If you’re looking to accelerate your journey from a beginner makeup artist (MUA) to a professional level, here are five hacks to help you:
- Invest in Quality Tools and Products:
As an MUA, your tools and products are essential for achieving professional results. Quality tools will help you achieve better application, blending, and precision, leading to more professional-looking makeup. Be sure to set a budget before you buy.
Start with the Basics
Focus on building a solid foundation of essential products before expanding your kit. The top 10 products you should own are:
- Eyeshadow Palette
- Brow Products
- Lipstick or Lip Gloss
- Makeup brushes
Invest in high-quality brushes, makeup palettes, and products from reputable brands. Investing in high-quality brands such as MAC Cosmetics, NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, and Anastasia Beverly Hills are known for their professional-grade makeup products.
Invest in high-quality basics such as a versatile eyeshadow palette, a reliable foundation, a range of brushes for different purposes (e.g., blending, contouring, and precision work), and long-lasting lipsticks.
These staples will allow you to create a wide range of looks.
- Seek Education and Training:
Expand your knowledge and skills by enrolling in makeup courses, workshops, or certification programs. Learning from industry professionals will teach you advanced techniques, colour theory, and product knowledge and help you understand different skin types and tones. Look for reputable makeup masterclasses in your area or watch online YouTube tutorials. Makeup by Mario Pro offers a support and mentorship programme for students in training. If you cannot attend a masterclass in person, follow your favourite MUA via social media and keep up with their latest techniques.
- Practice Regularly:
Practice at home and record yourself as you do it; it will help you gain confidence. Trial and error are vital to improving your makeup skills. Set aside time to experiment with different looks, techniques, and products. Practice on yourself, friends, or family members to gain experience and build your portfolio. As you practice, take note of your strengths and areas for improvement, and focus on honing specific techniques.
The best way to start practising is to start with the basics, for example, foundation application, contouring, blending and eyeshadow. Focusing on one technique at a time will help you master the application, and you’ll soon be able to apply makeup on other people faster! A tip when practising is to purchase a ring light which will achieve more precise results, and you will have confidence that the makeup will look good day and night.
- Build A Portfolio:
Document your makeup looks by taking clear, well-lit photos. Creating a portfolio will help you track your progress and showcase your work to potential clients or employers. It will also be a visual reference for future clients to see your capabilities. Create an Instagram page full of headshots to give your audience a closer look. It is also essential to invest in a good-quality camera; for example, iPhone images will not capture the detail of your eyeshadows enough. When building your portfolio, take before and after images, as this creates curiosity among your audience. Videos are also visually pleasing and provide interactive content for your audience, don’t worry if you are not a professional editor, as a good ring light and video app editor such as TikTok will help.
- Network and Collaborate:
Networking is crucial in the makeup industry. Connect with other makeup artists, photographers, hairstylists, and models to expand your professional network. Collaborate on creative projects, photoshoots, or fashion shows to gain exposure and build your portfolio. Networking can lead to new opportunities, referrals, and valuable industry insights. For example, partner with an influencer and vlog the entire process for YouTube. This will not only reach out to your audience but also gain the attraction of the influencer’s audience too. Attending makeup events such as beauty shows, workshops, or trade shows will provide opportunities to meet fellow makeup artists, industry professionals, brands, and potential clients. Be prepared with business cards and engage in conversations to build connections. If you cannot attend in-person events, you can join communities online or contact local photographers, hairstylists, fashion designers, and models to collaborate on creative projects. Building relationships with professionals in related fields can lead to referrals and future collaborations.