Glamour Makeup Artist

How did you become a makeup artist?

I started working behind a makeup counter many , many, years ago. The experience was great because I learned to be comfortable and work on different faces and features, personalities, color theory and blending. After I left the counter, I took the occasional jobs that presented itself to me but mostly the career was always on the back burner until 2010.

Did you have formal education or were you self taught?

I’m self taught.

How did you break into the industry?

I broke into the industry full time after I was laid off from my employer, totally not makeup related, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. (read below)

What have been some of the best ways you have built and marketed your business?

I put my information on a popular wedding website and began advertising with them. As soon as the ad went live, I received my first inquiry. I’d say the first year I booked about 15 weddings because of that site and I credit it for most of my business in the 2nd year. My first year I did about 20 weddings total… the 2nd year I tripled my business. I recently stopped advertising with them. Hopefully, my business doesn’t fall off.  🙂

Also, social media has become an important role in most businesses… 5 years ago there was no such thing as social media. I think trying to stay relevant, blogging, tweeting and posting lots of pictures is very important in most creative professions now.

Where do most of your clientele come from?

Originally, my clientele was mostly from various wedding websites but now it’s mostly from word of mouth, referrals from past clients and other vendors. My website and information is pretty searchable now. If you google San Francisco makeup artist, my info has been popping up on the first page… I just hope it stays that way.

Can you give us a description of what you do, how you do it, and your
methods that bring about these insane night and day results ?

I don’t think I do anything “special”… I see someone’s face and give them a make over based on how I would like to look… not too cake-y, not too made up and naturally heightened… If someone has dark circles or spots, I conceal it. If they have unruly eyebrows, I groom it. If they have small eyes, I try to define it.

Unless your shy about it, what kind of living can a makeup artist make?

I’d say I’m pretty comfortable…. I’m definitely making more than what I thought I would be making and in a pretty short time frame , compared to my peers. Unless you work for a makeup line, makeup artistry is a freelance career so the income varies significantly for every artist. Honestly, I didn’t pursue this career earlier on because I was focused on pursing a career where the payout was greater… I thought it wasn’t possible to make a decent income without first having to pay your dues. Luckily, my business has been growing at a pretty decent and steady pace. I feel fortunate.

What are your favorite things about being a makeup artist?

The creativity, freedom of being my own boss, creating my own schedule and knowing that people out there appreciate my craft. Unveiling results at the end of a makeover and the reaction from my clients’ is also very high on that list.

If you had to do it all over again what kind of advice would you have given yourself as a Make up Artist? Are there areas you wished you had focused more on? 

If I could, I would’ve pursued this career earlier on rather than when I did. And with the path that I chose, it was pretty easy for me to get into the San Francisco bridal market but now I’m known as a bridal makeup artist, 90% of my business is bridal. I think I would’ve started off with a different specialty… I would love to be doing more print, editorial and high fashion.

Do you have any final words of wisdom to artists aspiring to become
make up artists?

Just keep at it and pursue the specialty that you want. You’ll often doubt yourself and compare yourself to artists you look up to but just know that they once doubted themselves and then still, surprisingly, do doubt themselves. And, you’ll sometimes deal with personalities you don’t want to and come across people who don’t know what they want but just be nice. Be nice to everyone and you must be accommodating and easy to work with for people to want to work with you again. Build connections, build a site and simply build your network. Whether it be on the internet or in your city, get your information out there to as many people you can, you never know where your next client is going to come from. Also, as much as you think this job is fun and you get to paint peoples faces all day, there is a backend to the business that shouldn’t be overlooked. You have to manage your schedule, clients, contracts, quickbooks, inventory then there is social media that’s not to be overlooked… blogging, pinning, tweeting has become very important and have to be 2nd nature. I can actually go and on about this topic… haha.