I love being a professional hair and makeup artist! It’s creative, it’s sociable and there’s no denying that it can be a lot of fun – there’s nothing else I would rather do. However, if your dream is to become a professional hair and makeup artist, it is important that you understand every aspect of it to be sure that this is the job for you.
Being a successful hair and makeup artist is about so much more than knowing how to create gorgeous looks – it’s about being the right kind of person and having true passion for the art. This is not just a career choice it’s a life-style!
I have the pleasure of regularly teaching makeup at The BRIT School and so my students and I put together a list of what being a Makeup Artist is all about.
You’ll need to be:
- A team player
- Organised & well prepared
- Forward Thinking
- Up to Date (products & fashion)
Still think you’ve got what it takes? Brilliant! Then now is the time to begin.
There will be early starts, sometimes there will be long hours, you’ll be very busy and some jobs are certainly harder than others – but it is also lots of fun and rewarding!
The hair and makeup artist business is extremely competitive, so always be one step ahead of your peers by working ahead of all the latest trends, products and fashion. Knowledge is power! By keeping current and creating consistently great work, your confidence will boost as fast as your business!
Be sure to always use high quality products and equipment – it may be pricey, but the finished result is always worth it. I use a wide variety of products from Mac, Nars, Bumble and Bumble, Paul Mitchell, Bobbi Brown and Stilla so that I always have something to suit all hair/skin types and any occasion. I’m constantly adding to my kit with new, exciting products. Be over-prepared: you never know what surprise task might be thrown your way…
Over the years, working as a hair and makeup artist, you’re bound to put together some favourite products; but when you’re first starting out, it can be tricky to choose – especially with the ever-changing market.
My top makeup pieces at the moment include Nars tinted moisturizer and the Orgasm liquid blusher, which both lend to current trends by give a radiant glow and dewy finish to the skin.
If you also do hair (which ideally, all makeup artists should), then heated rollers are an absolutely essential piece of kit for perfect hair prep. Cloud Nine The O’s are my favourites right now as they heat up in 15 seconds flat and provide amazing results in no time at all – and anything that is an effective time saver is welcome in the hair and makeup business! They are a little expensive but trust me, they’re worth it!
Bumble and Bumble’s hair powder (blonde/brown) is another one of my favourite products which I use for hair thickening and giving instant volume.
Whilst having fantastic products is a must, research is also a great tool and an ideal pathway to discover the areas of hair and makeup that you really love and want to be involved in.
Right now, you may just have a general interest in hair and makeup, but through experience you will probably find yourself leaning towards a certain field, be it film, TV/comedy, weddings, teaching, drama/period drama or fashion.
There’s something for everyone and you’ll never know which is for you until you try it!
Expand your horizons to grow your creativity – visit the V&A and look at latest exhibitions. I recently attended the Textile and Fashion Museum for the Liberty in Fashion exhibition – this was great to see, because knowing about clothing trends across the eras can also help you to understand the different hair and makeup styles.
Try to attend as many fashion events as you can – if you’re London-based, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Always be filling your mind with ideas, colours, shapes and the hair and makeup styles from different eras to stay inspired.
TV and film can be an excellent source of inspiration too, particularly if this is a field you’re interested in working in. I am loving the new series of Shane Meadows CH 4 This is England 1990 right now. The hair and makeup is great for research and I really advise seeing the 1970’s and 80’s This is England too.