Top Mistakes You Can Make When Becoming a Makeup Artist - QC Makeup Academy

Training as a makeup artist is one of the biggest hurdles between you and a career in the beauty industry. If you’re on your way to achieving this, good for you! Keep in mind, however, that you’ve still got some work cut out for you.

Check out these mistakes that many new makeup artists make in their first few months in the industry. Avoiding these will help you build your professional reputation.

Discrediting Retail Experience

Some professional makeup artists look at cosmetic retail jobs as “beneath” them. Don’t think about a retail experience like this!

Working retail lets you:

  • Get to know a wider range of products very well
  • Practice techniques on all skin types, ages, and facial structures

Makeup artists who refuse to take retail jobs can miss out on the opportunity to:

  • Complete additional training programs (often for free!)
  • Develop their skills
  • Build a more solid foundation of knowledge

Working at a makeup counter or in a boutique can give you the invaluable experience you need to succeed elsewhere.

Balancing Trends Poorly

Makeup clients expect your work to be up to date and modern. You should keep up with the latest trends and track what’s “in” and what’s “out.”

It is also important, however, that you know the difference between trendy and too trendy. Some popular techniques are also foundational, while others are fads that pass quickly. Your skills should have lasting value, but they also need to be relevant.

Forgetting to Learn

Makeup artists are always learning, even if they’re working professionally. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, with new products, techniques, and trends emerging all the time. If you assume that being an expert means that you’re done learning, your skills won’t develop at the same pace as your art. Pick up new tricks and techniques from other artists, the industry around you, and wherever else you feel you can learn from.

Promoting Yourself Poorly

Social networking can be extremely useful for makeup artists. Online platforms give you a wider reach than more traditional advertising, and they let you display your work to people who might not see it elsewhere.

Remember, however, that it is possible to discourage potential clients online. If you flood their newsfeed, followers might become annoyed and think you’re just an “Internet artist” rather than a professional with a real-world career. Promotion and advertising require careful balance.

Lack of Preparation

Being artistic and edgy doesn’t mean being unprepared. Before each contract, have a consultation meeting and create face charts that outline color and style options for your clients. Showing up to a job unprepared results in unhappy clients.

Professionals spend time before each contract organizing their cosmetics, cleaning their brushes, and planning looks that will make their clients happy.

Using Poor-Quality Products

If you’ve completed makeup artistry training, you’ve probably already invested in good-quality makeup. Continue to use professional cosmetics throughout your career. You don’t have to spend all of your savings on the most expensive products, but make sure you’re not purchasing unreliable discount brands. These brands aren’t as long-lasting, don’t color match well, and simply won’t give you the professional finish your clients are expecting.

Lacking Experience

Jumping into a contract that requires more experience than you have isn’t beneficial to your career. Lying about your level of experience to get a job is even riskier. If you take on jobs that are outside your scope before you’re ready, you might produce poor quality work. If, however, you stick to contracts that are at your experience level or just slightly more challenging, you’ll improve your skills instead of overwhelming yourself.

Taking Short Cuts

Makeup artists don’t often get away with cutting corners. If you’re worried about working quickly, practice your techniques until you can do them more time-efficiently. Skipping steps won’t yield the professional results your clients are expecting. If you’re pressed for time before a wedding and you skip priming the skin and setting the foundation, the makeup will wear off quickly and the bride will be unhappy with your work.

Learn From Your Mistakes

No one expects a brand new makeup artist to be absolutely perfect. Even so, you should know what the common mistakes are and do what you can to avoid them. Practice, prepare and learn from whatever mistakes you do make. If you feel overwhelmed by where you might go wrong, seek advice from more experienced artists around you.

We’re curious! What are some of the mistakes YOU made when you were becoming a makeup artist? Let us know in a comment!

Author Ana Scholtes

More posts by Ana Scholtes

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Natasha Nischol says:

    As Practice make the man perfect so making mistake is not a big deal but overcoming toward the mistake is the actual strategy for success.So thanks for sharing a list of mistake, it will surely give help in avoiding them.

  • Payal says:

    Nice post! Truly agree with the points which you discussed in this article.. Thanks for sharing such good article.

    • Sloane Seguin says:

      Hi Payal, thanks so much for reading and commenting. We’re glad to hear that you found this article so insightful. Which mistake when becoming a makeup artist did YOU find the most important? 🙂

      All the best,
      The QC Team

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