different. But just remember, with the right tools and attitude, it doesn’t have to be! All you need is a way to get your foot in the door, and that’s why our beauty insiders gathered up 5 ways to help get you started:

Luck is preparation meets opportunity.  That’s why when an opportunity arises, the material you present should convince your potential clients of your skills, experience, and overall professionalism. That's why your materials should be presented in an upmost professional fashion.

Portfolio

In the beauty business, your online portfolio will become your number one marketing tool. A visual resume, if you will. This is why it should include only your best work (high resolution, and professionally taken pictures only, please!), and make sure to only incorporate 10-20 looks that both reflect your individual skill set, and that speak to your target audience. For example, there’s little use in showing off your special effects talents if you’re trying to appeal to the bridal market.

Web-site

Much like your portfolio, your professional website should also be done in a clean and clear manner, as clients will judge it as an extension of your overall taste and professionalism. No budget for an expensive website? Not to worry! With online platforms like squarespace.com and wix.com making a user-friendly and visually appealing website is both easy and affordable.

Social Media

Social media is another great way to showcase your work and engage potential clients. Given that Make-Up Artistry is a visual field, Instagram and Facebook are a definite must! Alternate portfolio pics with more real-life, personal ones to give your feed a professional yet personal feel. Having trouble keeping your feed visually appealing? Sticking to a specific color palette will help you keep your feed both fresh and appealing. 

Getting Your Name Out There

Makeup Artistry is a word of mouth industry, and therefore, establishing connections with potential clients is key. Even if they don’t need an MUA right away, chances are that if you establish a connection with them beforehand, they’ll think of you first the next time they need to get their makeup done for an important event, photo shoot or professional project. Start with people you know, tell them about your business, and hand them your business card. And don’t be scared to ask them to spread the word! Ask previous clients to refer you to friends and family members if they’re happy with your services. Every little piece helps! Also, don’t be afraid to attend networking events throughout the city. As a Nina Mua student, we’ll make sure to keep you updated on all events that could benefit your career!

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Start At The Beginning

Working for film, runway or getting signed up by an agency requires experience and a great portfolio. That takes time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t already get your foot in the door when you're still starting out! A great way to put your name on the MUA map is by taking an assisting job. Not only will it help you refine your skills through hands-on experience, but it’s a great way to showcase your talents, and gain a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of makeup artistry. 

Another great way to find potential clients is through different pro MUA services apps.  Both PRIV and JOP are dynamic platforms that make it easy to offer freelance beauty services to their wide network of clients.

Getting ready to look Springtastic!

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The time is finally here to pull out your florals and your pastel colored raincoats! Are you as excited as I am? The flowers are starting to show and I thought I should share something with you to make your smile bloom with it. Spring is one of my favorite seasons in New York City. The Cherry Blossoms are all over Central Park and Park Avenue has planted their Tulips in anticipation for the season. As you can tell, I am taking five minute breaks to skip around the room because of how excited I am. 

A video posted by Nina Mua (@ninamua) on

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I just spent the last hour of my time unpacking all my floral prints to put on for the season. I love color, although my job does not always permit me to wear it, I do get to sport my love for it through makeup! The bright lipsticks, the pastel new eyeshadows and now with the new hair color craze I guess that is one way to show your love for color as well! Through this post I wanted to explore the endless possibilities Spring brings us when it comes to fashion and beauty! 

As I mentioned before, I love floral prints, the dresses, the skirts. This is the season to finally start giving up our black, grey and white color wardrobe in exchange for the pastels. I know most people discourage loud makeup if you are in bold attire. But hey, where is the fun in that? Spring is perfect season to choose the wardrobe you like to represent your personal style. For example, you maybe the gal who typically prefers to be dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Yes, it is comfortable and easy, but that does not mean the t-shirt cannot be replaced with a floral t-shirt. I also love that this is the time you could explore different styles. You may not be someone who loves wearing a skirt. This does not mean you have to step away from the florals, because taking a page out of Gucci, they launched some gorgeous bright bold colored pantsuits with some amazing prints. Yes, we cannot all afford Gucci, but there are quite a few stores such as, Asos which carry some similar styled outfits which include jumpsuits. 

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Of course with these colorful outfits you can always make it pop even more by taking a few risks with your makeup. Such as, the Marc Jacobs Beauty, Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner. The gorgeous bold color scheme liner will help you outline your eyes to match your colorful outfits as well as highlight one of your key features, your pretty eyes. Also I love Kat Von D’s everlasting liquid lipsticks, which has some great colors for all skin tones such as backstage bambi, susperia and a go-go. They are bright, bold and gorgeous! Let’s not forget to mention some of the hottest hair trends for the Spring which we are seeing on every celebrity. Lighter colors as well as the LOB. Think this is something which would catch on? There are plenty of moments I feel like I should just chop my long locks off. But you know how much I love styling it in multiple different ways. 

A video posted by Nina Mua (@ninamua) on

As you can see there are so many trends popping up just for the season. Follow me on instagram, @ninamua for more up to date trends and stay tuned for a few of my spring tutorials in the coming days! 

PS — I would love to hear back from you about what you are trying out this Spring use the #springwithninamua to get my comments and feedback!