This is my open-letter to all the "Self-Proclaimed" Makeup Artists. If this offends anyone, its nothing personal. These are things the just need to be said.
Dear Self Proclaimed Makeup Artist,
You missed something! Not just a small something but a very large, monumental, catastrophic, and crucial something. Or should I say some-THINGS. Not every Betty and Barbara that picks up a brush is a makeup artist. You can't just simply wakeup one day and say "Hey I want to teach a makeup class" just because a few people like how you wear your makeup. Let me tell you now there is process you must go through. A natural order of progression and growth. There are things you must do first.
I will first inform you of the ramifications that come about because of the decisions you have made, then I will educate you on how to rectify your mistakes. Firstly, I am a makeup artist. I would say one of average skill and of average notability. (Or slightly below. I'm no big shot.) But I do have skill and I've put in some work. So I know what I know in the realm of my own experiences. When an amateur artist begins working they immediately devalue the work of good professional artists. Offering a $35 face spoils the worth of good work. This will make clients question why they should pay the price they pay to a legitimate experienced and trained Makeup Artist.
Here's a very simplified explanation.
And this is why $35 makeup is a slap in the face to any self-respecting artist.
So now you say, "But I really really really want to be an artist Anna. Why are you telling me I can't." I'm not saying that you should drop your dreams and give up, but there are somethings you have to do first. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have formal training? I DO NOT MEAN YOUTUBE AND INSTAGRAM!!!
- Are you using Professional makeup?
- Do you know what the price range is for your area?
- Do you test?
Proper training is key. Do you invest in your skills? Youtube is nice but it is not a professional education. Take a class. A real class with a certificate offered at the end. You will learn all the fundamentals of artistry, color theory, anatomy, and History. Or you can apprentice under a seasoned and successful working Makeup Artist. It will cost you, but if you really want to succeed you have to invest in your craft. Plus, school will teach you one very important thing. Sanitation. I don't know how many artists I've seen with poor sanitation habits. Cross-contamination can get you sued in a heartbeat, but you will never learn what that is unless you go to school for it.
Having a train case full of CVS makeup does not equal a makeup artist, and neither does being a product junky that buys everything they see on youtube. As a makeup artist you want to use proper professional cosmetics. You don't want to use just anything that your client can get from Sephora, because then they don't need you. Beyond even that professional cosmetics are just that "Professional". The pigmentation is higher, the product has better staying power, and is packaged for pro use and travel. Must pro-only companies you may have never heard of. And most companies won't even let you buy product without showing proof that you are a working artist. So get educated and get equipped with the right tools.
Pricing can be tricky because there are many factors that go into determining what that is. First you want to know what other artists in your area are charging. Once you've figured that tweak the pricing based on whether or not your experience and product cost measure up to that.
Makeup Artist Deshawn Hatcher, in her book Assisting Rules, describes Testing like this. "Testing is a collaboration. "Testing" is what you do when building you portfolio to showcase your amazing talent." And there you have it so simple. It took me years to understand what Testing was let alone why I should do it. (BTW if you're serious about becoming an artist. BUY THIS FREAKING BOOK!!!) Here's a link to buy her book. Deshawn's book is a well of knowledge that we all should drink from. But Testing is what you do to basically build your portfolio. You should build a relationship with a photographer and "Test" ideas. All the good ones that show-off your talent go in your portfolio.
I could literally go on and on about this, and that's because I am so passionate about this art form. Just like any career this takes training and development. No one ever says "I want to be a Dentist." then asks perfect strangers if they can yank out their teeth. It is the same with Makeup Artistry. Show respect to the industry Pros by showing that you're serious and put in the hard work to reach the level that you are trying to attain.