How to Get Hired As a Makeup Artist

How to Get Hired As a Makeup Artist

In today’s beauty industry there is a sea of aspiring, novice and experienced Makeup Artists amongst influencers. So what can help you get hired for a gig?

Every makeup artist has a list of rules that they intrinsically abide by in order to set them apart from the pact. There are also many tools that include literature, classes and working professionals who speak to this very topic. Two of my favorites are Kevin James Bennett and DeShawn Hatcher who are both candid yet truly a wealth of knowledge.

When I started in the beauty industry it was literally trial by fire. I did not initially have a mentor and it wasn’t the popular profession to be a member of. As such, I had to do quite a bit to get my name out there. I began using an alias which was witty and fun but pigeonholed me into one type of clientele. I started doing research on business and marketing and it changed how I wanted to be viewed as an Artist. I improved my environment by relocating to an area where I believed I could flourish. I even went back to school to become licensed and my career took off. I learned to utilize three key elements that continue to help me attain clientele:

• Portfolio
• Professionalism
• Persistence

Sounds simple I know, but allow me to dive deeper.

Portfolio – A portfolio should be a true representation of what type of Artist you are. It should showcase what your specialties include whether it is beauty, commercial, editorial, bridal, special FX, etc. It should also be clean, easy to read and highlight diversity. Despite the misconception do not solely rely on social media to be your calling card. Yes, it is a vital part of any marketing strategy but not the end all be all. Hi-resolution images are best and web size files can be used to create content on social media. A working portfolio should be an online website or a hardcover print book with a variety of 8×11 images. Both formats to include your name, location, experience, and education. Print portfolios are great to have when meeting agents or agencies in person.

Professionalism – The way we communicate plays a huge role in booking a potential client. As such professionalism is extremely important. You do not ever want to come across as a haughty or angry person. Have you ever had a telephone call with someone who sounded like they were having an awful day or didn’t have time to speak with you? It produces a negative effect and your perception is now tainted when you get off the phone. In contrast, have you received an email where the sender’s tone came across so pleasant and warm? A smile should be heard in your voice when speaking and in your tone when writing, it is inviting. When a potential client feels welcomed they will be more open in their communication which in turn helps you to understand their needs. Email communication can be tricky so be aware of grammar and punctuation. Read and re-read before clicking the send button.

Persistence – A potential client can come from just about any source. A web search, a friend, family member or a networking event. A past client can offer a referral and in strong communities, there are other Artists who will refer one another when they aren’t available. An inquiry can turn into a potential client. When an inquiry is received be certain to reply within a 48-hour time frame. We are all busy people but your follow-through is vital. Schedule a date to return the call or email. Organize your thoughts and prepare based off the information you were provided. Carve out a specific amount of time within your day to respond. Have your calendar, laptop and phone at your fingertips. The follow-up call is twofold, answer questions that the potential client may have and ask questions you have in order to get a better understanding. If another call or email is required move forward, however, be concise with what you need clarity on.

Each of these elements plays off of the other. A diverse portfolio showcases your work and opens the door. Your level of professionalism gives the potential client a glimpse into your business acumen. Finally, being persistence and consistent with follow through ties it all together. Once booked remain in contact with the potential client. The only thing left to do is show up and put your skills to work! Stay professional and attentive throughout the gig and after it is complete be sure to send your thanks. It will be motivation for the client to call and rebook you for any future needs.



Jalia Pettis, Licensed Beauty Professional

Banner Image Nikole Ivanova by Polina Viljun

The Most Common Complaints About Freelance Makeup Artists, and Why They’re Bunk

The Most Common Complaints About Freelance Makeup Artists, and Why They’re Bunk


“What foundation are you using? Oh I’ve never heard of that brand”

Understand that the beauty industry is bigger than you can imagine. There are many makeup companies that do not sell to Sephora or Ulta. Most artists will have high-performance foundation palettes in their kit so that they can mix and create the perfect shade of foundation for each skin type and color. This allows the ability to customize the shade as well as the finish of the foundation to each skin type accordingly. Not to mention as far as traveling is concerned, palettes are much more compact than attempting to carry 42+ individual foundations.


“What are your rates? Wow, that’s a bit much don’t you think?”

When asking for a makeup service from a freelance makeup artist, keep in mind the time and money that goes into their kit, education, sanitation supplies, marketing, etc. It isn’t cheap to build a business let alone maintain a career. An artists makeup kit is always growing and always needing replenishment. Even the little things that people often forget as simple as websites, advertisements, business cards, mileage, etc. Asking an artist to lower their prices is almost offensive to their craft. Of course, depending on the circumstances, most artist will accommodate and work with you to manage group rates. It about how things are worded and can be perceived.  


“Do you use airbrush makeup?

There is a big difference between airbrush makeup and the airbrushing tool on photoshop. Personally, I enjoy the process of mixing products and textures to create the perfect customized foundation with the appropriate finish. Airbrush takes away some of the artistry fun. Using different application techniques and products will give more of that “airbrushed” finishing you’re imagining in your head but adjusted to your skin type.  


“I want a simple natural no makeup look, like Kim K”

Just to clear the air, most “no makeup” looks are actually a lot more makeup than you’d probably ever imagine wearing. A “no makeup” or “natural” look can mean dozens of different things to each individual. Someone’s natural look could just be lipgloss and bronzer, while another could be 20+ products. Everyone has a different definition of natural these days, so be clear as to which “natural” look you’re referring to. Also note if the look needs to be photo ready, it will most likely be more makeup than you’d think “natural” would entail. Trust your artist.


“I want something smokey, but natural”

Let’s face it, there is absolutely nothing natural about a smokey eye. What is considered “smokey” to one person could be completely different to the next. Typically a smokey eye is a light to dark gradient. The dark shadow is focused along the upper lash line and blended through into the crease. Most makeup artists will already understand the look you really want, but it never hurts to specify a bit more.


“Why do I need to book in advance? Can I just pay the day of?”

Booking in advance or giving a deposit is just common courtesy. Someone is reserving their time for you, blocking off their schedule for your servicing. Especially if this is for a wedding, the less stress on the day of the event, the better. The last thing a bride is going to want to worry about on her wedding day is payment. Your artist will stay organized and on top of it, but in retrospect, make the payment process as easy as possible.


“I don’t know what do you think will look good on me? You’re the professional after all.”

While that’s true to a degree, makeup and style is personal. Makeup is all about what makes each individual feel like their most beautiful self. Showcasing your best features and making you feel the most confident. While one person may feel confident in a bold red lip, another may feel out of place. Honesty is always a great place to start. Be open and honest with your artist to what makes you feel beautiful and confident and they gather a better understanding of you and how to make you your best self.


Written by  makeup artist Nikki Carmela


Instagram: @nikkicarmela

Banner Image Kate Moss photographed by Chris Levine

15 Lessons & Terms to Know to Survive as a Makeup Artist

15 Lessons & Terms to Know to Survive as a Makeup Artist

Fasten your seat belts as I take you on the cosmetic express of lessons learned and terms to know to have a smooth flight into artistry success.  It’s a wild adventure but traveled the right way can be one exciting career.

  1. Roots to Boots: You are your own walking billboard of advertisement.  You should look the part.  From the roots of your beautiful balayage to tips of your heels, your look should flow and be consistent.  Some artists will disagree, but I have proven it to get me clients, evenstopped on the street and asked for my business card.  Your look is usually how you are remembered so make it a good memory. No one wants to be the homely girl in kicks and messy bun in fashion and beauty.
  2. Pacey! Pacey!: adjective: fast-moving, quick, lively: translation: Move your ass! This is a fast pasted business that calls for detail, like up in their business, right in their face work.  You must move along whether you are on set, in a department store or busting out a bride.  Move quickly but calmly to not add panic to the situation or your client.
  3. Warm and Cool Tones: You need to know these and be able to identify them easily. When matching foundation or choosing a lip color these play a big part.  Choosing the wrong tone can make your model look tired or washed out.  An easy trick to determine is to look at the veins on the inner wrist.  If the veins are blue-cool tones, more greenish- warm tones.  Warm tones usually look better in gold jewelry, cool in silver or platinum.
  4. Natural: Not a foreign term you say?… Well, it could be. Make sure you understand your client’s definition of natural.  For example, my natural is a full face of makeup but softer neutral colors and the “I just threw myself together in 5 minutes,” yet I used 12 products.  Their definition of natural maybe a tinted moisturizer, gloss and a few swipes of mascara.  Ask the right questions to get to know their daily routine.  If a stage setting, know your lights and what you need to use to optimize the look you are going for.
  5. Décolletage: This is the part that runs from your neck down to your chest. Many are clueless about it’s name or the importance it can play.  Make sure skin care is taken all the way down to here or if your model has a low cut outfit make sure to bronze, moisturize or what is needed to continue the look and not leave it to have the appearance of a floating head.  When pulling the décolletage into the look it appears complete.
  6. Baking: No Martha we are not talking about whipping up a batch of cookies. We are talking about the latest viral makeup trend of covering under eyes with multiple layers of translucent powder and letting it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before dusting it off.  This leaves the skin looking airbrushed and brightened.
  7. Beat your face: They say beauty is a pain but have no fear, this is not. This technique involves a sponge, most communally a beauty blender, and working the foundation into the skin by “beating the face” using a stippling motion taping it into the skin repeatedly leaving the complexion looking great from all angles.
  8. Contour: Kim K West and the Kardashian/Jenner Clan put this in the spotlight recently, but this technique started as far back as the silver screens. The woman on tv would have to work with only being seen in black and white on tv and would sculpt their faces by contouring.  I like to call it my “skinny blush” because done correctly it is a miracle diet that can give you the appearance of sliming features in seconds.  Amen!
  9. Strobing: This is the complete opposite of contouring.  Contouring uses a darker color to hollow features making them recess.  Strobing is similar to highlighting areas to make them pop forward.  Highlighting is used with contouring, as strobing stands alone without the contour.  Think heavy light to the cheekbones and halo area of the face.
  10. Holographic: A lot of recent hype about holographic products. Think rainbow, unicorn, fairy glow all in one to visualize this look.  Strobing 90’s highlights, shadows, lip glass to nails are all part of many collocations that have been popular with festival goers and beauty bloggers and picked up by some of the most popular lines.
  11. Tight line: To line the inner wet line of the lower and upper lashes.  This a gamechanger for many!  It can take the eyes to a whole new level of drama or to simply thickening the lash line. The trick is to use a soft waterproof liner and then get your client to look the opposite way of where you are lining to avoid poking them in the eye.
  12. Giving me life! This may be a term overused or your phrase of the month.  This is great, for it has a good meaning!  Just make sure you explain this if you are using it and your client looks confused or laughing awkwardly.  We are artists and some more extra than others but enthusiasm is nothing to downplay so have fun and let it.
  13. Clientele: It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a makeup job but remember, you are running a business and most likely your own. If you don’t clientele you will most likely not have consistent gigs.  Keep in touch with your clients, build a database, stay connected through social media, ask for referrals or be talking about other ideas to have you back or book you on other shoots.  This is a huge key to success and has kept me some of my best clients for many of years leading to great opportunities.
  14. Ring Light: The holy beam of bliss lighting that selfiedreams are made of! This gem is a great piece to invest in.  Good lighting is one of the hardest things to come buy when doing makeup.  A ring light solves this problem for a lit application.
  15. Yasssssss!: Last but not least. The term we all hope to hear our client shout at the end of the completed look.  The pay off that your client is happy and feeling like her best self is what we do it all for.  The head is held higher and an extra confidence boost from feeling beautiful!

Angie Streeter

Banner Image: Avedon Fashion


There is more in MakeUp Artistry than just helping people finding their best look. Times have changed and today we can consider makeup as an ART. The word ‘artist’ comes from one who professes and practices an imaginative art. If makeup isn’t imaginative we are on the wrong path. MakeUp is magic. So let’s see if you’re ready to face a MakeUp Artist career.
So, 1st sign. Are you a wizard? Well you could be if you considered your hundred brushes as magic wands. You love everything in a makeup kit. Blushes, highlighters, the endless eyeshadow rainbow, lipsticks. You name it, you love it. Beauty trends are more important to you than anything else. And if you are ahead of them… what are you waiting for?
Interaction with people is constant. You can find yourself dealing with a nervous bride or a really strict client, even a spoiled famous person. Sometimes the reference they show you is inadmissible for you. Being able to deal with different types of personalities and handling difficult situations is essential in this career. If you like being around people and are easy going you might be hitting the right spot.
Do you love experimenting with different styles and products every time you have the chance? In the fashion industry, you’ll need to find and create new inventive looks that have never been seen before. With bridal or social events clients, we should always consider their style and combine it with ours. In any situation, you need to be creative enough in order to satisfy the viewing eye or the person wearing your piece of art.
You understand that criticism is not always negative. Feedback is really important for a makeup artist. From a client or colleague, maybe you find yourself learning something new. So being able to deal with bad comments about your work and feeling that this is a way of growing as a professional is super important!
You can’t even think of yourself in an office sitting at a desk all day. You like meeting new people, being in new places and working in different environments every time you can. Living with what you create with your hands and imagination makes you happy.
Sometimes you get excited simply by getting a great job done. This happens as a MakeUp artist when you finish a really good photoshoot, with the joy of a bride’s smile or a person that looks at herself in the mirror and loves you because she has never looked better. These are feelings of joy that a MUA gets as a rush of satisfaction, not only about the money you get paid, but because you are fulfilled as an artist. Meeting the clients’ expectations or an amazing photo for your portfolio has made your day.
It’s easy for you to notice MakeUp horrors. It’s impossible to miss an asymmetric wing eye or a wrong shade of foundation. Are you the type of person that always wants to put your fingers in other people’s faces to try to even or clean makeup? Then you’re definitely cut out for this profession!
Have you ever felt it was impossible for you to follow others’ commands? You are a leader. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. You are disciplined, responsible, punctual and able to get the job done in a strict time frame. It’s true that you might start doing assisting jobs, which is good because you can learn from senior MakeUp artists. After you gained some experience and confidence, get ready to be the best head of the makeup department.
 As a Makeup Artist you get that being one of this kind is not just making someone look better, it is an art. The face of the person you are about to work on becomes a canvas, and you begin to fly. If you like stroking your brushes and creating ideas, trying new techniques and get the best out of your creativity you are ready to become part of the future generation of MakeUp artists. Even if you are working in fashion, being a social media influencer… nowadays working with makeup is thinking about trends and being ahead.
So if you feel this is you, perhaps a profession test is obsolete at this point! Go out and check the best makeup schools to develop your new career! I am certain that you will enjoy it. Good luck!
Clara Luelmo
@claraluelmo (instagram)
I am a professional makeup artist and hairstyler with a fashion degree and almost a decade of experience. Working between London and Buenos Aires I have gained experience in fashion, filming, commercial, bridal and theatre. Trained in special fx and fashion makeup and hair. 100% reliable and used to work in a fast-paced environment,  also following time schedules. I have experience both leading a makeup team as well as assisting other makeup artists.
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Jessica Stam Photographed by Michaelangelo di Battista

10 Fundamentals About being a makeup artist You Didn’t Learn in makeup School

Makeup artist is certainly one of the most vivid and creative professions. We draw inspiration from everything that surrounds us, we use the textures that surround us, we change the person completely, create a new character, or emphasize the natural beauty. Human being  is our canvas.

Everything you learn in makeup school is about techniques and, sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, about how to find inspiration. It is certainly not enough, there are so many aspects of this profession that you will have to learn by yourself. I will try to tell about them, based on my personal experience.


1) Thirst for knowledge. That’s basic! The work of a makeup artist is associated with constant training, improvement of your skills, testing various textures, mixes. You will have to learn the colors, light effects and  to master the human anatomy. When you are left alone with the client, you have a couple of seconds to understand what textures, what colors you should use, where the shadow will fall and where will be partial shade. So if you think your makeup school  will be enough then… don’t even try to be a makeup artist. Yes, you will have to invest your time and finances in your training.


2) Sociability. You have to constantly communicate. We are not just makeup artists for our clients, we are psychologists. How important it is to calm down the bride before one of the most important events of her life! Our customers are very sensitive to intonation, way of talking. Do not be familiar, be extremely polite, but friendly.

But our clients are not only brides and girls who have an important event, our clients are photographers, editors of various magazines. Be able to listen to the customer, their job and be able to explain how it is possible to perform. Communicate with photographers and videographers, because they are one of the foundations of being a makeup artist.


3) Respect for your work. Know how to say no when you need to. I had to learn it on my own. Set prices and keep them. Everyone wants it cheaper, but no one understands how much you invest in your tools, cosmetics and knowledge. The make-up artist’s work is truely work and worth its price.

Unfortunately, in our age of digital technology, our profession is almost devalued. Why? Because there are a lot of tutorials on youtube where you will be taught makeup tips for free. Most of the professional cosmetics become available to anybody!

That’s why many makeup artists feel the urge to get trained in an additional profession, manicurist, hair dresser, cosmetologist, etc.

Sometimes a client do not want to pay, well, it is also an experience. If possible, of course you should get paid  for your job, if not, then wash off the client’s face !


4) Competitiveness.

While studying at school, you are already studying with your competitors. Now there are a lot of makeup artists, so you need to offer something that others cannot do. You need to be different from the others, so you have to invest time and money in your training, in your cosmetics, in your advertising (website, social networks, flyers…). Think of your name as a brand, even local brand.


5) Individuality. Feed yourself.

Our little secrets, our super tricks. This is what can set you apart from other makeup artists, from your appearance to the technique you use.  Find the small thing in which you can be the best, in which you can express your talent at its best.


6) Stress and lack of affect.

This is important. Do not let emotions overwhelm you, be able to control yourself. No matter how capricious the client is, smile and keep working. No matter how extravagant the customer is, behave in a relaxed, friendly and open way. It may be a good opportunity to learn something!

If you show yourself irritated, then believe me, it will be an extra reason for your client to find something negative in your work.


7) Self-defense and security basics.

No one is safe from an aggressive client. It could be a Perv photographer or a hysterical client. Be ready for anything and fight back if anything happens. Sometimes your job can end late at night, but you will still need to come back home, so take any security measures. If you have any doubt about the client, tell all the details to your family or friends and ask them to call back within half an hour when you expect to arrive at the client.


8) Self-feedback. You must invest yourself in your work. You should follow the important events of the year, such as Oscar, Met Gala, etc. Watch all the fashion shows, cruise collections, bloggers, top makeup artists, because they dictate the fashion trends.

Read articles, go to the Museum, be inspired by art. Draw, create, think about makeup! Give most of yourself to your profession.


9) Good photographer. I hope no one thinks that right after school all the famous photographers and magazines are waiting for you with open arms. Of course no. In order to have a beautiful portfolio, you have to find good photographers and talented models. To do this, you will have to choose your target audience. If you plan to work as a wedding makeup artist look for a wedding photographer, models, dresses, participate in various wedding projects, etc. Believe me it is unlikely that a professional photographer (and model) will agree to work with a novice makeup artist showing a portfolio made of training pictures. Exercise your eyes to distinguish good photographers from bad ones and start networking. Ask them if you can help for collaborations and reassure the photographer regarding the quality of your work (and be sure you can do it !), you can even come to them with creative ideas.

Or be ready to invest money, for a good portfolio. Or be ready to marry a talented photographer like I did!


10) The most important from the most important, it won’t be taught anywhere. That’s basic! Love your profession, breathe it, live it. Being a makeup artist is great!


Charlotte Khasanshina

Website: http://www.
Instagram : @charlottekh_mua
Facebook : @charlottefrmua


Banner Image Credit

Kasia Struss Photographed by Victor Demarchelier

Mona Johannesson In 'Giardino Digitale' By Daniella Midenge - Copy

“13 Things About freelancing as a Make-up Artist You May Not Have Known”

“13 Things About freelancing as a Make-up Artist You May Not Have Known”

Whether you are an established make-up artist or an emerging one or simply a beauty lover you do know that freelancing life is a glorious adventure indeed. God only knows the twists and turns it has – worthy of a thrilling Netflix series.
Here is a list of 13 things about freelancing life that you may not have known, it has useful practical info to:

1. Expect the unexpected – networking does work as does word of mouth recommendations, so engage and communicate within the industry – be proactive in approaching people you admire. This way you will open a lot of doors for yourself and advance in your career. A great website and IG feed will also help.

2. Even as an experienced MUA, people do take you for granted – no matter your experience there will always be people in the industry who will try and make a profit out of your work with no intention whatsoever to pay you.

3. Clients will compare prices and most of the times choose the more ‘budget-friendly’ alternative. This is why you need to create your own brand and focus on a certain niche so you can always appeal to clients who want you for you and not because your services are affordable.

4. When working TFP, you won’t always get the pictures you expect back – lower quality or nothing at all. This mostly happens when you start out as a freelancer – but also later – make sure that you know the photographers you test with personally or you work with people you were recommended by your peers – this will decrease the chances to work for free and get nothing in return.

5. Once you have a solid portfolio you can start saying no to unpaid work, as frustrating as it may be, it is also necessary. This way you increase the respect that people have for your talent and profession. And you will also be doing the industry a big favour.

6. Your portfolio should reflect the direction you want to work in – it is almost as if you would be an actor and you would build a brilliant career by choosing the right roles for yourself. After all, you are the creator of your success path and responsible for your own professional growth.

7. It’s best to check the official industry rates when quoting your clients – stick to your guns and follow the guidelines established by trade unions (e.gBECTU in the UK) so that you get a fair pay for your time and effort and you don’t undermine the industry rates.

8. If you want a balanced work life, leave no room for ego. You might get booked 10 times in a row by a client and if 11th you will not get the booking do not panic – the artistic universe is sometimes random and things just happen. As long as you stay professional and do a great job you will definitely get contacted in the future.

9. You need to use accounting software like Xero or Wave to keep track of your invoices – it will help so much with your taxes if you don’t want to hire an accountant (yet). Keep all your receipts safe and sound – they will be a lifesaver and will help you save up money at the end of each tax year.
10. The earlier you start saving into a pension fund, the better for your mental comfort. Not to mention that it gives you more time to increase your savings before retirement and more time to benefit from tax relief on your contributions.

11. As your work is based on ongoing contact with people, it’s highly recommended that you have public liability insurance to cover any legal claims from private or corporate clients– anything from an allergy to one of your products to a stain you accidentally made on a pricey designer item can massively affect your budget if you do not have insurance.

12. Contracts are never to be underestimated. It can make or break you as a professional. Especially if you do event and bridal makeup, you will find yourself postponed, canceled last minute, not paid and the list can continue. If you are clever and write down all your terms and conditions before doing makeup on clients you have your plan B in case nothing goes as planned. Bonus: you can get money in advance for your work as deposits from clients who want to secure the booking with you.

13. The artist community is real and people will help you out in times of need – they know the struggle so do not refrain from asking for guidance or support – artists all know how it feels to hit rock bottom, but they also know how to pull themselves up, keep fighting and do the victory dance. Use up all social media channels/groups to share your thoughts and ask for advice and/or support from fellow make-up artists.

Bottom line: Farewell financial security, welcome turmoil times doubled by an emotional roller-coaster ride. Goodbye free weekends and paid holiday, private pension paid by the employer – you are your own boss now. Oh, wait! This can actually be a good thing, right ?!
You are your own boss and you can make your own choices! Make sure they are great ones!

Written by ViorelaComan, @vior_ella,

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Mona Johannesson In ‘Giardino Digitale’ By Daniella Midenge


A day in the life of Dora Owusu

Tell us a day in the life of Dora Owusu?

A day in my life starts by heading to lecture at 9 am then another at 10 am. My break begins at noon in which I sometimes go to auditions and rush back to campus to make it to my 2 pm lab. Between 4:30 and 6 pm I squeeze in a bite to eat and some studying before my next class which is from 6-9pm.

Where are you from? Where are you based now and do you travel for shoots?

My blood is from Ghana in West Africa. I was born in Los Angeles California but raised in the city of Rancho Cucamonga which is about an hour east of Los Angeles. I am currently based in the Los Angeles and luckily most of my shoots are within the LA area so I usually don’t have to travel over 30 miles for a shoot. Some shoots can be out of state which are always fun because I get to experience how people live outside of California.

Growing up did you know you wanted to be a model, if so who were you influenced by?

I definitely wanted to model growing up but my mom said ‘no’. She feared that I would be taken advantage of or scammed. She told me that if I wanted to model then I should “call Tyra Banks” as if her phone number was a simple google search away. I wasn’t influenced by many besides Naomi Campbell. It was nearly impossible to find a positive representation of myself in society.

How or when did you start modeling?

I started my modeling journey in May of 2016. I was approached by a brand that had a large influence on Instagram. After my photoshoot with them, my photos were being heavily reposted, photographers began reaching out to me, and people were asking how much I charged per photoshoot. I was overwhelmed by all of the love I was receiving but rejected any money offered for the first few months. I wanted to practice and perfect my craft as a model, I didn’t feel right charging people or taking money to do something I didn’t feel 100% confident in.

What do you look for when deciding to work with a photographer?

When a photographer reaches out to me, I first look at their Instagram to get a feel of the look they typically go for. Next, I check out their website to see any other styles they’ve tried in the past. If I like their style of work, I will ask them if they know specifically what they would like to shoot with me. They often send over a vision board and we set a date. Stylist and makeup artist are very important for every shoot. It’s best for the photographer to have an MUA and stylist to ensure that the project will be executed properly.

How important is social media in your success?

Social media plays a major role in my success as a model. Casting directors and agents have asked for my Instagram handle and checked my numbers. Also, social media has helped in getting me noticed by brands and booking me for a great number of gigs.

What else do you do outside of modeling?

Outside of modeling, I am a full-time student studying biology at California State University, Los Angeles. I plan on one day becoming a Physician Assistant however, I recently concluded an undergraduate research program conducting research on thermogenic (fat burners) which expanded my interest in research. I like to keep my options open and go wherever God leads me.

What are some of the mistakes you made starting out a model?

I would say I made the mistake of not being selective enough with the photographers I shot with. Some photographers’ visions did not align with looks I was completely comfortable with and others did not know how to properly light deep skin tones so I end up having photos that I cannot put in my portfolio.

What advice do you have for Working with Agencies for New models?

I would advise models to look up agencies in their area and find when the agencies have open calls and set the time to go. I would also suggest to update their portfolios consistently and lastly, not to be discouraged if someone says ‘no’. When searching for an agent I knew that I would hear a ton of no’s but I just needed one yes to get my foot in the door.

What are 5 Things clients look for when hiring a model in your opinion?

  1. Positive attitude
  2. Fitting the look that the client is looking for
  3. Experience
  4. Healthy skin
  5. Social media presence

How did you grow Your Instagram account?

My Instagram growth mainly came from being reposted on pages that had more followers than myself.               I know sometimes people tag the pages with a larger following to get noticed and reposted. Also, some pages charge a fee to promote a person’s photo on their page.

What are some Keys things to Landing BIG Clients from experience?

  1. Great personality
  2. A developed portfolio
  3. Connections with other creatives (MUA, Photographers, Creative directors)
  4. Having a decent following

What are some of the Risks Every model Needs to Take to Be Successful?

Be prepared to risk your current lifestyle. You have to be in shape year-round, maintain clear skin, and have an open schedule because auditions times and shoot dates are unpredictable.

Who are some of your 10 Must-Follow models on Instagram?

In no particular order

  1. @modelomilano
  2. @eromomen
  3. @mameadjei4
  4. @tifenymoreira
  5. @khadijashari
  6. @iambriannamichelle
  7. @ adwoaaboah
  8. @ lili_ann
  9. @carmen.solomons
  10. @misscolewoods





How to Handle Rejection as a Model

By: Ivana West

Allow Yourself to Sulk In the Rejection

Rejection as any sort of artist is always more personal than a rejection of other forms.  This could not be truer than for the art of modeling, in which your body, your face, likeness and being are literally the art. This is why it is so important to process the pain before it submerges itself in your subconscious, impregnate your childhood traumas, and creates a monster of a self-defeating psyche.  So journal, talk your best friend’s head off, and watch all of the Oprah Super Soul Sunday that you need to repair your self-image.

“Competence Creates Confidence”

Rejection crushes our confidence, and understandably so, but we must ask ourselves—was said confidence built on a solid foundation to start with?  Did we simply build sandcastles and get upset when the waves came? Models are paid to exude confidence and luxury.  You are there to be aspirational. But even the Cristy Turlington caliber beauties of the world must practice and hone this craft if they are to feel truly confident walking onto the set. You must become disciplined and competent to have a firm, foundational career confidence.


Yep, this is the get your shit together and step your game up commandment. In life, most of the factors are actually largely beyond our control: our face shape, our nose length, the socioeconomic status and family we were born into, much of our childhood experiences.   However, learn to frolic in the margins and space where you do have control:  your style, your health, your knowledge, your range, etc., then you will not only learn from rejection but gradually experience less of it. Remember, so much more becomes available to you when you’re ready—so stay ready!


  1. Don’t Ignore the Pain—Put it to Use!

Don’t beat yourself up.  Be gentle with yourself.  But also don’t delude yourself into thinking the pain is not there when it is indeed very real.  Though we all wish to be resilient and as untouchable as Teflon, the truth is that we are human.  It’s actually easier to just accept ourselves and our emotional state where it is at.  No matter how tormented and angry we become, this too shall pass.  In the essay, “Uses of Anger” by Audre Lorde, she asserts “Anger expressed and translated into action and in service of our vision and future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification.”

Anger, resentment, and the sadness that comes from feeling underestimated, overlooked or disrespected is such a powerful emotion.  Allow yourself to use it.  You can get a lot done with it.  Use it to clarify what you do not wish to feel and to be.  Allow this contrast to marinate and be used to mold your desired future. Rejection should not be wasted, as it holds the gift of genuine grit.

2: Know Thyself, Know Thy Industry

Fashion is fun and fashion is fantasy, but it is financial first and foremost.  What does that mean for us models?  We aren’t just some beautiful, ethereal mannequins come to life (contrary to Tyra Banks in Life Size), but we are businesswomen and men.  Similar to any other industry, in fashion you must constantly study its economic landscape, meaning: knowing which designers are booking models of your type, knowing which looks are on trend, knowing how to dress at go-sees to best market your brand, and knowing how to build your platform professionally on your social media platforms, your website, and in person.  A lot of unnecessary rejection can be better understood and even avoided if we just do our homework.  Maybe it’s your look, maybe it’s that you’re a London gal trying to force it into a Miami market.  Not every model is for every booking.

3: Develop Risk Resilience

Above all, one of the most dangerous effects of rejection is that it can paralyze us, keeping us in our comfort zones. The wisdom to take risks that are within our best interest is built over time, like an emotional muscle.  We must be willing to risk reoccurring embarrassment for reward.  It is those spaces in life that hold the greatest probability for embarrassment which also hold the greatest possibility for reward.  If we can learn to relish in these spaces, uninhibited by public opinion, then there is no way we can truly lose.  Don’t be afraid of being seen at the bottom, because as the cliché goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Submitted by

Ivana West (@ivanawest)

Sam Rollinson by Craig McDean

The most common mistakes every make up artists make as a freelance make up artist

Here follows a couple of pointers for would-be freelance make-up artists, a list I have compiled through experience, trial and error and foot-in-mouth scenarios!

Not having knowledge of your products.

If milk in the fridge has come to its expiry date you would throw it away or it will have nasty side effects, same goes for any make up products – if expired products are being used the risks are high for  your client to have  a negative reaction, the desired effect to fall through and in some extreme cases cause harm to your client/model.


Being unprepared.

Being over prepared is always better than being unprepared, not knowing the details with regards to locations, the amount of models or even not communicating with the client prior the event can cause chaos. Know your clients, memorize the brief and always, ALWAYS, have enough product!


Eyelashes and the wrong adhesive.

In some cases we find that eyelashes are not all cut to the size specified by the manufacturer, this could potentially cause a bit of a mess for the client, symptoms may include teary eyes, smudged make-up, and just an all-round uncomfortable situation to be in. So make sure you select a trustworthy brand or cut to size. Know what your adhesive is before sticking any eyelash on, wig glue, liquid latex, and Mastix do not apply! It is a ‘practice makes perfect’ task, delicacy, patience and the type of glue are the key foundations of creating the perfect false look.


Different applications for different events.

It is said that less is more and sometimes more is too much. The key to a successful brief is to understand when too much application is just that, too much. It is key to understand and grasp the fundamentals of your client and the brief – waterproof products etc for weddings for instance. Knowing what event your client wants their makeup done for is important!!




Lack of professional photos.

A photograph can go a long way and it is a good tool to use for showcasing your work, technology has come a long way and it is essential to building a portfolio of all your past and current projects.  Investing in a good camera is a plus, not only for social media uploads but from a client aspect as well – they might not have a photographer at the event, thus offering an extra service as well. Know the basics of photography and working with your model. If your client has photos of their own at the event they have attended, ask to have copies so you can add them to your social media accounts and portfolio.

Poor self-promotion.

You are your own boss and you are responsible for representing your own brand or line of work. Promoting yourself is easy to do whether it is through a social network, networking or word of mouth. Social media is one of the easiest ways to connect with someone and to get your name out there. Once you have that platform to promote yourself get the knowledge how to use it correctly to bring in your clients. Word of mouth is a strong tool to have. Give the people you work with a good impression and stay away from negative talk about your competitors. You never know who you might bump into in your everyday routine, keep a business card handy in case you have someone interested.

Unethical communication.

 Most of my mistakes (other artists can agree with me) are not only made in the process of applying the wrong shade of foundation or mistakenly sticking the mascara wand in your client’s eye, the mistakes can be done by miscommunication or even rubbing the people up the wrong way without even knowing it. As a freelancer, we are likely to work on projects with a team and you want to be pleasant to work with, always remember to be humble and stay open to learn from every mistake that is made.

Personal hygiene.

Being a makeup artist is a physical \up close practice, your fingers, face, and hair are extremely close to your client/model at all times, no one likes bad personal hygiene!

 Make sure you don’t have a bad breath or any odour that would make it unpleasant for the person in front of you. Manicure your nails, keep your hair away from the client’s face and get rid of any cigarette smell before approaching someone up close.

Cutting yourself short.

Setting up a price for your work, when you first start out freelancing, could be challenging. If done right you can come to a happy medium that will make your client and yourself satisfied. There is no reason to sell your work short. At the end of the day you want good products to work on your client with and that does not come at a cheap price. So do some research and debate what the industry norm would be for someone with your skill set as well as the products that you use.

 Submitted by Roxanne van der watt

Instagram: @woldenfyre_ or @roxxvanderwatt
Facebook: Roxanne van der Watt

 Banner Image Credit: Sam Rollinson by Craig McDean 

What separates professional models from amateurs?

What separates professional models from amateurs?



We would have to look at what defines someone as professional. How do we measure this, especially when the main equity traded is beauty, which we are told is in the eye of a beholder.


Traditionally there were parameters which separated models from “just” beautiful people. Such as weight, height, age, contacts, to name a few. Any deviation from the desired ‘ideal’ most likely meant getting nowhere. Added to this was the process by which models and supermodels were marketed to the consumer. Gone are the days of cameras being difficult to obtain and photography being a mysterious and costly profession to pursue. Everyone can take great images with their mobile phone and more. The kingdom of selfies has cometh upon us. Two edges of every sword and what is easily made and readily available devaluates many a masterpiece.


As social, beauty and fashion industry norms change, we are starting to see the tides shift in the world of modeling too. There is ever greater push towards creating a tolerant, inclusive and ethical society and our rising consciousness is reflected in our wardrobes and personal styles. Perhaps the clothes we wear, how and why we wear them, the brands we buy and support are tell tale signs of where we stand as a society and as individuals. As within so without. Models, the unicorns of this very world, are the ones to profess and represent the changes. Evermore the mysterious “je ne sais quoi “is in the play. The intangible (or even tangible) uniqueness factor may override the traditional physical requirements to be deemed a professional in the world of modeling.


Arguably the lines between professional and vocational are being blurred and perhaps the deciding factor is money and fame – as it always has been the case. Many children of the famous are automatically propelled to the ‘professional’ bracket of the supers and well-paid models mainly on the back of their pedigree (and possibly tweaks from the surgeons). Other models fulfill the old school parameters of double Ts (tall and thin). A person who is signed with a famous modeling agency alas making virtually no money is deemed professional by validation of an entity from within the industry. A gatekeeper of sorts. But as our individual power rises thanks to the internet, we may at times overstep these – or engage with them differently. Is someone a professional model even though their primary or only outlet of representation is Instagram or YouTube or Snapchat? One could argue that if they make a living out of it, the answer is yes. Perhaps there is a certain nostalgia for the tradition, for the glamour of days past, for being validated by the leaders of the pack. But the new day belongs to the daring and the brave.


A question bubbling up to the surface of fashion and media industries since the arrival of the world wide web, but ever more so in the recent few years. The digital technology widely available and media convergence allows people to engage directly with the gatekeepers, to communicate and express their opinions as well as get involved directly in the creative process of fashion imagery production. In other words, the consumer – both as a buyer and as a spectator – is now assuming an active role in the process of defining and redefining of what professional means. As consumers gained their voices so too grew their importance and influence and the message seems to be getting louder. The fashion world and its ambassadors, the models, are to be diversified. Buyers want not only something to aspire to but also something to relate to. Thus the rise of an influencer on social media and clearly growing diversification of models in terms of color, body type, and even age.


Trans models such as Andrej Pejić (now Andreja Pejić) have made major waves in the high-end fashion. Pejić previously walked for fashion royalty such as Jean Paul Gaultier in both menswear and womenswear shows (2011). Pejić was the first trans model to sign a cosmetic contract and was also profiled by Vogue in 2015 and the following year graced the cover of

  1. Not so long ago to think of a trans model being represented by a major crème de la crème agency such as Ford in New York and LA would be more or less unthinkable. As likes of Pejić (And previously Teri Toye) paved way and the shock factor is slowly becoming a status quo, all Of a sudden there is gender fluidity in the mainstream advertising too. Refinery 29 predicts that“For The Modeling Industry the Future is Transgender” as Teddy Quinlivan, Leyna Bloom, Casil McArthur, Gia Garison, and Geena Rocero are unashamedly looking at us from Refinery’s landing page



If someone predicted in the 80s, when the waif look and heroin chic reigned the industry, that in 2018 there will be a plus size Americas Next Top Model finalist, people may as well have laughed. The body positive activist and a model originally from Ukraine, 32 years old Khrystyana was signed by a major UK agency, MILK, just days ago (IG @khrystyana). Somehow one could doubt they would sign her has she not fought for an ANTM crown. That is the power of media harnessed towards ones dream.

Ethnic diversity is no longer a statement from a few pioneers, like the United Colours of Benetton used to be, but as natural as global shipping. The age taboo is slowly but surely softening its edges too, with silver-haired models such as Carmen Dell’Orefice (who is 86) are making ever more appearances.

Andy Warhol rather correctly predicted the 15 minutes of fame. What he didn’t see coming (how could he) was the 15 seconds of fame to follow, birthed by the Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.

It seems the future belongs to the self-appointed, the self-made. Warhol’s Interview magazine just folded and with it perhaps a whole era of what ‘professional modeling’ means.

That is not to say that greatness won’t be forever demanded in the world of beauty and fashion, but perhaps the hunger games are now a little fairer, more people can join and try their luck.

Marilyn Monroe’s “it’s all just a make-believe” is still relevant and true, more than ever before, in the history of fashion and ultimately modeling.

Laura Arten, IG@laurarten Twitter@LauraArten