How to Become a Successful Makeup Artist in Los Angeles

professional makeup school la

In our LA makeup school, we touch on how to set yourself up as a freelance artist as well as establishing yourself in professional makeup industry. In our Bridal + Business course, which is an intensive 22 hour course, you not only learn how to create bridal looks, but also how to handle clients, finances as a freelancer, and how to create a professional resume. 

After becoming a certified makeup artist, there are many paths to choose from in order to build your client base and nab a spot in the professional makeup industry. You not only received a great education, but have learned from the best and have a huge array of makeup products in your kit prepared and ready to create! Here are 4 ways to become a successful makeup artist in Los Angeles and set yourself apart from others in the industry. Good luck and stay true to yourself!

professional makeup school la

Figure out your career path

As you begin to develop your personal artistic talents and signature aesthetic, you’ll need to figure out what area you’re drawn to and want to cultivate your makeup career in. These initial thoughts should begin while you’re still in school as you’re developing your craft. You have to keep in mind the question: “What should I do after?” during each new technique and course. If there was a particular class that kept you interested and wanted to explore it more or learned about a part in the makeup industry that made you excited– go for it! Whether it’s working on an editorial fashion photoshoot, with talent on television and film, celebrity red carpet, bridal and special occasions, or as a beauty consultant, the opportunities are endless. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing your career path. All that matters is that you’re comfortable with whatever field you choose and are able to create your art! You want to constantly create challenges for yourself that will help you grow as an amazing makeup artist. 

Build your portfolio

The most important way to not only show off your work and have clients find you, is to build a professional portfolio. It’s also a great way for you to show your growth and development. Having a strong portfolio (online and available in high-print quality for in-person consultations) will make a huge impact on a potential client. This is a reflection of your brand and the work you’re able to do.

At our LA makeup school, we give students a chance to jumpstart their portfolio after 4 weeks of class. In our Chic Studios LA location, we have a photo studio on site, provide models and a professional photographer. Our students are tested on their final look (ranging from day beauty, bridal, or evening) and after critiques and touch-ups, the models are ready for their photo-op! These high quality images are the perfect way to show off your range of skills to any client. Our students are able to connect with the on-site photographer in case they want to do more photoshoots with them as well.

professional makeup school la

Create an online presence

The best way to promote yourself on an international platform along with unlimited reach is social media! Not only are you able to show off your talents, but the most popular social platforms are completely free so you won’t have too much on building your business. As a makeup artist, you can build your brand by highlighting your unique vision and work, and also showcasing milestones in your career.

We mentioned the key points in building your portfolio for your social media, so we encourage you to utilize those images to show off your talent! We suggest not only showing the final images on your social platforms, but also incorporating behind the scenes videos and images as well. Get personable with your page as well– tell your audience about products you’ve been loving, quotes that keep you motivated, and looks that inspire you. Create your own individual makeup artist business page, as part of your own unique branding. Be sure to hashtag key phrases and words that people search for (#beauty, #beautyoftheday, #makeup, #makeupartist) as well as your location. You can also narrow this down to the direction of your individually established artistry: #editorialmakeupartist, #bridalmakeupartist, #celebritymakeupartist, etc. Use your social media to interact with fellow artists, models, and photographers as well. It’s a great way to not only let people know you’re a working artist but stay connected with others in the industry.

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

Networking

Networking starts as soon as you enter professional makeup school and never stops! This tip is integral to success and by far, the best way to securing your first client (and beyond).

First thing is to step out of your comfort zone! Don’t think that clients will just randomly come to you. You’ll need to learn how to pitch yourself to clients by introducing who you are, your talents, and services. Being assertive and direct (yet always friendly and considerate) is the key to successful networking. After establishing your portfolio, pitch yourself to photographers, models, agencies, etc. 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. You can also volunteer to assist on set. This is one of the most important tips for anyone trying to break into the fashion or entertainment industry. If you have the opportunity to connect with an already established editorial or celebrity makeup artist, assisting on set is a perfect way to begin to add legitimate credentials and establish your career. If you’re looking to do events, connect with vendors (planners, venues, boutiques, etc). By connecting with them, you’ll be able to form trusting partnerships so that they can call you for special occasions that need a makeup artist. You can register 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.

At each job you do, be sure to always have business cards on hand. These cards should be a quick and eye-catching representation of your brand; that isn’t too text heavy and includes your direct contact information, website, and social media so people can easily refer you to work.

Following all these steps can eventually turn your amateur career into something amazing! You’ll have glowing recommendations for client work within the professional industry.