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

Sam Rollinson by Craig McDean

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