10 Things Every Makeup Artist Should Know

A makeup artist applies makeup to a person with the aim of enhancing their look and personality. It is quite a lucrative profession these days. However, as simple as that may sound, there is so much more that goes into being a professional makeup artist. There are many MUA’s who freelance, work in salons, or work at a makeup counter who are good at their work but still make several obvious mistakes. These mistakes may be noticed by your clients and can have a bad impact on you and your reputation.

So, I’ve put together a list of 10 things I believe every professional makeup artist should know:

1. Keep your makeup brushes and makeup kit clean-Brushes are very important tools for makeup. If you are using dirty brushes not only is it unhygienic and unprofessional, but you risk mixing products together and making a mistake on a client’s face. What’s worse is your unsanitary tools can cause a client to break out, have an allergic reaction, or even get pink eye! To make a good impression on your clients, you should always arrive with your brushes and makeup kit clean and organized. Organization saves a lot of time during the actual makeup application when you know where to pull all of your products and tools from. If you are coming from another makeup job, don’t be embarrassed to clean your brushes and wash your sponges in front of your clients- they may actually appreciate you doing so.

2. Wash or sanitize your hands– This should be a no brainer! So, here’s a friendly reminder that after you have completed setting up your makeup work station you should always wash or sanitize your hands right before starting the makeup application. You never know when you’re going to get a germophobic client so this added step of cleansiness can earn you some real brownie points.

3. Don’t blow on your brushes or products– I’ve seen this so many times while working on set with other makeup artists. Blowing on brushes or lashes is the same as spitting on them. It may not seem like it, but trust me your client will think so! Find a different method that is more sanitary to avoid transference of germs and bacteria.

4. Don’t give the wrong advice- I want to emphasize on this as this is a frequent complaint. Being a makeup artist will make your client feel they can ask you tons of questions on skin care. The truth is, makeup artists are more knowledgeable on beauty products than they are of acne, rosacea and other common skin disorders. If your client is seeking your advice on treatment for a specific skin problem and you are unsure how to answer them, be honest and tell them you don’t know and refer them to a skincare professional.

5. Always keep breathe mints with you– Doing someone’s makeup can be a pretty intimate experience. While applying the makeup you are extremely close to your clients face and, lets be real, they will be able to smell just about everything on you! You will most likely be engaged in conversation during your appointment and having bad breath is just not acceptable. You want the experience for your client to be nothing less of enjoyable. It would suck if you didn’t get called back for future jobs because of that one time you had onion breath!

6. Don’t text and glam– The same way you don’t like your clients being on their phones when you’re trying to focus on applying makeup, they prefer for you to be off your cell phones! 99% of the time your client has somewhere important to be and they would rather not wait around for you to finish texting or worse- Instagramming on their time! Keep it professional. Stay off your phone unless it’s an emergency.

7. Don’t share your personal life with your client- Getting close to your client is a good idea since the goal is to have repeat clients. However, your clients don’t need to hear every detail of your personal life. Not everyone is interested in drama and although some women do like to gossip, maintaining a professional yet friendly relationship with your client will ensure you get that future call back.

8. Don’t overshadow your mistakes– If your client is unhappy with his/her makeup, don't overshadow it. Many times I have witnessed makeup artists trying to convince a client that something looks good on them when the client is just not happy and prefers something different. Don’t force your client to like something. Instead make the extra effort and try to correct it immediately. If you don’t they will probably end up changing it when you leave and most likely never call you back again. You should never finish a makeup job until your client appears to be completely satisfied.

9. Make your client comfortable- Your client should remember his or her appointment as a relaxing time. Put soft music in the background, be gentle with your touch, etc. Make sure all lip and eye pencils are not over sharpened as this may be painful on application. When applying lashes, make sure that you trim the lash so that the inner corner of the strip is not poking your clients eye. Ensuring the process is comfortable is one of the many ways of maintaining an on going relationship with a client.

10. Last but not the least, be honest with your client.When it comes to appointment times, discussing rates, and suggesting makeup products, try to always be honest with your client. Don’t underestimate a client’s attention to detail. Once you lie, most of the time the client knows it and its extremely hard to come back from that. Be honest at all times and you won’t have the added stress of trying to remember and keep up with a lie.

It is important to keep in mind that beautifully applied makeup is only half the battle. Professionalism is what will really get that client to call you back over and over again. We all are humans and we all make mistakes so when possible, try to avoid these and watch your makeup career will go very far.