Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How I started my career as a makeup artist

This is a question I get asked all the time so I thought a blog post would be the best way to tell you all about my career so far. I will share hints and tips about the industry that's becoming a popular career choice for many. When I first started out, I found posts about how other artists had got where they were super helpful, so hopefully this will enable you to learn more about my journey.   From the age of 16 I worked on makeup counters alongside studying Art & Design at college. Working for a makeup brand is a great way of learning new skills as it is a fast paced environment where you will see many different faces and pick up tips from others you work with. It also gives you chance to build up your kit and knowledge about different brands.  

I progressed to work on several makeup counters after declining a place at university. I loved making someone feel great with the help of makeup, but really disliked the selling side of my job! My love for makeup grew and I knew it was what I wanted to do forever. One of my friends told me about her friend who was in London training to be a freelance makeup artist which was the first time I thought I would love to do that.  I learnt so much through working on makeup counters and continued to do so, and found extra work doing bridal and occasion makeups. I think this a great way to start in the industry.   I knew I wanted to learn more and wanted a qualification. So after a year of researching what course was best for me, I went back to college and trained to be a professional makeup artist. I went to NEW College in Bromsgrove and did a National Diploma in Theatrical Makeup. I struck gold with my teacher as Jane was a BBC makeup artist for many years before going into teaching. 
Over two years I chose to be trained in all the different areas because at this point I was not sure what area I wanted to specialise in. I loved learning how to body paint, make wigs and was taught special effects makeup. These are skills I will always have so if I ever wanted to go into a different side of the industry, I have that option. It's important to pick a course that works for you, there are so many to choose from these days. This route is not for everyone and there are many successful makeup artists who have built up their portfolio and brand without a qualification.   As a training makeup artist you need to build up your skills. You will work for free for the first few years whilst you get your name out there and network, as it's a hard industry to break into; but so rewarding when you do. While at college I did test shoots and assisted other makeup artists, generally unpaid work, which was a great way to start gaining experience in the industry. Working on makeup counters enabled me to build up an extensive kit.  There are so many different areas of work within the industry, I do think it's good to have some idea of the direction you wish to go in as this may help you pick a course to study or help you when looking for assisting work. Training in hairstyling alongside makeup artistry is helpful as sometimes you are expected to do both.  
 Being in London, nearby or willing to travel is important if you want to work in fashion, editorial or celebrity work.   When I finished college I had got a portfolio together from testing with other creatives and assisting other makeup artists whilst studying. Alongside photoshoots and bridal makeup I started working in a photography studio. It was great experience working with other makeup artists and learning how they worked under time pressure as you only had 45 mins for hair and makeup to be finished.   I enjoyed working in the fashion and beauty side of the industry which included working on London fashion week, with the brand Collection 2000 and getting work featured in fashion magazines. I also experienced TV work and made a few short films before specialising in Bridal Makeup.   After building up my name within the bridal industry I'm lucky enough to have my work regularly featured on wedding blogs and in magazines. I have recently been listed in the top 50 makeup artists in the UK and have been voted best makeup artist in the West Midlands four years running at the wedding industry awards!   As a makeup artist you are required to continuously develop your skills and keep up to date with the latest products, looks and trends. You never stop learning as there is always new technology, techniques and trends around the corner. I often take masterclasses with top industry makeup artists, watch YouTube tutorials and love reading makeup books. 

Top Tips

•Practice, practice and more practice, on other people ideally    

Get a kit together, you don't need to spend a fortune at the start. Do your research on YouTube and blogs as to what products to invest in.   

•Assist other makeup artists and get some experience testing with other creatives.
•Check out Crystal Wright, I found some of her tips very helpful when first starting out. 

I hope this blog has been helpful and that you have picked up a few hints and tips along the way.  

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