How to choose and hire a makeup artist

It seems to me over the last year or so there has been a giant surge of makeup artists spouting up! With such lovely photographs all over the web, Instagram, and shared around Facebook it’s so hard to choose who is right for your event! You don’t want to hire someone who is aspiring or new or doesn’t know the “rules” and what this job actually entails. Here are some tips to hiring the perfect artist for your gig.
Look at credentials
Did you know there is no such thing as a makeup license or certification? So why would so many artists say they are certified? Makeup schools often do give students who graduate a certificate showing that they completed a course, but do you know in some states no schooling is required at all? So how do you know who you should hire? If an artist likes to brag they are self-taught, run from that artist as fast as you can. Anyone who takes this career seriously is always constantly learning, whether it’s assisting top senior level artists, taking workshops, classes, and seminars, or going to trade shows. Many artists, like me, may start out as self-taught artists, but, a good artist always wants to be at the top of their game.  If a makeup artist claims to be licensed and it is not a license for esthetics or cosmetology they are not licensed to do makeup at all, and bear in mind cosmetology and esthetics schools focus on hair and skin,  and teach very little makeup application, if your hair stylist has actual  knowledge in makeup they most likely learned it outside of cosmetology school.
Look at their portfolio
Do they work on a variety of clients, ages, and skin types? If not, chances are this is not how they make their living. Do they have a website, or are all the photos on social media? This is another way to gauge how seriously someone takes their career. If all you see are a bunch of pictures of the artist working on themselves, all that means is they have mastered working on one face, but it takes a lot more than that to be able to do work on anyone. Be sure to ask if the photos are edited or photo shopped as well, true professionals will not post edited photos because it showcases work that they are not actually capable of, be weary of anyone who has to post only edited photos.
Check the style of makeup they do on each client, do they do similar looks on every single client, or is each look custom tailored to each client’s natural appearance? Anyone can pile on layer after layer of makeup until you look different, but it takes real skill to create the illusion of looking naturally beautiful and the best version of yourself without appearing to have makeup on. Some artists may not have lots of photos online in their portfolio, so ask to see some other examples of their work. Many clients do not like artists to use their face online, but will allow them to show off their work to future clients privately.
Get a price quote
Sure, it may seem like a bargain to hire that girl who does makeup for $30 on Craigslist, but an artist who invests thousands of dollars into their kit and education isn’t going to make a cent at that rate so they would never charge so little. Ask them directly why they charge so little, think about the last time you walked into a Sephora and bought yourself an eye shadow palette or a bottle of foundation, does it seem normal for an artist to charge that same amount for an hour of their time, skill, and products?  Ask them what brands they use. Many pro artists will use brands you may not have heard of before, and only carry a few products from brands you have heard of or available in most stores.  Be wary of the artist who uses only consumer branded makeup (anything in a Sephora or MAC or drugstore) as these brands are meant for the everyday woman and not film or print work. Makeup that looks good in real life doesn’t always translate the same on a camera and vice versa.
Often times the only questions I am asked is my price, then to negotiate that price, but if you already know you are on a budget or do not want to pay someone a lot then you need to set the bar lower of who you are hiring and choose from the budget artists available. There are plenty of them, but if you are merely trying to decide if the artist you want to hire is worth their price you need to ask the right questions to find out and it’s best to do so over the phone to gauge their professionalism. I hope these tips have helped you in your search for a quality makeup artist, doing your homework can go a long way in making sure you are happy with your services.




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