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